Power Station Studio to Stay Open, Gets New Name

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Just some of the many hit albums recorded at The Power Station in NYC

Update (Sept. 5, 2017): Last week we reported that New York City’s Avatar Studios, formerly known as the Power Station, had closed its doors, its future unknown. Now the Berklee College of Music, which bought the property, has announced that it will reopen it. In an article published today, the New York Times reported that the studio “will be renovated, expanded and rebranded as BerkleeNYC. The recording studios will continue to operate commercially as the Power Station at BerkleeNYC, along with new offerings including educational programs, performances and resources for local musicians.” For further details, go here.

Our original report…
Avatar Studios, the legendary New York City recording hub originally known as the Power Station, closed its doors on Aug. 28. The facility has been sold to the Berklee College of Music, which has not yet announced whether it will reopen the studio. The Avatar complex, located at 441 West 53rd Street in Manhattan, held a closing party on Aug. 28.

As the Power Station, the studio was opened in 1977 by producer Tony Bongiovi and Bob Walters. The building, formerly used as a Con Ed power plant, boasted state-of-the-art equipment and an artist-friendly atmosphere that soon attracted many of the top artists in the business. Among the thousands of albums recorded at the Power Station were Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run and Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell, as well as hit recordings by David Bowie, John Lennon, the Clash, Billy Joel, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Blondie, Elton John, Duran Duran, Journey, Aerosmith, Roxy Music, Dire Straits, Bob Dylan, the Kinks, Sting, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Peter Gabriel. Jon Bon Jovi is a cousin of co-owner Bongiovi.

Related: The inside story of Bat Out of Hell

Avatar Studios, formerly the Power Station

A band—which included singer Robert Palmer, Chic drummer Tony Thompson and Duran Duran members John Taylor and Andy Taylor—named itself the Power Station in honor of the studio.

In May 1996 the studio was renamed Avatar. In addition to the rock greats who’ve recorded in its rooms, such jazz luminaries as Tony Bennett, Christian McBride, Sonny Rollins, Diana Krall and John Scofield have availed themselves of the facility.

Regarding its future plans, Variety reported, “Word is that, after significant upgrades, it will remain dedicated to music in some form. The hope is that it will be available to artists wishing to rent the rooms, in addition to Berklee students. It may also serve the Broadway community as a place to record cast albums, says a source.”

Watch behind-the-scenes footage of the band Power Station recording at the Power Station studio

Best Classic Bands Staff

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