Sheryl Crow's ties to A&M Records began several years before she was signed as an artist. Her first appearance on an A&M Records recording was as a backup singer on the album Mirror by One 2 Many in 1988. Hugh Padgham, producer for A&M artists The Police, gave Sheryl's demo tape to VP for A&R David Anderle in March 1991. On March 4, Anderle passed the tape to President Al Cafaro and Chairman Jerry Moss. On March 6, Anderle met with Sheryl and offered her the chance to record an album for A&M. Al Cafaro told Richard Buskin, "Things moved quickly when it came to signing Sheryl. I had seen her and knew of her, and I knew she was looking for a deal. I remember being at [Hollywood restaurant] Spago with a few people and being introduced to Sheryl, and I remember being immediately impressed with the fact that she was not only a beautiful woman, but that she was definitely sharp, smart and wanted it. You know, it was very clear that this was a woman who was going to make something happen.... She schmoozed in a very clear and compelling way, not in any tacky or insincere way. It was just spot-on. It was exactly what you would hope an artist is going to be; it's the look in the eyes, it's listening to what people are saying, it's saying the right thing, it's being engaged with you in conversation and being completely aware of the surroundings and what's going on. Just really smart, sharp stuff, and she was gorgeous too, which is, of course, always part of the impression that someone makes, and in the context of having a career, an important attribute. It cannot possibly overcome any lack of talent in my judgment, but who you are and how you present yourself is a critical part of this."
With a $250,000 budget, Sheryl recorded her debut album for A&M Records in the fall of 1991. She started working in A&M Studio A, the one with the Neve Air Montserrat console. Recording finished in February 1992 and was mixed in March. The cost of the album had risen to nearly $450,000. Sheryl chose not to release it. A&M assigned Sheryl's second album a budget of $150-200,000. Tuesday Night Music Club was released on August 3, 1993. In 1994, she compared her first album to Tuesday Night Music Club and told Billboard, "This group of songs is really more collaborative and spontaneous. The first [recordings] were a bit slick and too mature-sounding for me, so [A&M] let me go back and experiment, and that's when the Tuesday Night Music Club started."
On the making of Tuesday Night Music Club Sheryl Crow told Billboard, "The feel of those sessions is what I thought making a record would be like when I was a kid: making it for the love of it." From its release in August 1993 until April 1994, Tuesday Night Music Club sold 85,000 copies. The first single, "Leaving Las Vegas" was released in September 1993 and A&M Records intended to work it with radio until the following July. The second single was planned for a June 1994 release. Crow toured the U.S. from September 1993 until April 1994 and made television guest appearances. A tour of Britain began in April 1994.
Al Cafaro's impression of Tuesday Night Music Club was, "When I listened to it I heard a brilliantly written, performed and produced record that I was absolutely thrilled with--'Leaving Las Vegas' particularly slayed me. I left the studio feeling so wonderful about what had transpired. I felt that Bill [Bottrell] had done an incredible job, I felt that Sheryl had achieved a result that was unique and compelling and exciting, and I felt that she should be very proud of it."
Sheryl Crow's "Soak Up the Sun" video was used in an American Express television commercial.
By March 1995, Tuesday Night Music Club sold more than 2.1 million copies.
- Sherl Crow's 'Music Club' High-Flying Debut for A&M. Carrie Borzillo. Billboard, April16,1994.
- Bruce, Sheryl, Tony Are Big Winners. Craig Rosen, Deborah Russell. Billboard, March 11, 1995.
- Sheryl Crow No Fool to This Game. Richard Buskin. Billboard Books, 2002.