Posts Tagged ‘The Rolling Stones’

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This earliest known footage of The Rolling Stones as they perform their landmark hit, ‘(I Can’t Get no) Satisfaction’ for a riotous crowd back in 1965. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman give an electric performance of their iconic song. What’s more, unlike other footage from this time, you can actually hear them too.

Far too often on the vintage video of our favourite acts from the sixties scene, it can be awfully hard to actually hear the band, such is the ferocity of screams emanating from the girls in the audience. The high-pitched wail of teenage fandom is a permanent fixture on much of The Rolling Stones’ early footage.

In the clip below, provided by Reelin’ In The Years, we are treated to a real vintage performance. In ’65, audiences were expected to sit quietly when artists performed on stage and in the clip you can see a few people bouncing up and down in excitement. Somehow though, unlike most of their audiences at this time, the crowd stick to the rules. Only a few years later and all gigs were encouraged to have standing tickets when presenting rock and roll acts. While it may make for odd viewing in 2020, it does allow us a more accurate feeling of the Stones’ performing power. Lest we forget, unlike The Beatles who largely gave up touring because of fears for their safety, the Stones have always taken a fiery live set on the road. In 1965, they were honing their talent.

Yet they still possess all the power and commanding energy that would see them sit at the top of the pile of live acts for decades. Jagger is a potent force on stage, with a gigantic retro mic, the singer prowls the stage connecting with his audience and garnering screams and faux-fainting whichever corner he visited.

This clip is from one of the earliest known filmed live concert performances of the Stones. This is unique from the standpoint that there aren’t the typical throngs of screaming girls in the audience and so you can actually hear what they’re playing. The best bit about the video is the clear image of the future that lay before them. On reflection, the song is so far ahead of its time. It may hark back to the Delta blues that permeated all the Stones’ record collections, but the track is pure seventies glamour, wrapped up in a revolutionary guise. It’s bolshy and unabashed. It’s everything the Stones were about to become.

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The Rolling Stones’ groundbreaking multi-platinum selling album “Let It Bleed” was released in late 1969, charting at No#1 in the UK and No#3 in the US. The Rolling Stones, at this point already a critically and commercially dominant force, composed and recorded their eighth long player (tenth for the U.S.) amidst both geopolitical and personal turmoil. The second of four Rolling Stones albums made with producer Jimmy Miller (Traffic, Blind Faith), “Let It Bleed” perfectly captures the ominous spirit of the times with “Gimme Shelter,” the opening track. The 2019 remaster has been engineered by eleven-time Grammy®-winning mastering engineer Bob Ludwig.

Let It Bleed (50th Anniversary Limited Deluxe Edition) includes the remastered album in Stereo and Mono on both vinyl and Hybrid SACD, and a reproduction of the 1969 7” mono single of “Honky Tonk Women”/ ”You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” in a picture sleeve. The box set also comes with three 12” x 12” hand-numbered replica-signed lithographs printed on embossed archival paper, a full-color 23” x 23” poster with restored art from the original 1969 Decca Records package, and an 80 page hardcover book with never-before-seen photos by the band’s tour photographer Ethan Russell and an essay by journalist David Fricke.

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“Bridges To Buenos Aires” is the latest concert film release from The Rolling Stones’ archive. The full-length show from their five night sell-out residency at the River Plate Stadium in Argentina’s capital city has been restored in full, and features a very special guest appearance from Bob Dylan.

Filmed on April 5th 1998, by this point, the band had played to over two million people on the first two legs of the tour in North America and Japan. Amongst many highlights in this show, special guest Bob Dylan joins the band onstage at River Plate for a unique performance of his classic ‘Like A Rolling Stone’. The band only played a further two dates in South America on the triumphant, year long Bridges To Babylon tour, before they headed back to North America, and Europe.

Filmed on April 5th 1998, by this point, the band had played to over two million people on the first two legs of the tour in North America and Japan. Amongst many highlights in this show, special guest Bob Dylan joins the band onstage at River Plate for a unique performance of his classic ‘Like A Rolling Stone’. The band only played a further two dates in South America on the triumphant, year long Bridges To Babylon tour, before they headed back to North America, and Europe.

