I recently watched a documentary called Sound City, the story of the golden age of analogue recording studio sound from the 60s to present. A directional debut for Dave Grohl the film follows on the heels of Back and Forth the biopic of the rise and rise of the Foo Fighters which I enjoyed immensely. The documentary draws in a raft of rock and roll royalty from past and present including (but not limited to) Tom Petty, Rick Springfield, Pat Benatar, Johnny Cash, Trent Reznor, Josh Homme and of course Dave Grohl with members of the Foo Fighters making timely appearances.
Throughout the film you get a real sense of the process behind what made the great albums and how they worked their behinds off to record on the 24-track system with analogue tape and all it’s quality and difficulty of execution. Along side the rock and fantastic sound quality of the film is the Neve console that assisted the mixing and embellishing of the sound. This device is treated like the catalyst for these superstars in their development through to their rock stardom. They make out synthesis and even digital recording to be a bit of a harbinger of the end of purity but it was always inevitable. Trent Reznor in his way melded the analogue and digital world together. If you get a moment and you like music or love “the process” get onto itunes and get yourself a copy.
I love that in the end there’s a soundtrack with various collaborations between Dave and old rock stars, look out for Sir Paul McCartney jamming with what was essentially Nirvana (minus Kurt Cobain). Put on your best headphones or stick some studio monitors to your TV because you need to turn this one up to 11.
For uninterrupted listening get the album; Sound City: Real to Reel