Sound City is the Dave Grohl -directed and -produced documentary about the seminal sound recording studio of the same name, and it’s a must-see for anyone who considers him- or herself a fan of rock n’ roll.
Sound City is the studio where some of the greatest albums of all time were recorded (with the exception of the Sound City album itself, every other album pictured in this post was recorded there), and Sound City tells the story of what made the studio unique through interviews with Sound City staff and the rock luminaries who recorded there, including Grohl, Stevie Nicks, Lee Ving, John Fogerty, Neil Young, Mick Fleetwood, Tom Petty, members of Rage Against the Machine, Trent Reznor, and many more.
Even better, right now Sound City is part of the Amazon Prime Instant Video catalog, meaning that Prime members can view it for free! This film was an official Sundance Film Festival selection for 2013, and the reviews have been glowing. Along with its 5/5 star average review rating on Amazon, Sound City has received such praise as:
“Straight out of a roof-raising debut at Sundance 2013 comes Dave Grohl’s exhilarating documentary about what makes life worth living… Grohl has made an intimate epic about music. But the film’s genius is the way it applies the lessons of SOUND CITY to any job.. In his directing debut, Grohl shows the instincts of a real filmmaker. SOUND CITY hits you like a shot in the heart.” —Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE
“High-spirited, emotional and funny, SOUND CITY is, of all things, a mash note to a machine… one that helped change the face of rock ‘n’ roll.” —Kenneth Turan, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
“a celebration of just how unbelievably awesome it is to make rock music for a living” —NPR
“terrifically entertaining… The Nirvana and Foo Fighters star brings elements that can’t be faked–passion and heart–to this account of what it feels like to make real handcrafted rock music… a sincere tribute but also and infectiously honest one” —THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
“SOUND CITY… will be candy to several generations’ worth of rock fans… It’s not an antidigital argument so much as an anti-blandness argument” —THE NEW YORK TIMES
If you’ve ever wondered how the commercial music recording process has changed over the years, from the analog tape and all-night collaboration sessions between musicians and producers of yesteryear to today’s tech-dominated world of Pro Tools and AutoTune, you will find this film fascinating.
Many of the musicians who participated in the making of the film got together to collaborate on a companion music album as well, featuring all new songs from members of the Foo Fighters, Paul McCartney, Lee Ving (FEAR), Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Stevie Nicks, Joshua Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick) and Rick Springfield.
The album was recorded in Grohl’s own music studio after he bought the famous Sound City mixing and recording console and relocated it there, in order to preserve its unique history and continue taking advantage of the sound quality no other console can match.
The film: Sound City (not rated, some profanity; 5/5 stars, currently FREE for Amazon Prime members to view, currently $3.99 to rent and $9.99 to buy)