You love their music, but how much do you know about the places where it was made? Here’s a quick look at some of the most legendary recordings studios of all-time.
If you’re a fan of 50s music, and Americana, chances are you’re familiar with this iconic recording studio. No less a singer than Elvis Presley recorded some of his biggest hits there. Other hit makers to grace the recording booth inside Sun Studios during its golden age include Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash.
Capitol Records Tower
As Americans migrated westward, so too did their music. Los Angeles may be infamous for its perceived ephemeral nature, but Capitol Records Tower has remained. The iconic 13-story cylindrical tower features a spire that blinks in Morse code. During its peak years, the studio was home to the likes of Peggy Lee, Glen Campbell, Nat King Cole, and The Beach Boys, the latter of whom recorded their iconic song “Good Vibrations” there.
Arguably the most famous music studio of all-time, Abbey Road, is inextricably linked with the most famous rock band of all-time. The Beatles recorded their iconic album Abbey Road there, featuring the zebra crosswalk outside the studio itself on the album cover, itself one of the most famous images in 20th-century popular culture. Following their breakup, all four members of the Beatles recorded there separately throughout their solo careers.
While the Beatles are most closely associated with the studio, Abbey Road has a long history, with the classic Georgian building itself actually dating back to 1831. It’s seen a hugely diverse number of artists record there, dating back to composers Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughn Williams recorded there in the 30s and 40s, the former recording his piece “Land of Hope and Glory” and the latter his Fifth Symphony.
Sticking with the Beatles, they recorded “Hey Jude” at Trident Studios. The iconic London studio was the long-time recording home of such icons as Queen, Elton John, and David Bowie, the latter of whom posed for the Ziggy Stardust album cover outside the studio, as commemorated today by a Blue Plaque.
Berry Gordy’s original Detroit headquarters for Motown was the premiere studio for R&B and Soul records. The Marvelettes, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, The Jackson 5, and Dianna Ross are just some of the names associated with Motown and Hitsville USA during their peak years.
If you love the music they produced, you’ll certainly want to visit and find out more about the studios that produced some of the 20th century’s most iconic music.