WMG will re-launch iconic Elektra label
Posted on: Wednesday 20th of June 2018
Warner Music Group announced on June 18th that Elektra will be launched as a standalone, fully staffed music group on Oct. 1 of this year. The company – which will include the Elektra, Fueled By Ramen, Roadrunner, Low Country Sound and Black Cement labels – will be headed by Co-Presidents Mike Easterlin and Gregg Nadel (pictured above, left to right), who will report to Atlantic Records Group Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman and Chairman & COO Julie Greenwald. A number of major artists will move over from the Atlantic system to the new group, including Twenty One Pilots, Zac Brown Band, Paramore, Sturgill Simpson, Brandi Carlile, Fitz and the Tantrums, Slipknot, Panic! at the Disco, Coheed and Cambria, Kaleo, Gojira and others.
Elektra was formed in 1950 by Jac Holzman and Paul Rickolt. Each founder invested $300. The usual spelling of the Greek mythological Pleiad Electra was changed. Holzman famously explained, “I gave her the ‘K’ that I lacked”. Elektra later became a home for acts such as AC/DC, Bad Company, Beats International, Jackson Browne, Glen Frey, Incredible String Band, Kraftwerk, Sérgio Mendes, Joni Mitchell, Roy Orbison, Tom Paxton, Teddy Pendergrass, Linda Ronstadt, Carly Simon, Nina Simone, Stereolab, The Stooges, Tom Waits and many, many others.
The Elektra move, the first such expansion by a major label in many years, seems designed to bring greater focus to both artists and taste-maker executives, as well as providing an opportunity and outlet to grow WMG’s repertoire significantly; it also marks a return to the Warner-Elektra-Atlantic trio of label groups that were for decades the foundation of the company. The announcement is the largest to date among several from new Warner recorded-music chief Max Lousada, who over the past months has recruited a new executive team to the label (CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck and COO Tom Corson), hired RCA veteran Rani Hancock as president of Sire and also acquired legendary Dutch dance-music label Spinnin’ Records. The group will launch with 60 staff.