INTRODUCTION TO A&M RECORDS HISTORY
"The A&M experience was just so sweet. It was literally an American fable - two guys getting together and creating something that just worked. We were in business together for 28 years without any investment from anybody else. We had our own shop."
"The partnership over the 28 years we had the company afforded [Herb Alpert] the opportunity to experiment and live his life as an artist and a label honcho and do what he wanted to do. It afforded me the same opportunity."
"We responded to music emotionally, No. 1: How it thrilled us, how it pleased us. We obviously had to find new acts, because we couldn't compete with the major labels on established talent."
"These new people had to start off in left field because they had to be different. They had to have something different than what was already on the radio."
"It's not that complicated. If you hear something and it makes you want to hear it again, that's the ticket. You have to be lucky enough to find geniuses, welcome them and get out of their way."
This is the history of A&M Records from its founding in 1962 through its rise to become the world's largest independent label and ending with its merger into Universal Music Group. The sale of the label and its music publishing houses made A&M worth about $1 billion.
On the perception of A&M as a classy label with a family feel, Gil Friesen told Kip Cohen, "We rarely talk about what we do. All of it is directly related to what the artist does, and you rarely hear about how many records we have on the charts. We just don't chase that kind of publicity, so whatever impression you have is a result from what we don't say about ourselves."
A&M Records 25th Anniversary Video/Timeline