In the music industry, a single is a type of release a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song, released separately from an album, although it also appears on an album; these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released. Despite being referred to as a single, singles can include up to as many as three tracks; the biggest digital music distributor, iTunes Store, accepts as many as three tracks less than ten minutes each as a single, as does popular music player Spotify. Any more than three tracks on a musical release or thirty minutes in total running time is either an extended play or, if over six tracks long, an album; when mainstream music was purchased via vinyl records, singles would be released double-sided.
That is to say, they were released with an A-side and B-side, on which two singles would be released, one on each side. Moreover, only the most popular songs from a released album would be released as a single. In more contemporary forms of music consumption, artists release most, if not all, of the tracks on an album as singles; the basic specifications of the music single were set in the late 19th century, when the gramophone record began to supersede phonograph cylinders in commercially produced musical recordings. Gramophone discs were manufactured in several sizes. By about 1910, the 10-inch, 78 rpm shellac disc had become the most used format; the inherent technical limitations of the gramophone disc defined the standard format for commercial recordings in the early 20th century. The crude disc-cutting techniques of the time and the thickness of the needles used on record players limited the number of grooves per inch that could be inscribed on the disc surface, a high rotation speed was necessary to achieve acceptable recording and playback fidelity.
78 rpm was chosen as the standard because of the introduction of the electrically powered, synchronous turntable motor in 1925, which ran at 3600 rpm with a 46:1 gear ratio, resulting in a rotation speed of 78.26 rpm. With these factors applied to the 10-inch format and performers tailored their output to fit the new medium; the 3-minute single remained the standard into the 1960s, when the availability of microgroove recording and improved mastering techniques enabled recording artists to increase the duration of their recorded songs. The breakthrough came with Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone". Although CBS tried to make the record more "radio friendly" by cutting the performance into halves, separating them between the two sides of the vinyl disc, both Dylan and his fans demanded that the full six-minute take be placed on one side, that radio stations play the song in its entirety; as digital downloading and audio streaming have become more prevalent, it has become possible for every track on an album to be available separately.
The concept of a single for an album has been retained as an identification of a more promoted or more popular song within an album collection. The demand for music downloads skyrocketed after the launch of Apple's iTunes Store in January 2001 and the creation of portable music and digital audio players such as the iPod. In September 1997, with the release of Duran Duran's "Electric Barbarella" for paid downloads, Capitol Records became the first major label to sell a digital single from a well-known artist. Geffen Records released Aerosmith's "Head First" digitally for free. In 2004, Recording Industry Association of America introduced digital single certification due to significant sales of digital formats, with Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" becoming RIAA's first platinum digital single. In 2013, RIAA incorporated on-demand streams into the digital single certification. Single sales in the United Kingdom reached an all-time low in January 2005, as the popularity of the compact disc was overtaken by the then-unofficial medium of the music download.
Recognizing this, On 17 April 2005, Official UK Singles Chart added the download format to the existing format of physical CD singles. Gnarls Barkley was the first act to reach No.1 on this chart through downloads alone in April 2006, for their debut single "Crazy", released physically the following week. On 1 January 2007 digital downloads became eligible from the point of release, without the need for an accompanying physical. Sales improved in the following years, reaching a record high in 2008 that still proceeded to be overtaken in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Singles have been issued in various formats, including 7-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch vinyl discs. Other, less common, formats include singles on Digital Compact Cassette, DVD, LD, as well as many non-standard sizes of vinyl disc; the most common form of the vinyl single is the 45 or 7-inch. The names are derived from its play speed, 45 rpm, the standard diameter, 7 inches; the 7-inch 45 rpm record was released 31 March 1949 by RCA Victor as a smaller, more durable and higher-fidelity replacement for the 78 rpm shellac discs.
The first 45
A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has varying roles during the recording process, they may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements. A producer may also: Select session musicians to play rhythm section accompaniment parts or solos Co-write Propose changes to the song arrangements Coach the singers and musicians in the studioThe producer supervises the entire process from preproduction, through to the sound recording and mixing stages, and, in some cases, all the way to the audio mastering stage; the producer may perform these roles themselves, or help select the engineer, provide suggestions to the engineer. The producer may pay session musicians and engineers and ensure that the entire project is completed within the record label's budget.
