DreamWorks Records has struck an unusual joint-venture pact with Rykodisc that will cover the release of the next two albums from Morphine, the Cambridge, Mass.-based trio.
At the expiration of the two-album deal, the band will move to DreamWorks.
In the U.S. and Canada, DreamWorks will release Morphine’s fourth album, “Like Swimming,” which is set for a March 11 bow. In the rest of the world, the disc will be distributed exclusively by Rykodisc.
The deal sends a message that the tony DreamWorks, which is riding high with the bow from the Eels and the “Rent” cast album, is interested in pursuing the music industry’s vital currents.
“We have such tremendous respect for the band’s talent and artistry,” Michael Ostin, DreamWorks Records co-captain, told Daily Variety. “With Morphine’s significant fan base and the resources of DreamWorks, we believe we can take the band to the next level.”
Ostin and label co-captain Lenny Waronker also pointed to Morphine’s galvanizing live show and its musical vision as key factors for the signing.
In addition to heading most top-10 lists and being a staple of college radio, Morphine swept the prestigious Boston Music Awards in 1995 and 1996.