Muscle Shoals Sound Studio – Where The Rolling Stones recorded “Brown Sugar”

Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama where the Rolling Stones recorded "Broan Sugar." (photo courtesy of Dailynetworks).

Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama where the Rolling Stones recorded “Brown Sugar.” (photo courtesy of Dailynetworks).

3614 Jackson Highway, Sheffield, Alabama.

Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, in Sheffield, Alabama was formed by four musicians known as ‘The Swampers.’ The four, Barry Beckett on keyboards, Roger Hawkins on drums, Jimmy Johnson on guitar and David Hood on bass were instrumental in the world famous Muscle Shoals sound. The band backed artists such as Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Bob Seger and many more. The Swampers were even mentioned in the Lynyrd Skynyrd song “Sweet Home Alabama.”

Over three days from December 2 – 4, 1969, the Rolling Stones took a break from their US tour and stopped by Muscle Shoals Sound Studio for a few days of recording. On December 2nd, the band recorded “You Gotta Move,” while on the 3rd they recorded “Brown Sugar” and the next night on the 4th, they recorded “Wild Horses.”

The studio was forever immortalized on Cher’s 1969 album, 3614 Jackson Highway. Named after the address of the Alabama studio, the album cover featured a photo of Cher and crew in front of the studio, taken while recording there. The reviews for Cher’s 3614 Jackson Highway were mixed. Critics loved it but the fans response was less low. The album peaked at #160 on the US Billboard 200 Album Charts.

The studios at 3614 Jackson Highway have since been relocated but the building still sees occasional use as a recording studio. Most notably, The Black Keys recorded their Grammy Award winning album Brothers there in 2009.

 

Required Listening:

  1. Brown Sugar – The Rolling Stones
  2. Wild Horses – The Rolling Stones
  3. Main Street – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
  4. Tighten Up – The Black Keys
  5. For What It’s Worth – Cher

 

3614 Jackson Highway, the former location of Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.

3614 Jackson Highway, the former location of Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.

 

The album cover for Cher's 1969 album, "3614 Jackson Highway."

The album cover for Cher’s 1969 album, “3614 Jackson Highway.”

 

Map of 3614 Jackson Highway, Sheffield, Alabama, former location of Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.

Map of 3614 Jackson Highway, Sheffield, Alabama, former location of Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.