A record producer or music producer has a broad role in overseeing and managing the recording and production of a band or performer's music. A producer has many roles that may include, but are not limited to, gathering ideas for the project, composing the music for the project, selecting songs or session musicians, proposing changes to the song arrangements, coaching the artist and musicians in the studio, controlling the recording sessions, supervising the entire process through audio mixing and, in some cases, to the audio mastering stage. Producers often take on a wider entrepreneurial role, with responsibility for the budget, schedules and negotiations. Writer Chris Deville explains it, "Sometimes a producer functions like a creative consultant — someone who helps a band achieve a certain aesthetic, or who comes up with the perfect violin part to complement the vocal melody, or who insists that a chorus should be a bridge. Other times a producer will build a complete piece of music from the ground up and present the finished product to a vocalist, like Metro Boomin supplying Future with readymade beats or Jack Antonoff letting Taylor Swift add lyrics and melody to an otherwise-finished “Out Of The Woods.”The artist of an album may not be a record producer or music producer for his/her album.
While both contribute creatively, the official credit of "record producer" may depend on the record contract. Christina Aguilera, for example, did not receive record producer credits until many albums into her career. In the 2010s, the producer role is sometimes divided among up to three different individuals: executive producer, vocal producer and music producer. An executive producer oversees project finances, a vocal producers oversees the vocal production, a music producer oversees the creative process of recording and mixings; the music producer is often a competent arranger, musician or songwriter who can bring fresh ideas to a project. As well as making any songwriting and arrangement adjustments, the producer selects and/or collaborates with the mixing engineer, who takes the raw recorded tracks and edits and modifies them with hardware and software tools to create a stereo or surround sound "mix" of all the individual voices sounds and instruments, in turn given further adjustment by a mastering engineer for the various distribution media.
The producer oversees the recording engineer who concentrates on the technical aspects of recording. Noted producer Phil Ek described his role as "the person who creatively guides or directs the process of making a record", like a director would a movie. Indeed, in Bollywood music, the designation is music director; the music producer's job is to create and mold a piece of music. The scope of responsibility may be one or two songs or an artist's entire album – in which case the producer will develop an overall vision for the album and how the various songs may interrelate. At the beginning of record industry, the producer role was technically limited to record, in one shot, artists performing live; the immediate predecessors to record producers were the artists and repertoire executives of the late 1920s and 1930s who oversaw the "pop" product and led session orchestras. That was the case of Ben Selvin at Columbia Records, Nathaniel Shilkret at Victor Records and Bob Haring at Brunswick Records.
By the end of the 1930s, the first professional recording studios not owned by the major companies were established separating the roles of A&R man and producer, although it wouldn't be until the late 1940s when the term "producer" became used in the industry. The role of producers changed progressively over the 1960s due to technology; the development of multitrack recording caused a major change in the recording process. Before multitracking, all the elements of a song had to be performed simultaneously. All of these singers and musicians had to be assembled in a large studio where the performance was recorded. With multitrack recording, the "bed tracks" (rhythm section accompaniment parts such as the bassline and rhythm guitar could be recorded first, the vocals and solos could be added using as many "takes" as necessary, it was no longer necessary to get all the players in the studio at the same time. A pop band could record their backing tracks one week, a horn section could be brought in a week to add horn shots and punches, a string section could be brought in a week after that.
Multitrack recording had another pro
Mickie Most was an English record producer, with a string of hit singles with acts such as the Animals, Herman's Hermits, the Nashville Teens, Lulu, Suzi Quatro, Hot Chocolate, Arrows and the Jeff Beck Group issued on his own RAK Records label. Most was born as Michael Peter Hayes in Hampshire; the son of a regimental sergeant-major, he moved with his parents to Harrow in 1951. He was influenced by skiffle and early roll in his youth. Leaving school at 15, he worked as a singing waiter at London's The 2i's Coffee Bar where he made friends with future business partner Peter Grant, formed a singing duo with Alex Wharton who billed themselves as the Most Brothers, they recorded the single "Takes A Whole Lotta Loving to Keep My Baby Happy" with Decca Records before disbanding. Wharton went on to produce the Moody Blues single "Go Now". After changing his name to Mickie Most in 1959, he travelled to South Africa with his wife Christina, formed a pop group, Mickie Most and the Playboys; the band scored 11 consecutive No. 1 singles there with cover versions of Ray Peterson, Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran songs.
