The Info List - Casablanca Records

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Casablanca Records
Casablanca Records
is an American recording label owned by Universal Music Group and operated under Republic Records. The label became most successful as a disco label in the 1970s and currently operates as an electronic dance music label under the direction of Tommy Mottola.


1 Biography 2 History 3 Signed Acts

3.1 Kiss 3.2 Donna Summer 3.3 Lipps, Inc. 3.4 Parliament

4 Other events 5 Post-Bogart years 6 Official biography 7 2000 relaunch

7.1 Releases

8 2012 relaunch 9 Current artists 10 Past Casablanca artists 11 References 12 External links

Biography[edit] Casablanca was founded in 1973 by former Buddah Records
Buddah Records
executive Neil Bogart, who named the label in homage to the classic film, Casablanca. He partnered with Cecil Holmes, Larry Harris and Buck Reingold in 1973, and was based in Los Angeles. The label was formed after they left Buddah and secured financing by Warner Bros. Records
Warner Bros. Records
to start the venture. Casablanca became one of the most successful labels of the 1970s, signing and releasing albums by such acts as Kiss, Donna Summer, Village People, Cher, Lipps Inc.
Lipps Inc.
(with lead vocalist Cynthia Johnson), and Parliament (featuring George Clinton). In 1976, the label merged with indie-film company Filmworks, Inc. headed by founder, Peter Guber to form Casablanca Record and FilmWorks, Inc., which had hits with the movies The Deep and Midnight Express. In 1977, PolyGram
acquired a 50% stake of Casablanca for $15 million; in 1980, it purchased the remaining half. In 1980, one of the label's biggest acts, Donna Summer, departed for another record label as she and Casablanca failed to agree on her musical direction for the future. That same year, PolyGram
pushed Bogart out of Casablanca due to what it viewed as the label's overspending and accounting irregularities. The film division was separated from the label and renamed PolyGram
Pictures. In the early 1980s, with Bogart no longer heading the label, Casablanca had hits with acts Lipps Inc, Stephanie Mills, Cameo (on sister label Chocolate City Records), and Irene Cara, but it did not have the same level of success it had enjoyed in the '70s. The label was eventually shut down by PolyGram
with some of the artist roster and catalogue absorbed into sister label, Mercury Records. In 1999, PolyGram
(including its subsidiaries) was purchased by Seagram
and then merged with Seagram's MCA Music Entertainment Group to form the Universal Music Group. In 2000, the Casablanca Records name was revived for a joint venture between Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group
and Tommy Mottola. In a Billboard article, Mottola said that he chose the name as a homage to the original label, but that there was no connection between the old and new labels. Casablanca is currently a dance and electronic label under Republic Records
Republic Records
headed by GM, Brett Alperowitz. History[edit] Bogart was the head of Buddah Records, which was owned by the Viewlex Corporation. Also employed at Buddah Records
Buddah Records
were Holmes, Harris, and Reingold. Bogart had an unorthodox approach to the music business and he eventually grew tired of answering and conforming to Viewlex's business mode. In 1973, he arranged financing through Warner Bros. Records whereas he could start his own record label, which would be a sudsidiary of Warner Bros. After much back and forth, the green light was eventually given by Warner and Bogart started the new label, bringing Harris, Holmes, and Reingold with him. Bogart called the label Casablanca as it was the name of his favorite film, and he also had the same last name as its star Humphrey Bogart. Also, since Warner Bros. owned the rights to the title of the film Casablanca, Bogart knew there would be no lawsuit against him regarding the name Casablanca Records. The label's first signing was the rock group Kiss, however, the label's first single was Bill Amesbury's "Virginia (Touch Me Like You Do)" which became a minor hit on the US Hot 100. "Butter Boy" by Fanny and The Hudson Brothers' "So You Are a Star" proved to be Casablanca's first Billboard Top 40 hits. From the time of its inception, Casablanca did not quite fit within the Warner scope of music, especially with the signing of a then-new act known as Kiss. Bogart was also quite brash and sure of himself, which rubbed some Warner staffers the wrong way. Thus, Casablanca experienced lukewarm relations with Warner Bros., its parent company. Warner manufactured and distributed albums for its own acts, as well as for all its sudsidiary labels. Both Casablanca and Warner handled promotion for Casablanca artists. However, a few years later when Warner began experiencing manufacturing problems, it began focusing mainly on manufacturing albums by Warner acts and not so much the sudsidiaries. Thus, Casablanca found itself with only modest success with its releases as it had limited distribution. Once Bogart realized this, he took the issue to Warner head Mo Ostin who had not been aware of the lack of attention being given to the sudsidiary labels. Ostin, who did not feel strongly about the Casablanca venture anyway, decided to handle the situation by completely breaking Casablanca Records
Casablanca Records
away from Warner Bros. and giving Bogart ownership of the label, thus making Casablanca an independent label. Bogart was thrilled at the opportunity to own his own record company outright and being able to make all the decisions, but he did pay Warner Bros. back in full in installment payments for the Casablanca label as opposed to taking it for free. The now-independent Casablanca Records
