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A & R manager's view - David Bates

A brief insight to A&R manager David Bates's view of record production.

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David Bates' A&R credits include Mercury and Polygram, working with many acts ranging from Oleta Adams to Definition of Sound.

Choosing a producer

"You wouldn't necessarily put Oleta Adams with a heavy metal producer, but if the safe option is busy then sometimes you try a more adventurous choice. I work with Chris Hughes a lot and he has produced people like Paul McCartney and Tears for Fears. I put him with Definition of Sound (Pass the Vibes was a successful single for them) because they wanted to be different and not forced into a rap mould."

Budgeting

"Not cutting off creativity to meet a deadline is one of my weaknesses in the eyes of the accountants. I don't try and make something fit into a budget, I try to make the best record I can. You only get one shot at a record. If you had an idea you wanted to try and you didn't, and then the record didn't chart you would be cursing yourself."

If there's no obvious single on the album

"We spent a year with Lloyd Cole, getting him to try and write a single with different people but it just didn't work. Having done that we said, 'Let's just mix the record and see if there's a track that stands out'. Suddenly this track 'Like Lovers Do' began to stand out. It was Lloyd's first hit in nine years!"

By David Mellor Tuesday February 1, 2000
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