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Trident Studios was a British recording facility, located at 17 St Anne's Court in London's Soho district between 1968 and 1981. It was constructed in 1967 by Norman Sheffield, drummer of the 1960s group the Hunters, and his brother Barry.
St Anne's Court is an alleyway that connects Dean Street and Wardour Street in London's Soho district. Parts of it can be dated back to the late seventeenth century.
London is the capital of and largest city in England and the United Kingdom, and the largest city in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
Soho is an area of the City of Westminster, part of the West End of London. Originally a fashionable district for the aristocracy, it has been one of the main entertainment districts in the capital since the 19th century.
"My Name is Jack" by Manfred Mann was recorded at Trident in March 1968, and helped launch the studio's reputation. Later that year, the Beatles recorded their song "Hey Jude" there and part of their self-titled double album (also known as the "White Album"). Other well-known albums and songs recorded at Trident include Elton John's "Candle in the Wind", David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust , and Queen's albums Queen , Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack .
Manfred Mann were an English rock band, formed in London in 1962. The group were named after their keyboardist Manfred Mann, who later led the successful 1970s group Manfred Mann's Earth Band. The band had two different lead vocalists during their period of success, Paul Jones from 1962 to 1966, and Mike d'Abo from 1966 to 1969.
The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The line-up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr led them to be regarded as the most influential band of all time. With a sound rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to the evolution of pop music into an art form, and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. They often incorporated elements of classical music, older pop, and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, and they experimented with a number of musical styles in later years, ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As they continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they came to be seen as embodying the era's socio-cultural movements.
"Hey Jude" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles that was released as a non-album single in August 1968. It was written by Paul McCartney and credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership. The single was the Beatles' first release on their Apple record label and one of the "First Four" singles by Apple's roster of artists, marking the label's public launch. "Hey Jude" was a number-one hit in many countries around the world and became the top-selling single of 1968 in the UK, the US, Australia and Canada. Its nine-week run at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 tied the all-time record in 1968 for the longest run at the top of the US charts. It has sold approximately eight million copies and is frequently included on music critics' lists of the greatest songs of all time.
Other artists recorded at Trident included the Bee Gees, Carly Simon, Chris de Burgh, Frank Zappa, Genesis, Brand X, James Taylor, Joan Armatrading, Joe Cocker, Kiss, Tygers of Pan Tang, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Marc Almond, Marc and the Mambas, Soft Cell, the Rolling Stones, Thin Lizzy, Tina Turner, T-Rex, Van der Graaf Generator, Yes and John Entwistle.
The Bee Gees were a pop music group formed in 1958. Their lineup consisted of brothers Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. The trio were especially successful as a popular music act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and later as prominent performers of the disco music era in the mid-to-late 1970s. The group sang recognisable three-part tight harmonies; Robin's clear vibrato lead vocals were a hallmark of their earlier hits, while Barry's R&B falsetto became their signature sound during the mid-to-late 1970s and 1980s. The Bee Gees wrote all of their own hits, as well as writing and producing several major hits for other artists.
Carly Elisabeth Simon is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and children's author. She first rose to fame in the 1970s with a string of hit records; her 13 Top 40 U.S. hits include "Anticipation", "You Belong To Me", "Coming Around Again", and her four Gold certified singles "Jesse", "Mockingbird", "You're So Vain", and "Nobody Does It Better" from the 1977 James Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me.
Christopher John Davison, known professionally as Chris de Burgh, is a British-Irish singer-songwriter and instrumentalist. He started out as an art rock performer but subsequently started writing more pop-oriented material. He has had several top 40 hits in the UK and two in the US, but he is more popular in other countries, particularly Norway and Brazil. His 1986 love song "The Lady in Red" reached number one in several countries. De Burgh has sold over 45 million albums worldwide.
The Sheffield brothers had a relaxed working attitude, but also emphasised high standards of audio engineering. [ page needed ] The studio's state-of-the-art recording equipment helped attract many major artists to record there.
In mid-1968, Trident Studios were among the first in the UK to use Dolby noise reduction, and employ an eight-track reel to reel recording deck.
Noise reduction is the process of removing noise from a signal.
