When we think of music, we often associate it with the recording artists who helped shape the sounds of history, not to the recording studios where it was made From the Beatles at Abbey Road to Elvis Presley at Sun Studios, these recording studios also deserve their proper mention in the history books as do the artists who have walked through their doors.
It’s hard to understate how important recording studios were to rock ‘n’ roll and other music genres in the ’60s and ’70s, and beyond. Let’s look at 5 of music’s most famous recording studios.
From Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis to Johnny Cash, the walls of this famous Memphis, Tennessee recording studio have witnessed many legends in the making over the years. Often referred to as the birthplace of rock and roll, Sun Studios is also famous for the many blues artists that recorded there including B.B. King. Although the studio closed in 1970, it opened its doors back up in 1987 and today functions as a working recording studio and tourist attraction.
Abbey Road is located in London and is considered one of the world’s most famous recording studios. The studio itself does not stand out; it’s a small, apartment-like building that blends in quite well. Walk past it though and you’ll notice crowds of tourists lining up outside. Abbey Road is most famous for recording most of the Beatles’ Albums from 1962-1970, including Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Previously owned by DiaDan Holdings Ltd., the Evergreen Stage is a Los Angeles recording studio with a storied history. The studio was originally a movie theatre when it first opened its doors in the 1940s. In the 1970s, it was converted into a recording studio and has since hosted a range of famous artists who include: Frank Sinatra, Herbie Hancock, Barbra Streisand, Stephen Sondheim, Christina Aguilera, and Barry Manilow, among others. Today, it is one of the most technically-advanced recording studios, with a 3,000 square foot live room, well-equipped with three isolation booths, a projection screen, and a comprehensive array of gear.
Nestled in Detroit, Motown’s headquarters, you will find Hitsville USA, a studio that helped change the sound of American music forever. Thanks to Berry Gordy who opened up the doors of Hitsville USA in 1959, the studio became one of the biggest influences of famed music artists including the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and many more.
Electric Lady Studios, Greenwich Village, NY
If you are a fan of Jimi Hendrix, then you know this Greenwich Village, New York recording studio was founded by the famous American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter in 1970. Although Hendrix only got to use his studio for a month before he died, today, Electric Lady Studios is still used by many artists including Weezer and Billy Idol. The interesting thing about this one-of-a-kind space is that it holds a true psychedelic look of the 60s.
Recording studios are more than just brick and mortar buildings that house audio equipment. The best recording studios each offered their own unique sound and became an indispensable part of music’s history.