Returning to London in 1962, Most appeared on package tours as well as recording "Mister Porter", a No. 45 hit in the UK Singles Chart in July 1963 and had moderate success with'The Feminine Look' in 1963, this latter featuring Jimmy Page on lead guitar and heralding early British heavy rock. Becoming tired of touring clubs, Most decided to concentrate on other aspects of the music industry, his first job was selling records in stores and displaying them on racks before finding a niche with production for Columbia Records. After spotting The Animals at Newcastle's Club A-Go-Go, he offered to produce their first single, "Baby Let Me Take You Home", which reached No. 21 in the UK Singles Chart. Their follow-up 1964 single, "The House of the Rising Sun", became an international hit. Most had success with Herman's Hermits after being approached by their manager Harvey Lisberg at Derek Everett's suggestion, their first Most production, "I'm into Something Good", went to No. 1 in 1964, beginning a run of single and album sales, the group for a time challenging The Beatles in popularity in the United States.
His down-to-earth handling of the band, his business acumen and knack for selecting hit singles established Most as one of the most successful producers in Britain and kept him in demand throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In July 1964, Most scored another top 10 hit with the Nashville Teens' cover of the John D. Loudermilk song "Tobacco Road". In September 1964, with Most at the control board, Brenda Lee recorded "Is It True" and "What'd I Say". "Is It True" was released in England and in the US, it became a hit and a gold record. "What'd I Say" became another hit throughout Europe but was never released in the US. Most had equal success with other artists for whom he produced chart-topping albums and singles between 1964 and 1969, notably Donovan with "Sunshine Superman", "Mellow Yellow", "Jennifer Juniper", "Hurdy Gurdy Man", Lulu's hits "To Sir, with Love", "The Boat That I Row", "Boom Bang-a-Bang", "Me the Peaceful Heart", "I'm a Tiger". Most produced the final studio single of the 1960s by The Seekers, "Days of My Life", in 1968, Nancy Sinatra's "The Highway Song" in 1969.
Additionally in the 1960s, Most signed and produced artists such as singer-guitarist Terry Reid, all-girl rock band The She Trinity. Most's productions were backed by London-based session musicians including Big Jim Sullivan and Jimmy Page on guitar, John Paul Jones on bass guitar and arrangements, Nicky Hopkins on piano, Bobby Graham on drums, he produced Jeff Beck's hits "Love is Blue" and "Hi Ho Silver Lining" and the Jeff Beck Group albums Truth and Beck-Ola. He teamed the Beck group with Donovan for the single "Barabajagal". By 1967, after commercial and critical failure of The Yardbirds album Little Games, he decided to steer clear of rock groups; the Yardbirds objected to his insistence that every song be cut to three minutes and that albums were an afterthought following the singles. His focused approach led to a split with Donovan in late 1969. Most and Donovan reunited in 1973 for the album Cosmic Wheels on which Most was credited under his real name, Michael Peter Hayes. Despite these setbacks, Most set up his own production office at 155 Oxford Street, sharing it with his business partner Peter Grant.
It was through Most's association. In 1968, Most and Grant set up RAK Management, but Grant's involvement with The Yardbirds, which soon evolved into Led Zeppelin, meant Most had control in late 1969. RAK Records and RAK Music Publishing were launched in 1969. RAK Music Publishing has the copyright of such classic popular songs as "You Sexy Thing" composed by Hot Chocolate singer Errol Brown and a half interest in the song "I Love Rock'n' Roll" written by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker of the band Arrows. Both acts were produced by Most. With RAK Records, Most's success continued with folk singer Julie Felix's hit "El Condor Pasa". Felix was the first artist signed to the label. Most produced Mary Hopkin’s 1970 hit "Temma Harbour" for Apple Records, followed by her Eurovision Song Contest entry, "Knock, Knock Who's There?". In 1970, Most approached Suzi Quatro for a recording contract after seeing her on stage at a Detroit dance hall with the band Cradle, while on a production assignment in Chicago.
