A&R and Manager Advice

Managers That Changed Music

Managers That Changed Music

Here's to the unsung heroes of the music industry- the managers. Working behind the scenes, in the shadows, these folks are catalysts who transform raw talent into global superstars and ordinary music into groundbreaking anthems. It is through their unrelenting hard work, exceptional decision-making and an uncanny ability to spot talent that we've witnessed the making of some of the most iconic music history has ever seen. This article is dedicated to those individuals who've tirelessly worked to change the course of music as we know it, forever.

A Three-Pronged Approach

Music management isn't for the fainthearted. It's a role that requires a balance between business acumen, an understanding of music and the ability to handle artists- with their creative eccentricities. Let's look at the three primary aspects of a music manager's role.

Business Management

  • The moment an artist signs up with a manager, they effectively become a brand. And like any brand, they need to be 'managed'. This includes overseeing contracts, strategic planning, negotiating deals, and managing finances.

Talent Nurturing

  • Perhaps the most critical role a manager plays is identifying and nurturing talent, guiding artists, helping them make the right career decisions, and providing necessary push and support as and when required.

Personal Management

  • Music managers are often therapists, friends, mediators, and sounding boards all rolled into one. They manage emotions, resolve conflicts, and provide the crucial emotional support that artists oftentimes need along their journey.

Managers Who Made a Difference

While there are countless music managers who've contributed to building beautiful music, there are a few who've indeed altered music history. Let's take a look at them.

Brian Epstein - The Beatles

Brian Epstein discovered The Beatles when they were just a band playing in a basement club in Liverpool. Epstein transformed them - from their style and appearance to their music - into an enduring global sensation.

Albert Grossman - Bob Dylan

Albert Grossman is credited for shaping the career of Bob Dylan - a pivotal figure in the folk-rock scene. He not only negotiated a life-changing contract for Dylan but also managed his transition from acoustic folk music to rock music.

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

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Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

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Managers That Changed Music Example:

Peter Grant’s management of the Led Zeppelin

There is probably no better example than Led Zeppelin's legendary manager, Peter Grant. He helmed the group's affairs during their explosive rise to fame in the late 1960s and throughout their reign as one of the world's biggest rock bands. From their landmark record deal with Atlantic Records to pioneering concert profit-sharing, Grant fiercely protected the group's interests, creating a blueprint for artist management in the process.

So there you have it - the unsung heroes of the music industry who've not just managed careers but have, in the process, changed the course of music history forever. From managing finances to nurturing talent and providing emotional support, music managers play more crucial roles than we ever credit them for. And it is through their relentless dedication that we've been able to witness some of the most iconic moments in music history.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are some of the most influential managers in music history?

Notable music managers who have left a lasting impact include Brian Epstein, who managed The Beatles, Peter Grant of Led Zeppelin fame, and Colonel Tom Parker, who was instrumental in the career of Elvis Presley. More contemporary figures include Scooter Braun, manager of Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, and Beyonce's manager, her father Mathew Knowles.

What roles do music managers play in an artist's career?

Music managers are responsible for guiding the professional career of artists. Their roles can include negotiating contracts, securing concert dates, arranging tours, managing media relations, advising on career decisions, coordinating with record labels, and handling an artist's financial affairs.

How did Brian Epstein change the way music artists are managed?

Brian Epstein professionalized music management with an approach that focused on the complete image of The Beatles, from their suits to the venues they played in. He negotiated lucrative deals that set precedents in the music industry and was key in orchestrating the band's global success.

What impact did Colonel Tom Parker have on Elvis Presley's career?

Colonel Tom Parker was integral to Elvis Presley's rise to fame. Parker's aggressive marketing and promotional tactics, as well as his negotiation of unprecedented deals like Elvis's move from Sun Records to RCA Victor, significantly shaped Presley's career trajectory and earnings.

Can a manager make or break an artist's career?

Yes, a manager can significantly influence the success or failure of an artist's career. Good management can lead to strategic decisions, beneficial contracts, and strong industry connections, while poor management can result in missed opportunities, financial loss, and damage to the artist's reputation.

How do managers find new talent?

Managers find new talent through a variety of channels, including live performances, social media, artist showcases, referrals from industry professionals, and demo submissions. Talent scouting also involves looking for artists who not only possess musical talent but also have commercial potential and a strong work ethic.

Are music managers also involved in an artist's personal life?

