|Address||52 West Eighth Street, Greenwich Village, New York City 10011|
|Location||New York City|
|Opened||August 26, 1970|
Electric Lady Studios is a recording studio in Greenwich Village, New York City. It was commissioned by rock musician Jimi Hendrix in 1968 and designed by architect John Storyk and audio engineer Eddie Kramer by 1970.Hendrix spent only ten weeks recording in Electric Lady before his death that year, but it quickly became a famed studio used by many top-selling recording artists from the 1970s onwards, including Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, and David Bowie.
At the turn of the 21st century, Electric Lady served as a home for the innovative Soulquarians collective, but fell into financial hardship and disarray in the 2000s. Taken over and renovated by investor Keith Stoltz and studio manager Lee Foster, the studio returned to form as a popular location for mainstream artists of the 2010s, such as U2, Kanye West, and Lady Gaga.
Before it became Electric Lady Studios, the building housed The Village Barn nightclub from 1930 to 1967. Abstract expressionist artist Hans Hofmann began lecturing there in 1938, two decades before he turned to painting full-time.
In 1968, Jimi Hendrix and his manager Michael Jeffery bought the Generation, a newly defunct nightclub in New York's Greenwich Village.Hendrix had frequently joined jam sessions at the venue, which had hosted acts as diverse and legendary as Big Brother & the Holding Company, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Dave Van Ronk, Sly & the Family Stone, and John Fahey. Hendrix had planned to resuscitate the nightclub, but was persuaded by advisors Eddie Kramer and Jim Marron to convert the space into a professional recording studio. Studio fees for the lengthy Electric Ladyland sessions were astronomical, and Hendrix was constantly in search of a recording environment that suited him.
Architect and acoustician John Storyk oversaw the conversion. Construction of the studio took nearly double the time and money planned. Permits were delayed numerous times, the site flooded due to heavy rains during demolition, and sump pumps had to be installed (then soundproofed) after the building was found to be atop a tributary of an underground river, Minetta Creek. [ citation needed ]A six-figure loan from Warner Brothers was required to save the project.
When completed, it was the only artist-owned recording studio in existence.[ citation needed ] The studio was made specifically for Hendrix, with round windows and a machine to generate ambient lighting in myriad colors. It was designed to have a relaxing feel to encourage Hendrix's creativity, but also provide a professional recording atmosphere. Engineer Kramer forbade drug use during session work. Artist Lance Jost painted the studio in a psychedelic space theme. Jimi Hendrix hired Marron to manage the construction project and run the studio.[ citation needed ]
Hendrix spent only ten weeks recording in Electric Lady, most of which during the final phases of construction were still going on. His last studio recording, a new solo demo for "Belly Button Window", was recorded on August 22. The last mix session with Eddie Kramer took place on August 24 on "Freedom", "Night Bird Flying", "Dolly Dagger" and "Belly Button Window". An opening party was held on August 26, 1970. Hendrix then boarded an Air India flight for London to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival; he died less than three weeks later.
In the following three decades, many popular artists recorded albums at Electric Lady."From its inception, [Hendrix']s mother ship served as a rock, funk, disco and soul Olympus where gold and platinum hits were forged", Liesl Schillinger wrote in The Wall Street Journal.
Stevie Wonder used the studio extensively in the 1970s, when it became what he described as "the self-contained universe" for his work, wanting to depart from the "baby love" sound of his 1960s Motown recordings and "get as weird as possible". Among his recordings there were the 1972 albums Music of My Mind and Talking Book .
Others users included Led Zeppelin, Lou Reed, the Rolling Stones, and Blondie. In 1971, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, then with the New York rock band Wicked Lester, recorded demos at the studio. They returned a few years later to record Kiss's 1975 album Dressed to Kill .
In 1975, John Lennon and David Bowie held an improvisatory session at the studio that produced Bowie's hit single "Fame" for his Young Americans album. That same year, Patti Smith used the studio to record her debut album, Horses . In 1978, Nile Rodgers took his band Chic to Electric Lady and recorded the hit single "Le Freak".
