The post-war optimism of the late fifties and sixties was the kick-off point to a new phase of the music business, when choosing the right Los Angeles recording studio was critical to an artist’s success. For example, in 1966, the Beach Boys released the influential pop song Good Vibrations—an expensive piece for which Wilson had used up 90 hours of tape from 17 separate recording dates with LA’s top session musicians and producers. It became a number one hit in the United States and the UK.
Though Los Angeles recording studios played a key role in the Golden Age of Rock ‘n Roll– when album rock became the dominant force in popular music through the rest of the twentieth century—LA is still the place to be.
LA still draws musicians from all over the globe.
Los Angeles has been a mecca for musicians for decades, but particularly solo artists. According to an article by Richard Florida, published in citylab.com, they make up 70 per cent of Los Angeles-produced stars. And only four per cent of them were born there. Twenty per cent were based there when they broke.
Together, New York, London, and Los Angeles make up 63.2 percent of pop’s biggest hit-makers around the globe, from 1950 to 2014. The city had shifted from Chet Baker and Perry Como in the 1950s to the Byrds, Beach Boys, and Doors in the ‘60s to the Jacksons in the ‘70s, then to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Black Eyed Peas, and later to Bruno Mars and Maroon 5.
LA still has second-to-none facilities.
The iconic recording studios of the fifties and sixties have grown with technology, but still boast an enviable supply of well-known local session musicians and impressive gear. Like the Evergreen Stage, for example. Located on Magnolia Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, the Evergreen is familiar to hundreds of Hollywood musicians and is one of the largest independent sound stages in the Greater Los Angeles area, not to mention one of the most well-equipped and technically-advanced.
Formerly owned by DiaDan Holdings Limited of Nova Scotia, the Evergreen has been open since 1979 and features a 3,000 square foot live room which has hosted some of the world’s best performers of the twentieth century and into the new millennium. DiaDan Holdings Limited purchased the studio in 2010 and owned it until 2017.
It still has the same sun-drenched energy.
Despite its reputation for being an expensive city to live in, let alone to record music, Southern California maintains its cool vibe. The sixties-image of convertibles, palm trees, bikinis, and surfboards remain, except now the kids are listening to their music on cell phones rather than transistor radios. As LA-based musician Colin Orthmann writes, being a musician in LA is exciting because of the scope of possibility. He is able to connect to a wide variety of like-minded people across musical genres. Those who are willing to work hard earn the thrill of creating something new in a beautiful and historic setting. And that’s something that never changes.