Luna Released From Elektra On Eve Of New Album Release

Luna, one of the most critically revered alternative rock groups of the '90s, has been dropped by Elektra Records just as the band was set to release its fifth album, "The Days of Our Nights."

The timing of the split comes at a rather inauspicious time for Luna, whose 1995 record, "Penthouse," was named by the editors of "Rolling Stone" magazine as one of the "150 essential recordings" of the '90s.

Advance copies of "Days of Our Nights," which featured a cover of Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine" [RealAudio], had already been sent out to the media for reviews, as the album was originally scheduled for release on May 25. But a short time after the CDs had been delivered, Elektra Records issued a statement saying that the album had been pulled and that a new release date was not yet known.

Luna's management confirms that word of the label's decision to drop the band came soon after, and attributes the problem to some internal

restructuring at Elektra. Management also says that the only hint of trouble with "Days" came when the band was asked about possibly remixing some of the album's tracks, which they were prepared to do, but then they were notified that the label had decided to release the band rather than the album.

Despite its critical success, Luna had not been a sure-fire draw commercially, and Elektra was said to have been disappointed in the sales of the band's last album, 1997's "Pup Tent."

Regardless, Luna is currently shopping the completed album around to various major labels, but the band's representatives said that despite a number of serious courters, Luna is prepared to wait for the "right deal."

Despite the band's current state of flux, Luna hopes to have "Days of Our Nights" out by the end of the summer to be followed by an extensive fall tour. Luna will likely look to perform some scattered dates overseas in the meantime, as the album was released earlier this week in Europe

and Australia.

Tonight Luna will play a special one-off show at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City, but no other U.S. dates are currently scheduled.