Casablanca Records:

Play It Again

By Christian John Wikane

20 August 2009

Thirty-five years ago, KISS and Parliament debuted on Casablanca, a label that influenced generations of music listeners and defined an era in popular music. Join PopMatters and more than 50 artists and executives for our exclusive, five-part oral history of Casablanca.
Part Five: Defining the Legacy

The sale to PolyGram, the death of Neil Bogart -- the dawn of the 1980s signaled the end of an era for Casablanca. Three decades since the label's fearless leader last stood inside the Casbah, artists and executives explain his genius and define the legacy of the label.

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Curatorial Casablanca

You know KISS and Donna Summer but what about Platypus and Gloria Scott? Herewith, a guide to underappreciated gems from the Casablanca catalog.

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Part Four: Dancing on the Pinnacle: 1978-1979

Between 1978 and 1979, Casablanca could do no wrong.Trailing just behind CBS Records, Casablanca was the most successful record company in the U.S. Its artists gathered Oscar wins, number one albums, Grammy Awards, and even more platinum and gold discs.

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Part Three: Pushing the Envelope, 1977-1978

PolyGram, a group of "macho men", and Star Wars bolstered Casablanca at retail, on radio, and in the clubs. While expanding the roster and its partnerships, the label also landed its first number one single.

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Part Two: Painting the Building, 1975-1977

KISS came "Alive" in 1975. So did Parliament and Donna Summer. In a dramatic reversal of its uncertain beginnings, Casablanca cultivated a colony of successful acts and expanded its reach with boutique labels and partnerships in the film industry.

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Part One: Leading the Camel to Water, 1974-1975

Casablanca was not an instant success but Neil Bogart, a dreamer and a doer, was undeterred. Part I examines how the sheik of Casablanca led his camel out of the desert.

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