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Polar Studios is one of the most famous recording studios in Scandinavia. Originally located in a former movie theater from 1934 at Sankt Eriksgatan 58-60 on Kungsholmen in Stockholm, Sweden, Polar Studios was founded by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA in 1977 and had its grand opening on May 18 the year after.
Led Zeppelin recorded their 1979 studio album, In Through the Out Door, at Polar Studios a few months after its grand opening. Artists such as the Ramones, Rammstein, Roxy Music, Genesis, Adam Ant, Backstreet Boys, Beastie Boys, Belinda Carlisle, Burt Bacharach, Franki, Celine Dion, Roxette, Terra Firma, Entombed, The Hellacopters, Joan Armatrading, and many major Swedish artists have worked at Polar Studios.
The studio was generally regarded as one of the world's finest, and its centrepiece was a Harrison mixing console, which was modified by technician Leif Mases to give it a unique sound, that in some respects resembled a Neve. ABBA's 1981 album The Visitors marked a turning point for Polar, as it was recorded on the studio's new 3M digital recorder, thus becoming one of the first digital mainstream pop records.
The interior of the studios provided the backdrop to ABBA's "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" video in 1979, more than a year after they had opened in 1978. ABBA were depicted as though they were recording the song. In reality, the recording was already complete but it provided a glimpse of what it was like to work in the Studios. It is thought that ABBA, preparing for a major tour, did not have time to film a video in a film studio so the Polar Studios were used instead. On the same day, the Spanish language video "Estoy Soñando" was also filmed there.
Polar Studios closed its doors in 2004 to reopen at a new location, King Side, Stockholm, Sweden. Today SATS, a gymnasium, is located on the studio's first floor.
- ABBA. Das Sonderheft, Rock Classics 10 (2013) p. 70f.
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