For the next few weeks we’re going to be revealing the 100 tracks that for one reason or another have had a major impact on the course of popular music and how it is recorded. From the earliest rock’n’roll to the latest electro, we reveal the tricks and techniques used to make these seminal tracks, as well as spotlighting some of the instruments and kit used in the recordings. So let’s begin our journey through the first 10 of the 100 recordings that changed music…
100: Heartbreak Hotel
Elvis Presley (1956) Producer: Steve Sholes
For most kids growing up in the mid-50s, this is where it all began. Sure, there had been earlier R‘n’R recordings and Elvis cut many tracks at Sam Phillips’ legendary Sun Studios, but Heartbreak Hotel was Presley’s first session for RCA Victor, in Nashville. Steve Sholes attempted to re-create the slap-back echo on those Sun records but, unaware that Phillips had used tape delay, resorted to mic’ing the corridor outside the studio to achieve that distinctive sound. It was Elvis’ first No 1.