Reign Of Spain

One of the first moves Lenny Waronker made as co-chairman of DreamWorks Records was to sign the acclaimed L.A. band Spain. Well, "She Haunts My Dreams," Spain's first album since the deal, is coming out this week--but it's not on DreamWorks. It's on Restless, the same label that released the band's 1995 debut, "The Blue Moods of Spain."

The reason?

The band, whose music is distinguished by leader Josh Haden's dreamscape songwriting, had a three-album contract with Restless. That was no secret when the DreamWorks deal was made, but most observers assumed that some buyout or other arrangement would be made.

Restless co-president Bill Hein says that while the possibility was addressed, he was too attached to the band to let it leave early. The lame-duck status--with still another album to go--is "awkward," he acknowledges. But it doesn't affect either the quality of the music or the effort the company will give it.

"Our goal now is to have three really good Spain records in our catalog," he says. "I'd love to have seven, but three is better than zero."

On the DreamWorks side, label executive Luke Wood says the company is more than willing to wait its turn.

"When we signed them, we knew what the situation was," he says. "Josh is a creative force. His writing is already great and it will keep building, and we'll be lucky to get to work with them for album No. 4."

STEVE HOCHMAN