Casablanca Records
was suddenly put in a tenuous financial situation as it still had yet to score a major hit album and no longer had the backing of Warner Bros. Casablanca was banking on the success of an upcoming album it was planning: a two-record set of audio highlights from television's The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The album was entitled Here's Johnny: Magic Moments from The Tonight Show and was released in November 1974. Although the album was certified gold by the RIAA for shipments to stores of over 500,000 copies, the album did not sell well, and returns from retailers of unsold copies were high. Even the promotional copies were returned, initiating the joke that "it shipped gold and went back to the label platinum". Casablanca had realized that even though The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson was immensely popular, the show did not carry over well to recordings. Signed Acts[edit] Kiss[edit] Casablanca had released three albums by Kiss: Kiss (1974), Hotter Than Hell (1974), and Dressed to Kill (1975), but all had failed to make a big impact on the charts. The label also did not experience heavy sales with albums by Angel, who was introduced to the label by Gene Simmons of Kiss, although that glam rock band did amass a following. The label would have been on the verge of bankruptcy, but Bogart decided to release a live album by Kiss. Although the band's studio albums thus far had not been strong sellers, the band had a reputation for performing exciting live shows. Casablanca decided to try to capitalize on that reputation by releasing the double-live Alive! (1975) album. It became both Casablanca's and Kiss's first top ten album, being certified gold. Kiss's follow-up studio albums to Alive! were better sellers than its previous studio albums. Destroyer (1976), Rock and Roll Over
Rock and Roll Over
(1976), and Love Gun
Love Gun
(1977) were all certified platinum in the United States. The band would release several more albums, with its last studio album on Casablanca being 1982's Creatures of the Night. Donna Summer[edit] In 1975, Casablanca had signed a new artist named Donna Summer
Donna Summer
and released her album entitled Love to Love You Baby which was certified gold. The title song would be over 17 minutes long, and Casablanca would release the song in its entirety as a single (a shorter version would also be promoted to radio). In releasing the 17 minute version as a single, Casablanca would help make popular a format that would become known as the 12 inch. The song, which featured Summer seductively moaning and groaning, would be banned by some American radio stations (as it had been in Europe) but still claw its way to #2 on the US Hot 100. Summer would have several gold and platinum albums on Casablanca from 1975–1979, and become the label's most successful act on the singles chart. At one point, she scored eight US top 5 singles within a 19-month period. Summer had 10 gold singles (1 million), 2 went platinum (2 million) and a gold maxi-single while with Casablanca. Summer would be deemed in the press as "The First Lady of Love", a moniker that she was not totally comfortable with, but one that Casablanca would continue to market to great success. She was the queen of the disco era. Other Summer hits included "Bad Girls", the Oscar and Grammy winning "Last Dance", the Grammy winning "Hot Stuff," and the seminal Donna Summer
Donna Summer
hit single, "I Feel Love," co-written and produced by Giorgio Moroder. Casablanca would release the Bad Girls album and watch it soar to triple-platinum status. The label would follow that with a Summer greatest hits collection: a double-album entitled On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II, which would be certified double platinum and would be Summer's last album on Casablanca. She took three double-albums to the top of the charts in a 14-month period. Lipps, Inc.[edit] In 1979 Lipps Inc., with Steven Greenberg as writer, producer, and musician, and Cynthia Johnson
Cynthia Johnson
on lead vocals, signed with Casablanca. Soon the single "Rock It" was released, followed by the album Mouth to Mouth. The album included the #1 smash hit "Funkytown." Parliament[edit] Parliament was signed to the Casablanca label in late 1973, due to Bogart's long-standing relationship with group leader George Clinton. Their relationship dates back to Bogart's period at Buddah Records. Their first official release for the label was in 1974 with the album Up for the Down Stroke. The title song from the album gave Parliament its first top ten R&B hit. Their next album, Chocolate City sold approximately 150,000 albums in the Washington, D.C. area alone. But it would be their next release, Mothership Connection, that would give the group its first gold and, eventually, platinum album. Parliament would achieve either gold or platinum status with each album release up until 1980, as well as scoring hit singles with "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)", "Flash Light" (Casablanca's first R&B number one hit) and "Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop)". The success of Parliament allowed George Clinton to develop another P-Funk
spin off act known as Parlet. Casablanca also financed the various extravagant P-Funk
stage shows, including the "Mothership Connection/ P-Funk
Earth Tour" of 1976-77; as well as the Motor Booty Affair
Motor Booty Affair
underwater tour of 1979. Parliament were later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Parliament also gave Casablanca Records
