It’s impossible to talk about the history of American music and not mention Muscle Shoals.
During the ’60s and ’70s, the biggest artists in the world retreated to small-town Alabama to work with famed music producer Rick Hall and the legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, aka the Swampers. Away from the hustle and bustle of places like New York and Los Angeles, the artists were isolated and distraction-free with only one thing to pass the time: make hit records.
And that’s what happened. Over and over again.
But Muscle Shoals isn’t some musical relic of the past.
Still today, artists continue to make the pilgrimage to record there in search of that elusive Muscle Shoals sound that created so many iconic songs over the years.
So in honor of the vast musical history, here are 15 famous songs recorded in Muscle Shoals.
(And in all honesty, this list could have easily been 30 or 40 songs long and still not encompass all the magic that was recorded there. But hey, we tried…)
I’m Your Puppet – James and Bobby Purify (1966)
Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett (1966)
Land of 1000 Dances – Wilson Pickett (1966)
When a Man Loves a Woman – Percy Sledge (1966)
I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) – Aretha Franklin (1967)
Tell Mama – Etta James (1967)
Sweet Soul Music – Arthur Conley (1967)
I’d Rather Go Blind – Etta James (1968)
Hey Jude – Wilson Pickett (1968)
Slip Away – Clarence Carter (1968)
Wild Horses – The Rolling Stones (1971)
Brown Sugar – The Rolling Stones (1971)
I’ll Take You There – The Staple Singers (1972)
What’s Your Name – Lynyrd Skynyrd (1977)
Old Time Rock and Roll – Bob Seger (1978)
There you have it. Fifteen famous songs recorded in Muscle Shoals. Did your favorite make the list?