Fantasy Records  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Fantasy Records is a United States based record label, which was founded by Max and Sol Weiss in 1949 in San Francisco, California. The early years of the company were dedicated to issuing recordings by Dave Brubeck, Cal Tjader, Vince Guaraldi and other jazz music artists. The label was the first to record "in person" performances by Lenny Bruce.

Fantasy's first subsidiary label, formed in 1951, was Galaxy Records. The labels were named in honor of fantasy and science fiction magazines; the logotype of the first Fantasy label was taken from the distinctive first logo for The Magazine of Fantasy, which with its second issue became The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction; the distinctive logotype of Galaxy Science Fiction was not appropriated.

In the mid-1950s Saul Zaentz joined the company and eventually instigated the company's major expansion. In 1967 he led a consortium which bought out the Weiss brothers. The following year, Fantasy's most successful act emerged when the local group Creedence Clearwater Revival, which he managed, released their first hit record "Susie Q" in 1968 (the group had been signed in 1964 as the Blue Velvets, but the label renamed them The Goliwogs so they would "fit in" with the then new incoming crop of British Invasion bands, and after a series of failed releases under that name, the group changed it's name to Creedence Clearwater Revival). Creedence Clearwater Revival was the most popular band that they produced.

Zaentz, advised by the journalist Ralph J. Gleason and benefitting from profits from the sales of Creedence Clearwater Revival records, pursued a policy of acquisition concentrating on independent Jazz labels. Zaentz had picked up Debut Records as a wedding present from Bassist Charles Mingus to which were added Good Time Records, Prestige Records (in 1971), Riverside Records and Milestone Records (both 1972), Stax Records (1977), Contemporary Records (1984), Specialty Records (1991), Pablo Records (1987), Takoma Records and Kicking Mule Records (both 1995).

Fantasy also built its landmark headquarters building at the corner of Tenth and Parker in Berkeley, California in 1970 which was nicknamed "the house that Creedence built".

In 2004, Fantasy was sold to a consortium led by Norman Lear and merged with Concord Records to create a new company called Concord Music Group. While some operations are still located in Berkeley, the record label is now headquartered at the Concord Music Group location in Beverly Hills, California.

Shortly after Fantasy was purchased by Concord, John Fogerty, the lead singer & songwriter in Creedence Clearwater Revival, re-signed with the label after leaving it in the mid-seventies after a falling out with former owner Zaentz.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Fantasy Records" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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