Rhino Entertainment is a specialty record label originally known for releasing retrospectives of famous comedy performers, including Stan Freberg, Tom Lehrer, and Spike Jones. But in recent years, Rhino has also been a full-fledged entertainment unit specializing in home video re-issues of television shows such as The Lone Ranger and My Favorite Martian, and compact disc releases of select artists and movie soundtracks.
Rhino started as a record shop in 1973 by Richard Foos. It became a record label four years later. They struggled to get their records distributed, but in 1986 they signed a six-year distribution deal with Capitol Records. In 1989 Rhino and EMI jointly purchased Roulette Records, where Rhino received the US rights. When the distribution deal with Capitol ended in 1992, Rhino signed a new distribution deal with WEA , and in turn Time Warner bought a 50% stake in the record company. In 1998 Time Warner bought the other half of Rhino, thus the company became a wholly-owned unit of Time Warner.
It is through this merger that the label has released remastered editions of collections from such bands as Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes, The Doobie Brothers, and The Doors, as well as soundtracks spanning the Turner-owned pre-1986 MGM and pre-1948 WB periods, as well as WB's own post-1948 period. Among Rhino's soundtrack releases: The Wizard Of Oz, North By Northwest, Casablanca, King Kong, and Superman.
Rhino also owns the rights to The Monkees (which they acquired from Columbia Pictures in the late 1980s), and thus has released home videos and CDs from the group.
In 2004, Time Warner spun off its music divisions and today Rhino is part of the newly-organized Warner Music Group.
Rhino's retrospective compact disc releases are often remastered to restore or improve upon the original analog release's audio quality, a common practice now.
- Rhino website (http://www.rhino.com/)