C/Z Records was a Seattle-based punk rock record label that was established in early 1985 by Chris Hanzsek and Tina Casale. It started with the release of Deep Six which collected the earliest recordings of what later came to be known as grunge. The label was acquired by Daniel House, to whom Hanzsek and Casale sold it after Deep Six proved commercially unsuccessful.
|Country of origin||United States|
Los Angeles, California
The label was first founded in early 1985 by Chris Hanzsek and Tina Casale. The label's first release (March 1986) was titled Deep Six (CZ001). This was a compilation LP that featured early grunge bands Soundgarden, Melvins, Green River, Skin Yard, Malfunkshun, and The U-Men. Nationally, the record was something of a disappointment, and after about 18 months, Hanzsek and Casale realized that running a record label was not a career they wanted to pursue.
Daniel House, bass player for Skin Yard, was in the midst of putting together the band's first record, and took over the operation of C/Z records. For several years C/Z was little more than a hobby, but quickly became an outlet for many unnoticed Seattle bands that House felt were making great music. In 1989, House began working as director of sales for a new Seattle independent record label by the name of Sub Pop. Eventually he left as C/Z became successful in its own right. He subsequently released early albums and singles by notable bands like The Presidents of the United States of America, Melvins, Built to Spill, 7 Year Bitch, The Gits, Silkworm and Hammerbox.
In 1993, C/Z entered into a production and distribution deal with Sony-owned RED Distribution. The deal quickly went sour and bled the label dry in less than a year. House was forced to downsize and re-organize, and it would be over a year before any new releases would see the light of day.
In 1996, the BMG-owned Zoo Entertainment partnered with C/Z. Zoo provided a modest operating and recording budget and assisted in the development of new artists. In 1997, Zoo was to be purchased by Volcano Entertainment and all third party ventures were dropped.
Daniel House returned C/Z to part-time status, releasing only occasional records on an infrequent basis.
C/Z released several Teriyaki Asthma compilations, one of which contained Nirvana's song "Mexican Seafood". Nirvana also released their version of "Do You Love Me?" on C/Z's Kiss tribute album Hard to Believe: Kiss Covers Compilation.