A new trailer for Bridges to Buenos Aires features a few snippets of Dylan’s appearance, while it also teases renditions of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Flip the Switch” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

Bridges to Buenos Aires is to be released as a two CD set with either a DVD or Blu-ray. It will also be issued on digital video, digital audio and a limited edition translucent blue, 180 gram triple vinyl LP. The concert film was restored from the original master tapes, while the audio was remixed and remastered from the live multitrack recordings.

The band only played a further two dates in South America on the triumphant, year long Bridges To Babylon tour, before they headed back to North America, and Europe.

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After being forced to postpone their ‘No Filter’ North American tour due to Mick Jagger’s heart surgery, the Rolling Stones kicked off their 2019 summer trek last night (June 21st) with a performance at Soldier Field in Chicago. 

They band had to shake off some understandable early-show rust and sound issues. Jagger even admitted that first nights are always “a little wobbly,” then proved it by forgetting to introduce longtime keyboardist Chuck Leavell, but he otherwise showed no signs that he was about to turn 75 in a month and had heart surgery two months ago. He was his usual energetic self, strutting across the stage, including the long walkway down the center and two shorter ones on the sides, throughout the entire show. The closest he came to acknowledging his health issues was saying that they loved Chicago so much that they decided to open here instead of Miami.

But the band found their groove after a stripped down mid-show set at the end of the center walkway, similar to the mini-stage on the Bridges to Babylon tour, and they finished with strong takes on “Midnight Rambler,” “Start Me Up,” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”

The set design was surprisingly stripped back. The elaborate concepts of the past ( the Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle and Voodoo Lounge sets) were replaced by four tall, rectangular video screens, with the outer ones angled to give those on the sides a better view. The only other adornment was a clear canopy over the stage, presumably in case of the rain that was expected, but never got beyond a drizzle before they took the stage. It was almost, to use a word rarely applied to the Stones, elegant. ‘Street Fighting Man’ was the first anthem for the Rolling Stones first show of the No Filter 2019 tour in Chicago.

The Rolling Stones had originally scheduled touring around the April release of their latest “Honk” compilation album. The band was forced to postpone the previously announced dates while Jagger dealt with health issues. The frontman required “minimally invasive” heart surgery, with tour plans left on hold while he recovered. At the time, Jagger expressed frustration that his medical matters had interfered with touring, saying he was “so sorry to all our fans in America & Canada with tickets. I really hate letting you down like this. I’m devastated for having to postpone the tour but I will be working very hard to be back on the road as soon as I can.”

Then, of course, there’s the discussion of new music. The Stones have not released an album of new material since 2005 (2016’s Blue & Lonesome which was a covers album). Jagger previously said he had “lots of stuff” for a new release, with Keith Richards even suggesting that a new Stones LP could come out in 2019. What affect Jagger’s medical issues have had on the creative process is anyone’s guess, but fans remain hopeful that a new album will see the light of day soon.

While the Stones may not be thinking about retiring, their sponsor believes fans should be. The Alliance for Lifetime Income, a non-profit aimed at helping people financially plan for their retirement, is the sole sponsor of the ‘No Filter’ North American tour.

In May, Jagger posted a video of himself dancing in front of a studio mirror, building fan excitement that the frontman was once again performance-ready. Indeed, just a day later the band announced their rescheduled ‘No Filter’ dates. The trek will keep the band busy through the end of August.

The Rolling Stones setlist: Chicago, 21st June 2019

Street Fighting Man (from Beggars Banquet, 1968)
Let’s Spend The Night Together (from Between the Buttons, 1967)
Tumbling Dice (from Exile on Main Street, 1972)
Sad Sad Sad (from Steel Wheels, 1989)
Ride ‘Em On Down (from Blue and Lonesome, 2016)
You Got Me Rocking (from Voodoo Lounge, 1994)
Angie (from Goats Head Soup, 1973)
You Can’t Always Get What You Want (from Let It Bleed, 1969)
Sympathy for the Devil (from Beggars Banquet, 1968)
Honky Tonk Women (single, 1969)
You Got The Silver (from Let It Bleed, 1969)
Before They Make Me Run (from Some Girls, 1978)
Miss You (from Some Girls, 1978)
Paint It Black (from Aftermath, 1966)
Midnight Rambler (from Let It Bleed, 1969)
Jumpin’ Jack Flash (single, 1968)
Brown Sugar (from Sticky Fingers, 1971)

Gimme Shelter (from Let It Bleed, 1969)
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (from Out of our Heads, 1965)

For over two decades, “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus” was a lost film, unfinished and unseen, more rumor than pop culture memory. In theory, it captured a lot of what anyone might desire in a rock ‘n’ roll movie from London circa 1968: the Stones, the Who, John Lennon, Eric Clapton and more.