While a manager's primary focus is on an artist's professional progress, they may become involved in personal matters if such issues affect the artist's career. Good managers often provide guidance and support that can help artists navigate the demands of their public and private lives.

Did Peter Grant's management style with Led Zeppelin change industry standards?

Peter Grant revolutionized artist management with his aggressive negotiation tactics and protective attitude toward Led Zeppelin. He secured better revenue splits for concert earnings and exerted control over the band's albums, demanding no singles be released from Led Zeppelin albums in the UK as a strategy to boost album sales.

What qualifications do successful music managers typically have?

Successful music managers often have a mix of education and experience in business, music, and entertainment law, though some may come from varied backgrounds. Strong interpersonal, negotiation, and organizational skills are also crucial.

How do managers deal with the ever-changing landscape of the music industry?

Managers stay abreast of changes by continually educating themselves about trends, embracing new technology and platforms, networking, and adapting their strategies to the digital age, such as utilizing online distribution, social media, and data analytics to maximize their artists' reach and revenue.

What is the relationship like between a music manager and record labels?

The relationship between managers and record labels is collaborative but can also involve negotiation. Managers represent the artist's interests and work with labels to coordinate marketing, distribution, and promotional efforts while protecting the artist's rights and securing fair terms in contracts.

Are there any notable female music managers who have made significant contributions to the industry?

Yes, prominent female music managers include Sharon Osbourne, who managed Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath, Joyce Smyth, who manages The Rolling Stones, and Coran Capshaw, who founded Red Light Management and has worked with Dave Matthews Band, among others. These women have been influential in shaping their artists' careers and the music business as a whole.

What is the usual commission percentage for a music manager?

A music manager typically earns between 15-20% of an artist's gross income. This rate can vary depending on the manager's experience, the artist's revenue potential, and the extent of services provided.

How does a music manager's role differ from that of a music agent?

A music manager oversees the artist's overall career, whereas an agent primarily focuses on booking live performances and tours. Managers are strategists and point people for an artist's activities, while agents negotiate live performance contracts and opportunities.

How has technology affected the role of music managers?

Technology has transformed the role of music managers by introducing new platforms for music distribution, marketing, and fan engagement, and by providing tools for data-driven decision-making. Managers must now be adept at navigating the digital landscape to effectively promote their artists.

What famous artist-manager partnerships have been known for their loyalty and long-term success?

Famous partnerships noted for their longevity and success include U2 and Paul McGuinness, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Landau, and the Rolling Stones and Andrew Loog Oldham initially, followed by other long-term managers including Joyce Smyth. These relationships have often extended beyond mere business transactions, cultivating trust and mutual respect.

Can artists manage their own careers successfully without a professional manager?

While artists can manage their own careers, especially with the tools available today, professional managers bring industry contacts, expertise, and experience that can be challenging for an artist to replicate on their own. The assistance of a knowledgeable manager can be crucial, particularly as an artist's career takes off and the demands of managing it become more complex.

What are some red flags artists should watch for when choosing a manager?

Artists should be cautious of managers who promise unrealistic results, lack credible references or experience, ask for money upfront, do not have a clear contract, or demonstrate poor communication skills. A good manager should align with the artist's vision and have a transparent approach.

How do managers ensure they are keeping their artists' best interests at heart?

Managers maintain their artists' best interests by staying informed about the industry, focusing on long-term career goals, being transparent in business dealings, ensuring fair contractual terms, and fostering relationships based on trust and respect. Regular communication with the artist to align on career objectives is also essential.

What is considered the most challenging aspect of music management?

One of the most challenging aspects of music management is balancing the commercial aspects of the industry with the artistic integrity and personal well-being of the artist. Managers must navigate complex negotiations, evolving industry trends, and the pressure to consistently deliver successful results for their clients.

As you delve deeper into the journey of making music, remember to explore all aspects of it - maybe even creating your own unique song with the Lyric Assistant. If you've liked this article, please do share. Check out our other informative articles about the fascinating world of music and the essential roles that influence its creation and dissemination.

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

trustpilot 1

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

trustpilot 1

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About Toni Mercia

Toni Mercia is a Grammy award-winning songwriter and the founder of Lyric Assistant. With over 15 years of experience in the music industry, Toni has written hit songs for some of the biggest names in music. She has a passion for helping aspiring songwriters unlock their creativity and take their craft to the next level. Through Lyric Assistant, Toni has created a tool that empowers songwriters to make great lyrics and turn their musical dreams into reality.

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