Sound City (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dave Grohl|
|Produced by||Dave Grohl
James A. Rota
|Written by||Mark Monroe|
|Edited by||Paul Crowder|
In 1991 Nirvana recorded the album Nevermind at Sound City Studios. The band's drummer Dave Grohl was inspired to create the documentary after he purchased several items from the studio, including the Neve 8028 analog mixing console, when the studio closed in 2011.
Sound City Studios was located in the San Fernando Valley, amidst rows of dilapidated warehouses. The little-known recording studio housed a unique analog Neve recording console and had a reputation for recording drums. Artists such as Nirvana, Kyuss, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Rick Springfield, Tom Petty, Rage Against The Machine, and Slipknot recorded groundbreaking music at the studio. The film tells the story of the studio from its early days in 1969 until its closing in 2011. It then follows Dave Grohl's purchase of the studio's custom analog Neve console, which he moved to his personal studio, Studio 606. Rupert Neve is an English engineer who founded Neve Electronics in 1961, designed and manufactured the Neve 8028, "one of four in the world", and is interviewed by Grohl in the film. Famous musicians who recorded at Sound City reunite at Studio 606 for a jam session and to make an album of "all-new all-original songs, each one composed and recorded exclusively for the film within its own 24-hour session on that console." It also shows album covers by some bands: Red Hot Chili Peppers's One Hot Minute, Nirvana's Incesticide and Nevermind, Rage Against The Machine's self-titled album and many others.
The film was first exhibited in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival on January 18, 2013, and released on video-on-demand and in theaters on February 1, 2013. It was screened on January 31 in five Australian cities (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth). The documentary was also screened in three cities in Canada (Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal) and 51 cities in the United States. The film was screened for a one-off showing on February 18, 2013 in 23 theaters across the United Kingdom.
After the closing credits there is a short, silent segment of a home movie showing a band getting set up. The picture freezes on one person and the following text appears: "In memory of Brian Hauge (1970 – 2012)." He was the key grip of the film.
- Vinny Appice
- Frank Black
- Lindsey Buckingham
- Johnny Cash (archival)
- Kurt Cobain (archival)
- Kevin Cronin
- Rivers Cuomo
- Warren DeMartini
- Mick Fleetwood
- John Fogerty
- Neil Giraldo
- Chris Goss
- Josh Homme
- Alain Johannes
- Jim Keltner
- Barry Manilow
- Paul McCartney
- Rupert Neve
- Stevie Nicks
- Rick Nielsen
- Krist Novoselic
- Stephen Pearcy
- Tom Petty
- Nick Raskulinecz
- Trent Reznor
- Ross Robinson
- Rick Rubin
- Jim Scott
- Pat Smear
- Rick Springfield
- Corey Taylor
- Benmont Tench
- Lars Ulrich
- Butch Vig
- Lee Ving
- Brad Wilk
- Neil Young
- Robert Levon Been
Current or former members of the bands Dio, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, Pixies, Fleetwood Mac, Nirvana, REO Speedwagon, Weezer, Ratt, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, The Beatles, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, Stone Sour, Metallica, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Fear, Foo Fighters and Rage Against The Machine appeared in the film.
The drummer of Foo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins, also appeared in the film.
Sound City received overwhelmingly positive reviews. Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 100% of critics gave the film a positive review based on 41 reviews, with a weighted average of 7.7/10. The site's consensus states: "Smart, affectionate, and unabashedly sincere, Sound City pairs a great soundtrack with a well-argued ode to one of rock 'n' roll's most fondly remembered bygone eras." It was one of the highest rated limited release and documentary movies of the year on the website. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 based on reviews from critics, the film has a score of 76 based on reviews from 15 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Kenneth Turan from Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review, saying "High-spirited, emotional and funny, Sound City is, of all things, a mash note to a machine. Not just any machine, however, but one that helped change the face of rock 'n' roll." In a review for The Daily Telegraph, Sebastian Doggart awarded the documentary five out of five stars and proclaimed it as "an exhilarating exploration of the creative process." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone admits "In his directing debut, Dave Grohl shows the instincts of a real filmmaker. Sound City hits you like a shot in the heart." Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic remarks "Sound City is a music geek's dream, a rollicking look at a dumpy California studio where a lot of musicians found magic. It's also a bit of a mess, like all good rock and roll ought to be.", while Elizabeth Weitzman of New York Daily News praised that "Grohl's aim is to explore the aura of a place, but what he winds up proving is that people make the magic."
Nevertheless Phil Gallo from Billboard stated "Grohl's inexperience as a filmmaker only shows when the film makes a sharp turn out of history and into the more recent past: There's a sense that instead of celebrating great rock 'n' roll moments, a product is about to be pitched at the viewer."
Sound City: Real to Reel is the official soundtrack of the documentary and was released on March 12, 2013. The songs "Cut Me Some Slack", "From Can to Can't", "You Can't Fix This" and "Mantra" were made available on Sound City's official YouTube channel on December 14, 2012, January 15, 2013, February 15, 2013 and March 8, 2013, respectively.
- Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways, 2014 television series by Grohl inspired by Sound City
- "Sound City". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
- Sound City at the Internet Movie Database.
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- Filbin, Patrick (April 9, 2013). "Rock Docs: Sound City (2013)". Buzz Weekly. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- "Rupert Neve. Self". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
- "Sound City: Real To Reel - Editorial Reviews". Amazon.com. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
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- Gallagher, Brian. "Sound City Confirmed for Theatrical and VOD Release February 1, 2013". MovieWeb. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
- Mann, Tom (January 21, 2013). "Dave Grohl's Sound City movie to screen in Australia 'for one night only'". FasterLouder. FasterLouder Pty Ltd. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
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- Screenshot from http://www.torrentino.com/torrents/1436661. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
- "Sound City (2013) Full Cast & Crew - Camera and Electrical Department". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
- Halperin, Shirley (December 9, 2012). "Dave Grohl Writes Letter to Fans: Sound City Doc 'Is My Life's Most Important Work'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
- "Cast - Sound City". soundcitymovie.com. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
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- "The 15th Annual Golden Tomato Awards". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- "The 15th Annual Golden Tomato Awards". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- "Sound City Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
- Movie review: Sound City is homage to recording studio equipment. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- Dave Grohl's Sound City Players, Sundance Film Festival, review. Daily Telegraph. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
- Sound City | Movie Review. Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- Sound City, 4 stars. The Arizona Republic. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- Movie review: Sound City. Daily News (New York). Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- Gallo, Phil (January 18, 2013). "Sound City Review: Dave Grohl Shines His Light on a 'Dumpy' Mecca". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
- Official website
- on channelYouTube
- Official website on Facebook
- Official website on Twitter
- Sound City at the Internet Movie Database
- Sound City at Box Office Mojo
- Sound City at Rotten Tomatoes
- Sound City at Metacritic
- Sound City review at AllMovie by Mark Deming (rating 4/5)
- on YouTube
- Gallo, Phil (January 19, 2013). "Dave Grohl's Sound City Players Tear It Up at Sundance". Billboard. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
- Gallo, Phil (January 24, 2013). "Dave Grohl on Sound City, More Players Shows and Keeping Paul McCartney Secret". Billboard. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
- Gallo, Phil (February 4, 2013). "Dave Grohl's Sound City: The Billboard Cover Story". Billboard. Retrieved April 5, 2013.