On a sound stage designed like the inside of a circus big top, each of the musicians performed at the height of their powers while mingling with trapeze artists, fire-eaters and other semi-dazzling acts from a traveling circus. “The clowns and the Rolling Stones got along very well,” recalls the film’s director, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, 78.

Yet the film’s planned television premiere was delayed indefinitely for one reason: The Stones thought the Who’s performance was better.

It took 28 years, but the Stones came around in time for Lindsay-Hogg to finish the legendary rock film for a 1996 premiere at the New York Film Festival and release on home video. “You had these little explosions of greatness in the room,” says Lindsay-Hogg of the two-day shoot, “and the Rolling Stones recognized that.”

Now, in time for the North American leg of the Stones’ ongoing No Filter Tour, “Circus” has been remastered for a limited U.S. theatrical run during the first week of April. Last week, Lindsay-Hogg, who now lives in Los Angeles, attended a private screening in Hollywood of the film, recast in vivid Dolby Vision color and Dolby Atmos sound.

“I was thrilled by it anew, which I hadn’t been for a long time,” says Lindsay-Hogg, whose career began in England as director on the ’60s music show “Ready Steady Go!,” where the camerawork could be as frenzied as the acts onstage.

He also directed music videos for the Stones, Beatles and the Who, and made the intimate Beatles documentary “Let It Be.” In the pipeline is a long-awaited restoration of the 1970 Beatles film, which will follow an entirely new film being assembled from the same 55 hours of footage by New Zealand director Peter Jackson. Attending the “Circus” screening was Brett Morgen, director of 2015’s acclaimed “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” and his own Stones documentary, 2012’s “Crossfire Hurricane.” In an onstage Q&A with Lindsay-Hogg following the film, Morgen celebrated the filmmaker’s essential work with these epochal musical figures.

“The man defined the image that so many of us have of the Stones and the Beatles,” Morgen said in an interview with The Times. “He created a new language. You look at the ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ video and what he did is as innovative as what Busby Berkeley did to the musical.”

In “Circus,” the Stones performed several songs from the just-completed “Beggar’s Banquet,” the first of four consecutive album milestones that defined the band’s greatest work. There was also Lennon leading a supergroup he called the Dirty Mac, with Eric Clapton on guitar, Keith Richards on bass, and drummer Mitch Mitchell from the Jimi Hendrix Experience performing a new Beatles song, “Yer Blues.” Yoko Ono then joined for an improvisational jam. Other performers included Marianne Faithfull, Taj Mahal and Jethro Tull. The Who’s playful reading of the mini-rock opera “A Quick One While He’s Away” was close to perfect. Jagger had personally invited all of them.

“In those days, rock ‘n’ roll bands would arrive late. You’d schedule something for 1 and they’d arrive at 4,” recalls Lindsay-Hogg. “But on this particular day, because they all respected each other, everybody was on time.”

A London sound stage was rented and Lindsay-Hogg hired the best camera operators from “Ready Steady Go!” The production also used experimental cameras from France, which shot both 16mm film and provided a video feed to the control room. Aside from having to change film canisters every 10 minutes, the new cameras frequently stopped working. “When one of the cameras had broken down for the 11th time that day, we had a little break,” the director recalls. The musicians would then retreat to their dressing rooms. “I went backstage to see how everybody was, and they were all sitting in a room – John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton – playing blues on guitar and harmonica. Keith Moon was playing spoons on a table.”

The Stones didn’t get onstage to perform until 2 a.m. It was the final live appearance of guitarist Brian Jones, dazed and fading from drug abuse, but still able to re-create his heartbreaking slide guitar lines on “No Expectations.”

Within months of filming, Jones left the band and drowned soon after. Jagger went to Australia to star in “Ned Kelly.” Lindsay-Hogg traveled to California to work on a film. The momentum of the era pushed its participants forward, but somehow left “Circus” behind until the footage was rediscovered in the ’90s.

