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Grass grows with new ownership and BMG distribution deal; Slate of new releases due February from hot indie label.

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 17, 1996--Already respected as one of the most adventurous independent companies in alternative music, GRASS RECORDS begins the new year in dramatic fashion with industry veteran Alan Meltzer's recently-completed acquisition of the company.

Meltzer has put together a broad-based industry-knowledgeable management team and has ambitiously set an initial slate of fifteen releases in the first half of 1996. The company, based in its Madison Avenue headquarters in Manhattan, will now be distributed through BMG.

New releases set for February 1996 include the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed debut Silver from New Jersey's reigning-kings of indie rock The Wrens; the raucous debut by East Bay punk-via-Long Island band Wasted Time who serve up a tasty menu which includes a power-pop cover of Van Morrison's prom classic "Brown-Eyed Girl"; an eclectic mix from A Ten O'Clock Scholar -- a three-piece from Dayton, Ohio; and the premiere from another Dayton band Omatic, fronted by Michelle Bodine, formerly with Brainiac. Following the label's initial releases, new records from Chimera, Godplow, Fifteen, Baboon and Pollen are planned.

GRASS RECORDS' new owner Alan Meltzer is renowned as founder of CD One Stop and Hard Core Marketing and as president of Alliance Entertainment Corp., one of the largest music distribution companies in the country. After nearly a decade at the pinnacle of the distribution end of the business, Meltzer decided to pursue his dream of building a record label, leaving Alliance in 1994. "Throughout my career in the industry I've always tried to remain on the cutting edge of music marketing and distribution. Discovering Grass Records and the incredible Grass artist roster replete from top to bottom with cutting edge alternative music, provided a perfect fit."

Recent appointments include: Bob Cahill, former Senior Vice President of Field Marketing for EMI Promotion and Rhino Records, named to the Executive VP position; former EMI Promotion executive Shanna Fischer as Vice President/Promotion; and Domenique Leomporra, formerly of Capitol Records, as Vice President/Media and Artist Relations. Grass founder Camille Sciara remains with the label as A&R chief.

Since its inception three years ago, Grass has drawn raves from American and European tastemakers, not only for the quality of individual artists and albums, but for the company's single-minded dedication to alternative music. Says Meltzer, "What appealed to me about GRASS was the diversity of artists. This fit right in to what I wanted to do, which is to provide a platform for developing bands. We will remain an independent alternative music label, with no plans or interest in getting into any other kind of music. While retaining the label's fiercely independent style, Meltzer is excited about the company's new distribution deal with BMG. "BMG allows GRASS to enjoy the best of both worlds by remaining autonomous controlling our own A&R, marketing, promotion, publicity, etc., while plugging into BMG's extensive network for fulfillment."

CONTACT: Grass Records, New York

Domenique Leomporra

212/843-8300 ext. 214

212/843-0786 (fax) (e-mail)
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 17, 1996
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