The first Gimell recording was made by The Tallis Scholars on March 22nd and 23rd, 1980, in the Chapel of Merton College, Oxford. Single-artist labels have become commonplace in recent years: Gimell was the first, predicting the trend by at least a decade. This gave Gimell’s owners, Peter Phillips and Steve Smith, a head-start both in the technique of recording a cappella singing and in gaining irreplaceable experience with a single repertoire and one artist. This experience is unique and enduring, informing every one of the 50 discs and more which Gimell has produced.
Gimell and The Tallis Scholars together have devoted their careers to bringing a highly characterised ensemble 'sound' to the public through the greatest unaccompanied choral music. This has only been possible as a result of constantly refining and perfecting the raw materials which make up that sound. The result, built up over many years, has been a world-wide market for both their recordings and their concerts, now acknowledged as one of the UK's most impressive exports in the arts. Through their award-winning recordings and in over 1,800 concerts, Peter Phillips and The Tallis Scholars have done more than any other group to establish the sacred vocal music of the Renaissance as one of the great repertoires of Western classical music.
Gimell has a number of other firsts to its name. In 1984 it placed the first commercial order for Compact Discs with a UK manufacturer, and in 1987 it won the Gramophone Record of the Year Award—the first independent label to receive this prestigious award.