Lindsay-Hogg continued working with the Stones through the early 1980s, directing several music videos, from “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)” to “Waiting on a Friend.” He turned his attention to feature films, TV specials and directing theater, though he remains friendly with the Stones. “We knew each other when we were kids,” he says now. “It wasn’t my nature to hang ’round if I didn’t have to. In a funny way, I think they respected that. I was happy to just be working with them.”

“Bridges To Bremen” is a full-length show performed by the Rolling Stones on the fifth and final leg of the Bridges To Babylon Tour. Filmed at the German city’s Weserstadion on September 2nd, 1998, the band had by then completed four legs in the stadiums and arenas of North America (twice), Asia and South America before finally landing in Europe early that summer. Ever the innovators, Bridges To Babylon was a tour of firsts – the first time the band went on the road with a permanent B-stage, and also the first time where fans could vote on the band’s website for a track they wanted to hear at the show – “Memory Motel” in the case of the Bremen fans. This concert film has been meticulously restored from the original masters, and the audio remixed and remastered from the live multitrack recordings. Four tracks from their Soldier Field performances in Chicago are included as bonus features. Eagle Vision’s SD Blu-ray range presents upscaled standard definition original material with uncompressed stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound for the best possible quality.

1998 concert film • Remixed audio • Restored visuals • Surround sound • 2CD+Blu-ray, 3LP vinyl + more formats

In terms of audio and picture quality, it sounds promising, since Eagle Vision state that the film has been “meticulously restored from the original masters” while the audio has been remixed and remastered from the live multitrack recordings. Remember, even though this is offered on blu-ray, this isn’t full HD but ‘upscaled standard definition’. In terms of sound, we get uncompressed stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound.

Bridges to Bremen will be released on 21st June 2019.

The Rolling Stones will release a new best-of compilation LP, Honk, on April 19th via Polydor/Interscope. The career-spanning project is available as a single-CD and 2-LP edition featuring 20 songs, along with a deluxe 3-CD/4-LP set with 46 cuts.

Both versions boast eight top 10 singles (“Brown Sugar,” “Tumbling Dice,” “Angie,” “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It),” “Fool to Cry,” “Miss You,” “Emotional Rescue” and “Start Me Up”), along with classic album cuts (1971’s “Bitch,” 1973’s “Dancing With Mr. D”) and material from the band’s most recent studio record, 2016’s Blue & Lonesome. The deluxe package includes a full disc of 10 live tracks recorded during the band’s recent stadium tours — several guests appear, including Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl (on “Bitch”), Ed Sheeran (“Beast of Burden”), Brad Paisley (“Dead Flowers”) and Florence and the Machine’s Florence Welch (“Wild Horses”).

The Florence Welch-featured “Wild Horses,” which also appears on the single-CD version, is available with pre-orders of the album. They will also release two digital editions of the compilation in North America: the deluxe set at all streaming and download services, and the 20-track set at download services only.

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The Rolling Stones release a special, limited edition of “She’ s A Rainbow” (Live) at U Arena, Paris 25/10/17.

She’s a Rainbow is a song by the Rolling Stones and was featured on their 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request. It has been called “the prettiest and most uncharacteristic song that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote for the Stones, although somewhat ambiguous in it’s intention.

The original song includes rich lyricism, vibrant piano by Nicky Hopkins and Brian Jones‘ use of the Mellotron. John Paul Jones, later of Led Zeppelin, arranged the strings of this song during his session days.

Backing vocals were provided by the entire band except for Charlie Watts. Notably, all of the vocals sound like soft background singing with the music overshadowing them to the point of the lyrics being difficult to hear. The lyrics in the chorus share the phrase “she comes in colours” with the song of that title by Love, released in December 1966.

The song begins with the piano playing an ascending scale, which returns throughout the song as a recurring motif. This motif is developed by the celesta and strings in the middle 8. Humorous and ambiguous devices are used, such as when the strings play out-of-tune and off-key towards the end of the song,

In 1986, relations between Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were at an all-time low. The Rolling Stones were on hold while Jagger toured as a solo act behind his 1987 album Primitive Cool, and the two traded endless insults in the press.

So Keith Richards decided to do something he’d always held off on: form his own solo band. The X-Pensive Winos featured an eclectic crew including Waddy Wachtel (Warren Zevon, the Everly Brothers), drummer Steve Jordan (who played with Richards in the Chuck Berry tribute concert film Hail! Hail! Rock & Roll),  bassist-drummer Charley Drayton and keyboardist Ivan Neville.

