Greene St. began in the early 1970s as Big Apple Recordings, which was a partnership between the Philip Glass music director Michael Riesman and producer Steve Loeb. The first studio manager was Jonathan Katz who would later make a name for himself as “Dr Katz” a popular albeit cartoon figure on Comedy Central and the first studio chief engineer was Wieslaw Woszczyk now Dr. Wieslaw Woszczyk who holds the James McGill Chair Professorship in Sound Recording and is the Founding Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology at McGill University.
In 1983 Loeb bought out Riesman and became the sole owner of the studio which was renamed Greene St. Recording. Former Woszczyk assistant Rod Hui became chief engineer and Robyn Sansone became studio manager. In the first year as Greene St. under Loeb, Hui and Sansone, Greene Street recorded and mixed a number of records including the three groundbreaking hits Shannon’s “Let The Music Play”, Kurtis Blow’s “The Breaks” and Run DMC’s “It’s Like That”.
In 1983 Dave Harrington commenced as studio manager. The studio’s engineering team included, Nick Sansano, Rod Hui, Jamey Staub, Andrew Spigelman, Chris Shaw, Phil Painson, Prince Strickland, Charlie Dos Santos, Chris Champion, Djini Brown, and Danny Madorsky. In 1986 Greene St. underwent renovation and an additional two rooms were added to the studio, in which the studio owners installed audio technology that was new to New York at the time (an AMEK APC 1000 mixing desk, with Massenburg moving fader automation, and a pair of Roger Quested tri-amped speaker systems).
The list of artists who recorded at the Greene St. studio includes: Run–D.M.C., Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Sonic Youth, New Order, Ice Cube, Riot, Bonnie Tyler, Chaka Khan, James Brown, Jenny Burton, John Robie, Afrika Bambaataa, Dave Matthews Band, George Benson, Roy Ayers, George Clinton, Propellerheads, IAM (French rap, album L’école du micro d’argent), and You Am I.
In the 90’s a new generation of hip hop artists recorded there from Heavy D, Beastie Boys, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, DJ Muggs, Tricky, Black Eyed Peas, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Jungle Brothers, Mos Def & Talib Kweli, Black Thought, all cemented the studio’s place in the golden era of NYC hip hop. Producer Pete Rock frequently recorded at the studio, having liked the equalizer that was used there, which gave many of his productions a special “wah-wah” effect.
Chuck D, of U.S. hip hop group Public Enemy, posted a photo on his Twitter profile of a cassette tape from the Greene St. studio. The tape’s label is branded with the studio’s branding and a hand-written title indicates that the studio was used for the recording of the song “Fight The Power.”