Casablanca Records Resurrected under Motown Umbrella FORUM: Archive - After July 12, 2003: Casablanca Records Resurrected under Motown Umbrella
Top of pageBottom of page   By motownboy ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 11:08 am:

The buzz is that UMG/Motown is resurrecting the Casablanca Records label under the leadership of Tommy Mottola ("lives on the road, he lost his lady two months ago...." - remember that song?)........ The ex-hubby of Mariah Carey and current hubby to the up and coming latin singer Thalia will be working out of New York and "be part of Universal Motown Records Group, whose chairman and CEO, Mel Lewinter, said Mottola will be free to develop the label as he chooses."

The main focus will be new acts (making $$$$) and, hopefully, something better than what the current and ex Mrs. Mottolas have to offer.

On the plus side, this may spark a resurgence in re-releasing some more classic Casablanca titles from the 1970s and 80s.

The complete article is posted at the link below....

Top of pageBottom of page   By motownboy ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 11:10 am:

Also, what are your favorite Casablanca albums/singles from the 1970s - 80s????

I liked the Brooklyn Dreams albums a lot...

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 11:18 am:

Dear Gang:
I wish Mottola the best of luck with this venture.

Casablanca is a legendary label & the home of some of the best artists to emerge onto the music scene in the 1970s & 1980s.

Let's wait & see what emerges from this resurrection.

Motownboy - Let's give Thalia & Mariah some credit. These are some talented women who have been through quite a bit in their lives and the industry. Hell, Thalia was a star in the Latin music world long before she met Mottola and her recordings were quite good. As for Mariah, we've discussed this before on the Forum (see archives) so I won't belabor the point.

Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By Musicchef ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 02:08 pm:

My Fave Casablanca single would have to be Ca-the-drals by D.C. Larue (the long version) and my fave Casa Lp would have to be Funkentelecy vs the Placebo Syndrome by Parliament. Honorable mention would have to go to Cameo - Rigor Mortis and the LP "We all know who we are"

Da Chef

Top of pageBottom of page   By timmyfunk1 ( on Saturday, July 12, 2003 - 08:44 am:

Gotta go with Musicchef on this one. "Funkentelechy Vs. The Placebo Syndrome" was the first album I ever bought with my own money(a young lad of fourteen at the time). "Flash Light" is of course my all time favorite single(Casablanca or no Casablanca).

Gotta say that I always loved that label design in all of it's configurations.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Fred ( on Saturday, July 12, 2003 - 10:15 am:

Given the legendary spending practices of the late Neil Bogart, I have to wonder if the choice of the name isn't because UMG discovered a warehouse full of Casablanca stationery and figured reviving the label is the fastest way to get rid of it.

Remember, this is the label about which it was said "They shipped Gold and returned Platinum."

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC ( on Saturday, July 12, 2003 - 10:44 am:

"Up For the Downstroke" has to be my fave Casablanca lp release.

Not only did they 'ship gold and return platinum' but they 'remaindered' stuff with blinding speed. (I bought 'Downstroke' and "chocolate City' in the $1.99 bins within months of their releases.)


Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( on Saturday, July 12, 2003 - 11:06 am:

Thanks for the Saturday morning laugh.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli ( on Saturday, July 12, 2003 - 11:32 am:

The story goes is that at the beginning stages of Casablanca records, Neil Bogart put out some sort of Johnny Carson related album whose sales were so bad and neil was so at the end of his rope that he was actually considering suicide by drowning in the Pacific ocean, and that is how the "shipped gold , returned platinum" thing started.
Donna Summer's Love to love you baby, initially was a last ditch effort that obviously saved the day and as a result Neil became a very wealthy man.

Top of pageBottom of page   By publicimageltd. ( on Saturday, July 12, 2003 - 01:38 pm:

Tommy Mattola is NOT Neil Bogart. And it was Bogart's sense of the extreme that made Casablanca what it was. Look at the artist that were with Casablanca: KISS, Parlament (Bogart knew full well that Clinton had Funkadellic signed to Warners), Village People,
Godz, Angel, Donna Summer.
This was either fringe Metal or campy disco/pop that no one would dare touch at the time period.
At the same time Mattola was not willing to take risks with the artist he was managing. Sure Dr. Buzzard was innovative, but once August Darnell went out as Kid Creole, do you think Mattola would have touched him.
The control he exercised over Hall and Oates put them in commerical limbo for 5 years. They were being pressured to do material they weren't happy with (Beauty on the Backstreet) and when Hall tried to show some artist freedom with his Sacred Songs solo project, Mattola refused to release it because it was produced by Robert Fripp.
Fripp fully understood Hall's potential as a vocalist, and had to cancel projects that they wanted to do together due to the "damage it would do to Hall's Commerical Potential" It wasn't until MTV and "You're Out of Touch" that H&0 became commerical again.
So, this may be all well and good, but it will only be Casablanca in name only. And is that really the right way to bring it back?

