The Manor Studio (a.k.a. The Manor) was a recording studio in the manor house at the village of Shipton-on-Cherwell in Oxfordshire, England, north of the city of Oxford.
Shipton-on-Cherwell is a village on the River Cherwell about 2 miles (3 km) north of Kidlington in Oxfordshire, England. The village is part of the civil parish of Shipton-on-Cherwell and Thrupp.
Oxford is a university city in south central England and the county town of Oxfordshire. With a population of approximately 155,000, it is the 52nd largest city in the United Kingdom, with one of the fastest growing populations in the UK, and it remains the most ethnically diverse area in Oxfordshire county. The city is 51 miles (82 km) from London, 61 miles (98 km) from Bristol, 59 miles (95 km) from Southampton, 57 miles (92 km) from Birmingham and 24 miles (39 km) from Reading.
The Manor and its outbuildings are listed Grade II on the National Heritage List for England.
The National Heritage List for England (NHLE) is England’s official list of buildings, monuments, parks and gardens, wrecks, battlefields and World Heritage Sites. It is maintained by Historic England and brings together these different designations as a single resource even though they vary in the type of legal protection afforded to each. Conservation areas do not appear on the NHLE since they are designated by the relevant local planning authority.
The Manor was the third residential recording studio in the United Kingdom. The first being Ascot Sound Studios built between 1970-1971 by John Lennon in an addition to his Tittenhurst Park mansion, where he recorded his Imagine album. The second being Rockfield Studios in Monmouthshire.[ citation needed ] The concept was pioneered in 1969 by French musician Michel Magne in the Château d'Hérouville.
John Winston Ono Lennon was an English singer, songwriter and peace activist who co-founded the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. He and fellow member Paul McCartney formed a much-celebrated songwriting partnership. Along with George Harrison and Ringo Starr, the group achieved worldwide fame during the 1960s. In 1969, Lennon started the Plastic Ono Band with his second wife, Yoko Ono, and he continued to pursue a solo career following the Beatles' break-up in April 1970.
Tittenhurst Park is a Grade II listed early Georgian country house in an estate of 72 acres off London Road at Beggar's Bush near Ascot and over the parish border into Sunningdale, both in the English county of Berkshire. It was famously the home of musicians John Lennon and Yoko Ono from the late summer of 1969 until August 1971, and then the home of Ringo Starr and family until the late 1980s. Starr sold the property to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, in 1989.
Imagine is the second studio album by John Lennon after his departure from the Beatles. Recorded and released in 1971, the album's musical arrangements are more elaborate compared to the basic, small-group arrangements of his first album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.
The manor house was owned by Richard Branson and used as a recording studio for Virgin Records, although artists signed to other labels also used the studios.
Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English business magnate, investor, author and philanthropist. He founded the Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies.
Virgin Records Ltd. is a British record label founded by entrepreneurs Richard Branson, Simon Draper, Nik Powell, and musician Tom Newman in 1972. It grew to be a worldwide phenomenon over time, with the success of platinum performers such as Aaliyah, George Michael, Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, Roy Orbison, Devo, Tangerine Dream, Genesis, Keith Richards, the Human League, Culture Club, Simple Minds, Lenny Kravitz, dc Talk, the Smashing Pumpkins, Mike Oldfield, Gorillaz,Lewis Capaldi and Spice Girls, among others.
The first officially released LP to be recorded there, while the studio was still being given its finishing touches in late 1971, was Let's Make Up And Be Friendly , a farewell reunion album by members of The Bonzo Dog Band. The most famous album to be recorded there was perhaps Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield, during 1972–73 when Oldfield was given a week to record an LP at the studio. Vivian Stanshall, formerly of The Bonzo Dog Band, was recording his own first solo album there immediately afterwards, which led to his guest role as Master Of Ceremonies on Tubular Bells.Sandy Denny also began her second solo album Sandy there in March 1972.
Tubular Bells is the debut album by English musician and composer Mike Oldfield, released on Virgin Records on 25 May 1973. It comprises two mostly instrumental compositions of over twenty minutes each. Oldfield recorded it when he was 19 and played most of the instruments.
Michael Gordon Oldfield is an English multi-instrumentalist and composer. His work blends progressive rock with world, folk, classical, electronic, ambient, and new-age music. His biggest commercial success is the 1973 album Tubular Bells – which launched Virgin Records and became a hit in America after its opening was used as the theme for the film The Exorcist. He recorded the 1983 hit single "Moonlight Shadow" and a rendition of the Christmas piece "In Dulci Jubilo".
Vivian Stanshall was an English singer-songwriter, musician, author, poet and wit, best known for his work with the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, for his exploration of the British upper classes in Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, and for acting as Master of Ceremonies on Mike Oldfield's album Tubular Bells.
In April 1995, after the takeover of Virgin Records by EMI, The Manor Studio was closed as a recording studio by EMI. It is now the country home of the Marquess of Headfort.
EMI Group Limited was a British Transnational conglomerate founded in March 1931 in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012, it was the fourth largest business group and record label conglomerate in the music industry, and was one of the big four record companies ; its labels included EMI Records, Parlophone, Virgin Records, and Capitol Records, which are now owned by other companies.
Marquess of Headfort is a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created in 1800 for Thomas Taylour, 2nd Earl of Bective.
