As the title suggests, Donald S. Passman’s guide through the music industry is essential for any aspiring musician. Its nearly 500 pages are intimidating, but the book is structured in three levels that allow readers to skip sections based on interest.

Passman’s idiom is friendly and sarcastic. Some of his comparisons could double as a comic routine. His welcoming tone makes the book connect with the reader. Passman doesn’t talk down to his reader, but applies tough love where needed.

The reality of the music industry is that only the savvy survive its traps. Passman makes no excuses for the harsh nature of the business and through his sincerity, his advice almost reads as gospel truth.

Grade: A

All You Need to Know About the Music Business: Seventh Edition is currently available.