As previously mentioned in the Stargazed article about the life of Neil Peart, Rush first left Canada to record “A Farewell to Kings” (1977) and “Hemispheres” (1978) at Rockfield Studios in Wales. Founded by converting an existing farmhouse in 1963, the brothers Kingsley and Charles Ward had by 1965 turned Rockfield into the world’s first residential studio, making it possible for bands to stay in peaceful rural surroundings while recording. The first hit recorded there was 1970’s “I Hear You Knocking” by Dave Edmunds, who would later come to own Rockfield Studios.
The Coach House studio was constructed in 1968 and 1972 saw both Budgie and Hawkwind record there. “Doremi Fasol Latido” was the latter’s first album with Lemmy and Rockfield was in its infancy at the time. Lemmy recalled that they “recorded it at the barn, before they modernised it, with mattresses on the walls and things.” Still, Lemmy would return there in 1975 to make the first recordings with Motörhead, later released as “On Parole” in 1979. The Quadrangle studio was constructed in 1973 and is best known for the recording of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Among other previous visitors at Rockfield were Judas Priest (“Sad Wings of Destiny”) and Van Der Graaf Generator, a band beloved by Rush that had recorded their comeback albums (“Godbluff”, “Still Life” and “World Record”) there in 1975-76. VdGG frontman Peter Hammill also used it for 1973’s “Chameleon In The Shadow Of The Night” and 1975’s “Nadir’s Big Chance”.
“Rockfield: The Studio On The Farm” is to premiere at SXSW (South By Southwest) in Austin, Texas, on March 16. The documentary, directed by Hannah Berryman, is the unlikely tale of how two Welsh farming brothers turned their dairy farm into one of the most successful recording studios of all time, producing four decades of legendary rock music. Black Sabbath (“Dehumanizer”), Robert Plant, Iggy Pop, Simple Minds, The Stone Roses, Oasis, Coldplay, Manic Street Preachers, The Charlatans and more have also made music at Rockfield over the decades. “Rockfield: The Studio On The Farm” features interviews with Dave Brock, Robert Plant, Ozzy Osbourne, Chris Martin, Jim Kerr, The Stone Roses, Tim Burgess and more. The official trailer features an appearance from Ozzy Osbourne, who recorded some of Black Sabbath’s earliest demos at the facility. Watch it here:
In other news, the independent Swedish record label Silence Records is also the subject of a new documentary. ”Tystnaden – en berättelse om Silence” will be shown at Tempo documentary film festival in Stockholm in March 6th at 20.30, at the cinema Victoria and Reflexen, Johanneshov on March 7th at 20.45. It will also be aired on Swedish national telvision, SVT2 on March 13th at 20.00 as part of the TV show “K-special”. Information about the film in Swedish follows: “Ebba Grön, Kent, Bob hund, Eldkvarn, Träd, Gräs och Stenar – är bara några som spelat in album i den värmländska kultstudion i Koppom. Med nya intervjuer och äldre arkivmaterial tecknas ett porträtt av den svenska musikrörelsen under 70- och 80-talet”