Quatro was among a growing roster of artists signed to RAK Records
Arrows (British band)
The Arrows were an English American band based in London, England. The group, which formed in 1974 and disbanded in 1977, included American singer/bassist Alan Merrill, American guitarist Jake Hooker and English drummer Paul Varley, they had UK chart hit singles in 1974 and 1975 with "Touch Too Much", "My Last Night With You" and "I Love Rock'n' Roll", all produced by Mickie Most on RAK Records. The Arrows had two 14-week television shows in the UK called Arrows in 1976 and 1977, broadcast on Granada Television and produced by Muriel Young, they are the only band to have two weekly TV series and no records released during the run of either series. A. M. Agency, the group's mentor/producer Mickie Most; each series consisted of 30 minutes in length. There were 28 shows broadcast in total, their final single, "Once Upon a Time", was released one month before the first show of their first series in 1976. Joan Jett became aware of "I Love Rock'n' Roll" while on tour with her band the Runaways in England in 1976 and saw the group perform the song on their weekly show.
The band's only US TV appearance was on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert in February 1975. They played their UK hits, "Touch Too Much" and "Toughen Up"; the first manager of The Arrows was Peter Meaden, who had managed The Who in the early 1960s. He came up with the arrow pointing up. One of Liverpool's most renowned Beatles biographers and editor of 1960s British invasion bible Mersey Beat, Bill Harry wrote his first published book about the Arrows, Arrows: The Official Story, published on Everest books in 1976; the Arrows founding band members Paul Varley and Jake Hooker have both died, leaving Alan Merrill the only surviving member of the original trio. Terry Taylor who joined the band in the fall of 1976 for the band's second weekly TV series, is with Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings band; the band's second single "Toughen Up" made number 51 in the UK chart in 1974. That year Arrows won the Golden Lion award in the "best new band" category and performed at the ceremonies on Belgian television; the Arrows highest reaching chart hit was "Touch Too Much" in 1974 which went to number 2 in the South African charts and was in the top 20 there for 15 weeks.
Arrows are the only band in the history to have hit records before their weekly TV series, no records released during the run of their two television series. The band's last single was released a month; the Arrows song "Moving Next Door to You" was used on the BBC1 TV show Homes Under The Hammer series 18, episode 70. The song was the B-side of "My Last Night with You", produced by Mickie Most in 1975. After that, the BBC TV show used the Arrows song "We Can Make It Together" in series 19, episode 53, the b-side of the band's single "Touch Too Much"; the Arrows album First Hit was reissued in Japan on March 11, 2015, with bonus tracks on Warner Brothers Japan. First Hit - LP - "Once Upon A Time" "Love Is Easy" "Feelin' this Way" ""What's Come Between Us" "Thanks" "Love Child" "Let Me Love You" "Don't Worry'Bout Love" "First Hit" "Boogiest Band In Town" "Gotta Be Near You" 1998 First Hit - CD 2001 Singles Collection Plus 2002 Tawny Tracks 2004 A's B's and Rarities 2015 First Hit The following is a sortable table of all songs by Arrows: Arrows discography at Discogs Arrows fan site The Arrows Show The Arrows unofficial website Arrows in the UK charts
Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are used interchangeably, although the former describes all music, popular and includes many diverse styles. "Pop" and "rock" were synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they became differentiated from each other. Although much of the music that appears on record charts is seen as pop music, the genre is distinguished from chart music. Pop music is eclectic, borrows elements from other styles such as urban, rock and country. Identifying factors include short to medium-length songs written in a basic format, as well as common use of repeated choruses, melodic tunes, hooks. David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop music as "a body of music, distinguishable from popular and folk musics". According to Pete Seeger, pop music is "professional music which draws upon both folk music and fine arts music". Although pop music is seen as just the singles charts, it is not the sum of all chart music.
