Rhino hopes to combine its expertise on catalog reissues with new releases to create the kind of synergy that is in effect at the majors. So Forward will handle the new product, like the new Todd Rundgren album, "No World Order," while Rhino proper cashes in with its compilations (Rundgren's older material is one of Rhino's staples).
Rhino previously had a new-artist label and found that developing and breaking new talent was an expensive and time-consuming business with numerous failures on the road to the occasional, elusive success.
"Rhino is a marketing-driven company and our expertise is in reaching music consumers age 25-plus," said Rhino vice president marketing Chris Tobey. "Therefore, we want to sign contemporary artists who appeal to those consumers we already know how to server."
In making the announcement, Tobey and vice president A&R Gary Stewart said Forward would support the careers of established artists in an environment where they can create the music they want to make.
First release will be "La Danse de la Ville" from Cajun band Beausoliel. Also on the label are Rundgren and rock band NRBQ. Atlantic will distribute vie WEA as an extension of the Rhino-Atlantic pact. Atlantic co-chairman Doug Morris said, "Forward will occupy a unique niche in our industry and I am very happy to have the opportunity to enter into this new venture with our friends at Rhino."