Multitrack recording (MTR)—also known as multitracking, double tracking, or tracking—is a method of sound recording developed in 1955 that allows for the separate recording of multiple sound sources or of sound sources recorded at different times to create a cohesive whole. Multitracking became possible in the mid-1950s when the idea of simultaneously recording different audio channels to separate discrete "tracks" on the same reel-to-reel tape was developed. A "track" was simply a different channel recorded to its own discrete area on the tape whereby their relative sequence of recorded events would be preserved, and playback would be simultaneous or synchronized.
While Abbey Road Studios still only used four-track at the time, Trident's Ampex eight-track machine drew the Beatles on 31 July 1968 to record their song "Hey Jude". Paul McCartney later said about recording the track at Trident: "Words cannot describe the pleasure of listening back to the final mix of 'Hey Jude' on four giant Tannoy speakers which dwarfed everything else in the room ..." [ page needed ] The White Album tracks "Dear Prudence", "Honey Pie", "Savoy Truffle" and "Martha My Dear" were also recorded there, and on 22 February 1969, the Beatles first recorded "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" for the album Abbey Road . John Lennon and Yoko Ono later returned with the Plastic Ono Band to record "Cold Turkey" featuring Eric Clapton on lead guitar.
Abbey Road Studios is a recording studio at 3 Abbey Road, St John's Wood, City of Westminster, London, England. It was established in November 1931 by the Gramophone Company, a predecessor of British music company EMI, which owned it until Universal Music took control of part of EMI in 2013.
Ampex is an American electronics company founded in 1944 by Alexander M. Poniatoff as a spin-off of Dalmo-Victor. The name AMPEX is a portmanteau, created by its founder, which stands for Alexander M. Poniatoff Excellence. Today, Ampex operates as Ampex Data Systems Corporation, a subsidiary of Delta Information Systems, and consists of two business units. The Silicon Valley unit, known internally as Ampex Data Systems (ADS), manufactures ruggedized, high-capacity, high-performance digital data storage systems capable of functioning in harsh environments on land, in the air, at sea, and in space. The Colorado Springs, Colorado unit, referred to as Ampex Intelligent Systems (AIS), serves as a laboratory and hub for the company’s line of industrial control system cyber security products and services and its artificial intelligence/machine learning technology which is available across all of the company’s products.
Sir James Paul McCartney is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He gained worldwide fame as the bass guitarist and singer for the rock band the Beatles, widely considered the most popular and influential group in the history of popular music. McCartney is one of the most successful composers and performers of all time. He has written, or co-written, 32 songs that have reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and as of 2009 he had 25.5 million RIAA-certified units in the United States. His songwriting partnership with John Lennon remains the most successful in history. After the group disbanded in 1970, he pursued a solo career and formed the band Wings with his first wife, Linda, and Denny Laine.
Many Apple Records artists used Trident Studios, including Badfinger, Billy Preston, Mary Hopkin and James Taylor. Part of George Harrison's triple album All Things Must Pass , containing the hit "My Sweet Lord", and Ringo Starr's "It Don't Come Easy", were also recorded there. Harry Nilsson recorded "Without You" at Trident, and portions of several of his 1970s albums.
The history of the Sheffield brothers and Trident Studios is also linked to the early discovery and success of the rock band Queen. In 1972, Trident Studios started two record production companies, one of which (Neptune Productions) initially signed three artists, Mark Ashton, Eugene Wallace and Queen. The agreements with the artists were for recording and publishing, but Queen had no management, so they insisted that Trident also take on that responsibility. Trident, initially reluctant, eventually agreed and Queen signed an agreement with Trident Recording, Publishing and Management, on 1 November 1972.
The Management at the time claimed the deal allowed the band full access to the studio's cutting edge facilities, and supported them by providing the best producers and engineers - so long as the foundations of the band's first album Queen were recorded 'off peak'. Roger Taylor later quoted these early off-peak studio hours as "gold dust".
After the album was completed the Sheffield brothers had great difficulty finding a record label to take on the album and release it. [ page needed ] Finally, eight months later, the brothers decided to take on the risk and fund the release themselves and Queen released their self-titled first album under the Trident label in a license deal with EMI Records in the UK and Elektra Records in the US. Trident subsequently released Queen II , Sheer Heart Attack and A Night at the Opera under this same arrangement. After the band left Trident, they signed directly with EMI and Elektra.
The 2018 Queen Biopic Bohemian Rhapsody featured a dramatisation of the studio in the film, during the making of Seven Seas of Rhye.
