United we produce

Top music industryites join to form label

NEW YORK — In a move that is being billed as an industry first, a contingent of top music industry producers and artists have combined to form United Producers, a label that will develop a roster by signing and producing artists that its members find and nurture.

To provide an outlet for its wares, United Producers has linked with TVT Records, which has ponied up a multimillion dollar investment in the label and pacted to provide marketing support, promotion and distribution.

The members of United Producers read like a Who’s Who of behind-the- recording-console talent and boast an impressive 120 million albums sold worldwide. The label also has all the musical bases covered, ranging from producers with major league pop act credits to alternative and rock artists, as well as the latest industry newcomers.

Big guns

The United Producers’ team consists of such board big guns as Brad Wood, Danny Kortchmar, Ted Niceley, Jimmy Douglass, Tim Palmer, Peter Denenberg, Roger Greenawalt, Ed Tuton and Steve Hitchcock. The list also boasts new, upcoming producing duo Kevin Bacon and Jonathan Quarmby, who have a trio of nascent acts under their belt.

“The goal of United Producers will be to provide an incredible new outlet for these producers while building a major label,” Sandy Roberton, prexy of Worlds End, told Daily Variety. Roberton, whose Gotham-based outfit reps more than 60 producers and recording engineers, said the idea for United was developed from “trying to come up with new ways to develop the careers of my clients. They all wanted label deals so we thought ‘why not join forces.’ ”

Nurturing talent

The link with United Producers gives TVT, a growing label, an A&R resource that it can draw from to release albums. Each member of UP has an enviable track record of finding artists; through this deal, the group can locate, nurture and produce each discovery, ensuring the act is ready for its bow. The first UP release is targeted for early 1999.

Typically a successful artist can nab a vanity label deal, or a top producer or talent finder can ink a pact with a major label to act as a source for discovering talent. But a large collective of producers, each working in a musical style, locating and developing artists is unusual.

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