"The enchantment held through the '80s and '90s, as AC/DC and the Clash showed up, then Billy Idol, the Cars, Weezer and Santana", Schillinger. wrote "The house that Jimi built welcomed them all."
From 1997 to the early 2000s, the Soulquarians, an experimental black music collective, held jam sessions and recorded albums at the studio, often drawing on the influence of Hendrix and Wonder's recordings.The period began in 1997, when the singer D'Angelo and drummer-producer Questlove (of The Roots) prepared to record Voodoo (2000). Their sessions at the studio over the next five years produced the Roots' albums Things Fall Apart (1999) and Phrenology (2002), singer Erykah Badu's second album Mama's Gun (2000), rapper Common's Like Water for Chocolate (2000) and Electric Circus (2002), and singer Bilal's debut album 1st Born Second (2001).
Questlove often acted as the director behind the sessions. "I tried to do all in my power that I could to bring people together – to bring Common to Electric Lady, have him record here whenever so that he could record with some of these other artists," he said in 2002. "You'd just come into [the studio's] A Room, you don't even know who has a session, but you call me: 'Who's down there?' 'Common's in there today.' So you come down, you order some food, sit down and bullshit, watch a movie, and then it's, 'Let's play something.' And I say, 'Who wants this [track]?' And it would be, 'I want it!' 'No, I want it!'"
Eventually, the Soulquarians' period at the studio ended, in part because labels declined to release the experimental music it was producing.Bilal held improvisatory jam sessions at the studio for his second album, Love for Sale , which the label hesitated to release, and then shelved after it leaked. Common's similarly experimental Electric Circus sold disappointingly, which discouraged his and the Roots' shared label, MCA Records, from letting the artistically free environment at the studio continue.
Producer Mark Ronson, who often visited Electric Lady during the "Soulquarian" period, said in 2015 that the studio's "glory-days era had sort of ended". Schillinger wrote that "after the Soulquarians had departed, the place had gone further downhill."
After years of financial hardship,the studio was taken over by investor Keith Stoltz and studio manager Lee Foster in 2010. They renovated and expanded the studio, adding a new mixing studio the second floor and turning the third into a self-contained unit including Studio C, a private lounge, and another mixing suite.
The studio has since been used by popular recording artists, such as Kanye West.Adele, Jay-Z, Keith Richards (for the 2011 expanded reissue of the Stones' Some Girls LP), Daft Punk (for their 2013 album Random Access Memories ), and U2 (for their 2014 album Songs of Innocence ). Mixing engineer Tom Elmhirst held a residency in Studio C, where in 2014 he mixed the Beck album Morning Phase; he has commented on the pace of work by saying "this place is a beating heart". Schillinger wrote in 2015 that "one day last winter, seven sessions proceeded simultaneously, including: Interpol in Studio A; Jon Batiste (the bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert ) in Studio B's live room; and Lana Del Rey, Rod Stewart and producer and singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys all working on the third floor."
On December 7, 2020, the band Bleachers, who had recorded the song "Chinatown" at the studio, released a performance video filmed on the roof of the building with Bruce Springsteen.
Electric Ladyland is the third and final studio album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the final studio album released in Hendrix's lifetime before his death in 1970. Released by Reprise Records in the United States on October 16, 1968, and by Track Records in the UK nine days later, the double album was the only record from the band produced by Hendrix. By mid-November, it had charted at number one in the US, where it spent two weeks at the top spot. Electric Ladyland was the Experience's most commercially successful release and their only number one album. It peaked at number six in the UK, where it spent 12 weeks on the chart.
Are You Experienced is the debut studio album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Released in 1967, the LP was an immediate critical and commercial success, and it is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time. The album features Jimi Hendrix's innovative approach to songwriting and electric guitar playing which soon established a new direction in psychedelic and hard rock music.
Bryan James "Chas" Chandler was an English musician, record producer and manager, best known as the original bassist in The Animals, for which he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. He also managed the band Slade, and Jimi Hendrix, about whom he was regularly interviewed until his death in 1996.
