The studio hosted the recording of many classic albums, by such artists as Incredible Bongo Band, Heart, Bachman–Turner Overdrive, Loverboy, Queensrÿche, Chilliwack, Doucette, Skinny Puppy, 54-40, Spirit of the West, Jane Siberry, Sarah McLachlan, SNFU, Tegan and Sara, Mutators, and Rymes With Orange.
In 1946, aided by Al Reusch, a musician, big band leader, and one of the first DJs in Vancouver, opened one of the first recording studios in the country in Vancouver and christened Aragon Recording Studios. By 1954, Reusch had acquired sole ownership of the company and subsequently built Mushroom Studios in 1966 at 1234 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver.
Built from the ground up as a first class audio recording studio, the facility was originally an orchestral recording room for special sessions by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Author of The Audio Cyclopedia and award-winning acoustician Dr. Howard Tremaine consulted on the original acoustic design and equipment installation, which led to Diana Ross and The Supremes becoming some of the first clients, followed shortly by Led Zeppelin.
Sale to Herschorn
As Reusch apparently did not like the idea of recording post-Beatles rock and roll, he sold the facility within five years to Jack Herschorn, who had previously co-founded Studio 3 on West 12th Avenue with Tom Northcott. The sale materialized in the spring of 1971.
In a sponsorship deal, the studios were named "Can-Base Studios". Herschorn appointed Mike Flicker as Chief Engineer, Howard Leese as program manager and Charlie Richmond as Head Technical Advisor.
In 1971, Herschorn brought the original Universal Audio vacuum tube mixing console along with other purchases formerly housed at United Western Recorders north to Vancouver and installed in Aragon. Custom built by engineer Bill Putnam, it had been housed in Studio A at 6050 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood since 1957, and had recorded hundreds of hits by such artists as Bing Crosby, Nat "King" Cole, Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles.
Can-Base was later renamed to "Mushroom Studios" after the recording label that was originally housed there. The studio gained prominence when Heart's hit debut album Dreamboat Annie was recorded at the studio and subsequently released on their in-house label Mushroom Records.
The studio was purchased by Charlie Richmond in 1980 and updated to accommodate over 50 musicians in semi-isolated concert format to do film scoring for dozens of feature films and movies of the week from Chuck Norris to a redo of The Dirty Dozen. The studio was recognized for the film score album of Top Gun.
In 2006, Rob Darch, owner of Hipposonic Studios, bought the building but not the equipment therein and rechristened it to Hippowest.
For four years, the original equipment remained at Hippowest for clients' use, but at the end of 2010, the console and all electronic gear were moved cross country to a new location on Queen Street West in Toronto, Ontario, custom installed and is currently operated by a team at Mushroom under the guidance of John Wozniak.
- Michael Bennett (30 September 1972). "Western Canada:Activity abounds on all fronts". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.: 48–. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "How Vancouver's Mushroom Studios Gave Birth To Apache, the "national anthem of hip-hop"". Vancouver Sun. 25 March 2013.
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