In March 1968, Manfred Mann recorded Trident's first number one at the studio, the single "My Name is Jack". From 1968 to 1981, some of the most reputed artists used the studios for their recordings, including David Bowie, Elton John, Marc Bolan/T.Rex, Carly Simon, Frank Zappa, the Rolling Stones, Free, Genesis, Lou Reed, Joan Armatrading, Black Sabbath, Lindisfarne, Dusty Springfield, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Krisma, Jeff Beck/Rod Stewart and other artists. Elton John's "Your Song" and Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" were both engineered at Trident by Robin Geoffrey Cable, who later went on to produce two albums for the Dickies.
Tony Stratton-Smith's Charisma Records was also one of the most regular clients of the studios during the 1970s. Genesis recorded at Trident several of their most renowned albums there, including Trespass (1970), Nursery Cryme (1971) and A Trick of the Tail (1976). The jazz fusion band Brand X recorded their debut studio album Unorthodox Behaviour here (1976). Other artists from the label who recorded at Trident were Van der Graaf Generator, Peter Hammill, Lindisfarne and Peter Gabriel. Charisma's first Van der Graaf Generator release, The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other , was recorded at Trident from 11 to 14 December 1969. Most of the album was recorded on 8 track, but the last song, "After the Flood", was recorded on 16. Trident was also among the first studios in the UK to obtain a 16-track machine. [ page needed ]
The Trident A Range consoles were originally built by and for Trident Studios. Other studios placed their orders and Trident Audio Developments was formed. Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles was one of the early recipients of one of the first production models, and ultimately purchased three new from Trident and one from a broker at a later time. [ page needed ] David Bowie, Rod Stewart, and Frank Sinatra are among the early artists who first recorded hit records on Cherokee’s first 'A' Range console.
"Though it had a very limited run, the Trident A Range console gained a reputation for its very distinct and pleasant sound with a very "musical" EQ section. Along with channel strips from early Neve and Helios consoles, original Trident A Range modules have kept a healthy resale value and are much sought after by engineers who like to combine old-school analogue gear with cutting-edge digital recording technology."
Trident also gained a reputation for the sound of its piano, which can be heard on the Beatles' "Hey Jude", Elton John's "Your Song", Queen's "Killer Queen" and many other tracks. It was a handmade C. Bechstein concert-sized instrument that was over one hundred years old. [ page needed ]
Trident Studios was sold in December 1981. It was bought by its senior engineer, Stephen Short, along with three other investors. In 1986, Short bought out the other investors and opened Trident 2 which was opened in 1983 and the investors were J.P. Illiesco and Rusty Egan. There were also another group of producers and investors who tried to buy Trident in the 80's after its initial closure headed by Neville Kernick-Nixon, Flood and John Keating, the former then opened The Mad House later known as The Music Station.
The original Trident mixing desk also survived, and was purchased in the early 1980s from the studio's owners by songwriter and former Cure bassist Phil Thornalley. It is now housed in Thornalley's own recording studio, Swamp Studios in north-west London. The Swamp is actually based around the Trident Tri‑mix desk.
The current residing business, Trident Sound Studios Ltd, opened in 1993 and specialises in voiceover and ADR work. Although not related to the original Trident Studios, it was named in recognition of the original facility.
Sheffield together with two of his sons and a former sound engineer from Trident continued to work within the music industry and assisted in the development of a mobile music app named "Trackd". The app allows musicians to record collaboratively directly on a mobile device using an 8-track mixer, and also allows the apps' musicians to promote their music to a worldwide using the app platform promoted through app stores. The app has been downloaded over a quarter of a million times to date and won awards for its innovation to music technology.[ citation needed ]
On 15 June 2017, a British Plaque Trust permanent blue plaque was unveiled outside the building at 17 St Anne's Court, London in the recognition of the multiple David Bowie albums recorded there.
