Artists and Repertoire (A&R) is the division of a record label that is responsible for talent scouting and artist development. It also acts as a liaison between the recording artist/act and the record label, generally to help with the artistic and commercial development of their artists. An A&R executive is often required to handle contractual negotiations, find songwriters and record producers for the act, and schedule recording sessions. In the UK, before the rise of the record producer, the A&R executive would oversee recording sessions and assume responsibility for making creative decisions during sessions as well.

An A&R executive's duties typically include maintaining contact with their counterparts at music publishing companies to get new songs and material from songwriters and producers. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the responsibility of the A&R department to sort through demo tapes sent by musicians. A&R departments at major labels in the United States typically only accept solicited demos, usually from business contacts. However, major labels outside the United States and various independent labels may accept unsolicited demos.

Numerous A&R executives have changed the face of modern music. John H. Hammond, for example, had a successful career discovering some of the biggest acts in music history including Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Aretha Franklin. Other A&R executives with similar success include Clive Davis, Lenny Waronker, John Cale and American Idol judges Randy Jackson & Simon Cowell.

External links

* [http://www.crazedhits.com Crazed Hits] - A&R Insider Site
* [http://www.arancidamoeba.com/mrr/problemwithmusic.html The Problem with Music] - Article by Steve Albini famously referencing A&R.
* [http://www.crazedhits.com/category/interviews/ A&R Interviews] - Database Of Interviews With Various A&R People
* [http://www.hitquarters.com World Top 20 A&R Chart] - Ranking of A&Rs based on sales of new artists
* [http://www.kingsofar.com Kings of A&R] - Online A&R Publication

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