Twilight of the Gods — the website — is a companion to the 5-part, 5-hour radio documentary series chronicling the wild, complex, fascinating history of the record business from Edison’s invention of his “Talking Machine” in 1877 to the present day.
The record business helped shape the twentieth century — indeed, virtually invented the twentieth century. How we communicate with one another, the intimate experiences we share with one another, our culture, our social values, our politics — in one way or another, all of these were created by the world’s record companies. Without the record companies, our collective lives for the past century or so would have been radically different.
And now those companies are dying — or at least the current versions of them are dying. The digital technology of the Internet is creating a revolution that is threatening to destroy a business created by its own technological revolution a hundred or so years ago. This is the story of that arc of history — from the moment Thomas Edison spoke “Mary Had a Little Lamb” into his talking machine to the moment when you can download all the music you want with the push of a button on your phone.