Anyway... Point established, I am a Tokusatsu Music Man until about 2003.
The way it worked was, for the most part, simple. Super Sentai was, and still is, 100% Nippon Columbia with all official music. Metal Hero was on Columbia between 1982-1992, 1995.5-1998. Kamen Rider was Nippon Columbia 1971-1992, 1996 (Showa Song Collection Reissues)-2001 with a couple other labels sprinkled in for the movie Rider Singles (ZO, J). Ultraman...was all over the place, let's just say Nippon Columbia handled the important stuff until the late '90s and scores of other labels jumped in for the dozens of EPs and Singles that get put out constantly.
Eagle-eyed readers might have picked up on something a little strange with the Kamen Rider and Metal Hero licenses. If Nippon Columbia wasn't handling the music releases between 1993-1995...who was? Forte Music Entertainment!
Very little is known why the new label was formed, but the jist of it goes like this. Forte Music Entertainment was formed by Nippon Columbia in 1992 as a sub-label which specialized in Toei Tokusatsu and Anime licenses. The earliest releases under Forte were from the beginning of 1993 with Janperson's Theme single followed by several releases for Dragonball Z (DBZ releases 1993-1995 were Forte EXCEPT Hit Songs 14-17--they were still with Columbia), Sailormoon (which I believe was exclusive to Forte during it's lifespan), and the final Toei Fushigi Comedy Series Shushutorian. The releases kept going until mid-1995 when all franchises abruptly switched back to Columbia. By 1996, Forte was completely dissolved.
The bulk of Forte's releases seem to be Sailor Moon Song and Music CDs as well as some truly strange Dragonball Z Concept Discs, Movie Singles, and EPs. For good measure, they also handled the Super Famicom music CDs for both licenses and music from some smaller anime titles.
So how does this cause bother for a Tokusatsu guy like myself?
Forte releases were inferior in almost every possible aspect. The artwork was always awful (and sparse past the covers), the discs were/are very uncommon compared to their Columbia counterparts, and the content was always very light. To illustrate just how lacking the Forte discs were compared to their Columbia counterparts, here is a list of the number of vocal songs (including theme songs) from each Metal Hero show of the 1990s with the Forte releases in bold.
Winspector (1990) 16
Solbrain (1991) 14
Exceedraft (1992) 15
Janperson (1993) 8
Blue SWAT (1994) 8
B-Fighter (1995) 8 (+2 from Nippon Columbia)
B-Fighter Kabuto (1996) 19
B-Robo Kabutack (1997) 10
Robotack (1998) 10
Eight songs each...including the theme songs... Terrible. These weren't discount releases, either. These were priced as if they were normal Columbia releases.
|B-Fighter started on Forte...|
|...and ended on Columbia...|
Time has been kind to vocal song collections, however. These have been reissued in multiple compilations since the mid-90s. Basically as soon as Columbia got the Metal Hero franchise back, they lumped the Forte songs together into a set and put them out.
|Due to the fact that it was released under Forte, my favorite Tokusatsu music collection had it's first and last release in 1994...|
The weirdness doesn't end there... I haven't even talked about Hakaider yet...
...continued in Part 2...
P.S. Here is a list of a majority of Forte Music Entertainment's releases. Missing are all of the Tokusatsu releases.