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 Post subject: Life Tidbit #10 ~ Sound Studios
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:45 pm 
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SOUND STUDIOS

Did anybody watch Parenthood last night? It made me think of this tidbit that I’d been working on……another TZ moment for me.


IBC

Pg. 126-127:
Stu was the only guy that knew somebody that could actually open a door to a studio late at night and get an hour there. In those days it was like going into Buckingham Place or getting an entrée into the admiralty. It was nearly impossible to get into a recording studio. It’s bizarre that now anybody can make a record anywhere and put it on the Internet. Then it was like leaping over the moon. A mere dream. The first studio I actually went in was IBC in Portland Place, right across the road from BBC, but of course there was no connection. With Glyn Johns, who happened to be an engineer there and just wangled us some time. But that was just a one-gig thing.


Image




The IBC Recording Studios (IBC: International Broadcasting Company) were recording studios in 35 Portland Place, London, England. After the Second World War it was the address of the leading independent studio in London and the British Isles. In the 1960/70s the studios become internationally famous after being used by some of the biggest recording artists in the world.

In the late 1970s, Chas Chandler bought the studios and renamed them Portland Recording Studios. The address was also home to George Peckham's cutting rooms (Porky Prime Cuts) and Radiotracks Studios, a company specializing in recording and producing radio commercials. It was later bought by Don Arden and was run by his son David Arden.

In its long history, and especially in its heyday as IBC, the studios manufactured much of their own equipment under the direction of Denis King. The Quadrophonic remix desk designed in the early 70s was still in use in the late 80s by Radiotracks, though in a different building. The desk had been built to take advantage of the Quadrophonic technology that had been pioneered for music, though this never became popular and the desk was never used for that purpose in its music days. Ironically, the quadrophonic system on the desk was put to good use for mixing soundtracks for large events at the end of its life, including a massive celebration of 800 years of the Lord Mayor's of London at the Guildhall. Although all the large desks have been dismantled, one smaller desk, a nine-into-three desk used for locations recording still exists and is in private hands. The small, fully transistorized desk, built around 1958, was used to record "My Old Man's a Dustman" by Lonnie Donegan in 1960.

The studios are today occupied by Musion Systems Ltd, who use the space to demonstrate their life size hologram technology, and record footage for broadcast as holographic images. Madonna used the system to appear as her virtual self at the Grammys.

Artist roster includes:

The Action
Adam Faith
The Beatles
The Bee Gees
Billy J Kramer
Cream
Deep Purple
Duane Eddy
The Depressions
The Drill
The Easybeats
Elton John
The Equals
Golden Earring
Harmony Grass
Jimi Hendrix
Jimmy Page
The Kinks
London
Rare Amber
Rod Stewart
The Rolling Stones
Slade
The Small Faces
Status Quo
Tony Blackburn
Thunderclap Newman
The Who




Pg. 128:
We signed a deal with Decca. And days after that—getting paid to do this!—we were in a studio, Olympic Studios. But most of our early stuff at this time was recorded in Regent Sounds Studio. It was just a little room full of egg boxes and it had a Grundig tape recorder, and to make it look like a studio, the recorder was hung on the wall instead of put on the table.


Olympic Studios


Image


Olympic Studios was a renowned independent commercial recording studio located at 117 Church Road, Barnes, South West London. The studio is best known for the huge number of famous rock and pop recordings made there from the late 1960s onward.

The building which housed the studio was constructed in 1906 as a theatre for the Barnes Repertory Company, and later became a cinema. Guild TV purchased the building in the late 1950s and converted it into a film studio. In 1965 it was purchased by Olympic Sound Studios. The conversion from film to recording studio was undertaken by architect Robertson Grant and the acoustics were completed by Keith Grant and Russel Pettinger.

