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Happy Anniversary Elektra Records

by Chuck Eddy

Happy Anniversary Elektra Records

About this playlist

A fan of classic rock? Then your music collection probably contains several titles released by Elektra Records, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

Founded in 1960 by Jac Holzman and Paul Rickholt, Elektra became a major player in the folk and blues revival. A maverick businessmen and unbelievably prescient talent scout, Holzman in the mid-1960s turned the label into a home for some of America's most adventurous (and volatile) underground artists, including The Doors, The Stooges, The MC5, Tim Buckley and Love. After merging with Warner Communications in 1970, Elektra grew into a massive hit-making machine, helping define both the singer-songwriter movement and arena rock in the process. After the rise of punk and New Wave, Elektra's fortunes rose and fell with the times; nevertheless, the imprint released vital records in both genres, as well as alternative rock and heavy metal.

Because they call me Classic Rock Crate Digger, my anniversary playlist concentrates on Elektra between the years 1966 and 1986, when the label was at the height of its power. Click  the play button and be blown away by the sheer breadth of its discography.