Lovers of music history: in this article we will talk about the most famous recording studios that made the creation of legendary albums and songs by great artists possible!
?Abbey Road Studios, London
Abbey Road Studios, founded in 1931 by EMI, are located in the homonymous and famous street (precisely Abbey Road), part of the St. John’s Wood district in London.
Abbey Road’s fame, however, is actually not linked entirely to the recording studio itself, but more to the pedestrian crossing placed right in front of the building that houses the rooms: as many of you will know, on those pedestrian crossings Iain Macmillan photographed The Beatles for the cover of the famous album “Abbey Road”; today those crosswalks are considered a British national treasure.
Not only were Beatles albums were recorded at Abbey Road Studios, but also “The Dark Side of the Moon” (1973) by Pink Floyd, “The Bends” (1995) by Radiohead, Lady Gaga’s second album “Born This Way ”(2011) and several works by Ed Sheeran. If we talk about soundtracks, among the most famous recorded at Abbey Road Studios are the soundtracks of all the films of the Harry Potter saga.
Air Studios, London
London’s Air Studios are located in the suburb of Hampstead in what was originally a church and missionary school, Lyndhurst Hall.
They consist of three recording studios, several writing rooms and Lyndhurst Hall, one of the largest recording rooms in the world, capable of hosting a full?symphony orchestra complete with choir.
Among Air Studios’ strength, there’s certainly the room acoustics, in particular that of Lyndhurst Hall, which is excellent because of how the room was designed and thanks to the team of sound engineers who made it, including its founder Sir George Martin.
Katy Perry, U2, Liam Gallagher, Thom Yorke and, more recently, Coldplay have recorded their hits and records here, as well as countless soundtracks for action and animated films.
Capitol Studios, Los Angeles
Capitol Studios was founded in the Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood in 1956. In the same year Frank Sinatra recorded the album “Frank Sinatra Conducts Tone Poems of Color“. Rumour has it that his microphone remained there and that it was subsequently also used by the Bastille (‘Paris‘, remember?).
Inside the prestigious rooms of Capitol Studios, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Oasis, Daft Punk, Muse and Imagine Dragons have also been recorded, among many others.
Criteria Recording Studios, Miami
On the southeastern coast of the United States of America, in 1958, Mack Emerman founded Criteria Recording Studios.
In an atmosphere of general amazement (due to the fame that these studios reached in a short period of time, even though they were far from New York and Los Angeles, where the music scene of the time had its core), the Criteria Recording Studios produced some of the most famous albums of the ’70s, such as Derek and the Dominos‘ (Eric Clapton’s band) “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” (1970), Allman Brothers‘ “Eat a Peach“ (1972) and the soundtrack of the “Saturday Night Fever” (1977), of which the Bee Gees are authors and performers of the main songs.
Over time, the Criteria Recording Studios, which are now called?The Hit Factory Criteria Miami, became a trending topic again thanks to the investment their owner made in modern technologies, becoming the “Studios” favoured by many east coast artists. Coldplay and Gucci Mane recently recorded their works there.
Electric Lady Studios, New York
Jimi Hendrix did not have much time to enjoy Electric Lady Studios: the artist died only four weeks after their foundation, which took place in 1970.
Located in the Greenwich Village neighbourhood of New York, these rooms with a modern and futuristic design have welcomed great artists, who have left indelible marks in the history of music: Led Zeppelin?recorded “Houses of the Holy” (1973), Patty Smith her album “Horses” (1975) and more recently Adele and Lorde have also recorded some of their most famous songs here.
Conway Recording Studios, Los Angeles
The Conway Recording Studios in Los Angeles, surrounded by a real tropical garden, have always been a family-run business: they were purchased by Buddy and Susan Brundo in 1976, and since then have hosted some of the greatest?music artists on the planet such as Barbara Streisand, Michael Jackson, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Justin Bieber.
The list is much longer than that, and those mentioned are just some of the many artists who have recorded their music in Conway Recording Studios, which over time has become a favourite destination for recording by those who love to breathe a relaxed atmosphere, reminiscent of “home“.
The Power Station At Berklee NYC,? New York
It was in 1977 when Tony Bongiovi, founder of The Power Station, discovered and launched his cousin’s band, led by a guy named Jon Bon Jovi.
This studio, known for hosting TV shows and talkshows, was sold in 1996 and its name changed to “Avatar Studios“. Today it is owned by the Berklee College of Music and, since September 2017, has regained its original name. It also appears to be undergoing renovations to guarantee contemporary artists adequate and up-to-date equipment and technologies.
Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Bruno Mars and Madonna are some of the great artists who chose The Power Station for recording some of their hits.
Bernie Grundman Mastering, Los Angeles
The studio founded by Bernie Grundman in 1983 was met with a fair media echo in Los Angeles, a notoriety obtained thanks to the high quality sound produced here and the overwhelming technical skills of its founder.
Bernie Grundman, a man who was esteemed for his wide knowledge and skills in sound engineering, has attracted several musical legends in his studio, personally contributing to the realisation of some of the most important records in the history of music such as “Aja” by Steely Dan, ” Thriller “by Michael Jackson,” Purple Rain “by Prince and” The Chronic “by Dr. Dre.
Other artists that have recorded their music here include?The Carpenters, Herb Alpert, Sergio Mendes, The Doors, Joe Cocker, Joni Mitchell, Burt Backarach, Jackson Brown, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Supertramp, Procal Harum. Rod Stewart, Fleetwood Mac, Janet Jackson, Quincy Jones, Outkast, Ludicrous, Mos Def, Mary J. Blidge, Lucinda Williams, Jack Johnson and Macy Gray.
Grundman won many awards, both in the USA and in Asia. In 1997, in fact, he opened the Mastering Bernie Grundman studios in Tokyo, Japan, which quickly became an important reference point in the Eastern music scene.
Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, Maine
In 1993 Bob Ludwig, vice president and chief engineer of Masterdisk, decided to start his own business and founded his own mastering company in Maine: the “Gateway Mastering Studios“.
Despite his stubbornness and determination to enter in the competitive world of studios, Ludwig’s greatest fear was that of not being able to acquire sufficient notoriety and therefore carve out a place in the history of recording studios; over time, however, he was considered one of the most experienced technicians in the scene and recognised by artists such as Nirvana, Metallica, Queen, Guns N ‘Roses and many others.
EastWest Studios, Los Angeles
Last but not least, the EastWest Studios in Los Angeles; these Studios hold a record: they have in fact produced the highest number of Grammy–winning albums in history.
Characteristics that distinguish these recording rooms from the others are the incredible ornaments, the iconic curtains and the huge and sumptuous chandeliers. The peculiar feature, however, is not tangible: the managers of the EastWest Studios respect the artists’ personal and creative space and their privacy is their utmost priority.
Recent projects include the soundtrack of the film “La La Land” (2016) and Ed Sheeran’s album “Divide” (2017).
Article originally written in Italian by?Elena P.
Which of these studios did you already know of? And which of these have you always dreamed of being able to visit (and maybe record some songs)? Let us know with a comment!