Olympic's sound mixing desks were a creation of the maintenance staff and built specially for the studios. They became famous as Olympic desks and were developed by Dick Swettenham, Keith Grant and later, Jim McBride in conjunction with Jim Dowler. Swettenham later started to manufacture the consoles commercially as Helios desks. The first desk of this type was commissioned by Grant as Helios one for Studio two. Olympic desks and their Helios offspring are highly regarded for their sonic qualities today.

Amongst other accolades, the studios won Music Week Magazine Best Recording Studio, five times. However, after forty years of renowned recording history and a succession of owners, the studio facilities were closed down by the merged EMI and Virgin Group in 2009. Following the sale of the building, recent reports suggest it is set to be converted into an independent local cinema to incorporate reminders of the building's rich history.


Artist roster includes:

The Beatles
Europe (Out of This World)
Amy Macdonald
Paper Aeroplanes
Eric Clapton
Boyzone
Corinne Bailey Rae
Air Traffic
Blind Faith
Dusty Springfield
Kylie Minogue
Donovan
The Easybeats
Fairport Convention
Graham Bond Organisation
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
PP Arnold
Procol Harum
Ella Fitzgerald
The Rolling Stones
Small Faces
Barbra Streisand
Traffic
Britney Spears
Scott Walker
Cream
The Move
Spooky Tooth
Tony Bennett
Shirley Bassey
Matt Monro
George Martin
The Troggs
The Yardbirds
The Zombies
Perry Como
Joan Armatrading
Barclay James Harvest
Bryan Ferry
Boxer
David Bowie
Buckacre
The Buzzcocks
Pink Floyd
Deep Purple
Eagles
Marianne Faithfull
Fairport Convention
Humble Pie
Hawkwind
Led Zeppelin
The Who
The Pretty Things
Cat Stevens
The Jam
Jesse Davis
King Crimson
Mott the Hoople
Queen
Squeeze
Steve Miller Band
The Stranglers
Thin Lizzy
Madeline Bell
The Tourists
Barbra Streisand
Elmer Bernstein
Tony Bennett
Sammy Davis Jr
The Cure
Bryan Adams
Chris De Burgh
Climie Fisher
Peter Frampton
Joe Cocker
Elvis Costello
Pulp
Diesel Park West
Duran Duran
Andy Fairweather-Low
Fine Young Cannibals
Boy George
Level 42
BB King
Nellee Hooper
Paul McCartney
Kirsty MacColl
Primal Scream
Chris Rea
Roxy Music
Spandau Ballet
Howlin' Wolf
Stiff Little Fingers
David Sylvian
Tears for Fears
Bobby Tench
The Cult
The The
John Cale
Savoy Brown
T'Pau
Transvision Vamp
Roger Waters
Paul Young
Robert Plant
The Pretenders
808 State
Bad Company
Björk
Cast
The Cranberries
Depeche Mode
Des'ree
The Electric Blues Company
Sophie Ellis-Bextor
James
Jesus Jones
INXS
Alison Limerick
Morrissey
Michael Nyman
Oasis
Beth Orton
Pet Shop Boys
Alan Price
Paul Weller
Wishbone Ash
Prince
Simple Minds
Suede
Soft Machine
Steve Adey
The Stooges
The Nice
Terence Trent D'Arby
Ten Years After
The Verve
Love
Zucchero
Michael Nyman
The Moody Blues
Shed Seven
The Spice Girls
The Verve
The Rivitive
Gwen Stefani
Madonna
Badly Drawn Boy
Melanie C
Kaiser Chiefs
Arctic Monkeys
Placebo
Kasabian
The Zutons
Goldfrapp
Jack Bruce
Babyshambles
The Pigeon Detectives
Delta Goodrem
The Courteeners
Connie Talbot
Keane
McFly
Ignition
The Hives
Josiah Leming
The Killers
The Operators
The Used
U2
Van Morrison
Asobi Seksu
Toše Proeski
Aleksandra Ivanovska
Bobby Whitlock
Mansun




