In 1968, Jimi Hendrix released his third studio album, Electric Ladyland. That same year, Hendrix and his manager Michael Jeffery purchased a defunct nightclub in New York City that they would transform into Electric Lady Studios, one of the most important recording studios in music history.
But the Greenwich Village building had a rich history before any tracks were laid down there. From 1930 to 1967, the basement was home to nightclub called the Village Barn. Upstairs, there was the Generation Club, which had hosted live music acts including B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Sly & the Family Stone, and Jimi Hendrix himself. Though Hendrix originally wanted to keep the building as a nightclub, he was convinced to turn it into a recording studio instead.
The architect John Storyk designed the new space, which opened its doors on August 26, 1970. Hendrix recorded his last studio record, “Slow Blues,” the following day. Just a few weeks later, Hendrix died.
But along with the musician’s incredible legacy, the studio has lived on. In the 1970s, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, and Patti Smith, were among the many artists who recorded at Electric Lady Studios.
The studio continued to host popular musicians through the 80s and 90s, but faced financial hardship in the early 2000s. Then Lee Foster and Keith Stoltz took over the studio’s operation. Today the studio has been renovated and expanded, and is once again busy producing influential music. Some of the notable artists who have recorded here include Erykah Badu, The Roots, Run DMC, Daft Punk, Kanye West, Lana Del Ray, and Taylor Swift.
Know Before You Go
Tours of the studio are not available for the general public, but you can see the outside.