1 – Abbey Road, Liverpool
No list of the great recording studios in the world could do without the infamous Liverpool studio, Abbey Road. Most famous for being home to the most famous band of the ‘60s The Beatles, who recorded all of their best-selling albums in the studio, it has also hosted such luminaries as Pink Floyd, The Zombies, Rush, Kate Bush, Depeche Mode, Radiohead and more recently Florence and the Machine. Few can compete with such a weighty list of names – it really is a guiding star for up and coming and highly promising studios in the UK, like the classy Select Recording Studios in North London and Orgone Studios – who are gaining a huge reputation in rock and metal spheres.
2 – Rockfield Recording Studio, Monmouth
Highly deserving of a place on the list is Monmouth studio, Rockfield. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was recorded there for goodness sake! On top of that Rockfield can boast the likes of Hawkwind, Black Sabbath, Echo & the Bunnymen and Mike Oldfield among their clients.
3 – Sun Studio, Memphis
Heading across the pond and down to Memphis, Tennessee, we must pay a visit to Sun Studio. The original Union Avenue location hosted a plethora of early legends from Johnny Cash to Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis to Roy Orbison, until the studio eventually outgrew its humble location.
4 – Electric Lady, New York
Co-built by Jimi Hendrix no less, who recorded there for several months before his untimely death, Electric Lady has gone on to be used by a wide range of musical talents including AC/DC, Kiss, Guns N Roses, Daft Punk, Kanye West, Led Zeppelin and Arcade Fire.
5 – Gold Star Recording Studios, LA
Most famous for being the studio that gave Phil Spector his big break, Gold Star went on to feature artists like Neil Young, Brian Wilson, Leonard Cohen and The Who.
6 – Cosimo Recording Studio, Louisiana
You could argue, perhaps alongside Sun Studio that Cosimo Studio can claim to be the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll, having produced Fats Domino’s ‘The Fat Man’ – often cited as the first rock ‘n’ roll hit.
7 – Studio One, Kingston, Jamaica
A veritable holy grail of reggae, ska and rocksteady, Studio One’s list of productions is unparalleled. The Skatalites, Bob Marley & the Wailers, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Delroy Wilson, Horace Andy and Ken Boothe are among the swathes of important artists to have recorded there.
8 – Columbia Studios, New York
The studio that first pressed Bob Dylan on wax. Say no more.
9 – Olympic Sound Studios, Barnes, London
Not an obvious choice, perhaps, but Mick Jagger thought so highly of it he recorded 6 consecutive albums there and it was also the birthplace of Procul Harem’s classic A Whiter Shade of Pale.
10 – RCA Studios, Nashville
Now known as RCA Studio B, this incredible studio is responsible for what we now take for granted as the “Nashville sound”. It is a mecca of country music and the likes of Charley Pride, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Chet Atkins and more recently Gillian Welch have all recorded there.