Elektra started out in the 50’s as a moderately successful Folk label, but by the mid 60’s it had evolved and expanded into more adventurous Rock and Psych territory. Two influential LA bands, Love and The Doors, signed to the label in 1966. Soon after, Elektra found major chart success for the first time in its history.

The second half of the sixties would prove to be Elektra’s most important period. Aside from digging into LA’s Psych Rock scene, the label also had a strong hold on the Proto-Punk sounds coming from Detroit.  Both The Stooges and The MC5 put out their debuts on Elektra in 1969.


Elektra went through a relatively uninteresting period for most of the 70s and 80s, but began operating as 4AD’s American distributor in 1989, bringing Alternative Rock artists like The Pixies, Red House Painters, and The Amps to their roster.

In 2004, the label was absorbed by Atlantic only to become independent again in 2009.  Today, Elektra is putting out slightly above average mainstream fare (Bruno Mars, Justice, Cee-Lo Green, Charlotte Gainsbourg).

– Submitted by Justin Main, Music Design