The Brag Media
Features August 16, 2019

10 albums named after the places they were made

10 albums named after the places they were made

The ambience of a recording studio affects the mood of a record as much as the musicians playing on it, and very often artists name their latest long players after the place which provided the spark.

Here are 10 of the best albums named for the places where they were created:

1. The Beatles – Abbey Road (1969)

The hordes of fans who descended on the Abbey Road crossing to celebrate the record’s 50th anniversary were lucky. It was summer and in central London.

The album’s original name was Everest, after the cigarettes smoked by their engineer, and the plan was to take the cover shot the freezing Himalayas..

But recording ran overtime, so they opted for the nearest zebra crossing.

Paul McCartney sketched four stick figures on a crossing, the others decided it would be the record’s name as well.

The late ain Macmillan snapped it on August 8, 1969.

The cover had “hints” of McCartney’s death (when an Apple executive rang him in France to find out if he was alive, McCartney barked “fuck off” and hung up) and in 1970, EMI changed the name from EMI Studios to Abbey Road Studios.

The zebra crossing idea was adopted by albums by Kanye West, Red Hot Chili Peppers, McCartney himself, George Benson, Booker T. and the MG’s, Sesame Street, rapper Chubb Rock, and … most recently, as Drake’s latest tattoo.

2. Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline (1969)

This album was the third one Bob Dylan made in Nashville, after Blonde On Blonde and John Wesley Harding.

In fact, its working title was John Wesley Harding Vol. 2.

But this was the Bobster’s fully-fledged country music record, and it made sense to name-check the country music capital.

After the plan to feature the Nashville skyline on the cover was dropped, he and photographer Elliott Landy opted for upstate New York, in Woodstock where Dylan lived.

Dylan suggested a shot outside a bakery with his son Jesse and two locals.

At a session outside Dylan’s home, he was wearing the same brown jacket he had sported for the covers of John Wesley Harding and Blonde on Blonde.

Suddenly he put a cowboy hat on and quipped, “Do you think that I should wear this?” and that became the cover – and one of the great iconic shots of the ‘60s.

3. Powderfinger – Vulture Street (2003)

Vulture Street, in Brisbane’s inner south, is where Powderfinger rehearsed, and where they entered with the plan “to write a rock album.”

The street sign could be seen from the studio, and Ian Haug said, “Why don’t we just fucking call it Vulture Street?”

The street most likely got its name from the Royal Navy warship, the HMS Vulture which saw action during the Crimean War in 1854.

4. Teskey Brothers – Half Mile Harvest (2017)

Both Teskey Brothers albums were made at their Half Mile Harvest studio in Warrandyte, on the outskirts of Melbourne.

It was their debut album accorded its name simply because its vintage gear replicated the soul and blues of their sound which is now spreading its appeal across the globe.

Josh Teskey says, “There was a lot of old soul recording equipment, analogue stuff, an old tape machine from the 1970s.

“It was an important element of the album it was recoded to analogue and no computers were used.”

5. Sonic Youth – Murray Street (2002)

Sonic Youth named their third album after the street where their own Echo Canyon Studios is located in New York City.

It is the second in their planned trilogy about the cultural history of Lower Manhattan (following 2000’s languorous NYC ghosts & flowers).

Recording began in August 2001, a month before the Twin Towers attacks.

Murray Street is where an attack plane engine fell.

The street sign is on the back cover, the front features Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon’s daughter, Coco Hayley Moore picking strawberries with friend, Stella.

6. The Band – Music From The Big Pink (1968)

The Band’s groundbreaking debut wasn’t recorded at the Big Pink house but in New York’s A&R’s Studio A. But the Big Pink is where the music found its spirit.

The backing band for Bob Dylan, they were in limbo when Dylan’s motorcycle accident in July 1966 in upstate New York kept him off the road for years.

Just to get some songs together, they found in the Catskill mountains, a salmon-coloured house (2188 Stoll Road, Saugerties), which locals dubbed the Big Pink.

The four-bedroom house was no masterpiece, but it came with hundred acres of wood, scenic views of the Overlook Mountain and a pond – all for $125 a month.

In its dark concrete basement, they tried to set up a studio.

But the technician installing it said to them, as Robbie Robertson recalled in 2011, “Well this is a disaster. This is the worst situation. You have a cement floor, you have cinderblock walls, and you have a big metal furnace in here.

“These are all of the things that you can’t have if you’re trying to record something. Even if you’re just recording it for your own information, you can’t do this – it won’t work.

“You’ll listen to it and you’ll be depressed. Your music will sound so bad that you’ll never want to record again.’”

However, they were locked into the lease so they pressed on – and went on to explore their delicate mix of country, blues, gospel, classical, and rock. It would prove to be an antidote to the acid-rock screeches of Hendrix and Cream.

7. The Triffids – In The Pines (1986)

The late David McComb flirted with the idea of going out to a basic location and making magic with basic equipment.

The album was made in a woolshed on an eight-track recorder on a remote Western Australian farming property, owned by the McCombs’ parents.

Over four days, the cost came to $1190 – of which $340 went for alcohol, $310 for food, $300 for recording equipment hire and $240 for petrol.

8. Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974)

Marking his return after a three year battle with smack addiction, Eric Clapton’s manager rented 461 Ocean Boulevard in the town of Golden Beach, Florida for the guitar hero to live in while recording the album at Criteria Studios in Miami.

Fuelled by the hit single ‘I Shot The Sheriff’, the album sold 2 million worldwide.

This caused a problem for the landlord, as fans swarmed on the property. For a time the street address was changed.

9. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo’s Factory (1970)

By 1970, Creedence was the biggest band in the world, with a brand of southern swamp rock although writer John Fogerty had never been south.

They would rehearse in a warehouse in Berkeley, California.

Fogerty, seeking perfectionism, would crack the whip and force them to rehearse endlessly – leading drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford to dub it “The Factory”.

10. Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland (1968)

This was the reverse case of an album providing the name to the studio.

When Hendrix made the double-album Electric Ladyland, he had made it in two studios, Record Plant Studios in New York City and London’s Olympic Studios, notching up a studio bill of today’s $500,000 to $800,000.

Hence the guitar wizard built his own studio in Greenwich Village, New York City, (52 West Eighth Street, previously the Generation nightclub) with round windows and a machine that created psychedelic lighting, and called it Electric Lady

He opened it in August 1970. A few weeks later he flew to London where he accidentally died after choking on his vomit with a mix of champagne and sleeping pills.


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