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Inside A&R


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- Ten A&R Dont's

- Twenty-five Things A&R Want You to Know





This list includes vague and ambiguous comments made by A&R, producers, publishers, managers and bookers. As strange as some may seem, all of these statements were, in fact, uttered by industry.

We discovered four categories that most vague comments fit into:

1. Comments that mean “No, I pass” without really saying so.

2. Comments that are ambiguous.  With these statements, additional questions are necessary.

3. Comments that imply an affirmative and positive reaction.

4. Comments that are just plain funny.  


"..." “NO, I PASS”
We just signed two acts, otherwise we’d sign you  Go somewhere else

The vocals were great   

But, the band and/or songs suck
The lead singer is a real star    The rest of the act needs work
It’s a little loud        You’re awful
What a great performance  Too bad the songs are weak

It needs some polishing      

Change everything

Come back in 6 months 

Leave me alone
It shows promise    Right now, however, it blows
I like it, but I’m not in love with it  No way
I’d like some input  I want total control
Try to punch it up a bit I have no idea what I want
You’re like a poor man's Coldplay I never actually listened to the CD

We love it, but don’t know what to do with it

You appeal to that elusive adult audience

That’s the best I’ve heard since we signed (known act),
but they never sold any records    

Sorry, but no cigar
I’m sure there’s an audience for it    But, I’m not going to look for them

Well, I hear three possible hits, but I need to hear five 

I’m letting you down easy

It's pretty good, but we need to go through some of the songs

I want co-writing credits
You should try to be more like (fill in the blank) 

You’ll never make it

You have a pleasant sound   You’re boring
It’s not my cup of tea    You wasted my time   
It’s not for me   I don’t get it   
I know just who to give this to  Now get out of my life
If I like it I’ll get back to you  

Don’t call me anymore

I love it, but do I love it enough to spend one million dollars  


You’re not worth it




I want to play it for more people  You have a chance
Let me live with this for a week  If I still like it – we’ll talk
Let me hear it again     That was actually good  
Let me hear more songs  They can’t all be this good  
You’re this close (fingers almost touching)   You’ve got a shot





Please call me – right away

We have to talk

Who else have you talked to

I want this for myself

Do you have any outstanding agreements  Let’s get rid of everyone else
Have your attorney contact business affairs 

We’ve got a deal

I have a check with your name on it  Let’s start work




I listen to every CD  A&R will burn in hell for this lie  
I’m looking for something unique and original I want an act like the one that’s selling millions of records
Where are you playing? I’ll come down and check you out  Don’t hold your breath
You can trust me    You must be new to LA 
It's a standard contract He He He…Bend over
We need to build your "story"   You need more sex appeal
You should come by the studio sometime   

I want to get to “know you better”

You’re great, I’d love to help you out 

What’s your budget

I can make you sound ten times better   How much money do you have
I love you – I can give you a Sunday night   Just sell 50 tickets at $10 each

By: Bernard Baur