Sunday , September 27 2020

NYC’s Hit Factory to Close

Sadly, this solicitation no longer holds:

    “The worlds largest and most successful commercial recording facility.”

    “The completion of the Hit Factory in ’93, set a new bench mark against which many recording facilities will be judged well into the new millenium. The studios offer traditional recording techniques supported by innovative technology, and range from intimate recording spaces to the city’s largest film scoring stage and five mastering suites.”

    “A cornerstone of the NYC recording community, with countless Gold and Platinum record credits, the Hit Factory is a technologically advanced facility, featuring the most current analog and digital equipment for studio recording, multi-track mixing, and mastering.”

The Hit Factory, one of New York’s oldest, most famous and successful recording studios, announced its closing today, a victim of high costs and reduced demand caused by the availability of high-quality digital recording at greatly reduced cost and scale.

(Studio A-1)

In many ways the story of the six-story, 100,000-square-foot Hit Factory — with its seven recording studios and five mastering suites, a gym, a steam room and two-bedroom apartments for artists — is the story of Edward Germano.

Germano’s career in the music business began in 1961 as a singer on the New York circuit. He recorded briefly for RCA, Decca and ABC Dunhill, but soon jumped to the other side of the board and in 1970 joined RCA as a staff producer and A&R man.

In the early ‘70s became one of the 17 partners in the Record Plant, then in 1975, he purchased the Hit Factory from original owner, producer Jerry Ragavoy, who had founded it in 1968 as a place to record his own artists. Germano built it into a thriving multiroom monolith.

Germano’s first client as the owner of the Hit Factory was Stevie Wonder, who booked a three-day session but stayed for nine months to record his classic Songs in the Key of Life. The studio’s streak continued through the ‘70s and ‘80s with John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy (Lennon spent his last night alive there in 1980, mixing Ono’s single “Walking on Thin Ice”), the Rolling Stones’ Emotional Rescue, Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A, Paul Simon’s Graceland.

Also recording there over the years were Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Tony Bennett, Madonna, U2, Barbra Streisand, Donald Fagen, Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Billy Joel, Jay-Z, Beyonce, and hundreds of others.

In 1994, music recorded, mastered or mixed at the Factory captured a staggering 41 Grammy nominations, and it remained one of the landmark studios of the hip-hop era – 50 Cent was stabbed outside in 2000.

Ed Germano died in 2003. His widow and current owner Janice Germano said in a statement, “The Hit Factory paved the way for how recording studios approached the artistic process of making music. In doing so, it forever changed the way artists thought about creating records and raised the art form to a new level of innovation.”

The Hit Factory will be missed, its place in history secure.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected], Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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