In 2010, NME reported that the Manor was up for sale for £5.75 million.
The facilities were advertised as follows, as of 1973:
Alexandra Elene MacLean Denny was an English singer-songwriter who was lead singer of the British folk rock band Fairport Convention. She has been described as "the pre-eminent British folk rock singer".
Tubular Bells 2003 is an album by Mike Oldfield, released in 2003 by Warner Music. It is a complete re-recording of Oldfield's 1973 album debut Tubular Bells, which had been released 30 years earlier.
Henry Cow were an English avant-rock group, founded at Cambridge University in 1968 by multi-instrumentalists Fred Frith and Tim Hodgkinson. Henry Cow's personnel fluctuated over their decade together, but drummer Chris Cutler, bassist John Greaves, and bassoonist/oboist Lindsay Cooper were important long-term members alongside Frith and Hodgkinson.
Hergest Ridge is the second studio album by English musician and songwriter Mike Oldfield, released on 28 August 1974 by Virgin Records. The unexpected commercial and critical success of his debut album Tubular Bells (1973) affected Oldfield, who decided against touring and avoided the press with his newfound fame. Instead, he retreated to Hergest Ridge on the England–Wales border, near where he was living at the time, to write a follow-up which he recorded in 1974 at The Manor in Oxfordshire with Tom Newman returning as co-producer. Similar to Oldfield's first, the album is a single composition split into two parts covering different moods and musical styles.
Slapp Happy was a German/English avant-pop group, formed in Germany in 1972. Their lineup consisted of Anthony Moore (keyboards), Peter Blegvad (guitar) and Dagmar Krause (vocals). The band members moved to England in 1974 where they merged with Henry Cow, but the merger ended soon afterwards and Slapp Happy split up. Slapp Happy's sound was characterised by Dagmar Krause's unique vocal style. From 1982 there have been brief reunions to work on an opera, record a CD and tour Japan.
Peter Blegvad is an American musician, singer-songwriter, writer, and cartoonist. He was a founding member of German/English avant-pop band Slapp Happy, which later merged briefly with Henry Cow, and has released many solo and collaborative albums. He is the son of Lenore and Erik Blegvad, who were respectively, a children's book author and illustrator.
Anthony Moore is a British experimental music composer, performer and producer. He was a founding member of the band Slapp Happy, worked with Henry Cow and has made a number of solo albums, including Flying Doesn't Help (1979) and World Service (1981).
Desperate Straights is a collaborative studio album by British avant-rock groups Slapp Happy and Henry Cow. It was recorded at Virgin Records' Manor studios in November 1974, and released in February 1975. It was Slapp Happy's second album for Virgin, and they had invited Henry Cow to record with them.
John Greaves is a British bass guitarist and composer, best known as a member of Henry Cow and his collaborative albums with Peter Blegvad. He was also a member of National Health and Soft Heap, and has recorded several solo albums, including Accident (1982), Parrot Fashions (1984), The Caretaker (2001) and Greaves Verlaine (2008).
Let's Make Up And Be Friendly was the fifth and, until 2007, final original album by the Bonzo Dog Band. The group had already disbanded when United Artists Records informed band members that the group owed the label one more album. This 1972 farewell album was the result. In 2007 the album was re-issued on CD by EMI with six bonus tracks, some of which were solo recordings by the members of the group.
Lindsay L. Cooper was a Scottish double bass, electric bass and cello player. He spent four years working as a ship's musician and had performed and recorded with a number of other musicians and bands, including Michael Jackson, Boy George, Derek Bailey and Mike Oldfield.
If were a British progressive rock, rock music and jazz rock band formed in London in 1969. In the period spanning 1970–75, they released eight studio-recorded albums and undertook 17 tours of Europe, the US and Canada. In 2019, The current band includes veteran members Rick Wills, Dennis Elliott, Ian McDonald, Brian Howe and Terry Smith
Not to be confused with Thomas Newman.
Pierre Moerlen was a French drummer and percussionist, best known for his work with Gong and Mike Oldfield and as Pierre Moerlen's Gong.
Morgan Studios, also known as Morgan Sound Studios, were recording studios at 169-171 High Road, Willesden, north west London. The studios were notable for many recordings of the 1960s and 1970s by some of the most important British bands and artists such as Ten Years After, Arrows, Yes, The Kinks, Donovan, Vivian Stanshall, Paul Simon, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Greenslade, Joan Armatrading, Cat Stevens, Paul McCartney, Jethro Tull, Rod Stewart, Black Sabbath, UFO and The Cure. The studio was also notable for having the first 24-track tape machine in England made by Ampex.
The Mike Oldfield Collection 1974–1983 is a compilation album by Mike Oldfield, released in 2009, to coincide with the reissue of Oldfield's debut album, Tubular Bells, by Mercury Records.
"The Intro and The Outro" is a recording by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. It appears on their debut album, Gorilla (1967). It is not so much a song as a comic monologue in which the speaker introduces the musicians who ostensibly appear on the recording. The recording fades out before the emcee completes the introductions and without the "orchestra" being able to play anything more than a vamp. The piece was written by Bonzo member Vivian Stanshall, who also provides the vocal. Stanshall first introduces the seven members of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, who are credited with their actual instruments, over a vamp that resembles Duke Ellington’s "C Jam Blues".