Kiss’s Paul Stanley On Casablanca Records’ 35th
Casablanca Records, the label whose roster included Kiss, Angel, Parliament, Donna Summer and The Village People, is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. Come inside to hear what Paul Stanley has to say about the legendary company…
Casablanca was formed in 1973 by Neil Bogart, but didn’t release its first full-length album until Kiss’s debut on February 18, 1974.
Speaking exclusively to Classic Rock, rhythm guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley reflected on the years Kiss spent as probably the most important band on Casablanca’s roster.
Classic Rock: It’s Casablanca’s 35th birthday this year. Do you mourn the demise of the iconic record company?
Paul Stanley: “I mourn the demise of iconic record companies because they nurtured bands and nurtured artists. When record companies were run by people who loved music they stood behind the acts. It wasn’t unusual for a record company to expect two or three albums to come out before artist would break. That was the dedication they had, because they loved the music. The days of that are over and long gone.
“Casablanca, I must say, was a double-edged sword. Neil Bogart’s philosophy was… well, let me put it this way, he didn’t care if it ruined your career as long as you got a hit single as soon as possible – and I wasn’t part of that school. Neil was P.T. Barnum, which worked to a certain extent, but it also tended to hurt whatever credibility you might have, because of the way your records were being sold.
“But again, the great record companies stood behind their acts and nowadays you’re just a number. If you don’t sell enough of your first album, you’re out of the door. That’s a shame, and that coupled with music piracy makes it pretty difficult for anybody who wants to make a career in music these days.”
Kiss’s new album, Sonic Boom, is coming out via Loud & Proud/Roadrunner in the UK and Europe. The release date is October 5.
Stanley said: “Success comes from a winning team, and Roadrunner is the perfect partner for Kiss in terms of understanding what this album is and also having a great track record of success.”
* Larry Harris, a former business partner of Neil Bogart’s and Casblanca’s former Vice President, has written a 300-page hardcover book titled And Party Every Day: The Inside Story Of Casablanca Records. The book will be published on October 1. More details here.