CD Review: Dave Grohl & Friends – Sound City: Real to Reel

This is not so much a soundtrack as a celebration of musical history.


Review by David Feltman

Music critics rarely put forth the effort to review movie soundtracks, but Dave Grohl’s Sound City documentary is so musically enamored and its soundtrack so affectionately and specifically crafted that it would be a crime not to give it a little ink. The legendary Sound City Studios produced classic albums by the likes of Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young and Nirvana. Grohl salvaged the studio’s all analog console when Sound City closed and moved it to his own 606 Studios. There he called together such Sound City alumni as Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, Trent Reznor and Rick Nielsen to record an album with him. The result is a rock version of Probot.

Despite appearing on every track, Grohl dissolves into the background and lets his guest band mates’ take the reigns. It’s Stevie Nicks you hear on “You Can’t Fix This,” not Foo Fighters, and “Heaven and All” sounds like a new BRMC track. Of course it wouldn’t be fair if Grohl didn’t celebrate his own time at the studio and his signature sound is allowed to surface here and there. The unlikely team of Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen and Slipknot’s Corey Taylor produce the eerily Foo-esque “From Can to Can’t.” And “Cut Me Some Slack,” which is easily the album’s highlight, features McCartney paying homage to Kurt Cobain with the surviving Nirvana members backing him.

Grohl has a knack for bringing talent together and drawing exceptional work out of them. This is not so much a soundtrack as a celebration of the musical history that passed through Sound City. Every track on the album teems with love and enthusiasm and it belongs in every music fan’s collection.

You can find out more about the film and the soundtrack at the official website.


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