1991 – The Record Plant in Hollywood closes. Among…

The Record Plant

1991 – The Record Plant in Hollywood closes. Among the albums recorded at the recording studio and rock hangout were the Eagles’ “Hotel California,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” and Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life.”

Note: it has since, reopened.

Record Plant Studios (also known as just “The Record Plant”) is a famous recording studio, first opening in New York City at 321 West 44th Street map, in 1968. The next year, they opened a studio in Los Angeles. In 1972, the studio also opened up in Sausalito, California. Originally all 3 locations were run under the same company. In the 1980’s, the New York and Sausalito studios ended up under different management and the Los Angeles studio became the main studio. The Los Angeles and Sausalito studios are currently owned and managed separately, and the New York studio has closed down. The Los Angeles studio is known as “The Record Plant”, and the Sausalito studio is known as “The Plant.”

The first album recorded at the Record Plant in New York was Electric Ladyland by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, released in 1968. Through the years, hundreds of albums were first cut there. During the 1970’s, house engineers Shelley Yakus and Roy Cicala gave many local bands their start by donating session time and materials to upcoming artists, engineering and producing their demo tapes.

A long list of Award winning American music has been written and recorded in the Sausalito studio, more than any other singular structure in Sausalito and/or Marin County. The Plant Studios has hosted musical artists in virtually all musical genres: Rock-and-roll, reggae, country music, jazz, punk, blues, folk, soul, zydeco, hip-hop and rockabilly.

Management Changes
The Sausalito studio was possessed by the government in the 1980’s and was purchased from the government by Bob Skye in 1986. The Sausalito studio has been managed separately from the Los Angeles studio since then. The Sausalito studio changed its name to “The Plant Studios.”

In 1987, the New York studio was sold to Sir George Martin and closed soon afterwards.

Selected list of albums recorded at Record Plant New York (by year)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Ladyland – 1967-68
The Soft Machine: The Soft Machine – 1968
John Lennon: Imagine – 1971
Aerosmith: Get Your Wings – 1973-74
Bruce Springsteen: Born to Run – 1974-75
Artful Dodger: Artful Dodger Honor Amoung Thieves 1975-76
The Outlaws: Outlaws – 1975
Aerosmith: Toys in the Attic – 1975
Moxy: Ridin’ High – 1977
Artful Dodger: Babes On Broadway 1977
Bruce Springsteen: Darkness on the Edge of Town – 1977-78
Patti Smith Group: Easter – 1978
David Bowie: Lodger – 1979
John Lennon & Yoko Ono: Double Fantasy – 1980
Note: The Who initially recorded their album Who’s Next at the Record Plant, but the recordings weren’t useful for release. Ultimately The Who recorded Who’s Next at the Olympic Studios in London.


Producers and engineers associated with Record Plant New York

Gary Kellgren (co-founder and engineer)
Shelly Yakus (house engineer)
Roy Cicala (house engineer)
Mitchell Plotkin (studio manager)
Ray Colcord (producer)
Jack Douglas (producer)
Jimmy Iovine (engineer and producer)
Jay Messina (engineer)
Frank Hubach (engineer)
Jason Sapan (associate engineer)
Richie Apuzzo (associate engineer)
Rod O’Brien (associate engineer)
Corky Stasiak (associate engineer)
David Thoener (associate engineer)
Tom Rabstenek (mastering engineer)
Greg Calbi (mastering engineer)
Paul Prestopino (maintenance technician)
Kooster McCallister (remote recording engineer)
David Hewitt (remote recording engineer)

Selected list of albums recorded at Record Plant Los Angeles (by year)
Black Sabbath: Master of Reality – 1971
Black Sabbath: Black Sabbath Vol. 4′ – 1972
Fleetwood Mac: Rumours – 1976
Brian May + Friends: Star Fleet Project – 1983
Queen: The Works – 1984
REO Speedwagon – 1979
Rod Stewart – 1979

Well-known albums recorded at The Record Plant Studios Sausalito
Some notable albums recorded and/or mixed at The Plant Studios include:

Supernatural by Carlos Santana (1999)
Rumours by Fleetwood Mac (1976)
Graffiti Bridge by Prince (1990)
Centerfield by John Fogerty (1985)
Emotions by Mariah Carey (1991)
Music Box by Mariah Carey (1993)
Sports by Huey Lewis and the News (1983)
Before These Crowded Streets and Busted Stuff by Dave Matthews Band (1998, 2002)
Load by Metallica (1996)
ReLoad by Metallica (1997)
White Pony by Deftones (2000)
Live Lycanthropy by Papa Wheelie (2002)

Bay Area musicians recorded at The Record Plant Studios Sausalito
The Plant Studios has been the choice for many of the San Francisco Bay Area’s recording artists, both locally grown and transplanted, world-renowned and not, including:

Sly and the Family Stone
Tower of Power
Santana
Metallica
Train
Jefferson Starship
4 Non Blondes
Huey Lewis and the News
Van Morrison
John Lee Hooker
The Doobie Brothers
Too Short
Kronos Quartet
Sammy Hagar
Journey
John Fogerty
The Donnas
Chris Isaak
Roy Rogers
Primus
Charles Brown
Ronnie Montrose
Bob Weir
The Grateful Dead
Tony! Toni! Tone!
Tracy Chapman
Papa Wheelie
Zero
Michael Franti / Spearhead
E-40
Crystal City
Rick James

Artists from around the world
Some of the more famous names who have made the pigrimage to this historic studio to record and/or mixed albums at The Plant Studios Sausalito are:

Bob Marley
Aretha Franklin
Dave Matthews Band
Luther Vandross
Candlebox
The Blind Boys of Alabama
Andrea Bocelli
Peabo Bryson
Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch
Zakir Hussain
Dan Fogelberg
Joe Satriani
Faith No More
Oysterhead
Echobrain
Papa Wheelie
Rusted Root
Big Head Todd and the Monsters
The Breeders
The Deftones
Mariah Carey
Elisa Toffoli (“Then Comes the Sun”, recorded spring/summer 2002)
Michael Bolton
Carrie Underwood
Sonia Dada
American Music Club
Zucchero Forniciari
Kenny Wayne Shephard
Kenny G
Prince
Mother Love Bone
String Cheese Incident
Drivin’ and Cryin’
Peter Frampton

Charitable causes
The Plant Studios is known for supporting numerous charitable causes, especially music-related endeavors, like:

hosting recording sessions for children in the Little Kids Rock program
donating tracks to benefit albums like KFOG radio station’s long-running Live From The Archives series which raises funds for the Bay Area Food Bank and homeless shelters.
hosting recording sessions for relief efforts (Hurricane Katrina)
organizing a “Hair Harvest” from the long-haired musician types for Locks of Love, who provide wigs for children who have lost their hair due to illness.

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