Why is the Reprise label called... Reprise?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by ParloFax, Mar 22, 2011.

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  1. ParloFax

    ParloFax Forum Resident Thread Starter

    1) I'm not an English speaker.

    2) I'm not familiar with founder Frank Sinatra's career.

    3) I have read the Wiki pages (including the one on the English version of the word Reprise) and couldn't find a clue about the meaning.

    I notice that Reprise was "Reprise:" on the old tri-color version of the label... :confused:
  2. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

    "To play, and play again" as the old Reprise motto went.

    Reprise in it's definition means resuming a particular action. In this case, a record that you want to play (and since it's so good) you'll want to play it again.

    Now, where did I put that Mitzi Gaynor album? That needs some reprising...
  3. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Forum Resident


  4. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

  5. Ricko

    Ricko Well-Known Member

    Frank Sinatra – Reprise: In 1960, no artist dared to stand against a label. Which is why Sinatra loved the idea. He'd just renewed his deal with Capitol Records, then decided, "Screw it, I want my own label." After a foiled attempt to buy Verve, Frank, on advice from attorney Mickey Rudin, invested in his own company. To everyone else, the label was pronounced re-preez, but to Frank, it was re-prize. As in reprisal against Capitol, and all the "cretinous" rock'n'roll they were releasing. Frank signed Vegas pallies Dean and Sammy, as well as jazz greats like Duke Ellington. But when first year sales fizzled, he lost interest and let Warner Brothers take over. Grudgingly, he soon became labelmates with Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks and Tiny Tim.

    I can't believe that conjectural drivel is still being recycled in 2011 - it's been refuted a hundred times over.

    Sinatra had been trying since 1957 to establish his own label (originally Essex), in order for artists to have some ownership of their master recordings, including himself.

    "Reprise" is a (generally) musical noun and not a verb, and no matter how FS pronounced it, it's quite a stretch to assert that it secretly means "reprisal" as in "revenge". :rolleyes:
  6. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    A "repeat sign" in music (signalling that you need to repeat, or reprise, the section between the signs) consists of a vertical line and a colon. I guess the ":" was meant as a reference to that.
  7. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

    Yes, I think that's a bunch of baloney too. Nowhere in all the Sinatra stuff I've read has Reprise being named so for that reason.

    And the bit about Capitol and all their cretinous rock n' roll is silly, too. I don't think Capitol had really gotten that far into signing any rock acts in 1959-1960. Groups like the Kingston Trio was their kind of act for the kiddies at that time.
  8. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Forum Resident

    Frank was not above holding a grudge. Certainly he and Capitol didn't part entirely amicably - I believe Capitol sued to have Frank change the title of his Reprise album Swing Along With Me on the ground that it was too close to the Capitol Come Swing With Me.
  9. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    Indeed, a company who made music, "To Play & Play Again" and also as a reprisal against Capitol. No better name for Frank's company. Who kept their quality even when they merged with Warner Brothers and became more eclectic.
  10. ParloFax

    ParloFax Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Wow, for a non-classical label name, it's kind of "highbrow"! I would have never guessed. It is a confusing name for us French (and musically less-than-literate) speakers because, being a french name to begin with, it has more different possible meanings than in English, where the definitions are basically centered around the above.

    Thanks, folks!
  11. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    This appears to be the invention of Stan Cornyn, the Reprise Records publicist who wrote so many of the label's liner notes. From Cornyn's book, EXPLODING: The Highs, Hits, Hype, Heroes, and Hustlers of the Warner Music Group (Rolling Stone Press, 2002), page 49 [footnote]:
    It's a colorful tale, and Cornyn repeats it in his essay in the book for the new UMG box set, [thread=235076]THE REPRISE YEARS[/thread], page 1:
    However, Nancy Sinatra has debunked the notion that FS used the Re-PRIZE pronunciation (here):
    John Porcellino likes this.
  12. Matthew B.

    Matthew B. Scream Quietly

    Tokyo, Japan
    Not saying the Frank Sinatra story is true, but the quotation Driver 8 posted is reasonably correct about the word's pronunciations and meanings as a verb, though the "retake by force" meaning is obsolete.

  13. floweringtoilet

    floweringtoilet Forum Resident

    And here I always thought Sinatra formed Reprise specifically to distribute the music of the Fugs and Captain Beefheart.
  14. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    True or not, Stan's "Exploding!" was a fun read!
    Kind of like "Hit Men" with a better personality.
  15. rstamberg

    rstamberg Forum Resident

    Riverside, CT
    It's called Reprise 'cause that's what Mr. Sinatra wanted to call it, bay-bee.
  16. Ricko

    Ricko Well-Known Member

    Stan was, and is, above all a creative writer. :laugh:

    He took the art of horses**t liner notes to a level never equalled.
  17. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!


    Chris C
  18. Bradfinger

    Bradfinger Forum Resident

    Midland, Georgia
    Now, where did I put that Mitzi Gaynor album? That needs some reprising...[/QUOTE]

  19. ParloFax

    ParloFax Forum Resident Thread Starter

  20. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

    Frank even goes into that a little in the A Man & His Music (1965) set.
    He pronounces it re-preeze on there. It threw me for a loop the first time I heard that, because I had assumed it was re-prize. But that's the same way I still say it today, re-prize.
  21. Tina_UK

    Tina_UK Forum Resident

    " Reprise" In the words of Frank Sinatra " Creative Freedom"
  22. Drawer L

    Drawer L New Member

    Long Island
    :righton:That's EXACTLY what I was gonna post!!-"Because Frank wanted to.Problem with that"????
  23. Drawer L

    Drawer L New Member

    Long Island
    :shh:Frank personally wooed Frank Zappa away from Verve!!!
  24. ParloFax

    ParloFax Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The musical explanation is fine with me now... But what about that little steam boat? What's it got to do with playing something again and again?
  25. SixtiesGuy

    SixtiesGuy Ministry of Love

    It's Frank's world. We just live in it.

    I heard that he wanted to name his new label after a piece of fruit but dismissed it as a stupid idea.
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