Regent Sound Studios


Image

Regent Sound Studios is a shop at 4 Denmark Street, just off the north end of Charing Cross Road and these days selling mostly Fender guitars but it has a lovely reconstructed sign above the window illustrating its former use as a tiny but famous recording studio. In November 1963 The Rolling Stones made some demo recordings there, mostly new songs they had recently been practising and playing during their nationwide tour. The band so loved the sound of the tiny, primitive and cramped studio, with actual egg-cartons as soundproofing and curtains on the wall to deaden the sound, that in a bid to get away from the major record company studios with their strait-laced tie-wearing producers, they became the first band to actually use the studio to record their actual master recordings. In January 1964 they started to record, on the two-track revox recorder, their first LP eventually to be called, simply, The Rolling Stones. The studio was so small that there was hardly any definition between the instruments and the band could hardly avoid putting down on tape an approximation of their live sound of the time.


Image
Mick Jagger in the cramped recording studio December 1963

In February they started recording their future single ‘Not Fade Away’ a cover of Buddy Holly’s original. They were in the middle of a gruelling tour and the group were tired, fractious and hardly speaking to each other – they’d almost given up working out how to record the song. Their manager Andrew Oldham phoned his friend Gene Pitney – the American music star, who was currently in London, for inspiration.



Studio 51

Pg. 141: September 1963.
No songs, at least none that we thought would make the charts. Nothing in the ever-depleting R&B barrel looked likely. We were rehearsing at Studio 51 near Soho.



The above link says that it used to be located here:






Chess Records

Pg. 157:
2120 South Michigan Avenue was hallowed ground—the headquarters of Chess Records in Chicago. We got there on a last-minute arrangement made by Andrew Oldham, at a moment when the first half of our first US tour seemed like a semidisaster.




Image


Leonard and Phil Chess, two Polish born immigrants, founded Chess Records in the late 40s when they bought into fledgling Aristocrat Records. By the time they got involved with Aristocrat, Leonard and Phil were already aware of what sort of music might sell in the Black community, that of a young Delta-born-and-bred slide guitarist: Muddy Waters. Waters had previously recorded for Columbia, the company but none of his work was released. When he recorded "Gypsy Woman" and "Little Anna Mae" for Aristocrat the Chess brothers found in him the means to distinguish their little company from the hundreds of other independent R&B labels springing up across the country.

At the beginning, Leonard and Phil focused their recording and publishing ventures primarily in the area of popular jazz, but soon expanded into blues, receiving their first Billboard recognition in 1947. Aristocratic Records became Chess Records in 1950.

Eventually they created a monopoly of Chicago music recording, doing sessions and releasing recordings by major blues performers such as John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed and Chuck Berry. It was the pre-eminent Blues label of the 50s and 60s.

Despite his success with local talent, Leonard Chess, aided by Sam Phillips, began to look outside Chicago for talent. Phillips supervised Memphis pianist Roscoe Gordon's smash "Booted" (1952) and shipped Chess masters by Rufus Thomas, Dr. Isaiah Ross, Joe Hill Louis, and Bobby Bland, but his top contribution to the label's legacy was Chester Arthur Burnett, a.k.a. Howlin' Wolf. With Ike Turner playing the piano both sides of Wolf's first Phillips-produced Chess 78, "How Many More Years" and "Moanin' At Midnight," proved major sellers in 1951. By 1953, Wolf had left Memphis for Chicago, recording, more hits including "Who Will Be Next" and "Smokestack Lightnin'."

No one at Chess had the impact on the future of popular music that Chuck Berry did. Berry signed with the label in May of 1955 and made his first unforgettable hit, "Maybellene." He remained at Chess into 1966, seemingly rejuvenated after serving a prison term (his 1964 hits included "No Particular Place To Go" and "You Never Can Tell"). After unwisely switching to Mercury Records for a few lean years, he returned home to Chess and scored his biggest pop hit of all in 1972 with "My Ding-A-Ling."

