Dave Grohl’s highly anticipated rockumentary ‘Sound City’, is a sensational movie detailing the history of a studio and soundboard responsible for catapulting the careers of Fleetwood Mac, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, Tom Petty and many more to unimaginable heights.
It’s a charming story of two small business men who decided they wanted to get into the entertainment business and spent $76,000 (twice the going rate of a house at the time) on a soundboard to give musicians an opportunity to make music.
The unique tape-based Neve console, purpose built for Sound City in Los Angeles, is the centre-piece for a host of parables from rock and roll hall of famers who chose to take a punt on a studio that was a “shithole”, “dirty” and “a little more fucked up than it should have been.” Only to find out it was one of the best places to record on the planet through “luck and magic.”
Sound City’s demise and revival is told emotionally and with great sympathy for the everyday staff who ended up becoming part of a team that were on hand to help out some of the most iconic albums in the history of music. Band members describe the runners and managers who worked at the studios as family and they clearly forged lifelong bonds in the short time they spent recording.
Grohl packs in inspirational interviews with the likes Lars Ulrich, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Josh Homme, Corey Taylor, Neil Young and Tom Petty in a must watch hour and 45 minutes for any musician. In a movie that speaks so fondly of the old-technology Grohl finds balance by highlighting what Trent Reznor has done with modern technology. Reznor provides a confident voice for digitally produced music but admits that “there hasn’t been a lot of great shit coming out” as a result of better digital tools.
There are constant themes of humanisation and collaboration which all feature on an accompanying album that will feature collaborations between Foo Fighters, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Nine Inch Nails, Paul McCartney and other legends.
In this digital age where anyone can become famous with the right software and computer, Sound City reminds us where music came from and what making music should be about.
You can download Sound City and pre-order From Real to Reel (expected in March) from iTunes now.
This article originally appeared at ianperkins.co.uk