When Interscope launched in 1990, it wasn’t supposed to work. The umpteenth new label in a sea of startups cashing in on the arrival of the CD, “We were the last people you would’ve bet on -- a motley band of folks,” says co-founder/chief financier Ted Field.
“There were no lines in terms of an urban department, a pop department, a rock department,” recalls Tom Whalley, who was hired to head A&R. “We could sign whatever we wanted. If we believed in the music, we just went for it and no one got in our way.”
If there was one unifying idea, remembers co-founder Jimmy Iovine, it was that “we wanted to build a company like Atlantic around 1970, where you had great, powerful rock bands and also the best urban music.”