Synopsis by Mark Deming
Sound City Studios is a recording complex that opened in 1969 in Van Nuys, CA. While the studio looked utilitarian on the outside and was located in a less-than-glamorous part of Southern California, it boasted a state-of-the-art recording console designed by Rupert Neve, and the studio's acoustics gave music a big, powerful sound that was perfect for rock & roll. Beginning with Neil Young's After The Gold Rush in 1970, many of the biggest acts of the day came to Sound City to put their music on tape, and bands and performers such as Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Elton John, Santana, Johnny Cash, and the Grateful Dead all cut albums there. In 1991, Nirvana came to Sound City to record their breakthrough album Nevermind, and the studio soon found a new clientele, with alternative rockers such as Nine Inch Nails, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tool, and Rage Against the Machine booking time at the studio. But as digital technology became the industry standard by the end of the 1990s, Sound City's analog gear fell out of favor, and the owners sold off the trademark Neve recording console. That console was purchased by musician Dave Grohl, who recorded at Sound City with Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, and Grohl offers a look back at the studio's glory days in the documentary Sound City. Along with interviews with many of the artists and technicians who worked at Sound City, the film examines how the rise of digital recording technology has changed the music business, and impacted the way many musicians work. Sound City was Grohl's first project as a film director, and the documentary received its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
band [music group], grunge-music, studio, studio-session [music]