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Music Legends: The Recording Studios

There are thousands of recording studios across the world, but only a handful can be considered truly great, both because of their excellent facilities and also as a result of the music legends who have recorded there.

Music created at these studios made us smile, made us cry and it evokes all kinds of memories. Often, the best studios are fairly nondescript buildings, tucked away in our cities, disguising the fact that they have hosted some of the most iconic stars of the music industry.

The Beatles

© Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Read on to find out more about the world's most legendary recording studios and what makes them great...


Abbey Road Studios, London

Located at 3 Abbey Road, St John's Wood, Abbey Road Studios is among the most famous in the world, due to the fact The Beatles recorded there in the 1960s. At the time, the studio was way ahead of its time, thanks to its innovative recording techniques.

It became associated with rock 'n' roll when Cliff Richard recorded Move It there in 1958, but it's most associated with the Beatles, who recorded there between 1962 and 1970.

They named their 1969 album, Abbey Road, after the studio's location, famously using a photograph of themselves walking across the zebra crossing outside the studio as their album cover. The venue is still in use today and has recently opened two new contemporary studios, The Gatehouse and The Front Room.


Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood

Located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California, Sunset Sound was originally built to record the soundtracks for Disney films including Bambi, Mary Poppins and 101 Dalmatians.

Later, the studio was the place where some of the most iconic rock albums of the 20th century were recorded. These included the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds in 1966, The Doors' 1967 albums, the Doors and Strange Days, Led Zeppelin's 1969 album Led Zeppelin II and then Led Zeppelin IV three years later.

Still active today, more than 200 gold certified records have been recorded there over the years.


Motown's Hitsville USA, Detroit

Quite possibly the most iconic recording studios in the world, Hitsville USA hosted some of the top Motown artists of all time. When you mention the name "Motown", it evokes an image of a complete genre of music on Berry Gordy's famous label.

Many ground-breaking singles and albums were recorded there in the studio's heyday in the 1960s and 1970s, including the Marvelettes’ Please Mr Postman in 1961, Stevie Wonder’s 1962 debut album The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie, the Jackson 5's debut album in 1969, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson Five and Marvin Gaye's What's Going On in 1971, and Let's Get It On in 1973.

The studio is sadly no longer active today, although it is home to the Motown Museum. For many, the recording studio was considered the heart and soul of Motown.


Sun Studio, Memphis, Tennessee

The legendary Sun Studio was launched at 706 Union Avenue by rock 'n' roll pioneer Sam Phillips on 3rd January 1950. As the original home of blues and rock and roll, it was the place where Elvis Presley launched his career. In August 1953, Presley went there to record a personal disc for his mother, called My Happiness.

Phillips was so impressed when he heard the recording that he invited the then 19-year-old Presley back to make more recordings in January 1954. One of the recordings, That's All Right, was picked up by Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips, who played it on his radio show, Red, Hot and Blue. Callers jammed the switchboard wanting to know who Presley was and this launched his amazing career.

Other stars who recorded albums at Sun Studios were Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison. Blues greats such as Howlin' Wolf and BB King recorded albums there, as did U2 when they recorded Rattle and Hum in 1988.

Sun Studio still operates as a recording studio today, although it also offers tours for the public. Creating a sound unlike any other, its equipment is a unique mixture of Phillips' original analog techniques and today's modern studio equipment.


Sound insulation

Rubber is a good insulator for sound and is often used in recording studios. It can also be used in households to help with sound proofing - usually in the flooring.

Coruba's rubber crumb matting is suitable for sound proofing properties. Please contact us on 01702 560194 for further details.

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