formed in 1973 by former Buddah Records executives Neil Bogart (who named the label as an homage to the classic film Casablanca), Cecil Holmes, Larry Harris and Buck Reingold.
Casablanca's first major signing was Kiss. Casablanca became most successful as a disco label, signing artists like Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, the Village People, Brooklyn Dreams, Patti Brooks and Lipps, Inc. as well as Four Tops, The, Cher, Irene Cara, Captain And Tennille, Dr. Hook, Mac Davis and George Clinton's great P-Funk band Parliament.
The company expanded into motion picture production in 1977 merging with Filmworks, Inc. (a small film production company headed by Peter Guber), renaming itself Casablanca Record and Filmworks. With Guber in charge of the new film division, Casablanca co-produced the films The Deep, the Oscar-winning Midnight Express (Giorgio Moroder won an Academy Award for Best Original Score) and the now-cult classic disco movie Thank God It's Friday with Columbia Pictures.
Neil Bogart sold his remaining interests in the label to Dutch-German multinational record company PolyGram (which had purchased 50% of the label three years earlier) in 1980 after financial difficulties and poor sales performance seriously drained the company. Bogart soon after launched a new independent label, Boardwalk Records, but soon became ill. He died of cancer on May 8, 1982. That same year, PolyGram bought 20th Century Fox Records and merged its catalog into Casablanca, moving Leon Haywood, Carl Carlton and Stephanie Mills onto the label. The label stopped releasing new material (apart from movie soundtrack albums and later Animotion releases) in 1984 and its back catalog was absorbed by PolyGram subsidiary label Mercury.
In 2000, the name was revived for a joint venture between Universal Music Group and Tommy Mottola. In a Billboard article, Mottola said that he chose the name as an homage to the original label, but that there was no direct connection between the old and new labels. The present-day Casablanca Records is a part of Universal Motown Records Group.