Monday, 11 August 2008

Forever Changing: The Golden Age of Elektra Records 1963-1973

An unprecedented five-disc boxed set, Forever Changing: The Golden Age Of Elektra Records—1963 to 1973, focuses on the heyday of the Elektra label as it made the transition from folk music to folk rock, before fully embracing electric rock. Forever Changing opens with pivotal early folk artists Judy Collins, Fred Neil, and Phil Ochs and sees the gradual impact of electric music with, first, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and then key signings to the label in Love, The Doors and the extraordinary, unique Tim Buckley. Elektra Records never lost its folk roots and, as the sixties progressed, the label embraced the singer/songwriter era by signing Carly Simon, Harry Chapin, and the hugely successful Bread. Yet in 1969, Elektra went on to release the debut albums by The Stooges and the MC5, groups which still make a fierce impact on young musicians to this day; a far cry from the pristine folk of Judy Collins.

Elektra was the brainchild of Jac Holzman, and it was his vision that drove the label through 1973, when he handed over the reigns. A true visionary who believed in the artist and was never afraid to take risks, Holzman went from releasing traditional folk and exotic recordings in the ’50s to signing those truly trailblazing artists: Love, The Doors, Tim Buckley, Fred Neil, Phil Ochs, David Ackles and so many more.

Forever Changing mixes these familiar names with a host of genuine rarities and lesser-knowns. Elektra’s reputation preceded it and helped give maverick artists such as Nico, The Holy Holy Modal Rounders, David Peel and the UK-signed psychedelic folk group The Incredible String Band a launchpad to wider recognition.

A bonus disc, titled 'Another Time, Another Place,' presents an alternative take on Elektra’s history, from the rare 1963 single by The Beefeaters (who went on to become The Byrds), through one of Jac Holzman’s final signings, Jobriath. This disc also includes Eric Clapton & Powerhouse, The Baroque Beatles Book, Simon Stokes, Joseph Spence, Eclection, Leviathan, Goodthunder and David Peel.

The booklet includes a special foreword by Jac Holzman and new interviews with the artists, where possible, plus contributions from Elektra insiders, fellow artists and fellow travelers for whom Elektra was and still is the label.

Forever Changing is housed in a sumptuous 12-inch box that includes, among other delights, a lavishly illustrated hardback book to accompany the discs, four fine art prints of classic Elektra sleeves, a set of postcards, scrapbook style facsimile memorabilia, an illustrated discography, and a CD-Rom copy of Jac Holzman and Gavan Daw’s autobiography and label history Follow The Music.

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