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Casino Royale

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The Italian funk-rock outfit Casino Royale was formed in 1987. The Milanese musicians chose their name as a tribute to their favorite James Bond novel by Ian Fleming. Between Goldfinger and Casino Royale, the latter won out as the group's final name, and the Clash and Specials-influenced musicians made their recording industry debut in 1988 with Soul of Ska, followed two years later by Jungle Jubilee. Casino Royale explored both soul and reggae music, captivating Italian music fans. Both their English lyrics and their stylistic choices were rare and daring for their context. Over the next few years, the group would change directions, composing in Italian and incorporating a wider variety of musical styles. Dainamaita, the band's major-label debut, included elements of hip-hop, dub, and funk, becoming a landmark record in Casino Royale's career. In 1994 the recording began for Sempre Più Vicini, the first album to generate serious radio play. The group relocated a year later to London to work on CRX (1997), the album that would win the group a slot opening for U2 during Italian dates. This good fortune would lift Casino Royale to new heights of recognition. The record sold better than 500,000 copies. Casino Royale remained busy for quite some time with other collaborations and the launching of their Royality label, not releasing another record for nine years. Reale was issued in 2006 to a warm welcome from patiently waiting fans. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez


1987 in Milan, Italy

Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s, '10s