The music charts contain songs from a variety of sources, including classical, jazz and novelty songs. As a genre, pop music is seen to develop separately. Therefore, the term "pop music" may be used to describe a distinct genre, designed to appeal to all characterized as "instant singles-based music aimed at teenagers" in contrast to rock music as "album-based music for adults". Pop music continuously evolves along with the term's definition. According to music writer Bill Lamb, popular music is defined as "the music since industrialization in the 1800s, most in line with the tastes and interests of the urban middle class." The term "pop song" was first used in 1926, in the sense of a piece of music "having popular appeal". Hatch and Millward indicate that many events in the history of recording in the 1920s can be seen as the birth of the modern pop music industry, including in country and hillbilly music. According to the website of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, the term "pop music" "originated in Britain in the mid-1950s as a description for rock and roll and the new youth music styles that it influenced".
The Oxford Dictionary of Music states that while pop's "earlier meaning meant concerts appealing to a wide audience since the late 1950s, pop has had the special meaning of non-classical mus in the form of songs, performed by such artists as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, ABBA, etc." Grove Music Online states that " in the early 1960s,'pop music' competed terminologically with beat music, while in the US its coverage overlapped with that of'rock and roll'". From about 1967, the term “pop music” was used in opposition to the term rock music, a division that gave generic significance to both terms. While rock aspired to authenticity and an expansion of the possibilities of popular music, pop was more commercial and accessible. According to British musicologist Simon Frith, pop music is produced "as a matter of enterprise not art", is "designed to appeal to everyone" but "doesn't come from any particular place or mark off any particular taste". Frith adds that it is "not driven by any significant ambition except profit and commercial reward and, in musical terms, it is conservative".
It is, "provided from on high rather than being made from below... Pop is not a do-it-yourself music but is professionally produced and packaged". According to Frith, characteristics of pop music include an aim of appealing to a general audience, rather than to a particular sub-culture or ideology, an emphasis on craftsmanship rather than formal "artistic" qualities. Music scholar Timothy Warner said it has an emphasis on recording and technology, rather than live performance; the main medium of pop music is the song between two and a half and three and a half minutes in length marked by a consistent and noticeable rhythmic element, a mainstream style and a simple traditional structure. Common variants include the verse-chorus form and the thirty-two-bar form, with a focus on melodies and catchy hooks, a chorus that contrasts melodically and harmonically with the verse; the beat and the melodies tend to be simple, with limited harmonic accompaniment. The lyrics of modern pop songs focus on simple themes – love and romantic relationships – although there are notable exceptions.
Harmony and chord progressions in pop music are "that of classical European tonality, only more simple-minded." Clichés include the barbershop quartet-style blues scale-influenced harmony. There was a lessening of the influence of traditional views of the circle of fifths between the mid-1950s and the late 1970s, including less predominance for the dominant function. Throughout its development, pop music has absorbed influences from other genres of popular music. Early pop music drew on the sentimental ballad for its form, gained its use of vocal harmonies from gospel and soul music, instrumentation from jazz and rock music, orchestration from classical music, tempo from dance music, backing from electronic music, rhythmic elements from hip-hop music, spoken passages from rap. In the 1960s, the majority of mainstream pop music fell in two categories: guitar and bass groups or singers
A-side and B-side
The terms A-side and B-side refer to the two sides of 78, 45, 331⁄3 rpm phonograph records, or cassettes, whether singles, extended plays, or long-playing records. The A-side featured the recording that the artist, record producer, or the record company intended to receive the initial promotional effort and receive radio airplay to become a "hit" record; the B-side is a secondary recording that has a history of its own: some artists released B-sides that were considered as strong as the A-side and became hits in their own right. Others took the opposite approach: producer Phil Spector was in the habit of filling B-sides with on-the-spot instrumentals that no one would confuse with the A-side. With this practice, Spector was assured that airplay was focused on the side he wanted to be the hit side. Music recordings have moved away from records onto other formats such as CDs and digital downloads, which do not have "sides", but the terms are still used to describe the type of content, with B-side sometimes standing for "bonus" track.
