A&M Records: Wikis

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A&M Records
A&M Records logo.png
Parent company Universal Music Group
Founded 1962
Founder Herb Alpert
Jerry Moss
Status Active
Distributing label IGA
(In the US)
Polydor Records
(Outside of the US)
Genre Various
Country of origin United States
Location Santa Monica, California
Official Website Official website

A&M Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group, and operates under the mantle of its Interscope-Geffen-A&M division.

Contents

Company history

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Beginnings

A&M Records was formed in 1962 by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss. Their first choice for a name was “Carnival Records,” under which they released two singles before discovering another label had taken the Carnival name first. The company was subsequently renamed A&M, after Alpert's and Moss's initials. From 1966 to 1999, the company's headquarters were on the grounds of the historic Charlie Chaplin Studio at 1416 North La Brea Avenue, near Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. The A&M studios and executive offices are now the home of Jim Henson Productions, which operates Henson Recording Studios,[1] while the financial center is home to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, A&M had such acts as Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Baja Marimba Band, Burt Bacharach, Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66, We Five, The Carpenters, Chris Montez,Elkie Brooks The Captain and Tennille, Quincy Jones, and Paul Williams. Folk legends Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Laramy Smith and Gene Clark also recorded with the label during the 1970s. Billy Preston joined the label in 1971.

In the late 1960s, through direct signing and licensing agreements, A&M added British artists such as Joe Cocker, Procol Harum, Fairport Convention, Free, The Move, and Spooky Tooth. In the 1970s, under its manufacturing and distribution agreement with Ode Records, A&M released albums by Carole King, Hummingbird, and the comedy duo Cheech and Chong. Other notable acts of the time included Nazareth, Y&T, The Tubes, Styx, Supertramp, Rick Wakeman, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Squeeze, and Peter Frampton. On March 10, 1977, A&M signed the Sex Pistols after the band had been dropped by EMI. However, A&M dropped the band within a week.[2] A&M sustained its success during the 1980s with a roster of noted acts that included Falco, Atlantic Starr, Janet Jackson, The Police, Suzanne Vega, Oingo Boingo, Annabel Lamb, Bryan Adams, Vital Signs, Joe Jackson, and Scottish rock band Gun.

Within a decade of its inception, A&M became the world's largest independent record company. A&M releases were initially issued in the United Kingdom by EMI's Stateside Records label, and then under its own name by Pye Records until 1967. A&M releases were also issued in Australia through Festival Records until 1989. A&M Records, Ltd.[3] was established in 1970, with distribution handled by other labels with a presence in Europe. A&M Records of Canada, Ltd.[4] was also formed in 1970, and A&M Records of Europe in 1977. In 1979, A&M entered a distribution agreement with RCA Records (which later became BMG) in the USA, and with CBS Records in many other countries.

Over the years, A&M added specialty imprints: Almo International[5] for middle of the road; Omen Records (1964–1966)[6] for soul; Horizon Records[7] for jazz (1974–1978); AyM Discos[8] for Latin-American; Vendetta Records [9] for dance music (1988–1990); and Tuff Break Records for hip-hop music.[10]

The PolyGram years

A&M was bought by PolyGram in 1989. Alpert and Moss continued to manage the label until 1993. The sale to PolyGram stipulated that Alpert and Moss had an integrity clause allowing them to control the label's image through 2009. In 1998, Alpert and Moss sued PolyGram for breach of the integrity clause.

In 1991, A&M launched Perspective Records[11] through a joint venture with producing team Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Jam and Lewis stepped down as CEO's of the imprint in 1997, but remained on as consultants. In 1999, the label was absorbed into A&M. In the mid-1990s, A&M began distributing its PolyGram sister label Polydor Records in the USA.

During the 1990s, the company continued to release albums by Soundgarden, Extreme, Amy Grant, John Hiatt, Sting, Blues Traveler, Barry White, and Aaron Neville, as well as material from new artists Sheryl Crow, Therapy?, CeCe Peniston, and the Gin Blossoms. The company released the soundtracks Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Three Musketeers, Sabrina, The Living Sea, Demolition Man, and Lethal Weapon 3.

A&M under Universal Music Group

In 1998, PolyGram was bought by Seagrams and merged into its Universal Music Group. A&M was subsequently merged into Universal Music Group's then newly formed Interscope-Geffen-A&M label group. Its Canadian division was absorbed into Universal Music Canada that time, and included Jann Arden alongside other artists from Canada. Bryan Adams continued to record on that label.

The A&M lot on La Brea Avenue was shut down in January 1999. It is now operating as Henson Recording Studios. During the farewell celebration, the company's staff placed a black band over the A&M sign above the main entrance, indicating the death of the company. Most of the company's workforce, some of whom had been with the company for a decade or more, were let go, while many of its artists were dropped. Al Cafaro stated

"This isn't about Universal or Seagram. The record business is changing fundamentally. Don't think that there are calm seas on the other side of this threshold. If the quake that devoured A&M and Geffen is a 6.0 on the Richter scale, there is a 7.0 coming in this industry. It's a Wall Street world now. Get ready."[12]

Alpert and Moss sued Universal Music Group in 2000, claiming that they had violated a contractual agreement stating that A&M Records would be allowed to retain its corporate culture. The suit was later settled.

The first multi-platinum A&M Records release under Universal Music Group and Interscope was Sting's 1999 album Brand New Day.

A&M/Octone

In February 2007, Universal Music Group partnered with Octone Records to relaunch the A&M label, now headed by James Diener and called A&M/Octone Records with worldwide distribution handled by UMG. While newer signings are usually funneled through the A&M/Octone venture, previous signings continue to record for the main A&M label.

