Allen Klein

Fred Goodman Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 368 pages, $27

When Apple introduced its streaming music service at its annual developers conference last month in San Francisco, the tech company made sure to have the rapper Drake on hand. But the real stars of the day were Jimmy Iovine and Eddy Cue, two of the many executives who have stepped into the spotlight as the record industry struggles to remake itself for the digital age. Today such visible string-pullers are under scrutiny from the public. Yet it wasn't always like this, as the veteran music journalist Fred Goodman reminds us in "Allen Klein: The Man Who Bailed Out the Beatles, Made the Stones, and Transformed Rock & Roll."

A rough-edged but charismatic player who at one point managed both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Klein worked in shadows that are hard to imagine now. Fifty years ago, what happened behind the scenes generally stayed there.

"As far as Allen was concerned, the business had it backward," Goodman writes, laying out the basis of the transformation to which he refers in his book's subtitle. "It wasn't the record companies that were irreplaceable; it was the people who made the records."

Klein's belief in his clients led to ever bigger paydays, not just for the artists but also for him. Reading about Klein's dealings, it's easy to wonder what he might think of the new streaming model. You can bet Cue is happy not to know.