Rock and roll has always created legends, but what about the recording studios where the magic happens? Take a look below to get the lowdown on ten of the most famous recording studios in the world.
This tiny Memphis based studio was owned by iconic producer Sam Phillips and most famous as the place where Elvis Presley first recorded. But Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison also laid down tracks here. The Studio is now a major tourist draw in Memphis.
9. Muscle Shoals
This Alabama studio opened in 1969 and utilised the services of the world famous Muscle Shoals rhythm section, who helped create the distinctive sound on many artist’s records, including Aretha Franklin and Wilson Picket. It was also the place where the Rolling Stones seminal Brown Sugar was cut.
8. Sunset Sound
In its less salubrious days Sunset Boulevard was known for the Sunset Sound studio, where many of the most famous Disney recordings were cut. In the late 50s rock and roll took over and more than 200 gold albums have been recorded their since by artists including the Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac and Elton John.
Oxford Street’s AIR was set up by George Martin when he decided to leave EMI and the studio was responsible for numerous 80s classics including the hugely successful Dire Straits album Brothers in Arms. Supertramp, The Police and Duran Duran also recorded here. The studio was destroyed by a hurricane in 1989, signalling the end of an era.
6. Abbey Road
Most famous for the zebra crossing which is still outside the studios, Abbey Road was of course a famous haunt of the Beatles, but the studio is still going strong with artists including Kate Bush, Pink Floyd and Oasis laying down tracks there.
Chicago’s Chess studios are widely considered to be the birthplace of electric blues and legends including Etta James, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters and Willy Dixon all helped to change the face of music here.
4. Hitsville USA
Now a tourist attraction, Hitsville’s Detroit studio was the home of Motown and the Jackson Five, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross were all regular visitors.
A stone’s throw from the Berlin Wall, Hansa became the hippest studio in the world during the 70s when David Bowie recorded Heroes here with the help of Brian Eno. Since then U2, Depeche Mode and Iggy Pop have followed suit and the studio is still in use today.
2. The Record Plant
Possibly New York’s most famous studio, The Record Plant was the place where Jimmy Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland, Springsteen’s Born to Run and John Lennon’s Imagine were recorded. Whilst its sister studio in LA was responsible for the Fleetwood Mac classic Rumours.
Known as the most prolific studio in the UK, the Olympic has seen so many incredible artists pass through its doors that it would be easier to list who hasn’t recorded there. Unfortunately, the last track was laid in 2009 by U2, after which the studio closed for good.
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