Artists

Affiliated labels

Former subsidiaries

Current subsidiaries

See also

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.hensonrecording.com/
  2. ^ Southall, Brian (2007). 90 Days At EMI. Bobcat Books Ltd., London. pp. 138–9. ISBN 1-84609-779-9.  
  3. ^ "A&M Records Ltd.". On A&M Records.com.. 2007. http://www.onamrecords.com/Britain_History.html.  
  4. ^ "A&M Records Canada". On A&M Records.com.. 2003. http://www.onamrecords.com/Canada_History.html.  
  5. ^ "Almo International". On A&M Records.com.. 2003. http://www.onamrecords.com/Almo_International.html.  
  6. ^ "Omen Records". On A&M Records.com.. 2007. http://www.onamrecords.com/Omen_Records.html.  
  7. ^ "Horizon Records History". On A&M Records.com.. 2003. http://www.onamrecords.com/Horizon_Records.html.  
  8. ^ "AyM Discos History". On A&M Records.com.. 2003. http://www.onamrecords.com/AyM_Discos.html.  
  9. ^ "Vendetta Records". On A&M Records.com.. 2007. http://www.onamrecords.com/Vendetta_Records.html.  
  10. ^ "Tuff Break". On A&M Records.com.. 2007. http://www.onamrecords.com/Tuff_Break.html.  for hip hop music (1994-1995)
  11. ^ "Perspective Records". On A&M Records.com.. 2006. http://www.onamrecords.com/Perspective_Records.html.  
  12. ^ Black Thursday: A&M Shuts Its Doors

References

External links


Simple English

A&M Records
Parent company Universal Music Group
Founded 1962
Founder Herb Alpert
Jerry Moss
Distributing label Interscope-Geffen-A&M (US)
Polydor Records (UK)
Genre Various
Country of origin US
Location Santa Monica, California
Official website A&M Octone Records

A&M Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group which operates through the Interscope-Geffen-A&M division. It was set up in 1962.

Contents

History

A&M Records was started by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss. They made 2 records under the name “Carnival Records.” Finding the name Carnival was already being used, they changed the name to A&M, after their names, Alpert and Moss. From 1966 to 1999, the company's office was on the grounds of the historic Charlie Chaplin Studio at 1416 N. La Brea Avenue, near Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.

Pop music

In 1960s and 1970s, A&M was among the leading labels for ‘light’ pop music. Acts they recorded included:

  • Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass
  • Baja Marimba Band
  • Burt Bacharach
  • Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66
  • We Five
  • The Carpenters
  • Chris Montez
  • Captain and Tennille
  • Quincy Jones
  • Paul Williams
  • Joan Baez
  • Phil Ochs
  • Gene Clark

In 1971 piano player Billy Preston who joined the label and brought success in R&B and funk music. The Carpenters are label's most successful act of the 1970s having sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.

British acts

At the end of the 1960s, A&M added British musicians to the label. These included:

  • Joe Cocker
  • Procol Harum
  • Fairport Convention
  • Free
  • The Move
  • Spooky Tooth.

1970's

In the 1970s, A&M made an agreement with Ode Records. They released albums for:

Other famous acts with A&M reords in the 1970's included:

A&M in England, Europe and Canada

A&M records were first sold in the United Kingdom by EMI's Stateside Records label. It then sold records under the A&M name with Pye Records until 1967. A&M Records, Ltd. [1] was started in 1970. A&M Records of Canada, Ltd. [2] was also formed in 1970, and A&M Records of Europe in 1977.

In the 1970s, A&M saw potential in English punk music and on March 10 1977 signed the Sex Pistols after the band had been dropped by EMI. However, A&M themselves sacked the band within a week.[3]

Success

Within 10 years of starting, A&M became the world's largest independent record company. In 1979, A&M made an agreement with RCA Records (which later became BMG) to distribute its records in the US, and with CBS Records in many other countries.

A&M's success continued in the 1980s with acts that included:

Other labels

Over the years, A&M has a made its own special labels:

  • Almo International[5] for middle of the road
  • Omen Records (1964–1966)[6] for soul
  • Horizon Records[7] for jazz (1974–1978)
  • AyM Discos[8] for Latin American
  • Vendetta Records for dance music[9]
  • Tuff Break Records for hip-hop music [10]

References

  1. "A&M Records Ltd.". On A&M Records.com.. 2007. http://www.onamrecords.com/Britain_History.html. 
  2. "A&M Records Canada". On A&M Records.com.. 2003. http://www.onamrecords.com/Canada_History.html. 
  3. Southall, Brian (2007). 90 Days At EMI. Bobcat Books Ltd., London. pp. pp. 138-9. ISBN 1-84609-779-9. 
  4. "A&M Records History 1980-1989". On A&M Records.com.. 2003. http://www.onamrecords.com/History_3.html. 
  5. "Almo International". On A&M Records.com.. 2003. http://www.onamrecords.com/Almo_International.html. 
  6. "Omen Records". On A&M Records.com.. 2007. http://www.onamrecords.com/Omen_Records.html. 
  7. "Horizon Records History". On A&M Records.com.. 2003. http://www.onamrecords.com/Horizon_Records.html. 
  8. "AyM Discos History". On A&M Records.com.. 2003. http://www.onamrecords.com/AyM_Discos.html. 
  9. "Vendetta Records". On A&M Records.com.. 2007. http://www.onamrecords.com/Vendetta_Records.html.  (1988–1990) as a dance imprint.
  10. "Tuff Break". On A&M Records.com.. 2007. http://www.onamrecords.com/Tuff_Break.html. for hip hop music (1994-1995)

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