Bo Diddley recorded a slew of Checker LPs throughout the decade, his trademark beat never faltering.

So inspired by the magnificent output of Chess were the Rolling Stones that they immortalized the label's famous address, 2120 S. Michigan Avenue in the album entitled 12 x 5.



In 1969, Leonard Chess died, stilling the heart and soul of Chess Records. Earlier that year, he and Phil had sold the company to GRT where producers Ralph Bass and Gene Barge tried their best to hold things together. Sadly, though, the momentum that Chess had long enjoyed quickly began to erode. In 1975, GRT closed down the logo, selling it to All Platinum Records of Englewood, New Jersey.

Finally, in 1985, MCA acquired the rights to the massive Chess catalog. At the start of 1987, MCA Vice President of Catalog Development & Special Markets A&R, Andy McKaie, began to mount an ambitious long-term reissue campaign of the invaluable Chess masters - an ongoing program that rages full steam ahead all year long in 1997 with the 50th anniversary celebration.

"The impact of Chess was far wider and greater than any of the others, ranging from the impact of the Chicago blues sound, the Chuck Berry/Bo Diddley school of rock & roll, and the vocal group sounds," he continues. "The range of that impact was so great that it's still being felt today.

Leonard Chess was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987




Muscle Shoals Sound Studios


Image


Pg. 273:
Oiled up and running hot, in early December we ended up at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Sheffield, Alabama, at tour’s end (or not quite end, since the Altamont Speedway track loomed in the distance, some days away). There we cut “Wild Horses,” “Brown Sugar” and “You Gotta Move.”


In March 1969, members of the MSRS—Barry Beckett (keyboards), Roger Hawkins (drums), David Hood (bass), and Jimmy Johnson (guitar)—severed their ties with FAME Studios (Florence Alabama Music Enterprises) in Muscle Shoals and organized their own music production facility, Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, Inc. Hawkins and Johnson had envisioned opening a studio for some time and were interested in purchasing a building at 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield, which already housed a studio. The four musicians combined their resources and purchased the building and installed an eight-track recording machine compatible with Atlantic Records' recording equipment, with important financial assistance from Atlantic Records' vice president Jerry Wexler, who wanted the quartet available for his projects.

Image

The studio maintained its own staff of writers and engineers. Although recording artists frequently brought their own producers, much of the production work was done by the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section's members themselves (often garnering co-production credits).

The distinctive accompaniment and arrangements have been heard on a tremendous number of legendary recordings, including those from Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, and the Staple Singers, amongst others. Many artists have recorded hit songs and complete albums at the studio, including The Rolling Stones, Traffic, Elton John, Boz Scaggs, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Dr. Hook, Elkie Brooks, Millie Jackson and Julian Lennon.

In 1978, the studio moved to a state-of-the-art riverfront facility at 1000 Alabama Avenue in Sheffield. The new building boasted 24-track recording equipment and two studios, where numerous artists recorded, including Levon Helm, Billy Burnette, Bob Dylan, Dr. Hook, Julian Lennon, Stevie Winwood, Etta James, the Oak Ridge Boys, Eddie Rabbitt, Bobby Bland, and Dan Penn. The new studio was sold to Malaco Records in 1985, which in turn sold the building to Cypress Moon Productions Inc., a film studio, in 2005.
Click on the thumbnail for Cypress Moon and then on the link to see it’s location:

Image



The original Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, now owned by sound engineer Noel Webster, is located in its original building at 3614 Jackson Highway. It is listed on The National Register of Historic Places. The Black Keys album Brothers, recorded there in 2009, won a Grammy in 2011.