Casablanca Records
a much needed presence in the R&B/Soul market. Other events[edit] Casablanca started a subsidiary label in 1975 called Chocolate City Records. It was mainly overseen by Bogart's partner Cecil Holmes. The label focused on R&B, funk, and disco releases. Chocolate City's signings included the then-new acts of Cameo and Brenda & the Tabulations. From 1976 to 1979, Casablanca also had another subsidiary label called Parachute Records. The label was run by former Motown Records
Motown Records
promoter and Uni Records
Uni Records
CEO Russ Regan.[1][2] Artists signed to the label included singer Randy Brown, the heavily sampled disco group 7th Wonder, and songwriter-author-poet Shel Silverstein, who recorded one album for the label—1978's Songs and Stories.[3] The offices of Casablanca moved into the former A&M Records offices on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Casablanca's new offices were soon remodeled after the movie set of the film of the same name. Later, the record company merged with an indie production company called Filmworks, Inc., which was founded by former Columbia Pictures executive Peter Guber. The new company became known as Casablanca Record and Filmworks, with Bogart still at its helm as president, while Guber became Chairman of the Board and head of its film division. Guber would remain with the company for two years. In 1977, PolyGram
acquired a 50% stake in the independent Casablanca, which had been quite successful for several years. Casablanca remained very successful throughout the rest of the 1970s. But the label's rise and fall would both be dramatic instances. The rise came with the success of several acts such as Donna Summer, Kiss, Parliament, and Village People, as well as some success from its subsidiary label and its film division. The fall began when the 1980s rolled in. The label was known to spend lavish amounts of money on parties, events, and promotion. Although this resulted in hit albums and singles, the profit margin suffered due to the carefree spending by the label. Casablanca spent lavish amounts of money on promoting its releases, which made its artists happy, but not necessarily PolyGram, which now owned a 50% stake in the label. When Casablanca's lavish spending habits were realized by PolyGram, it quickly made an offer to purchase the other 50% of Casablanca in 1980. Bogart accepted; however, he soon found out he would not be allowed to stay with Casablanca, and PolyGram
released him from his post. He used the money he acquired from the sale to start Boardwalk Records and he signed then-new rocker Joan Jett, who had experienced some success in Japan as a member of the group The Runaways. Bogart died from cancer in 1982 and Boardwalk Records folded. Post-Bogart years[edit] Casablanca was not as successful without Bogart running the company. Its only notable releases from 1980 onward were the Robin Williams debut comedy LP Reality, What A Concept! (1981), the soundtrack to the movie Flashdance (1983), and the final three Kiss LP's on Casablanca: Unmasked, Music from "The Elder", and Creatures of the Night. Dusty Springfield's sole release on Casablanca, 1982's White Heat, came and went with little notice due to the label's mounting internal problems. The most successful act on the label during the 1980s was R&B singer Stephanie Mills, who came to the label after PolyGram
bought the 20th Century Fox Records
20th Century Fox Records
label and absorbed its artists and back catalog into Casablanca. The last album released by the label was Animotion's Strange Behavior in 1986, which was a modest seller. By that time, PolyGram
had folded Casablanca Records, moving some of its acts to Mercury Records
Mercury Records
and dropping others. Official biography[edit] In 2009, Casablanca co-founder Larry Harris released the definitive insider's history of the label with a book entitled And Party Every Day: The Inside Story of Casablanca Records. 2000 relaunch[edit] In 1998, Seagram
purchased PolyGram
and merged it with MCA Inc.
MCA Inc.
to create the Universal Music Group. Upon the merger, the original (pre-2000) Casablanca Records
Casablanca Records
music catalogue became a part of The Island Def Jam Music Group. In 2000, Universal and Tommy Mottola, who had served as CEO of Sony Music Entertainment and Columbia Records
Columbia Records
throughout the 1990s, partnered to launch a new record label that would be headed by Mottola and be part of the Universal Records Group. Mottola chose the name Casablanca, in homage to the Casablanca Records
Casablanca Records
once run by Bogart. The label's first release was to be a girl-group first known as "iNK", but which later changed its name to "NSS (Not So Sweet) 16". The group, however, disbanded due to internal problems. NSS16's only single OopDeeWopDee was produced by hit music producer and Grammy award winner Greg Lawson and directed by Hakeem khaaliq.[4] Some of Casablanca's releases included albums by Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan
in 2004, albums by Lohan and Brie Larson
Brie Larson
in 2005, and music by Mika in 2007, who scored a hit with the song "Relax, Take It Easy". In 2006, an unknown at the time teenage Zariah Avana was signed to the label. Mottola's label once again become inactive when Lohan and Larson moved to other labels within the Universal family. In the fall of 2009, Casablanca became active again (albeit in name only) with the releases of Mika's second album, The Boy Who Knew Too Much, and Ryan Leslie's second album, Transition. Releases[edit]

