A&M Video

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

A&M Video was the home entertainment arm of A&M Records.

The division was dismantled in 1996. Over two years later, on New Year's Eve 1998, A&M and its parent company, PolyGram, themselves met their demise. Seagram had finished its $10.6 billion acquisition of PolyGram and combined the company's operations with that of Universal Pictures and its music division was absorbed into the MCA Music division of what could later be the biggest music company, the Universal Music Group.

With the PolyGram merger of UMG, A&M Records was fatally merged into the Interscope Geffen A&M group. After a lawsuit against Universal Music by the label's co-founders, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, accusing the company of breaching the label's integrity clause over the buyout following the PolyGram absorption, both parties reached an agreement to which Universal Music continued to used A&M as a one-off label for its alternate roster of Interscope or Geffen's artists. In 2007, the company was reorganized when UMG rival Sony Music Entertainment (formerly at the time Sony BMG Music Entertainment) sold the now-defunct J Records' stake in Octone Records to A&M. Thus, A&M was renamed A&M/Octone Records, with some of its previous roster being moved to Geffen/Interscope, before being absorbed again by Interscope Records in May 2014.

Logo (1984-1996)


Visuals: On a black background, six white outlines of rounded squares appear in the center of the screen. The A&M logo, consisting of the large letters, "AM" in the Futura Condensed Bold font, with a small ampersand (&) in the space between them, and the silhouette of a trumpet below that, flies through the squares. As it passes each square, it leaves a blue imprint inside them. The logo is tilted as it begins its journey, and is perfectly straight when it comes to the fourth square. There, instead of the imprint being blue (or white), it is a white outline, with "VIDEO" below the rectangle. When the logo passes the last square, the screen zooms up to the fourth square and pause for several seconds. Then, the screen zooms even closer to the logo as it fades out.

Variants:

  • A black-and-white variant was sometimes used.
  • There were filmed and videotaped variants.
  • A short version exists where it skips over the "snapshot" part.
  • The logo may fade out as soon as it stops zooming in the first time.
  • On Amy Grant: Age to Age, "PRESENTS" fades in when the logo finishes zooming in the first time, and then fades out when the logo zooms in a 2nd time.
  • On the 1984 Betamax release of Styx: Caught in the Act, the logo starts off of a slow-motion shot of a crowd raising their hands in the air (taken from the concert video possibly) as 3 rows of squares slide over the footage, in which they also zoom in. The squares have colored static in them, with the top being yellow, the middle blue, and the bottom red. As the squares zoom in, the blue squares are the only thing left we see as a single square featuring the A&M Video logo, but with the logo in orange with a red outline, and 2 static squares around it. The footage fades to a black background, followed by the static fading out. It pauses for a second before the logo zooms in, and the "A&M" fades out.
  • On the 1984 Betamax release of Bryan Adams: Reckless, the logo is already zoomed in, and there is static inside the A&M logo with diagonal dotted lines inside the left box, and a merging square wave pattern in the right box.

Technique: Appears to be Scanimate.

Audio: None.

Audio Variants:

  • On Lamb Chop videos, there is two reverse cymbals, followed by Lamb Chop saying: "What's that? Oh, it's A and M, 'AM'. That is 'AM'.". Shari Lewis says, "That is A&M.". Lamb Chop replies with "That AM A&M.". Shari laughs and says, "That AM A&M Video!".
  • On some tapes, you can hear a "whoosh" sound followed by a synth-bass pound, another "whoosh", then a synth "twinkle" sound, also used in the KVC Home Video logo.
  • On the 1984 Betamax of Styx: Caught in the Act, it had a crowd cheering over the logo.

Availability:

  • This logo was seen on releases such as Raffi concert videos (e.g. Raffi in Concert with the Rise & Shine Band), Sharon, Lois, & Bram's Elephant Show videos, and the Lamb Chop videos.
  • This logo makes a surprise appearance on the 2002 DVD of Carpenters Gold: Greatest Hits (a retitled version of their 1985 video Yesterday Once More).