“We try to be hyperconscious about the sound on our records.”
-- Dave Grusin
As the record company began to expand, new decisions faced its owners in terms of the talent direction they wanted to grow.
David Benoit, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Eric Marienthal, The Rippingtons and of course, Chick Corea were further additions to the GRP roster. Aiming at a somewhat commercial sound, they experimented with Dave Valentin material, and released a more disco-oriented record. Though a financial success, all felt it was not the direction they wanted to go. Despite the necessity to keep an eye on the books, not just for fiscal, but also psychological reasons, Larry Rosen and Dave Grusin believed it was wiser to stick to the source of their previous success - making records they themselves liked.
Also to release albums which demonstrate a musician's strengths not the tastes of the market. Commenting on that decision in 1985, Larry Rosen said, “that's the healthiest approach to what we're doing and I think that has the most integrity to it. In the long run that's what I think is going to win out.”
He emphasized their feeling against forcing an artist in a commercial direction in order to boost sales, saying, “even though we want to sell records, it's not pushing an artist into some direction. It's trying to deal with what is the musicality of the artist. That's what should be done on the record. And the sales will seek their own level.”
Being different than other labels was GRP's strong point from the beginning. As a `musician's label' (like A&M), they were one of the rare success stories. Larry Rosen was citing history when he noted, “musicians aren't necessarily the best business men. And certainly we know that the best business men are not the best musicians.” What made GRP so unique was an ability to “make that balance together with the artist that we chose, take care of the business and also have the creative music behind it.”
Go to: Sources of GRP's Success