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6 Albums Recorded In Bizarre Places: Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, And More



Most albums heard by the general public are recorded in professional studios, or even occasionally in the artists' own home. However, some well-known albums are recorded in places so unusual or creepy that it becomes part of the album's appeal. Here are six albums that were recorded in bizarre places.

1. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (2008)

Any article that mentions Bon Iver is incomplete without the band's unique backstory: in 2006, after the breakup of his old band and coming down with mononucleosis, frontman Justin Vernon spent the winter recuperating in his family's Wisconsin cabin, which is when he began writing the songs that appeared on Bon Iver's debut album For Emma, Forever Ago. The album was recorded almost entirely by Vernon while living alone in the cabin that winter.

 2. Nine Inch Nails - Broken/The Downward Spiral (1992/1994)

Based solely on the music of Nine Inch Nails, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Trent Reznor is an intense person who has a fascination with evil, disturbing things. These dark interests played an important role in the recording of Nine Inch Nails' Broken EP and The Downward Spiral album, which Reznor chose to record in his home studio "Le Pig" at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles, otherwise known as the mansion where actress Sharon Tate and her friends were murdered by the Manson family in 1969. Reznor would be the last resident of the mansion before it was demolished in 1994.

 3. Radiohead - OK Computer (1997)

Despite how carefully composed and sonically precise Radiohead's OK Computer sounds, the album was recorded mostly live, though not in a traditional studio. Most of the album was recorded in St. Catherine's Court near Bath, an enormous rural mansion owned by actress Jane Seymour. The album's distinct ambience can be attributed to recording in places such as the mansion's ballroom and stone staircase.

 4. Animal Collective - Campfire Songs (2003)

Before psych-pop weirdos Animal Collective officially became Animal Collective, they recorded albums under a number of different names, including "Avey Tare and Panda Bear," "Avey Tare, Panda Bear, and Geologist," and in 2003, "Campfire Songs." Under this name, the band released an eponymous album of experimental folk songs, which was recorded while sitting on a porch in the band's native Maryland. Since the album was recorded outdoors, crickets and other natural sounds are clearly audible throughout the album, which was recorded in its entirety in a single take.

 5. Jackson Browne - Running On Empty (1977)

Though Running On Empty is considered a live album, only some of the tracks were performed in front of a live audience. Other tracks were recorded in various places while Browne was on tour in 1977, including hotel rooms and tour buses, creating a sort of concept album about the life of a touring musician.

6. Burzum - Dauði Baldrs/Hliðskjálf  (1997/1999)

Based on what I know of Burzum's Varg Vikernes, Norway is probably the best place in the world to go to prison. Vikernes received only 21 years for murder and arson (the maximum penalty in Norway), and was even allowed to continue recording music. His two albums Dauði Baldrs and Hliðskjálf (don't ask me how to pronounce them) were recorded in prison during the late '90s, though the only instrument he was allowed to use was a synthesizer, resulting in music more indebted to ambient than black metal.

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