Muscle Shoals on the map:



Here is an interesting video interview with the new owner (scroll down the page):




Here is the new official website:




And the Muscle Shoals Facebook page:





Sources:

Encyclopedia of Alabama
history-of-rock.com
ibcstudio.co.uk
music.indiana.edu
OxfordAmerican.org
Wikipedia



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 Post subject: Re: Life Tidbit #10 ~ Sound Studios
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:24 pm 
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Great tidbit! In my next life I've always thought I would be involved in the music business somehow. :grin: I did watch Parenthood and this certainly is right up that alley. Great interview with the new owner, may he continue to bring us more great music. :cool:



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 Post subject: Re: Life Tidbit #10 ~ Sound Studios
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:15 am 
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Great Tidbit Liz.
Glyn Johns and his brother Andy Johns of course went on to work with them alot but I won't continue with that in case you are planning to talk about them further.

You can see the Stones at work in Olympic in the very odd film Sympathy with the Devil. At Muscle Shoals in Gimme Shelter and there are lots of pics of them working at Chess Studios and RCA in Los Angeles and Olympic too. I know Mick and Charlie are seen visiting Olympic in Shine A Light on the extras I think.

I've always found studios fascinating would love to sit in on a session and see just how they work all those controls.


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 Post subject: Re: Life Tidbit #10 ~ Sound Studios
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:39 pm 
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Nice tidbit. Boy I can’t get over how young Mick looks in that first photo. That’s an interesting video of the new Muscle Shoals owner. He does have it correct that music does mark a moment in people’s lives, of events in their history. It was nice to see the inside of the studio.



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 Post subject: Re: Life Tidbit #10 ~ Sound Studios
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:31 am 
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gemini wrote:
Nice tidbit. Boy I can’t get over how young Mick looks in that first photo. That’s an interesting video of the new Muscle Shoals owner. He does have it correct that music does mark a moment in people’s lives, of events in their history. It was nice to see the inside of the studio.

You think so? I've seen some taken a little later where he actually looks about 12 :lol:

Interesting video would have liked a bit more of a tour, I'd imagine though its probably changed a little since the time the Stones were there since the place seems to have stopped being a studio for a while.


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 Post subject: Re: Life Tidbit #10 ~ Sound Studios
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:03 pm 
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If anyone is interested:
More on Muscle Shoals from the radio program American Routes - an interview section including Hood and Johnson, about the Muscle Shoals sound, snippets of recordings made there, and a brief reference to the Stones about 17 minutes in (a minute and a half out of 22+).



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 Post subject: Re: Life Tidbit #10 ~ Sound Studios
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:08 pm 
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As I was driving home this afternoon our local PBS station was doing a piece on the Muscle Shoals sound and some of the great music and musicians that came out of that time. :cool:



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 Post subject: Re: Life Tidbit #10 ~ Sound Studios
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:47 pm 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
As I was driving home this afternoon our local PBS station was doing a piece on the Muscle Shoals sound and some of the great music and musicians that came out of that time. :cool:

Interesting coincidence. I see the next part of the History of American Music I started watching last week will be doing about the British contribution in tomorrows programme must remember to set it up to record. Funny how this has been doing its rerun just as we are having the tidbits :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Life Tidbit #10 ~ Sound Studios
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:57 pm 
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Gilbert's Girl wrote:
gemini wrote:
Nice tidbit. Boy I can’t get over how young Mick looks in that first photo. That’s an interesting video of the new Muscle Shoals owner. He does have it correct that music does mark a moment in people’s lives, of events in their history. It was nice to see the inside of the studio.

You think so? I've seen some taken a little later where he actually looks about 12 :lol:

Interesting video would have liked a bit more of a tour, I'd imagine though its probably changed a little since the time the Stones were there since the place seems to have stopped being a studio for a while.


I have seen from these tidbits that most of you ladies have followed very closely. They were likely pretty established by the time I noticed them. One of the things I enjoyed in the book was their lives when they were young, but that was probably old hat to some of you.



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 Post subject: Re: Life Tidbit #10 ~ Sound Studios
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:24 pm 
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Heard about Muscle Shoals for years, but this is the first time I've seen the place. Imagine owning something like that? The history, just stunning. Anyone know if there's a book written about the place? Thank you Liz.



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