Top of pageBottom of page   By David Meikle ( on Saturday, July 12, 2003 - 04:42 pm:

Here's a Casablanca scan with some serious Detroit connections.

Top of pageBottom of page   By David Meikle ( on Saturday, July 12, 2003 - 04:43 pm:

Sorry, that one's from Graham.

Top of pageBottom of page   By acooolcat ( on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 08:46 am:

Thanks David. The late Jeannie Reynolds (LJ's Brother) was in fine form on this Casablanca disc, which I guess was recorded in Detroit. Does anyone know for sure where it was cut?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli ( on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 09:06 am:

Yes, I do agree that Casablanca will only be an imprint, much as Motown is today and devoid of its former glory, and that to me is so sad.
We just do not have the "record men" today with that gut feeling, by the seat of your pants kind of drive that once existed in the biz that made it what it was and not what it is.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Wonder B ( on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 04:20 pm:

I liked the Gloria SCOTT 'What Am I Gonna Do' LP a lot... a great B.White production by the way...
Jeannie Reynolds was great too...
I won't even mention those toher great like Parliament, Cameo or Vernon Burch...
Let's just say I have'em all! LOL

Wonder B

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 05:04 pm:

Granted, Tommy Mottola is no Neil Bogart and in a few interviews he said that his use of the name Casablanca was just a nod to the label's free entrepreur's spirit. In reality, UMG brought Mottola in for one reason - to make hit records. Doug Morris (UMG'S chief) wants to build a super-team of executives who can deliver hits for the label and by God he has what he wants (P. Diddy's Bad Boy, Lyor Cohen, Jimmy Iovine & Mottola). That's all the superpowers are concerned with - making hits.

Let's wait & see what happens,
Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By publicimageltd. ( on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 07:47 pm:

Which, Kevin, is why this is a joke and an insult to the memory of Neil Bogart. Sure, Bogart was out to make money too, but, first and for most, he was a husler that was looking for that "something different." That was why Bogart was willing to keep putting money into KISS when they were still not going anywhere (by the time of the Cobo show in May 75, the band was broke). That is why, with full knowledge Clinton was playing him against Warners, he was willing to sign Parlament.
As much as Hall and Oates complained about the music they were "expected" to do and their dislike of the process, Mottola's only concern was sellable product. And Hall's creativity suffered for it.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Fred ( on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 12:56 am:

I can't think of any thing further off topic, but there is a theory going around that Mottola is being given the imprint under the UMG umbrella so that he is available and ready to step in if Cohen can't figure a way out of the $132 million TVT debacle (Def Jam has to post a bond for the entire amount if they intend to press an appeal, and time to file is running short). If there is anything to the theory, the Casablanca label may go back into storage. Don't know how much water the theory holds, but it wouldn't be the first time a label warehoused an executive or two as "Plan B."

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 01:06 pm:

Wow...that's an interesting theory. Also add onto the heat Lyor must be facing over the Murder Inc/Irv Gotti soap opera, I wouldn't be surprised if Mottola moved in if Lyor moves out.

This wouldn't be the first time Mottola ascended to a position in such a manner (remember what happened when Walter Yentnikoff had a meltdown at Sony Music, guess who was in the wings...).

You're right as rain about Bogart looking for that "something different" when he and Cecil Holmes ran Casablanca/Chocolate City. While you did mention Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band, keep in mind that Tommy also managed Odyssey (of "Native New Yorker" fame) whose albums were a unique mix of dance, R&B, Latin and pop music.

As for Hall & Oates, what "commercial limbo" did Mottola place them under? From 1980 to 1988, H&O had no fewer than three top ten singles per year and cranked out hit albums almost yearly as well. If anyone had any say over H&O's musical direction it was their label RCA. If they don't feel a record would sell, there's nothing an act's manager can say or do to change the matter. Mottola may have had a hand in scoring the record deals (Atlantic, RCA, Arista) but as far as musical direction that's the label's call.

Kevin Goins - KevGo

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