Recording outside Quebec, the chemistry was clear when they laid down the swaggering opener “Take it So Hard.” “I went back to the house going, ‘we’ve conquered Everest already?’ Wachtel said later. In his autobiography Life, Richards agreed. “There’s no way you can stand in front of the Winos without getting off. It’s a surefire high. It was so hot you could hardly believe it.”

The result was Talk is Cheap, an endearingly ragged classic considered by many fans the best Rolling Stones-related release of the last three decades. From the stomping open-G anthem “Take it So Hard” to the Memphis soul ballad “Make No Mistake,” it captures Richards nailing everything he’s good at – hear the throwback Sun-style in the rocker “I Could Have Stood You Up.”

To celebrate its 30th anniversary on March 29th, the album will finally be reissued as a huge box set that includes the album on CD and vinyl, six unreleased tracks from the sessions and an 80-page book featuring a new interview with Richards. There an even more extravagant “super deluxe” box set that comes in a case that replaces Richards’ guitar case made by the Fender Custom Shop.

“This album holds up,“ Richards said. “I’ve been listening to it and not through the mists of nostalgia either because it doesn’t affect me that way. This is more than the sum of its parts. I really admire it. We were having fun and you can hear it.”

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Mobile recording studios have a longer history than you might think. As early as the 1920s, record companies in both the U.K. and the U.S. were experimenting with location recording, albeit with incredibly primitive equipment. This was the pre-magnetic tape era, after all.

In the U.K., the pioneer was EMI, closely followed by its chief rival, Decca. The purpose, for the most part, was to record live concerts of classical music, and while the equipment changed out of recognition during the following 30 years or so, that purpose remained: to capture live performances.

By the time rock music arrived around the mid ’60s, a new generation of mobile studios appeared that would capture some of the most important recordings of the era. And curiously, most of them were not recordings of live gigs. That was because the mobile studio soon became used as much for the freedom it offered artists to record in domestic locations as for capturing their stage performances.

Digital technology has helped bring about the demise of the mobile truck since the turn of the millennium. Now, artists can of course record on devices as small as an iPad (to name but one famous example, Damon Albarn recorded the Gorillaz album The Fall in just that way). Even if you don’t want to be quite as stripped-down as Albarn, a laptop armed with plugins and a small digital mixer can offer almost as much as a fully fledged mobile studio at far less cost.

However, before the mobile trucks rumbled off into the distance, the freedom they provided in that short period produced some remarkable recordings. Here are six of them.

The Who, Live at Leeds (1970)

This album, still regarded by many critics as the finest live rock LP ever, was originally designed to be Live at Hull and Leeds. It was recorded by the Pye Records mobile on eight-track analogue tape machines installed beneath the auditorium in a cloakroom. At this stage, mobile trucks were used simply to carry recording equipment to a gig. That equipment then had to be removed, assembled, and used in whatever space could be found.

With nothing more than split cables from the vocal, speaker, and drum microphones, the two recordings were plagued with technical problems. Some of the bass track from Hull was lost, and the Leeds concert suffered from crackles, which have caused controversy ever since. Years later, when the crackles were erased using digital wizardry, some fans objected that they removed the authenticity of the recordings.

Originally released as a single six-track vinyl LP, Live At Leeds has since appeared in many incarnations, some with and some without the infamous crackles. The Hull gig recorded the night before (February 13th) has been released, too, with John Entwistle’s missing bass parts replaced with carefully synced recordings from Leeds. There are those who claim that Live At Hull 1970 is even better than the raw and powerful Live At Leeds. They can both be heard on the 40th Anniversary collectors’ edition.

Led Zeppelin, IV (1971)

You could toss a coin over whether Led Zeppelin’s III or IV was the more significant album, but it doesn’t really matter for our purposes—both made very extensive use of the Rolling Stones Mobile (RSM) and were released before two other other landmark RSM recordings, the Stones’ Exile On Main St. and Deep Purple’s Machine Head.

A former 18th-century poorhouse, Headley Grange in Hampshire was the chosen venue, as it had been for much of Zeppelin III. The majestic sound of John Bonham’s drums—sampled a thousand times and still used today—was created in wood-paneled Headley Grange with a pair of distant Neumann condenser mics. It has probably never been equalled.