Shall We Dance? Soundtrack - 2004 Speak - Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan
- 2004 Pride & Prejudice Soundtrack- 2004 Finally Out of P.E.
Finally Out of P.E.
- Brie Larson- 2005 A Little More Personal (Raw)
A Little More Personal (Raw)
- Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan
- 2005 Life in Cartoon Motion
Life in Cartoon Motion
- Mika - 2007 Ryan Leslie
Ryan Leslie
- Ryan Leslie
Ryan Leslie
- 2009 The Boy Who Knew Too Much - Mika - 2009 Transition - Ryan Leslie
Ryan Leslie
- 2009

2012 relaunch[edit] In January 2012, Casablanca Records
Casablanca Records
was relaunched as an electronic music imprint under Republic Records, as a reflection to the original label. Working with an international roster of both established and emerging artists, Casablanca has released music from Crystal Castles, C2C, Kavinsky, The Presets, Scissor Sisters, Chase & Status, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Ladyhawke, Elton John Vs. Pnau and Kindness, Sub Focus, The Aston Shuffle, Martin Garrix, Avicii, Seven Lions, Dawin, Current artists[edit]

Adiam Alma Broiler C2C Chase & Status Crystal Castles Felix Jaehn Giorgio Moroder Grace Mitchell Hayden James Imanos Kato Kavinsky Keljet Kungs Martin Solveig Matstubs MIKA Møme Neiked Nicole Millar Phantoms Rebel Seven Lions SG Lewis Sigala Sonny Alven St. Albion STéLOUSE Stromae Sub Focus TheFatRat Thomas Azier Tiësto Tigerlily Vigiland Jon Janez

Past Casablanca artists[edit]

7th Wonder Bill Amesbury Angel (1975–1980) Animotion
(1986) Brooklyn Dreams (1977–1980) Pattie Brooks Cindy Bullens (1979) Cameo (1977–1982) Captain & Tennille (1979–1980) Irene Cara Cher
(1979–1981) Coney Hatch Debut album 1982 (Japan Only) Alec R. Costandinos (1977–1978) Peter Criss
Peter Criss
(1980–1982) Rodney Dangerfield Mac Davis
Mac Davis
(1980–1982) Teri DeSario (1978–1980) Dr. Hook
Dr. Hook
(1980–1982) Fanny (1974) The Four Tops
The Four Tops
(1981–1982) The Godz (1978) Hudson Brothers
Hudson Brothers
(1974) Paul Jabara
Paul Jabara
(1977–1979) Patrick Juvet
Patrick Juvet
(1978) Roberta Kelly (1976–1978) Kickin' Kiss (1973–1982) Brie Larson
Brie Larson
(2004–2006) D.C. LaRue (1979–1981) Lipps Inc
Lipps Inc
(1980–1983) Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan
(2004–2006) David London Love & Kisses Mantra (1981) Meco (1981) Buddy Miles
Buddy Miles
(1975–1980) Stephanie Mills
Stephanie Mills
(1983–1984) Peter Noone Tony Orlando
Tony Orlando
(1979–1982) Dennis Parker (Wade Nichols) (1979) Parlet Parliament People's Choice (1980) Platypus Player (1980) The Ritchie Family Santa Esmeralda Larry Santos Harvey Scales Scissor Sisters Gloria Scott Michael Sembello Skatt Brothers (1979–1980) Space Dusty Springfield
Dusty Springfield
(1982) Stallion Donna Summer
Donna Summer
(1975–1980) Sunshine (1978) The Sylvers
The Sylvers
(1978–1979) Edmund Sylvers T. Rex (1974) Village People
Village People
(1977–1980) Tony Joe White
Tony Joe White
(1980) Robin Williams
Robin Williams

Rare Gems Odyssey (1977-1980)


^ "Parachute Records USA". Archived from the original on 2015-03-15.  ^ Larry Harris, Curt Gooch & Jeff Suhs (2009). And Party Every Day: The Inside Story of Casablanca Records. Backbeat Books. ISBN 9780879309824.  ^ Patrice Eyries, Mike Callahan & David Edwards (January 20, 2006). "Parachute Album Discography".  ^ "Oopdeewopdee - Single by N.S.S. 16 on Apple Music". apple.com. 13 April 2004. Retrieved 22 March 2018. 

External links[edit]

Official website "The Casablanca story" at bsnpubs.com Relea