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World Top 100 A&R Chart 2005 - Dec 26, 2005

The World’s New No.1 A&R!

For the first time – not a New Yorker…

picture Mark Williams at Interscope Records USA is the new No.1 A&R in the world. California-based Williams is the first non-New Yorker ever to top the yearly World Top 100 A&R Chart, which lists the world’s most successful A&R’s. He is credited for Gwen Stefani’s album “Love, Angel, Music, Baby”, the biggest selling debut album in 2005, as well as Queens Of The Stone Age.

From the thousands of sales charts gathered from the world’s 25 major territories during the past year, Williams’s score is outstanding. He has 50% more points than No.2 – Riggs Morales & Marc Labelle, A&Rs at Shady Records USA for 50 Cent (No.1s from the World Top 100 A&R Chart 2003). At No.3 is Robert Stevenson, A&R at Island/Def Jam USA for his work with The Killers, Fall Out Boy and Thrice.

Even though the Top 3 A&R’s are American, it has been a great year for Europe. America is losing ground and drops below 60% on the Top 20 Countries Chart for the first time. UK (No.2) moves from 14% to 22% and Germany (No.3) from 7.5% to 13%. The greatest European success is Simon Cowell, A&R at Syco Music for Il Divo, who is the best non-American ever at the World Top 100 A&R Chart at No.4.

His countryman, Max Lousada at Atlantic Records, is at No.5. On September 5th, he became the first European ever to top the weekly World Top 20 A&R Chart (Cowell has only managed to reach No.2, on 2 different occasions). He shares No.5 with the No.1 woman of 2005, Linda Perry, who plays the main part in this year’s chart. She not only produced Gwen Stefani’s debut album but also signed (with Lousada) the biggest European debut success of 2005, James Blunt, to her label Custard Records USA.

Linda Perry, Photo by Aaron Rapoport Interview with Linda Perry
The World’s No.5 A&R and producer for Gwen
Stefani, the biggest selling debut artist of 2005.

Read the exclusive interview at HitQuarters with one of the most successful and vital characters of the music industry. Read this femme extrordinaire’s words on what she thinks of A&Rs, how she works with new artists, and views on the ups and downs of the music business from a person who has the experience of being both a successful and unsuccessful artist and A&R, in the most extensive interview ever published by HitQuarters. It is released on January 6th, 2006.

Nearly half of the A&Rs on the World Top 100 A&R Chart 2005 have been interviewed at HitQuarters within the past three years, including A&Rs from Universal, Sony, BMG, Warner, EMI, Aftermath, Shady, Island/Def Jam, Atlantic, Jive, and J Records. To browse through the article archives, click here.

To view the complete World Top 100 A&R Chart, click here.

Germany was a great territory for new artists in 2005, whose chart success almost doubled. No.1 on the German Top 20 A&R Chart 2005
is Thomas Kowollik for signing Juli. He was formerly with Universal Germany, which provided a breakthrough for several new artists such as Ich+Ich, Tokio Hotel and Schnappi.

For this, Universal Germany (5.27%) surprisingly reaches No.4 on the Top 20 Labels Chart, where Interscope Records (8.29%) is No.1, Island/Def Jam (7.36%) No.2 and Atlantic/Lava (5.30%) No.3.

Needless to say, Universal (36.56%), host label of Interscope, Shady Records and Island/Def Jam, is No.1 on the Top 6 Majors/Label Hosts Chart 2005. They were No.1 in 2001, 2002 and 2003, but lost last year to BMG (18.63%), this year’s No.3. Universal stands tall even if BMG merges numbers with Sony (7.18%), who is at No.5.

“Various Independent Labels” (24.66%) is at No.2, moving up from No.3 last year (and No.6 in 2003), and Warner (10.36%) is at No.4. EMI/Virgin, at No.6, dropped disastrously from 10.38% in 2004 to 2.58% this year.

New York still harbors the majority of successful A&Rs. In the Top 20 Areas Chart, NY is No.1 for the 5th consecutive year, even though its numbers fell drastically from 47.50% to 28.67%. No.2 is California (22.86%), No.3 London (22.31%) and No.4 Berlin (8.56%) – the German capital almost doubling its numbers from last year and exchanging positions with Paris (5.11%), which moves down to No.5.

One of largest contributors to the increasing success of Berlin is the fastest growing genre of 2005 – Kids Pop. From having virtually no major presence on the charts at all during the 2000’s, making music for 6-8 year olds has suddenly become a big international success.

In the Top Genres 2005, Kids Pop (6.58%) enters at No.7, largely thanks to Continental European productions such as Crazy Frog, Schnappi, Ilona Mitrecey - whose A&R, Jonathan Belolo at Scorpio Music, tops the France Top 10 A&R Chart 2005 - and Chipz, whose A&R, David Verdooren at Glam Slam, tops the Netherlands A&R Chart 2005.

As always, the most successful genre is Pop (30.75%), followed by the two other largest growing genres – Hip Hop (17.30%) at No.2 and Adult Pop (13.23%) at No.3, which is the genre of artists such as Il Divo, Josh Groban, Annett Louisan and Norah Jones.

In spite of the gaining success of the Californian A&R offices, their traditionally strongest genre - Rock - has ironically had a shocking decline from No.3 (22.76%) to No.6 (6.87%) in one year, while Alternative Pop (The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand) moves the opposite direction from No.6 (3.63%) to No.4 (11.38%)

The World Top 100 A&R Chart is compiled from worldwide sales charts and rewards A&Rs for their ability to prioritise and bring success to new acts.

All A&Rs on the World Top 100 A&R Chart are entitled to the A&R Award. To request it, click here.

To view the Top 100, including all-time statistics and charts by country, genre, label and area, click here.

To submit tracks to some of the A&Rs on the World Top 100 A&R Chart, click here.

World Top 100 A&R Chart 2004
World Top 100 A&R Chart 2003
World Top 100 A&R Chart 2002
World Top 100 A&R Chart 2001

HitQuarters Weekly World Top 20 A&R Chart