Le Studio

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Logo of Le Studio

Le Studio (later renamed Studio Morin Heights) was a residential recording studio located just south of the town of Morin-Heights, Quebec built in 1974 by André Perry and Yaël Brandeis. The studio, where artists recorded and stayed, was the venue for many notable Canadian and international artists, including Rush (it was nicknamed "Rush's Abbey Road"[1]) and The Police. Renowned for its location as well as its state of the art equipment,[2] it was one of the earliest studios to install Solid State Logic mixing tables and RADAR digital recording equipment.[3] By 2008 the studio had gone out of business.

History[edit]

André Perry gained fame as a recording engineer working for John Lennon, and in 1974 was looking to expand his studio, a four-track studio venue in Montreal. He moved to Morin Heights, where he owned a lake, and built his studio there,[3] with his wife Yaël Brandeis. The idea was to give recording artists a venue where they could record and live in a creative atmosphere, near the Laurentian Mountains:[4] The Bee Gees, who recorded Children of the World (1976) at Le Studio, stayed for five months.[5] Initially it had a guesthouse, a half an hour away, but it was burned down accidentally by Roy Thomas Baker and Ian Hunter, according to studio designer and engineer Nick Blagona. Later on a house across the lake was acquired and expanded.[5] By the early 1980s it had acquired a reputation as a premium North American recording venue, after Rush, David Bowie, and April Wine had recorded albums there.[6]

In 1986 Le Studio issued stock on the Montreal Exchange looking to acquire funding for building a second studio, with audio and video capabilities, in the US state of Washington. 1.1 million shares valued at $3.50 were sold. Perry and Brandeis retained majority interests. They spent $500,000 on a Quantel Mirage digital video effects unit, hoping to install more equipment to allow the recording of sound effects and film music, as well as a Synclavier room.[7]

In 1988 Perry and Brandeis sold the studio,[8] and Perry retired in the early 1990s. The studio, by then called Studio Morin Heights, was acquired in 1993 by L'Equipe Spectra, an entertainment company that had a number of local artists on record. Rush and other bands continued to do their tracking there. The new owners also built a new studio room, called "Far Side", which offered a digital RADAR audio recorder and allowed local bands with modest budgets to benefit from the amenities.[3] The 233-acre (0.94 km2) site was listed for sale in July 2007, with an asking price of C$2.45 million.[9] By 2008 it had shut down.[8] The property remained for sale until 2009, when the land was purchased with the intent to convert the area to a retreat and spa.

Other international artists to record at Le Studio include Nazareth, The Police, Sting, Cat Stevens, The Bee Gees, Keith Richards, Kim Mitchell and Bryan Adams.[citation needed] Rush recorded at Le Studio during "the peak and the end" of the Terry Brown era.[10]

The engineering staff included Nick Blagona,[5] Ed Stasium, Leanne Unger, Paul Northfield.

The house and grounds are featured in the music videos of the recording sessions of the Rush songs "Tom Sawyer",[11] "Limelight" and "Vital Signs".[12] The studio is also seen in April Wine's music video for "I Like to Rock."

Albums recorded at Le Studio[edit]

Title Artist Year released
Numbers Cat Stevens 1975
Children of the World The Bee Gees 1976
Morin Heights (named for the studio[13]) Pilot 1976
1 fois 5 (enregistrement devant public) Robert Charlebois, Yvon Deschamps, Jean-Pierre Ferland, Claude Léveillée et Gilles Vigneault 1976
Lavender Hill Mob Lavender Hill Mob 1976
Vladimir Vysotsky Vladimir Vysotsky 1976
Fountains of Light Starcastle 1977
Expect No Mercy Nazareth 1977
Street of Dreams Lavender Hill Mob 1978
Safety in Numbers Crack the Sky 1978
Chicago 13 Chicago 1979
Harder ..... Faster April Wine 1979
Permanent Waves[14] Rush 1980
Thrillz Walter Zwol & The Rage 1980
Ghost in the Machine
- "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" song only
The Police 1981
Moving Pictures[15] Rush 1981
You Want It You Got It Bryan Adams 1981
Signals Rush 1982
Straight Between the Eyes Rainbow 1982
Synchronicity (overdubs) The Police 1983
Alpha Asia 1983
In The Red Fist 1983
Grace Under Pressure[16] Rush 1984
Tonight[17] David Bowie 1984
Boy in the Box Corey Hart 1985
The Thin Red Line Glass Tiger 1986
Shakin' Like a Human Being Kim Mitchell 1986
Between The Earth & Sky Luba 1986
Operation: Mindcrime Queensrÿche 1988
Secrets of the Alibi The Northern Pikes 1988
Big Houses Eight Seconds 1988
Talk Is Cheap Keith Richards 1988
Sur Le Chemin des Incendies Paul Piché 1988
Presto Rush 1989
Hell to Pay The Jeff Healey Band 1990
Roll the Bones Rush 1991
Gordon Barenaked Ladies[18] 1992
...but you can call me Larry Lawrence Gowan 1993
Counterparts Rush 1993
Fumbling Towards Ecstasy Sarah McLachlan 1994
Circle Of One Julie Masse 1994
Matapédia Kate and Anna McGarrigle 1996
Creature Moist 1996
Fascinoma Jon Hassell 1999
Since August Since August 2000
The Interzone Mantras The Tea Party 2001
Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome To The Tangiers Soap Opera 2002

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mobley 259.
  2. ^ Myers 95-96.
  3. ^ a b c Verna, Paul (25 February 1995). "Studio Morin Heights Reaches Far: Quebec Facility Embraces Int'l, Local Acts". Billboard. pp. 91–91. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  4. ^ Mobley 259-62.
  5. ^ a b c Peacock, Ted (July 2011). "Interview with Nick Blagona". Journal on the Art of Record Production 5. ISSN 1754-9892. 
  6. ^ Sharp 69.
  7. ^ LaPointe, Kirk (16 August 1986). "Le Studio Issues Stock on Montreal Exchange". Billboard. pp. 72–73. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Mobley 262.
  9. ^ Sale brochure The property was still for sale as of November, 2008
  10. ^ Mobley 260.
  11. ^ Mobley 260.
  12. ^ NeilPeart.net - News posting April 26, 2006
  13. ^ "Canada! Quebec Scene Reflects Rich Diversity". Billboard. 2 October 1976. pp. C8–9, 12, 20. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  14. ^ Popoff 79-80.
  15. ^ Popoff 94.
  16. ^ Popoff 110-11.
  17. ^ Trynka 432.
  18. ^ Myers 93ff.

Bibliography[edit]

Coordinates: 45°52′34″N 74°16′11″W / 45.876137°N 74.269848°W / 45.876137; -74.269848