Charlotte’s Reflection Studio (R.E.M., Robert Plant, etc.) Closes Its Doors

Reflection

Artists who recorded there include Whitney Houston, Eagles’ Glenn Frey/Joe Walsh, the Reivers, Joe Cocker, Buddy Guy, Aaron Neville, the Dixie Chicks, Hootie & The Blowfish, Mary J. Blige, Ben Folds Five, Don Dixon, Southern Culture on the Skids, Robert Plant, R.E.M. and, er, Tammy Faye Bakker.

By Fred Mills

It is truly the end of an era: Billboard.com reports that the venerable Reflection Sound Studios, located at 1018 Central Avenue in Charlotte, NC, has shuttered after 45+ years in business. A host of prominent artists – some of them are listed above – had recorded at the studio over the years, and yours truly was a frequent visitor to the studio back during the ‘80s when I lived in Charlotte. I was on hand, for example, for sessions during the recording of an album by Texas’ The Reivers, the first one they cut following a name change from Zeitgeist.

And of course the two classic R.E.M. albums Murmur and Reckoning were born at Reflection. In fact, before I left Charlotte in the early ‘90s, a member of the Reflection staff gifted me with the original tape reel boxes from the Reckoning sessions (and yes, before you ask, they were empty boxes, but there’s no questioning their provenance).

According to Billboard.com: “According to a local Craigslist post, Reflection is selling off two grand pianos, some other keyboards, amplifiers, drums and other instruments, in anticipation of shutting down. Over on eBay, account holder “studioworks1018” is selling several microphones, compressors and other gear used at the location as well.”

The aforementioned Craigslist post reads, in part, “45+ year Reflection Sound studios is closing its doors and will be selling its musical gear. REM, Robert Plant, Joe Walsh, Joe Cocker, Ben Folds Five, Hootie and the Blowfish , just to name a few, have all recorded at our Studios. We have Hammond B3- C3 Leslie, 2 Grand pianos, Keyboards, 3 Sonar Drum Kits, loads of percussion, Bass Guitars, Fender Rhodes, Guitar amps, Vibes and MUCH MORE !!”

A big “salute” to all the folks at Reflection from BLURT. You definitely had a good run. It’s a sad day, however, for as the Billboard.com article pointed out, the steady demise of the CD and the rise of sophisticated home recording software has steadily cut into the use of high-end recording studios, such as the legendary Sound City in Los Angeles.

 

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