I often wonder if musicians like Elton John, Elvis Presley, Diana Ross and so many other legends knew what they were creating when they were creating it.
Did the Beatles know when they were recording “Please Please Me” they were recording something that would soon launch them to the status of arguably the greatest band ever? Or were they just some dumb kids in a local band excited about making their first record? Or having their own band merch?
I had the pleasure of having a conversation with Sylvia Massy about her experience while recording Tools debut album. I asked if they knew that it was going to be huge, that Tool would eventually sale over 13 million records worldwide. Much to my surprise she said no… “ I knew it was good” she said, “we all did, but it wasn’t until we went back and listened to it again like 6 months later that we realized we were part of something special.”
So I believe it begs the questions, did these great studios know what was happening when it was happening or was it just another project that paid the bills?
Either way when you stand in a place where someone you have admired and aspired to be like has stood, you can’t help but feel nostalgic and feel like you’re a part of it as well. Like in some small distant way you are even, if only for a moment, a part of their life. That is why I needed to write this blog. If you ever have a chance to visit these studios you should. I don’t care if you are a musician looking to make a record or just a respecter of the past. I hope this list will inspire someone somewhere to get out and be apart of something.
10. Sun Recording Studio– Founded by Sam Philips and captured the early works of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
9. Muscle Shoals– Founded in 1969 Alabama. Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and Staple Singers have recorded here.
8. Sunset Sound–Located in California, works from Elton John, the Stones, Fleetwood Mac, and the Beach Boys.
7. Air–Located in London, England. Albums by The Police, Duran Duran, and Supertramp were recorded here.
6. Abbey Road-Located in North London. This studio was used by The Beetles, Oasis, Radiohead, and Pink Floyd.
5.Chess-Located in Chicago. Chuck Berry and Etta James have recorded here.
4.Hitsville USA–Motown label founded by Berry Gordy in Detroit Michigan. Diane Ross, Marvin Gaye, and the Jackson Five.
3. Hansa–Located in Berlin. David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and U2.
2. The Record Plant–NYC. Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, and Jim Hendrix.
- 1. Olympic–London, England. Closed for good in 2009. U2 Recorded No Line on The Horizon. After 4 years of closure it recently reopened again.