The Capitol Studios legacy spans multiple generations, weaves through nearly every genre of music and lives inside millions of loyal music fans. Iconic artists like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and The Beach Boys first gave life to its rooms and to this day, major icons of popular music continue in their wake.
Below are just some of the incredible artists and albums captured at Capitol Studios for generations of music lovers.
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Ol’ Blue Eyes was the first artist to record in Studio A and today you can still sit in Frank’s favorite chair, record with ‘his’ famed ‘Telly’ microphone and thank one of the finest vocalists in history for putting Capitol Studios on the map.
Nat King Cole
The Capitol Records Tower has been called “the house that Nat built” thanks to the huge wealth generated for Capitol Records by the success of King Cole’s hit records in the ‘40s and early ‘50s. Moving his Steinway B Piano into the studios from their original location across town, King Cole and his bands helped craft the sound that Capitol is famed for; rich string sections with unique intimacy.
Album | Ella and Louis
One of the first albums recorded at Capitol Studios not released on the Capitol Records label was the incredible ‘Ella and Louis’ featuring not only Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong but also the Oscar Peterson Quartet. Recorded in one day at Capitol thanks to it’s state-of-the-art tech, the album is an exceptional balancing act between two distinctly different voices and a rhythm section worthy of their own attention. The pair would go on to record two more albums together, including ‘Porgy and Bess’ at Capitol Studios.
Loved as much as a songwriter as a performer, Carole King recorded at Capitol after moving to the Capitol Records label in the late ‘70s. Laying down tracks like ‘God Only Knows’ and ‘In The Name of Love’, King captured intimate moments that highlight the range of the studio.
Signed to Capitol Records after the success of their debut ‘Licensed to Ill’, the Beastie Boys’ place in Capitol history is perhaps most famously attached to their logo becoming emblazoned on the Stars and Stripes as it (very briefly) flew high above the Capitol Records Tower. Though mainly working in smaller studios and relying heavily on sampling, many of the Beastie Boys’ tracks passed through Capitol Studios for additional mixing and mastering.
Album | Random Access Memories
One of the biggest albums of the last decade, Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’ was an organic break from the synthesized instrumentation they had previously relied on. Featuring a huge number of collaborative musicians from around the globe, it’s little surprise that sessions completed at Capitol Studios contributed to the album’s success.
As a global icon, Katy Perry is near the very top of Capitol Records’ current roster of artists. Seeing something special in Perry, Capitol confidently backed ‘I Kissed A Girl’ which became a global hit. As a regular recording artist at the studios, Perry’s work is a prime example of the highest levels of modern Pop production associated with the Capitol brand, including new single ‘Never Really Over’.
Having just released his debut album ‘Divinely Uninspired to Hellish Extent’ on Capitol Records, the up-and-coming Scottish singer has been nominated for several awards, including an MTV PUSH: Ones To Watch award win. Capaldi has found fame on social media for his humor and unfiltered insight into life as a breakout star. With over 800 million streams of his songs to date, Capaldi is clearly part of the next generation of top Pop talent taking the iconic Capitol brand into the future.
FirstCom Music brings you the legendary sonic integrity of Capitol Studios with the launch of Capitol Studio Masters; a collection of curated original music recorded, mixed and mastered at the iconic Capitol Studios.