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Rocking The Casbah,
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This review is from: And Party Every Day: The Inside Story Of Casablanca Records (Hardcover)
If you were into popular music in the seventies, you knew Casablanca. Started in 1973 by Neil Bogart, Casablanca became the house of Disco and the home of KISS. They also became synonymous with the drug fueled excesses of the seventies and the triumph of image over substance, despite the fact that the label delivered some of the best music of the decade. Hell, Casablanca was the seventies for many in the music world. Head Honcho Neil Bogart was a talent finder extraordinaire and a showman on a level with PT Barnum. No claim was too exaggerated and no gesture was too grandiose. It was once said that he would spend five dollars to show one dollar in profit, and when Casablanca ultimately fell under its own weight, a certain magic of the music industry evaporated with it. Author Larry Harris worked at Buddah/Kama Sutra Records in the summer of 1971, and in 1973 joined his cousin Neil Bogart in founding Casablanca Records. He saw firsthand the carnival of wilding that was Casablanca, and it's his first hand story that fuels "And Party Every Day."
While there are plenty of anecdotal stories about Casablanca's biggest stars, like initial signing Kiss and superstars Donna Summer and The Village People, the bulk of "And Party Every Day" focuses on how a young Neil Bogart took his idea for an artist driven record company and built his empire from the ground up. Larry starts the story with a reminiscence of being at Woodstock and realizing he's found his place in the world, then joining Neil in his dream. Along the way the two of them make millions of dollars, spend even more, give the world Kiss, Parliament, Angel and cover the globe with Disco.
But there's also the seamier side of egos, drugs, industry politics and manipulations. The decision to release the four solo albums by the members of Kiss and ship over a million copies of each that started the beginning of the end of Casablanca and the behind the scenes battles that caused it. The fudging of figures and the turf wars. Greed, excess and flamboyance. The world of Casablanca Records and Filmworks was both magic and the crazy tale of the man behind the curtain, and Harris does a terrific job in making it readable. Casablanca not only was a record and entertainment company, it was a universe unto itself. "And Party Every Day" takes you on a time machine when music people not only made and sold the music, they sold the dream along with it. It makes me miss the dream, miss the people that built it, makes me wish they were my friends. And I wasn't even there.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 25, 2015 10:59:56 AM PDT
mike macbeth says:
im torn between this book and "going platinim" are they essentially the same? or is one better than the other?
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2015 1:34:34 PM PDT
Tim Brough says:
I haven't read "Going Platinum," so I can't say. Sorry.
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