“A really great album is context, content, and a trace of magic fairy dust,” Jac Holzman once said, You know it when you hear it, and when you hear it, that’s the excitement.”
As the founder of Elektra Records and one of the sharpest minds in the history of the music industry, Holzman is one of the rare individuals with a deep, informed perspective on all three of the elements he mentioned. With such bands as Love and the Doors, Elektra not only helped define the sixties, it offered a vision of that seismic era that exploded the clichés that have come to be associated with it.
Even more profoundly, if much less obviously, all the folk and international music that Elektra released in the fifties encouraged and shaped the cultural consciousness that allowed what we think of as the sixties to be born and to flourish. “Independence is a state of mind,” Holzman has said. “You need to record something because you think it’s worthwhile. The idea is not to be hobbled by the numbers, to take risks, and find things to believe in.”