60 years of Elektra Records


Elektra has created a micro site to celebrate their 60th anniversary.  Growing up I was a fan of the WEA family of music  (even visited their regional offices when they had such a thing here in KC in the mid-80s).   Ironically, it was what put me out of a job a few years ago when Bronfman put a kibosh on spending.  And I was just one of many…so I shouldn’t complain.

But I probably know less about this label than the others.  They say you learn something new everyday and today I learned Rick Rubin wasn’t the only guy to start a label from his dorm room.  That’s what Jac Holzman, founder of Elektra, did as well.  The blog marking their anniversary starts out with a rundown of the label’s chief executives and their signings (here).

It’s had a history of being well-rounded with such diverse artists as MC5 and The Doors to Keith Sweat and Eddie Rabbit.   Holzman’s era as Chief included signing The Stooges, Love, The Doors and Queen.  The next phase of the label was headed by David Geffin (1973-75) and he ushered in the notorious California singer-songwriter sound with signings including Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, The Eagles and Warren Zevon.

What I had totally forgotten was that after Bronfman took over he brought Holzman back and the Elektra imprint went dark between ’04 and ’09.  Current roster includes Little Boots, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Justice.

If you’re a music geek like I am, you might enjoy the following related books:  Follow The Music.  And Becoming Elektra will be released sometime this fall (probably to coincide with more anniversary celebrations.)


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