360The demise of the record industry in the internet age is one of the more astonishing things in my lifetime. The once great labels are now shadows of themselves or a relegated wing of huge media companies as they were one for the first industries to be disrupted forever in the digital age. However, the history of the great labels is part of our collective history and no label was, or is, as legendary as Columbia Records. In his wonderful chronicle of the label, 360 Sound – The Columbia Records Story, author Sean Wilentz takes us on an amazing journey that celebrates more than a century of influence on our culture.

About 360 Sound – The Columbia Records Story by Sean Wilentz: “For 125 years, Columbia Records has remained one of the most vibrant and storied names in prerecorded sound, nurturing the careers of legends such as Bessie Smith, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Beyoncé, and many more. Written by distinguished historian Sean Wilentz, 360 Sound tells the story of the label’s rich history as it interweaves threads of technical and social change with the creation of some of the greatest albums ever made. Featuring over 300 rare and revealing images from the Columbia archives, this lavishly illustrated celebration is a must-have for any serious music fan.”

What’s great about 360 Sound is that Mr. Wilentz provides us with a visual history for the all the great sound Columbia has given us. This is the perfect book to curl up with while listening to Frank or Barbra and thinking about how lucky we are to have these recordings.

360 Sound – The Columbia Records Story by Sean Wilentz is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.