What happened to Le Studio? RIP Friend…

As a studio with a considerable legacy, Number 9 shared a lot in common with Le Studio.  For those that are unaware, Le Studio was a famed studio high in the hills of the Laurentian Mountains, in Morin Heights which is about an hour Northwest of Montreal.  Both studios have had their share of high profile artists, with Number 9 being called Canada’s “Abbey Road”, and perhaps Le Studio being called Canada’s “Beartracks”, more of a remote studio rather than a big city endeavour.  Regardless, in this day and age of ‘disposable’, we thought we’d take a look back at a once great studio, pay homage, and stress that we are here for the long haul!

Bowie at Le Studio

A partial list of artists that recorded at Le Studio:

  • David Bowie
  • April Wine
  • Cat Stevens
  • Bee Gees
  • Chicago
  • Sting
  • Keith Richards
  • The Ramones
  • and, of course, Canada’s own Rush!

With such a legacy of providing top notch services to this depth of talent, you’d think Le Studio would still be a going concern, right?  But, studios are very difficult to operate, especially these days. You need a suitable plot of land to host the studio; a building suitable for recording, and one that actually sounds good; accessibility; good engineers; and amenities.  Le Studio had these, but perhaps there were a number of factors at play that played into its demise.  The biggests ones were likely how far away from civilization it was, and how the studio experience has changed.  Artists no longer disappear to an in-residence studio to spend months writing and then recording the album they just finished writing.  Songs are more likely to be written ad hoc, then recorded where and when possible.

Original owner André Perry was ‘the’ man – heavily involved in the running of the studio, former studio occupants from near and far recall his bigger-than-life personality and personal involvement to ensure a smooth session.  His life and business partner Yaël Brandeis was a friendly face at the studio as well. A little known fact perhaps – André was the recording engineer that captured John and Yoko’s “Give Peace A Chance” at the Montreal bed in!

André sold the studio to a group of investors in 1998, who then sold it to another set of investors.  They likely did not have the experience to run a world-class facility, and by 2007 the studio was closed for good.  Now, almost 30 years later, the bones of the studio are bare.  A self-proclaimed Rush fanatic is interested in reviving the studio, and has begun a crowdfunding initiative, but the glory days of Le Studio are likely behind it. André was quoted as saying, “There was a soul there and the soul is long-time gone now,” said Perry. “For me, what is there is what was there — the memories — and not what is there now.”

We are Number 9 salute the great work André and Yaël did over the years, and the incredible legacy that ended up on vinyl or CD.

And to dispel any rumours about the future of Number 9, Managing Director George Rondina recently published this on Facebook:

“I want to dispel any rumours that may have arisen recently. I have to be honest I did think about it and may have mentioned it … but in the end I have made a definitive decision. Number 9 is definitely here to stay. We are not selling our building or business. I love this business way too much. So anyone spreading rumours. Here it is straight from the horses mouth. Things haven’t been better for years and we are all loving what we do way too much. I plan on doing this till I drop at 99+! To those of you that were hoping. Sorry to disappoint … To those of you that have supported our business over the years. A million thanks and we’ll be here for you whenever you need us! Celebrating 35 years in the biz September 9th!”

So, unlike the dear lamented Le Studio, we have the engineers and producers to see us through to the future, and continue to help pros like Will Smith, Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, Smash Mouth, David Clayton-Thomas, Celine Dion, Sean Astin (The Lord Of The Rings), and many more, continue to provide YOU with great music and entertainment.  We’re in the midst of celebrating our 35th anniversary, so give us a call for a tour of the facilities and to perhaps book in for some time, and check out our client list to see who’s put their faith in us to deliver a stellar product.

CBC Web article link about Le Studio – Click the link to check out the history of Le Studio as well as future ideas.

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