A & M Records
est un label fondée en 1962 par Jerry Moss et Herb
Alpert et basé à Hollywood (Californie). Il a débuté en 1961 sous le
nom de Carnival Records, mais apprenant que le nom existait déjà, Alpert
et Moss ont modifié le nom pour A & M.
Jusqu'en 1967, A & M a sorti des enregistrements qui étaient
distribués par Pye Records au Royaume-Uni, ensuite, il s'est lancé dans
sa propre distribution musicale. A & M a, par ailleurs, une assez grande
histoire de distribution et de promotion de disques avec dans sa
palette, des noms tels Dark Horse Records (1974–1976), IRS Records
(1979–1985), Windham Hill Records (1982–1985), Gold Mountain Records
(1983–1985), et Cypress Records (depuis 1986). A & M distribue aussi Ode
Records et a acheté Shelter Records.
En 1989, A&M a été vendu à PolyGram pour la somme d'un demi milliard de
dollars. Cette compagnie fait à présent partie du groupe Interscope
Records, qui compte dans ses rangs Geffen Records. Interscope a été le
point tournant de Universal Music Group, détenu par l'entreprise
De 1966 à 1999, le studio prenait place au même endroit que le studio
A & M Records was formed in 1962 by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss and based
in Hollywood (California). 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
N. 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 and the financial center is home to the American
Academy of Dramatic Arts).
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, A&M was among the leading purveyors of ‘light’
Pop Music, with such acts as: Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Baja Marimba
Band, Burt Bacharach, Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66, We Five, Carpenters,
Chris Montez, Captain and
Tennille, Quincy Jones, and Paul Williams; folk legends Joan Baez and Phil Ochs
were with the label during the 1970s. However, the label also found success in
R&B and funk thanks to piano great Billy Preston who joined the label in 1971.
Carpenters, however, remain the label's most successful act of the 1970s with
upwards of 100 million albums sold worldwide.
In the late 1960s, A&M added British artists through direct signing and
licensing agreements. These artists include Joe Cocker, Procol Harum, Fairport
Convention, The Strawbs, and Spooky Tooth. In the 1970s, under its manufacturing
and distribution agreement with Ode Records, A&M released albums by Carole King
and the comedy duo Cheech and Chong. Other notable acts of the time included:
Nazareth, Y&T, The Tubes, Styx, Supertramp, Squeeze and Peter Frampton.
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
Records, Ltd. was established in 1970, with distribution handled by other labels
with a presence in Europe. A&M Records of Canada, Ltd. was also formed in 1970,
and A&M Records of Europe in 1977.
In the late 1970s, A&M recognized the potential in the burgeoning English punk
movement 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.
Within a decade of its inception, A&M became the world's largest independent
record company. In 1979, A&M entered a distribution agreement with RCA Records
(which later became BMG) in the US, and with CBS Records in many other
A&M's success sustained during the 1980s with noted acts that included: Janet
Jackson, Atlantic Starr, The Police, Suzanne Vega, Oingo Boingo, Annabel Lamb,
Bryan Adams, Joe Jackson and Scottish rock band Gun, who went on to win an MTV
award for their cover of the Cameo song 'Word up' in 1994.
Over the years, A&M added specialty imprints: Almo International for middle of
the road; Omen Records (1964–1966) for soul; Horizon Records for jazz
(1974–1978); AyM Discos Latin American division; Vendetta Records,
Tuff Break Records was another joint venture.