The first sound recordings at the end of the 19th century were made on cylinder records, which had a single round surface capable of holding two minutes of sound. Early shellac disc records records only had recordings on one side of the disc, with a similar capacity. Double-sided recordings, with one selection on each side, were introduced in Europe by Columbia Records in 1908, by 1910 most record labels had adopted the format in both Europe and the United States. There were no record charts until the 1930s, radio stations did not play recorded music until the 1950s. In this time, A-sides and B-sides existed. In June 1948, Columbia Records introduced the modern 331⁄3 rpm long-playing microgroove vinyl record for commercial sales, its rival RCA Victor, responded the next year with the seven-inch 45 rpm vinylite record, which would replace the 78 for single record releases; the term "single" came into popular use with the advent of vinyl records in the early 1950s. At first, most record labels would randomly assign which song would be an A-side and which would be a B-side.
Under this random system, many artists had so-called "double-sided hits", where both songs on a record made one of the national sales charts, or would be featured on jukeboxes in public places. As time wore on, the convention for assigning songs to sides of the record changed. By the early sixties, the song on the A-side was the song that the record company wanted radio stations to play, as 45 rpm single records dominated the market in terms of cash sales, it was not until 1968, for example, that the total production of albums on a unit basis surpassed that of singles in the United Kingdom. In the late 1960s, stereo versions of pop and rock songs began to appear on 45s; the majority of the 45s were played on AM radio stations, which were not equipped for stereo broadcast at the time, so stereo was not a priority. However, the FM rock stations did not like to play monaural content, so the record companies adopted a protocol for DJ versions with the mono version of the song on one side, stereo version of the same song on the other.
By the early 1970s, double-sided hits had become rare. Album sales had increased, B-sides had become the side of the record where non-album, non-radio-friendly, instrumental versions or inferior recordings were placed. In order to further ensure that radio stations played the side that the record companies had chosen, it was common for the promotional copies of a single to have the "plug side" on both sides of the disc. With the decline of 45 rpm vinyl records, after the introduction of cassette and compact disc singles in the late 1980s, the A-side/B-side differentiation became much less meaningful. At first, cassette singles would have one song on each side of the cassette, matching the arrangement of vinyl records, but cassette maxi-singles, containing more than two songs, became more popular. Cassette singles were phased out beginning in the late 1990s, the A-side/B-side dichotomy became extinct, as the remaining dominant medium, the compact disc, lacked an equivalent physical distinction.
However, the term "B-side" is still used to refer to the "bonus" tracks or "coupling" tracks on a CD single. With the advent of downloading music via the Internet, sales of CD singles and other physical media have declined, the term "B-side" is now less used. Songs that were not part of an artist's collection of albums are made available through the same downloadable catalogs as tracks from their albums, are referred to as "unreleased", "bonus", "non-album", "rare", "outtakes" or "exclusive" tracks, the latter in the case of a song being available from a certain provider of music. B-side songs may be released on the same record as a single to provide extra "value for money". There are several types of material released in this way, including a different version, or, in a concept record, a song that does not fit into the story lin
Alan Merrill is an American vocalist, songwriter and model. In the early 1970s Merrill was the first westerner to achieve pop star status in Japan, he is the lead singer of the first released version and author of the song "I Love Rock'n' Roll" by the Arrows in 1975. Merrill is best known as a vocalist and songwriter but plays the guitar, bass guitar and keyboards. Merrill was born in The Bronx, New York City, the son of two jazz musicians, singer Helen Merrill and saxophone/clarinet player Aaron Sachs, he went to Aiglon College in Switzerland from age 9 to a British boarding school. On returning to the USA he attended various schools in New York and Los Angeles, at Sophia University.. He started his semi-pro career in New York City aged 14 when he began playing in Greenwich Village's Cafe Wha? with the bands The Kaleidoscope, The Rayne, Watertower West. The groups played the club during the 1966-1968 period. In 1968, Merrill auditioned for the Left Banke; the audition was successful. Shortly thereafter, he left to reside in Japan, started his professional career there with the band The Lead, on RCA Victor Records.
