starpolish

A&R

See also A&R, written by Arista Records' A&R executive Josh Sarubin. "Artists and Repertoire: In the old days, songwriters wrote and singers sang and arrangers arranged and musicians were hired for the gig. The A&R man coordinated all that. He found a hit song and brought it to a singer, booked the studio, brought in the arranger, paid the orchestra.Everything changed after the Beatles. Musicians became self-contained. They wrote their own songs, played their own instruments, and ran their own recording sessions, usually far away from the label. Independent record producers rose up. The label became less involved in the creative. The label became the bank, the distributor and the copyright holder. A&R changed into something else - the people who find the acts and serve as the link between the label and the artist. So, the title has sort of outlived the original job. Like 'record company' outlived records."                                                 A&R by Bill Flanagan The quote is taken from A&R, a novel written by longtime rock critic, journalist and VH-1 executive Bill Flanagan, in which one of the characters is explaining the role of the A&R person to a newcomer. It's dead on. Flanagan refers to the days when A&R men (A&R staffers are both men and women, of course, but in for these purposes I will use the male example) were the masterminds behind the masterpieces. Artists such as The Supremes and The Temptations were created by the process described above. Although it sounds archaic, it still sometimes happens that way. Now, instead of the "A&R man" being a record company employee, it's the entrepreneurial "A&R man" such as manager Johnny Wright, talent-finder Lou Pearlman or producer/writers Max Martin and Mutt Lange who are the masterminds behind artists like The Backstreet Boys, *NSync and Britney Spears. The creation of superstars worked this way in the '50s, as directed by the record-company A&R man. And even though it worked again in the '90s, the "A&R-ing" can be conducted by a different set of individuals besides A&R. An A&R person finds an artist, woos him, and signs him. At its most basic, that is the process. Flanagan's character's accusation that the record company has become solely a distributor or a bank is not entirely true.
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