How Little Mountain Sound Captured an Era

Vancouver’s Little Mountain Studio was where many of the 80s and 90s’ biggest acts wrote and recorded.

The studio opened at its original location on West Seventh Avenue, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1972 as a partnership between CKNW radio and Griffiths, Gibson Productions. After a slow start, including several ownership changes, the studio began to gain some steam in 1980 under the leadership of the legendary Canadian producer and audio engineer Bob Rock. The studio’s first big-name guest was Local act Loverboy. The band recorded their self-titled debut album, which landed at #13 on the billboard hot 100 with the hits “Turn Me Loose” and “The Kid Is Hot Tonite.” Following a few comparatively quiet years, Little Mountain Studio launched into the stratosphere with the recording of Bon Jovi’s 1986 effort “Slippery When Wet,”: which sold over 20 million copies and is considered one of the greatest debut albums of all time. Bon Jovi was determined to record at the studio after hearing the Loverboy album.

From that point on, Little Mountain Studio would serve as one of the world’s premier recording studios. From 1986-1993, acts such as AC/DC, Aerosmith, Metallica, Bryan Adams, and The Cult would cut their records at Little Mountain. The majority of these albums were engineered and produced by Bob Rock, whose most notable work at Little Mountain includes Metallica’s “The Black Album,” The Cults “Sonic Temple,” and Motley Crue’s “Dr. Feelgood.”  According to Rock, part of what made the studio such a popular place to record had to do with the building itself. Specifically, the ambient sounds achieved by recording the drum parts in the loading bay.[/embedyt]

“Its a combination of the building and the people, its all about timing”

Bob Rock

The original studio closed in 1993 and moved to Burnaby, where it would continue to operate for another ten years as an equipment and services company. However, the legendary musicians and the records they recorded will forever be a part of Vancouver’s history

“There’s some sweat from every rock star in the ’80s right here at this spot”.

Mike Reno ( Loverboy Frontman)

Check out a compiled list of all the recordings done at Little Mountain Sound.


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