20th Century Recording
Updated: Mar 10, 2019
(Pt. 2 of the Studios series)
Long after the innovations by early pioneers of recording had become convention, the recording industry was steadily growing. The amount of recording artists had begun to steadily grow as well. With these growths, came a cut of studios above the standard. These studios would go on to be famed for, among other things, their personnel, their clients, or their echelon of equipment. Today we wanted to share with you a few highlights of these studios that found themselves high above the rest.
Abbey Road Studios
Of course, no list of significant and remarkable studios would be complete without a mention of the venerable Abbey Road Studios. The studio which produced much of the Beatles discography along with one of the most iconic album covers in history, Abbey Road Studios has earned its place as potentially the most famous studio in music history.
In addition to its most celebrated occupants, the studio also saw the recording of much of the works of Pink Floyd, Radiohead, and famous soundtrack composer John Williams (responsible for such classics as Star Wars and Indiana Jones.)
A hidden gem in London, Trident Studios is a lesser known contemporary of Abbey Road Studios but has produced an equally monumental body of work. The studio also developed their own in-house audio technology through the Trident A Range mixing console, which garnered a reputation for its warm and 'musical' sound. The studio also housed a handmade C. Bechstein concert piano, which was over one hundred years old and also showcased a unique sound.
Among its occupants are the early half of Queen's discography, David Bowie's concept album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (a personal favourite of the author's,) and Lou Reed's glam rock cornerstone, Transformer.
Hopping across the pond, the iconic Motown Records, and the “Motown sound” began in a small house in Detroit, called Hitsville, U.S.A. Even those who haven't heard the term Motown sound before know this iconic sound. The funk and soul sounds of the 1970s, with sharp horn sections and the moving basslines, often performed by legendary session musician James Jamerson, a figure worthy of an article in his own right. Berry Gordy Jr. was responsible for this movement as the founder of the label, and has gone down as one of the most important figures in American music history.
From this studio was born the works of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, the Jackson Five, and many more.
Found in Memphis, Tennessee, Sun Studio is responsible for many early rockabilly and country works which came out of Memphis in the 1950s, headed by record producer Sam Phillips. Most notably among them being the Man in Black himself Johnny Cash and the King himself Elvis Presley.
Others among Cash and Elvis included Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and B.B. King.
What studios do you consider to be the most important? Let us know on our social media! Stay tuned next week for an exciting announcement from Populus Music and Bloom! Something we really believe you'll enjoy.