A&M Records' Greatest Hits

On the label's 50th anniversary, founders Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss remember five decades of classic records

Joe Cocker, 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen' (1970)

3. Joe Cocker, 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen' (1970)
A&M Records

Jerry Moss: "Joe Cocker is the greatest white blues singer ever. I had gone to England, where a lot of our rock stuff was coming from, and Joe was brought to my attention by Denny Cordell, who was producing Procol Harum. I got a tape in the mail of a single by Joe called 'Marjorine' that got me very excited. I became very much involved in Mad Dogs. I went on the road with Joe, and made a movie out of it! The album almost didn't happen: the tour was so taxing, I didn't see Joe for a couple years, and he was nowhere to be found. The man who saved the day was the great producer Glyn Johns. He took home all the music, and in four nights gave us a rough mix of a double album that was exciting. The song 'The Letter' was the first hit for Joe, and provided a tremendous glimpse of his amazing musical force. The record went platinum, and sold well; it also showed this incredible menagerie of musicians, like Leon Russell. That whole group was incredible, and it was an amazing experience – what they did live and on record was magnificent. After that success, we were able to get Joe back in the studio to make more great records."

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