Elektra, the vaunted label that was once home to such legendary acts as the Doors and the Stooges only to be unceremoniously shuttered during a merger with Atlantic five years ago, will rise again its own imprint, Atlantic announced.
The initial acts on the reconstituted label include Cee-Lo (better known as one-half of Gnarls Barkley), U.K. sensation Little Books and French electronic duo Justice. Veteran A&R executive Mike Caren and John Janick, co-founder of Fall Out Boy’s label Fueled By Raman, will serve as co-presidents.
Elektra, which was started by 19-year-old college student Jac Holtzman in 1950, as one of those kinds of labels that you don’t see anymore-a label that you trusted to bring you music you liked. Like venerated jazz label Blue Note, there was a time that fans bought music simply because it came out on Elektra. Started as an eclectic label that put out folk, blues and jazz, Elektra came of age in the ’60s, through signing such folk icons as Judy Collins and Tim Buckley before moving full tilt into rock with acts like the Doors, Love and the Stooges.
Its commercial hey day was in the ’70s after Holzman sold the label to then-named Warner Communications and Elektra merged with David Geffen’s Asylum Records. Among the acts on its mighty roster were Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, the Eagles, Jackson Browne, Tom Waits, Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon, the Cars and many more.
The ’80s and early ’90s saw another creative period flourish with introduction of such artists as 10,000 Maniacs, Metallica, Natalie Cole, Sugarcubes (Bjork’s former band), Simply Red, the Pixies and Tracy Chapman. From the mid-’90s until it was merged with Atlantic in 2004, Elektra had success (although nowhere near that of its tremendously influential glory days) with acts like Missy Elliot, Staind, Third Eye Blind and Busta Rhymes.