M & M - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When was M & M founded?
A: In 1989 in Japan by Chu Takahashi.
Q:Initially dealing in straightforward reissues of long out-of-print albums, it was
later able to offer unreleased material, and more recently, has expanded into releasing
CDs by select new artists. Although M & M is well-known in the field of surf
and hot rod music (a brief article about M & M's releases in this field appeared
on the cover of the 19 August 1995 issue of Billboard magazine), it has always offered
a variety of musical genres, from classical to rockabilly, steel bands to jazz.
Q: Why were M & M CDs so expensive?
A: Usually due to the high design and printing costs. M & M releases became very
popular among collectors in part due to their lavishly illustrated, thick booklets.
Some of Japan's top design studios were employed to come up with suitable graphic
accompaniments to the music.
Q:Where can I find the legendary M & M Promo CD?
A:This CD, titled "Hear Today", was released in late 1996 to promote forthcoming,
and just-issued CDs by M & M artists.Due to the fact that it contains several
unreleased tracks, (and has a stylish "Pet Sounds"- era label!), it now
sells for about 20,000 yen ($180) in Tokyo's record stores.Here, as a special bonus,
is the demo version of one of those songs, the unreleased rarity The
Official M & M Theme (131K), recorded in 1994 to commemorate the opening
of the new M & M head office in Sangenjaya, Tokyo.
A re-recorded version with new lyrics, recorded in the summer of 1996 to commemorate
the opening of a branch office in Tochigi, Japan, appears exclusively on the "M
& M Promo CD".
Q: What does M & M mean?
A: Nothing. Someone thought it sounded nice.
Q: Which M & M title sold the most copies?
A: Brian Wilson: "Still I Dream Of You".
Q: Where can M & M CDs be found?
A: At second-hand stores in Japan for exhorbitant prices (except for The Red Stripe
Steel Band plays The Beatles which probably couldn't be given away, although it's
nice enough in its own special way).
Q: Are the "oldies" CDs in the M&M catalog bootlegs?
A: No, the Japanese copyright law was such that such CDs could be made perfectly
legally, providing that money was paid to JASRAC (this is the Japanese equivalent
of ASCAP or BMI, whose function is to distribute money to the publishing companies
concerned). The seal found on the back cover of CDs indicates that this money has
been paid. However recently, the law has been changed, with the result that there
are far fewer CDs of this type than there were in the mid-90s.
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