Elektra Records Celebrating 60th Anniversary With All-Star Event
into a rock 'n' roll that was based in art as opposed to the Top 40 ready-mades."
The label also combined its commercial success in the late '60s and early '70s with taking chances on iconoclastic artists such as MC5 and the Stooges.
"These were not easy calls," says Kaye. "But the one thing that Jac Holzman had was a sense of going with it. Even if it wasn't his particular cup of tea, he trusted the people who worked with him. He trusted instinct and he trusted somebody trying to do something different."
Kaye also says that the label reflected the personality who ran it over the years, from Holzman to successors such as David Geffen and Bob Krasnow. "You could tell who is running the show," he says. "Elektra had a very distinct sense of itself and that's why the records have such personality."
Kaye himself has a direct connection with Elektra, having produced the 1990 'Rubaiyat' box set that coincided with the label's 40th anniversary. Going back to the early '70s, Kaye also produced the classic garage rock collection for Elektra called 'Nuggets,' an idea that was conceived by Holzman.
"Jac let it happen," Kaye recalls. "It wasn't the record I think he thought it would be, but it was the record that organically developed. He didn't try to mastermind it or say, 'I don't know if the Shadows of Knight are worthy of this.' It's like he let it happen. That to me is a great mark of someone who instinctively knows how to allow creative people to have their way with the world."
Elektra halted operations in 2004 when it was absorbed into the Atlantic Records Group only to come back last year with a roster that includes artists such as Bruno Mars, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Cee Lo. <