The following is a partial list of work either recorded, mixed or mastered at Trident Studios between 1968 and 1981, taken from the timeline on the Trident Studios official website and edited.
|Ace||How Long (1974)|
|Joan Armatrading||Whatever's for Us (1972)|
|The Beatles||"Hey Jude", "Dear Prudence", "Honey Pie", "Martha My Dear", "Savoy Truffle" (1968), "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" (1969)|
|Bee Gees||Odessa (1969)|
|Marc Bolan / Tyrannosaurus Rex / T-Rex||Unicorn (1969), T. Rex (1970), Electric Warrior (1971)|
|The Boomtown Rats||"I Don't Like Mondays" (1979)|
|David Bowie||Space Oddity (1969), The Man Who Sold the World (1970), Hunky Dory (1971), The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust (1972), Aladdin Sane (1973), Pin Ups (1973),|
|Chris de Burgh||Far Beyond These Castle Walls (1974)|
|Billy Cobham||Spectrum (1974)|
|Cass Elliot||The Road Is No Place for a Lady (1972)|
|Free||Fire and Water (1970)|
|Peter Gabriel||Peter Gabriel (1978 album, often referred to as Scratch)|
|Genesis||Trespass (1970), Nursery Cryme (1971), Selling England by the Pound (1973), A Trick of the Tail (1976), Wind & Wuthering (1976), Seconds Out (1977), ...And Then There Were Three... (1978)|
|Elton John||Elton John (1970), Tumbleweed Connection (1970), 17-11-70, Madman Across the Water (1971), Honky Château (1972), Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player (1973), Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973), Rock of the Westies (1975)|
|Judas Priest||Stained Class (1978)|
|Manfred Mann||"My Name is Jack" (1968)|
|Mott the Hoople||All the Young Dudes (1973)|
|Queen||Queen (1973), Queen II (1974), Sheer Heart Attack (1974), A Night at the Opera (1975)|
|Lou Reed||Transformer (1972)|
|The Rolling Stones||"Midnight Rambler" (1969), Let It Bleed (1969)|
|Rush||Hemispheres (1978), Permanent Waves (1980)|
|Carly Simon||No Secrets (1972)|
|Supertramp||Crime of the Century (1974)|
|James Taylor||James Taylor (1968)|
|Thin Lizzy||Nightlife (1974)|
|Tygers of Pan Tang||Crazy Nights (1981)|
The Beatles, also known as "The White Album", is the ninth studio album by the English rock band the Beatles, released on 22 November 1968. A double album, its plain white sleeve has no graphics or text other than the band's name embossed, which was intended as a direct contrast to the vivid cover artwork of the band's previous LP Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Although no singles were issued from The Beatles in Britain and the United States, the songs "Hey Jude" and "Revolution" originated from the same recording sessions and were issued on a single in August 1968. The album's songs range in style from British blues and ska to pastiches of Chuck Berry and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
"Revolution" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. Three versions of the song were recorded in 1968, all during sessions for the Beatles' self-titled double album, also known as "the White Album": a slow, bluesy arrangement that would make the final cut for the LP; an abstract sound collage that originated as the latter part of "Revolution 1" and appears on the same album; and the faster, hard rock version similar to "Revolution 1", released as the B-side of the "Hey Jude" single. Although the single version was issued first, it was recorded several weeks after "Revolution 1", as a remake specifically intended for release as a single.
In their native United Kingdom, between 1962 and 1970, the Beatles released 12 studio albums, 13 extended plays (EPs) and 22 singles. However, the band's international discography is complicated, due to different versions of their albums sometimes being released in other countries, particularly during their early years on Capitol Records in North America. The Beatles' discography was originally released on the vinyl format, with full-length long plays (LPs), shorter EPs and singles. Over the years, the collection has also been released on cassette, 8-track, compact disc (CD), and on a USB flash drive in MP3 and 24-bit FLAC format. Although their output has come to include vault items and remixed mash-ups, the Beatles' "core catalogue", recorded between 1962 to 1970, comprises 213 songs, totalling approximately 10 hours of music. Additionally, they released five tracks that are different versions of previously released songs: "Love Me Do", "Revolution", "Get Back", "Across the Universe" and "Let It Be"; two tracks in German: "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand" and "Sie Liebt Dich"; and two tracks that are duplicates of songs included on previous albums but also included on the album Yellow Submarine: "Yellow Submarine" and "All You Need Is Love".
Queen is the self-titled debut studio album by the British rock band Queen, released on 13 July 1973 by EMI Records in the UK and by Elektra Records in the US. It was recorded at Trident Studios and De Lane Lea Music Centre, London, with production by Roy Thomas Baker, John Anthony and the band members themselves.
