Capitol Records Tower is no more

Capitol Records Tower is no more


norman lebrecht

January 12, 2021

We’re hearing that the famous Hollywood studios where Frank Sinatra cut his best work has been shut down and its staff laid off.

The building is now owned bby Universal Music.



  • Lucy A. Hayes says:

    They should make low-rent apartments out of them for all of the suffering singers!

    President Biden’s innovative economic plans will support low-wage earners like them.

  • Larry says:

    Don’t forget Nat King Cole, too. It is as iconic a place for American music as is Carnegie Hall. No joke.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Capitol Records was already under the umbrella of Universal.

  • fierywoman says:

    I loved working there and seeing the beautiful black and white photos that I’ve never seen outside of the building of Sinatra, Garland, etc. singing in the very studio I was about to enter .

  • Bill says:

    Some might think the headline was actually talking about the building being demolished.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Stuff and nonsense. The building still stands, and post-Plague, it will be opened up again.
    Musicians and engineers for generations have said that the Capitol Building has the most natural-sounding echo chamber ever built for or in any recording studio.
    It’ll come back, if anything does.

  • JussiB says:

    I would convert it into a parking garage with 360 views!

  • CapitolRecordsFan says:

    This is FAKE news. The Capitol Records Tower on Vine Street is NOT closed and they did NOT lay off their staff. I just spoke with someone at Capitol a few minutes ago and they confirmed the tower is OPEN and there were NO layoffs.

    • Plush says:

      Totally fake news. After reading this article, I phoned Capitol and talked to a friend there. He didn’t know anything about this news and most staff was there. Somewhat reduced staff due to COVID.

  • SMH says:

    More sloppy “reporting” and click bait headlines.

    Capitol Records (legal name: Capitol Records, LLC, until 2007 Capitol Records Inc.) IS an American record label owned by Universal Music Group through its Capitol Music Group imprint. It was founded as the first west coast-based record label of note in the United States in 1942 by Johnny Mercer, Buddy DeSylva, and Glenn E. Wallichs. Capitol was acquired by British music conglomerate EMI as its North American subsidiary in 1955. EMI was acquired by Universal Music Group in 2012 and was merged with the company a year later, making Capitol and the Capitol Music Group both a part of UMG.

  • Phillip says:

    The Beatles did some amazing recordings there as well. BTW the Capital Tower is continuing as office and executive space for the time being. Only the recording studios and staffing have been shut down. The studios are in the ground floor/ basement of the building (depending on the entrance you use) and they are wonderful to record in.

    • The Rock Elitist says:

      Erroneous points of contention. 1. Though Capitol was their American distributor, the Beatles never recorded a single track in the Capitol Records studios in Hollywood., 2. The name is Capitol, with an “O”, 3. The recording studios have not been shut down, just the mastering studio and tape restoration departments. Scratch this whole comment and start again.

      • Greg Bottini says:

        Absolutely right on all counts, Rock Elitist!
        The closest The Beatles ever got to the Capitol Building is when their American-issued albums (on the Capitol label) were remastered there.
        And in comparison with the original British Parlophone-issued tracks, it’s obvious to anybody with ears that the remaster job was badly botched.
        It’s similar to the way that the Capitol-remastered Angel Records LP issues sound inferior to equivalent British EMI issues.
        What the hell was going on in the remastering room in those days? The Capitol Sinatras, Dean Martins, and Nat Coles, which were actually recorded there, in the Capitol studios, sound just great.

  • Steve says:

    Only the Mastering & Tape Restoration departments are being shut down. The mastering suites will be converted to small recording studios.

  • Paul says:

    Biden has not even taken office, Lucy A. Hayes, and you’re taking your cudgel to his economic plans. How very gratuitous and how very debased! The economy Trump has given to non billionaires has not been a rip-roaring success. Please give Biden his chance.

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    That’s sad. Another iconic name gone. I used to love seeing it every day in the 1990s when working at the Pantages. Just looked at Hollywood Boulevard on Google Street View and realise that little corner is no longer he seedy, scruffy thoroughfare it was, 23 years ago. Gone the big corner car park on Argyle, gone that lovely shop ‘Guns ‘n’ Knives on HB, gone the international newsagent on Vine. It looks more like Wilshire and Rodeo than anything else.

    • Greg Bottini says:

      It’s not gone, “face nappy guy”.
      It’s still there.
      It’s still called The Capitol Building.
      Go out and play with the rest of the MAGAts now, there’s a good lad.

  • CarlD says:

    I believe it was only the mastering department that was hit with layoffs. The rest simply involves temporary COVID-related shutdowns.

  • E Rand says:

    Good job Comrade Newsom! At least your covid numbers are smashing those hicks in Texas and Florida who preserved their economy…. oh..wait….

  • DariusMeowaud says:

    This garbled and erroneous post should be corrected. A Variety story reads: “The recording studios themselves, a tourist site as well as magnet for top recording artists since opening in 1956, will remain open. But Capitol Studios’ mastering rooms, which were nearly as venerated by engineers and producers, will not, as those spaces will be converted into recording studios — presumably much smaller ones than Studio A, where Frank Sinatra used to record with a full orchestra.”

  • Neb Rodgers says:

    Not the whole tower, just the mastering dept was laid off.

  • The Rock Elitist says:

    This is easily the most slanderous and INCORRECT reporting I have ever read. Just for the article heading alone, I hope is sued and removed from the internet. TABLOID BULLSHIT.

    Only the mastering studio and tape restoration departments have been closed. The four individuals affected by these closures will continue to be staff memmbers in other capacities.

    Any threat to the Capitol Records Tower building ITSELF is just a rumor. The building has landmark status and the studio floors (at least) are safe from conversion to other uses. UMG has maintained that any rumored conversion to condos remains off the table.

    Norman Lebrecht and, you should be ashamed for misguiding the public in your amateurish reporting. All for the sake of a headline. YOU SUCK.