Are you a fan of classic rock 'n' roll?
If you are, there is a good chance that you enjoy an album that was recorded at Sound City studio in Van Nuys, California.
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl experienced recording the legendary 'Nevermind' with his old band Nirvana at Sound City back in the early '90s. Since then, he has gone on to great success with The Foo Fighters. Still, there was something magical about that studio, and it was mostly the Neve 8028 analog mixing console.
No matter what, Grohl took it upon himself to direct and put together a film that tells the studio’s story. He does a bang-up job.
This documentary does a good job tracing back the beginnings of the studio and its founding. From there, we are given a rapid tour of some of the major artists who have recorded there. Apparently, Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty were big fans among others.
Our attention is focused on the sense of history found in the studio because of who played there. Sound City was, apparently, a relatively inexpensive dump that never changed throughout the years. We also get a look at the long-time employees. Most of artists who are interviewed agree that there was a sense of family found in those walls.
Of interest to audiophiles: the analog vs digital argument is brought up. Whatever your preference, there is something to the old fashioned way of needing to know how to play a part correctly because it can't be fixed using a computer later. Whether you can detect the 'warmth' and 'fullness' of the analog sound is up to you.
Where this feature falls down a little bit is in the last act where we are brought to the modern day. Grohl has purchased the console and other artifacts from the studio and has, essentially, attempted to recreate the audio quality of Sound City in his own Studio 606. While it is interesting to see the collection of talent that he is able to gather (Sir Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, Rick Springfield, Jim Keltner, Trent Reznor), most of it feels as though it should be reserved for a bonus DVD on the album. This section slows things down.
If you enjoy the history of rock 'n' roll and want to learn an important part about it, 'Sound City' would be a fine way to spend some time. The passion of those involved comes through just like a good performances captured within those walls.
Not Rated 108 minutes 2013