Saturday, February 2, 2013

[Reviews] Sound City – The Tale of A Legendary Recording Studio by Dave Grohl

Everyone knows Abbey Road, right? You know…that recording studio in UK that is greatly associated with The Beatles? The one with that zebra crossing? But how about Sound City? Have you heard of it?

I bet most of you never of the establishment. I’m guilty of that too – despite the fact I grew up to the sound of Nirvana’s Nevermind which was recorded in that very studio. Nirvana was not the only one though as there were tons of other great artists have recorded their materials there such as...

...Metallica, Rage Against The Machine, Slipknot, Weezer, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Queens of The Stone Age, Trent Reznor, Johnny Cash, Fleetwood Mac, Santana, Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Foreigner, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Rick Springfield, Barry Manilow, god, the list juts goes on and on and on...

How I eventually found out about Sound City? Well, few months ago I heard about this documentary that Foo Fighters’ frontman (and also the drummer of Nirvana), Dave Grohl is working on that aims to tell the story of the legendary studio with the help of the artists, producers and staff that have worked in the studio as well as great music that came out from Sound City.

Marking the debut of Dave Grohl as a film director, Sound City premiered yesterday in theatres as well as in the form of digital download through its official website. Priced at around RM 41 (USD 12.99), I decided to purchase the documentary and here is what I thought of it...

Sound City is nothing short of inspiring and informative, frankly speaking.

Thanks to tons of artists that appeared in the documentary, there were just so much tales of music in this documentary - not only about the unique working condition in the studio but also relationship between one musicians to another as well as music creation, in general.

Sound City also touched on the analogue vs. digital side of the business which revolved around the studio’s legendary Neve 8028 console (that now resides that Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 after he purchased it just before the studio closed down) as well as the very demise of the studio due to the rise of digital-based recording equipment.

The documentary certainly focused more on the analogue approach to music recording – the Neve 8028 is an analogue console, after all - to the extent that I felt that certain parts of the documentary were quite anti-digital. Then again, Sound City also featured Trent Reznor which speaks about his experience with creating music using digital tools while still having a huge regard for analogue stuff.

To top it all, there was the Sound City Players - a musical collaboration that features some of artists that appeared in the this guy: Sir Paul McCartney. Yup, that Sir Paul McCartney from The Beatles. Furthermore, guess who's his collaboration partners for Sound City Players?

Dave Grohl (of course), Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear - the closest thing that this world ever get to the reunion of Nirvana. Of course, Krist actually worked with Dave and Pat before in I Should Have Known for Foo’s Wasting Light album but man, when you put McCartney in the mind just explode.

Similar to what I thought of Foo Fighters’ Back of Forth, the Sound City is one of those documentary that would make a rock star out of somebody. I just wish that the interviews as well as the recording process of Sound City Players were shown in their entirety but then again, that would make the movie too long.

Truly inspiring - worth every single cent out of my RM 41 that I paid for it.

Sound City is available as digital download through for around RM 41 (USD 12.99) or through iTunes.

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