The first Gimell recording was made 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 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. It is also acknowledged that the success of this partnership between Gimell and the Tallis Scholars has gradually contributed to a change in what people think of as main-stream classical concert repertoire, world-wide.
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; in 1987 it won the Gramophone Record of the Year Award - the first independent label to receive this prestigious award; and this website, in April 2008, was the first to sell 5.1 Surround Sound downloads in the FLAC format. Gimell believes that the ability to offer High Definition Downloads together with the recent introduction of audiophile-quality Network Music Players will be seen in the future to be a significant development in the retailing of recordings of classical music.