Nearly 50 years after originally opening its doors, Sound City has returned! With over 100 gold and platinum albums recorded there, Sound City's incredible sound has graced landmark albums in every decade since opening its doors nearly 50 years ago.
Originally built as a factory for Vox amplifiers, a studio was added in 1964 to test amplifiers. After a few years the building was purchased by Tom Skeeter who partnered with Joe Gottfried in 1969 with the intent to operate a commercial recording studio: Sound City Studios was born. Despite a few high profile sessions such as Neil Young, Dr. John and James Gang, the studio struggled to stay afloat for the first few years.
Then in 1973, the studio invested in purchasing additional equipment to attract clients. But it will not be until a young couple named Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks came in to record their debut album that fortune changed.
Through a chance encounter with drummer Mick Fleetwood, the couple joined Fleetwood Mac and went on to record the start of a string of hit albums. The release of their eponymous album in 1975 made the band superstars and put Sound City firmly on the map. It also further reinforced the reputation of the studio as one of the greatest drum room in the world.
Soon the 70s saw a flood of stars finding their way to Sound City: War, Elton John, The Grateful Dead, REO Speedwagon, Santana, Foreigner, Cheap Trick, Alice Cooper, Peter Frampton, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers among others. The founders, Tom and Joe, also signed a young unknown called Rick Springfield to their fledgling record label entering the 80s with a roar!
While Jessie’s Girl monopolized the airwaves in 1981, the studio maintained its magnetic appeal to artists looking to spark their magic within the now legendary building.
Sound City’s unique sonic qualities saw it record a mind-blowingly diverse set of artists. Diana Ross and Pat Benatar, Dio and Barry Manilow, Saxon and Air Supply, RATT and Bob Dylan, The Chipmunks and Masters of Reality! But in the end, it’s Sound City’s rock N’ Roll roots which will see it enter the 90s with a bang!
Drums, drums, and drums. Bands which music was centered on live performance and grounded around powerful drums kept flooding the doors of the studio. And so many left with a hit...but none would have a more important impact than a bunch of young kids from Aberdeen, Washington.
The sound that defined grunge and filled the ears of a generation found its source in room A at Sound City. Nirvana fought the tide of electronic and digital music prevalent at the time and extended rock music’s beating heart. The album put the studio back on the map and attracted a generation of rockers to follow the same path leading to the uncontested home of rock all the way through the 2000s.
Rebirth of a Legend
Now Sound City is back! In 2016, Tom's Daughter Sandy Skeeter and Olivier Chastan joined forces to rebuild the studio back to its former prestige. Centered around a legendary Helios recording console, the studio offers the best of vintage analog equipment (including exceptional tape machines) along with modern digital equipment. Room B also boasts another legendary Helios console originally installed at Island Studios in London. The studio is ready to reclaim its title as the home of rock and bring some of its magic to established artists and budding musicians alike.
Released in 2013, Sound City is the story of this iconic studio through the eyes of director Dave Grohl.