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“We felt if we made good records, there would be an audience."
——Herb Alpert
HERB & JERRY'S A&M RECORDS:
A LABEL, A LOT, A LEGACY
Alpert and Moss Started the Iconic Label Out
of Herb’s Garage 50 Years Ago
The rich legacy of archetypal L.A. indie label A&M Records will be celebrated with the Aug. 28 release of A&M 50: The Anniversary Collection, on UMe.

Fittingly, the 60 tracks on the three-CD set were selected by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, who launched the label a half century ago out of Alpert's garage. The set kicks off with A&M’s first hit, "The Lonely Bull," which launched the long-running group Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass.  

Partly because one of its founders was an artist himself—and a hugely successful one at that—A&M became known as an artist-friendly label headed by a pair of fundamentally honest and decent guys that would patiently stand behind acts the principals believed in, album after album, until they found their voice and an audience. "We wanted to make good records," says Alpert, reflecting on the label's genesis. "That was our goal. We felt if we made good records, there would be an audience." 

How right he was. Herb and Jerry's dedication to artist development yielded some of the biggest stars in pop history, including  Joe Cocker, Procol Harum, Quincy Jones, Billy Preston, Cat Stevens, the Carpenters, Peter Frampton, Supertramp, Jeffrey Osborne, Styx, Bryan Adams, Joe Jackson, the Police, Sting, Janet Jackson, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Soundgarden and many more. To which A&M alumnus Bud Scoppa (1973-78) would hasten to add The Flying Burrito Brothers and Squeeze, who made the cut, as well as The Tubes, Nils Lofgren/Grin and David & David, who didn’t. 

As iconic as the music released over the last 50 years by A&M was, so was the space that was home to the label for so many years: 1416 No. La Brea, the former Charlie Chaplin Studios in Hollywood, and now home to Henson Studios. It's interesting to note that the state-of-the-art recording studio that Herb and Jerry built on that lot decades ago is still drawing top artists from all over the world to record there. "People hung out there," says Moss. "You took a walk on that lot and you wouldn't believe who you would run into. It was interesting to everyone who worked there and it was a lot of fun." 

At A&M, Alpert and Jerry built and maintained an artistic oasis that rivals any label in history. This achievement was due in large part to the fact that A&M was privately owned and run by its founders for the first 27 years of its existence. The environment they created helped spawn some of the most important artists in contemporary music, selling millions of albums worldwide in the process and creating a legacy that is virtually unmatched. As Sting so succinctly puts it, "We definitely felt nourished and sustained by a creative team."

Here’s the whole enchilada:  

Disc 1: From AM to FM
1 Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, The Lonely Bull”
 2 Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66, “Mas Que Nada”
 3 We Five, “You Were on My Mind”
 4 Chris Montez, “The More I See You”
 5 Rita Coolidge, “(Your Love Keeps...) Higher and Higher”
 6 Burt Bacharach, “A House Is Not a Home”
7 Carpenters, “(They Long to Be) Close to You”
 8 Cat Stevens, “Wild World”
 9 The Human League, “Don't You Want Me”
 10 Captain & Tennille, “Love Will Keep Us Together”
 11 Pablo Cruise, “Whatcha Gonna Do”
 12 Lani Hall, “Sun Down”
 13 Amy Grant, “Baby Baby”
 14 Gino Vannelli, “I Just Wanna Stop”
 15 Suzanne Vega, “Luka”
 16 Chris de Burgh, “The Lady in Red”
 17 Joan Armatrading, “Love and Affection”
 18 UB40, “Red Red Wine”
 19 Joan Baez, “Diamonds and Rust”
 20 Herb Alpert, “Rise”
 21 Sheryl Crow, “All I Wanna Do”
 “
 Disc 2: A Mission to Rock
 
1 The Police, “Roxanne”
 2 Joe Cocker, “The Letter”
 3 Free, “All Right Now”
 4 The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, “Jackie Blue”
 5 Humble Pie, “30 Days in the Hole”
 6 Joe Jackson, “Steppin' Out”
 7 The Flying Burrito Brothers, “Hot Burrito #1”
 8 Procol Harum, “Conquistador” (live)
 9 Styx, “Come Sail Away”
 10 Split Enz, “I Got You”
 11 Squeeze, “Tempted”
 12 Peter Frampton, “Show Me The Way”
 13 Bryan Adams, “Run To You”
 14 Nazareth, “Love Hurts”
 15 Supertramp, “The Logical Song”
 16 38 Special, “Caught Up in You”
 17 Simple Minds, “Don't You (Forget About Me)”
 18 Soundgarden, “Black Hole Sun
19 Sting, “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free”
 “
 DISC 3: Soul Jazz And More
 
1 L.T.D., “(Everytime I...) Back in Love Again”
 2 Sonny Charles & The Checkmates Ltd., “Black Pearl”
 3 Gato Barbieri, “Europa”
4 The Brothers Johnson, “I'll Be Good to You”
 5 Aaron Neville, “Everybody Plays the Fool”
 6 Billy Preston, “Will It Go Round in Circles”
 7 Milton Nascimento, “Bridges”
8 Chuck Mangione, “Feels So Good”
9 Bell & James, “Livin' It Up (Friday Night)”
 10 Antonio Carlos Jobim, “Wave”
 11 Jeffrey Osborne, “On The Wings of Love”
 12 Paul Desmond, “Summertime”
 13 Quincy Jones feat. Ashford, “Simpson & Khan, “Stuff Like That”
 14 Atlantic Starr, “Secret Lovers”
 15 Jesse Johnson feat. Sly Stone, “Crazay”
 16 Stan Getz, “Amorous Cat”
 17 CeCe Peniston, “Finally”
 18 Barry White, “Practice What You Preach”
 19 Herb Alpert & Hugh Masekela, “Skokiaan”
 20 Janet Jackson, “When I Think of You”
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