The Rolling Stones, Exile On Main St. (1972)

Just as The Who’s Live At Leeds is regarded by some as their finest hour, so the Stones’ Exile On Main St. stands as a testament to the band at its peak—even if a wobbly one at times.

In 1970, Mick Jagger bought Stargroves, a country house in Hampshire. The band’s pianist and tour manager, Ian Stewart, suggested that in order to make full use of it, they needed their own mobile studio. This saw the birth of the most famous truck of them all, the Rolling Stones Mobile. It is one of the few things you can use the word legendary about without risk of exaggeration.

Unlike earlier trucks, the Stones Mobile had a control room inside the vehicle, so it really could go anywhere and do almost anything. The band used it to record most of the Sticky Fingers album, and a year later, beset with taxation problems, they decamped to the Villa Nellcôte in the South of France, with the RSM following.

The sessions that followed have become the stuff of rock legend and lore. Beside the technical problems imposed by an unsuitable recording environment—a cramped, damp basement—and compounded by an erratic power supply, the band’s “personal issues” should have made the resulting album a shambles. Indeed, engineer Andy Johns described them as “the worst band in the world” for much of the time. But somehow, in true Stones fashion, what emerged from the chaos was one of rock’s most memorable and charismatic albums. It just reeks of authenticity thanks, at least in part, to the location and the way in which most of it was recorded.

Deep Purple, Machine Head 1972

If Exile On Main St. really put the Stones Mobile on the map, it was Deep Purple who immortalized it in “Smoke On The Water.” The song recalls the night in 1971 when the Casino in Montreux, Switzerland burned down following a gig by Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention.

The plan had been to record the next Deep Purple album in the Casino, but the fire put paid to that. A couple of other venues in the town were hastily found for the recording sessions, which produced, among others, “Smoke On The Water,” the lyrics of which refer to the RSM as “the Rolling truck Stones thing.”

The Who, Quadrophenia 1973

On the face of it, this seems an unlikely album to have emerged from a mobile studio, and in fact it was made at an unlikely location, too. Ronnie Lane’s Mobile (known as the LMS) was parked in Battersea, south-west London for much of the recording of Quadrophenia, in an urban jungle outside a still uncompleted Ramport Studios, which The Who were in the process of building.

Ronnie Lane, the ex-Faces bass player, had chosen an American Airstream trailer for his mobile studio, and Bad Company, Led Zeppelin (notably on Physical Graffiti), Rick Wakeman, and Eric Clapton were just some of the musicians who would make excellent use of it. Of all the British golden-era mobiles, Lane’s was one of the most successful.

Radiohead, OK Computer 1997

There were many impressive albums recorded using mobile studios between The Who’s Live At Leeds in 1970 and Radiohead’s OK Computer in 1997, and there were more mobiles than we have space to include here, among them Jethro Tull’s Maison Rouge, Virgin’s Manor Mobile, and Mickie Most’s RAK.

By the late ’90s, however, the era of the truck was coming to an end—and OK Computer provides fitting mood music. Relatively inexpensive and highly portable digital equipment and computers meant that the need for a large studio on wheels was passing.

In fact, OK Computer wasn’t recorded using a truck at all, but it epitomizes why mobile trucks had been so popular: location recording enabled a band to work at their own pace, in their own way, in an environment completely unlike an essentially sterile fixed-site studio.

For this album, which Rolling Stone described as “the last masterpiece of the alt-rock movement,” Radiohead were given a reputed £100,000 by their record company. Their producer Nigel Goodrich used it to buy recording equipment for use in St Catherine’s Court, a spectacular manor house near Bath in Somerset, owned at the time by actress Jane Seymour. In the same way that the natural acoustics of Headley Grange helped Led Zeppelin achieve astonishing looseness, vitality, and depth, so St Catherine’s Court added its brooding presence to a haunted, dark, and troubled album.

One thing binds together the albums featured here: none of them could have been made in a traditional fixed-location recording studio. In the case of recordings of gigs, it’s obvious why that should be. But a common quality shared by the albums featured here is the live ambience of an environment that wasn’t carefully designed to sound neutral. In the age of Pro Tools sameness, that is definitely something to be cherished.

There is another angle, too. Musicians often complain that “clocking in” to record every day is too much like going to work, especially in a traditional city-center studio. In a residential location, they can not only experiment with different sounds but also socialize and make music in a freer and more creative way. You may not be able to quantify that.