Dave Grohl's Sound City Documentary Reaches Beyond Simple History To Discover Music's Heart
By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 1, 2013 8:00PM
Just look at that ... so beautiful.
Sound City, Dave Grohl's documentary about the legendary recording studio, begins as a trip backwards along his own musical journey and turns into a celebration of the humanness inherent in all great music.
Opened in 1969, Sound City was a relatively no frills studio, but became a base for many influential albums. Tom Petty recorded there through through most of his career. Neil Young finished up After The Gold Rush within its walls. Cheap Trick spent time there early in their career. Sound City was the reason Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac, and Fleetwood Mac is arguably what really put Sound Studios on the map. Rick Springfield launched his career there, and a little band named Nirvana recorded their sophomore album there. The list goes on and on, and Grohl has recruited many of the more notable acts and producers that created music in that studio to talk about it.
The movie's arc actually carries through nicely via Fleetwood Mac, Rick Springfield and Nirvana. Springfield is the prime example of the studio owners' ambitions to launch music careers. Fleetwood Mac and Nirvana both came along at a time the studio wasn't doing so well, and gave Sound City a rush of new bookings once their albums blew up.
At the heart of the movie is the custom Neve 8028 Console in studio A that captured so many influential recordings. It's a monster console that's truly one of a kind. (For a brief minute I was studio manager for a recording facility that housed a Neve and can personally attest there's something magical about them.) One of the highlights of the movie is an interview with Rupert Neve conducted—and hilariously subtitled—by Grohl.
In Sound City we discover Rick Springfield is actually a pretty fucking cool dude.
Sound City is a movie that will leave you smiling as it submerges you in the reality that all those people making the sounds that fuel people's imagination, emotion and desires are feeding off the exact same thing as the rest of us. And all it takes to makes timeless songs happen is a sturdy, dirty little studio that smells of Budweiser burps, a couple dreamers and a dash of magic.
Directed by Dave Grohl
Written by Mark Monroe
With Grohl, Rick Springfield, Tom Petty, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks
Running time 108 minutes
Rated R for adult themes, adult activity and hard language.
Opens today in theaters nationwide.