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A&M Records facts for kids
|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
Polydor Records (UK)
|Country of origin||US|
|Location||Santa Monica, California|
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.
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.
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.
At the end of the 1960s, A&M added British musicians to the label. These included:
- Joe Cocker
- Procol Harum
- Fairport Convention
- The Move
- Spooky Tooth.
In the 1970s, A&M made an agreement with Ode Records. They released albums for:
- Carole King
- Cheech and Chong
Other famous acts with A&M reords in the 1970s included:
- The Tubes
- Rick Wakeman
- Peter Frampton.
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. was started in 1970. A&M Records of Canada, Ltd. 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.
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:
- Janet Jackson
- Atlantic Starr
- The Police
- Suzanne Vega
- Oingo Boingo
- Annabel Lamb
- Bryan Adams
- Joe Jackson
- Scottish rock band Gun.
Over the years, A&M has a made its own special labels:
- Almo International for middle of the road
- Omen Records (1964–1966) for soul
- Horizon Records for jazz (1974–1978)
- AyM Discos for Latin American
- Vendetta Records for dance music
- Tuff Break Records for hip-hop music