The band was a foreign Tokyo-based act. The Lead had one hit single, "Akuma ga kureta Aoi Bara", but the project soon fell apart when two American members of the group were deported. In 1969 Merrill signed a solo management deal with Watanabe Productions, who contracted him to Atlantic Records, changed his professional surname from Sachs to Merrill because "Merrill" sounded less lascivious and was more commercially viable when spoken by young Japanese pop music fans, he recorded one album with Atlantic Records, "Alone in Tokyo" which yielded one hit single, "Namida" and he became the first foreign domestic market pop star in the Japanese Group Sounds. Merrill acted on the popular TV soap opera Jikan Desu Yo and had his own corner as a regular on the TBS's Young 720, a morning show for teens, he was the featured principal as a model in ads for Nissan cars, Jun clothing, AnnAnn, Non-no, GT Jeans. In 1971 he released an LP of his own compositions titled Merrill 1 in Japan for Denon/Columbia record label produced by Mickey Curtis.
At the peak of his fame Tiny Tim covered an Alan Merrill composition from the Merrill 1 album, a song titled "Movies", in 1972 on Scepter Records. He formed the band Vodka Collins, which became Japan's top glam rock act; the band included Japanese superstars Hiroshi Oguchi. Vodka Collins recorded one LP in 1972-1973 titled Tokyo – New York, on the EMI Toshiba label, still available today in CD re-issues; the band are best known for recording and releasing the first popular glam rock songs in Japanese in 1972. The double A-sided single "Sands Of Time" and "Automatic Pilot". In 1974 in London Merrill formed the band Arrows, with drummer Paul Varley and guitarist Jake Hooker. Peter Meaden was the Arrows' first manager, but they signed with Mickie Most's RAK Records. In March 1974 the Arrows were in the top 10 in the UK charts with the song "Touch Too Much". Arrows became a popular band with teens, once again Merrill had slid back into the teen market he had fought hard to get out of in Japan. Arrows had another hit single with "My Last Night With You" which made the UK top 30 in 1975, but the band's single releases were few and far between as a result of their producer Mickie Most's winding down his own career momentum.
Recorded at Morgan studio in London 1974 Alan Merrill played bass guitar on drummer Cozy Powell's chart hit single "The Man In Black" and the b-side "After Dark" produced by Mickie Most on RAK records. The recording made a peak position of #18 in the British charts. With Arrows Merrill sang three chart hit records as the band's lead singer, all produced by Mickie Most, "Touch Too Much" "Toughen Up" and "My Last Night With You", they made one more single. "I Love Rock'n' Roll", a song that started out as a b-side to the 45 rpm Arrows single "Broken Down Heart". The song "I Love Rock'N Roll" was composed by Arrows bandmate Jake Hooker; the record was flipped to a-side status, the band got only one TV performance with the song. The show's producer Muriel Young was so impressed with Arrows that she made a pitch to Granada ITV for them to have their own television series. Arrows got their own weekly TV series Arrows in 1976, taking over the Bay City Rollers Granada TV series Shang-a-Lang; the band Arrows signed with MAM Management.
Their producer Mickie Most was so angry at the band for signing the management deal, that he vowed to never release another Arrows record. So it came to pass that Arrows had their own weekly TV series and no records released during that time, their ratings were so good that they got a second weekly series, but they released no new recordings. Arrows disbanded shortly after the end of the second series. In 1977, Merrill married fashion model Cathee Dahmen, formed a new group, the album-oriented rock act Runner, with Steve Gould, Mick Feat, Dave Dowle; the Runner album charted in the Billboard top 100 in the United States. In 1980 Merrill joined forces with Rick Derringer as a guitarist/vocalist in New York City, they recorded three albums, Good Dirty Fun, Live at The Ritz, Rick Derringer and Friends, a film, "The Rick Derringer Rock Spectacular." Alan Merrill wrote three songs on the Rick Derringer Good Dirty Fun album, "White Heat", "Shake Me" and "Lesson Learned" (Alan Merri