Edwin H. Kramer is a British recording producer and engineer. He has collaborated with several artists now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, including Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, the Kinks, Kiss, John Mellencamp, and Carlos Santana, as well as records for other well-known artists in various genres, including Anthrax, Joe Cocker, Loudness, Peter Frampton, John Mayall, Ten Years After, Mott the Hoople, John Sebastian, Carly Simon, Dionne Warwick, Small Faces, Sir Lord Baltimore and Whitesnake.
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A jam session is a relatively informal musical event, process, or activity where musicians, typically instrumentalists, play improvised solos and vamp over tunes, drones, songs, and chord progressions. To "jam" is to improvise music without extensive preparation or predefined arrangements, except for when the group is playing well-known jazz standards or covers of existing popular songs. Original jam sessions, also called "free flow sessions," are often used by musicians to develop new material (music) and find suitable arrangements. Both styles can be used simply as a social gathering and communal practice session. Jam sessions may be based upon existing songs or forms, may be loosely based on an agreed chord progression or chart suggested by one participant, or may be wholly improvisational. Jam sessions can range from very loose gatherings of amateurs to evenings where a jam session coordinator or host acts as a "gatekeeper" so that appropriate-level performers take the stage to sophisticated improvised recording sessions by professionals which are intended to be broadcast live on radio or TV or edited and released to the public.
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The Soulquarians were a rotating collective of experimental Black music artists active during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Members of the collective included singer and multi-instrumentalist D'Angelo, drummer and producer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, producer J Dilla, singer-songwriter Erykah Badu, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, keyboardist James Poyser, singer Bilal, bassist Pino Palladino, rapper-producers Q-Tip and Mos Def, and rappers Talib Kweli and Common. Prior to its formation, Q-Tip, Common, Mos Def, and Talib Kweli were members of the Native Tongues collective.
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"Mercy, Mercy" is a soul song first recorded by American singer/songwriter Don Covay in 1964. It established Covay's recording career and influenced later vocal and guitar styles. The songwriting is usually credited to Covay and Ron Alonzo Miller, although other co-writers' names have also appeared on various releases.
"Ezy Ryder" is a song written and recorded by American musician Jimi Hendrix. It is one of the few studio recordings to include both Buddy Miles on drums and Billy Cox on bass, with whom Hendrix recorded the live Band of Gypsys album (1970).
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James Kelly Robinson II was an American recording engineer, record producer and musician. He was best known for his engineering techniques with both analogue and digital audio recordings with prominent popular pop and rock records in American music from the late 1960s to the present. In addition to his recording expertise, Robinson was also an accomplished musician in his own right and had been awarded gold records as both a saxophonist and bass guitarist.
People, Hell and Angels is a posthumous compilation album by the American rock musician Jimi Hendrix. The fourth release under the Experience Hendrix deal with Legacy Recordings, it contains twelve previously unreleased recordings of tracks he was working on for the planned follow-up to Electric Ladyland. It was released on March 5, 2013.
American guitarist Jimi Hendrix intended to release his fourth studio album as a double or triple LP before Christmas 1970. From June to August 1970, he made good progress on the realization of the planned album in his new Electric Lady Studios. Many songs were mixed on 20, 22 and 24 August. Four of these mixes were regarded as definitive versions and were presented at the opening party of Electric Lady on 26 August. Hendrix died on September 18 that year, leaving behind an enormous number of unreleased recordings in various stages of completion. It is impossible to know what Hendrix would have changed and what he actually would have released, but there is some documentation of the album configurations he had in mind. While a good part of the designated tracks only needed some finishing touches, others only existed as rough recordings and for some titles no recordings are known at all. The Cry of Love (1971), Voodoo Soup (1995) and First Rays of the New Rising Sun (1997) are officially released attempts to reconstruct the planned album. First Rays of the New Rising Sun is usually regarded as closest to Hendrix's vision, but features a track that was probably never part of Hendrix's plans and omits some tracks that were definitely considered. All but one of the tracks that are known to have been recorded for the album have eventually been released in some shape or other on official albums.
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