Hey Jude is a 1970 collection of non-album singles and B-sides by the Beatles. It included "I Should Have Known Better" and "Can't Buy Me Love", two singles released by Capitol Records whose only previous American album appearance had been on the A Hard Day's Night soundtrack album, which had been released by United Artists Records. The Hey Jude LP had been out of print since the late 1980s, although it remained available on cassette during the 1990s. The album was issued on CD for the first time in 2014, as an individual release and in a box set titled The U.S. Albums.
Ken Scott is a British record producer and engineer known for being one of the five main engineers for the Beatles, as well as engineering Elton John, Pink Floyd, Procol Harum, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Duran Duran, the Jeff Beck Group and many more. As a producer, Scott is noted for his work with David Bowie, Supertramp, Devo, Kansas, the Tubes, Ronnie Montrose, Level 42, among others.
"Hey Bulldog" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles released on their 1969 soundtrack album Yellow Submarine. Credited to Lennon–McCartney but written primarily by John Lennon, it was finished in the studio by Lennon and McCartney. The song was recorded during the filming of the "Lady Madonna" promotional video, and, like "Lady Madonna", is one of the few Beatles songs based on a piano riff. It had a working title of "You Can Talk To Me". In 2018, the music staff of Time Out London ranked "Hey Bulldog" at number 27 on their list of the best Beatles songs.
Le Studio was a residential recording studio in the Laurentian Mountains near the town of Morin-Heights, Quebec, Canada built in 1972 by recording engineer and producer André Perry, Nick Blagona and Yaël Brandeis. The studio, where artists recorded and stayed, was the venue for many notable Canadian and international artists, including Rush, The Police, Bee Gees, Chicago, David Bowie and Cat Stevens. Perry described the faculty as "It was like the United Nations. I had people from London, New York, Quebecois, all over the world."
Christopher P. Thomas is an English record producer who has worked extensively with the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Procol Harum, Roxy Music, Badfinger, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Pete Townshend, Pulp and the Pretenders. He has also produced breakthrough albums for the Sex Pistols, the Climax Blues Band and INXS. He worked on the initial sessions for How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb by U2.
Cherokee Studios was a recording facility in Hollywood, founded in 1972 and closed in August 2007 to make way for a new building, after 35 years of operation under the Cherokee name as a well-renowned studio. Under the direction of a leading green developer, the site will become the Lofts @ Cherokee Studios – a Green LEED Platinum Live/Work complex offering professional recording studios in select units designed by Cherokee owner, Bruce Robb.
"Sour Milk Sea" is a song by English rock singer Jackie Lomax that was released as his debut single on the Beatles' Apple record label in August 1968. It was written by George Harrison during the Beatles' stay in Rishikesh, India, and given to Lomax to help launch Apple Records. The recording is a rarity among non-Beatles songs since it features three members of the band – Harrison, who also produced the track, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. Performed in the hard rock style, the song also includes musical contributions from Eric Clapton and session pianist Nicky Hopkins, and was the first of many Harrison productions for artists signed to the Beatles' record label.
Chameleon in the Shadow of the Night was the second solo album by British singer-songwriter Peter Hammill. It followed in the aftermath of the breakup of Hammill's band Van der Graaf Generator, although the other members of Van der Graaf Generator all perform on the album, blurring the distinction between solo and group work.
Associated Independent Recording (AIR) is an independent recording company founded in London in 1965 by Beatles producer Sir George Martin and his partner John Burgess, after their departure from Parlophone.
The studio practices of the Beatles evolved during the 1960s and, in some cases, influenced the way popular music was recorded. Some of the effects they employed were sampling, artificial double tracking (ADT) and the elaborate use of multitrack recording machines. They also used classical instruments on their recordings and guitar feedback. The group's attitude toward the recording process was summed up by Paul McCartney: "We would say, 'Try it. Just try it for us. If it sounds crappy, OK, we'll lose it. But it might just sound good.' We were always pushing ahead: Louder, further, longer, more, different."
Neil Kernon is an English musician, record producer, mixer and recording engineer from London, England. He is a Grammy Award winner, and has worked on over 100 Gold and Platinum records.
Multitrack recording of sound is the process in which sound and other electro-acoustic signals are captured on a recording medium such as magnetic tape, which is divided into two or more audio tracks that run parallel with each other. Because they are carried on the same medium, the tracks stay in perfect synchronisation, while allowing multiple sound sources to be recorded asynchronously. The first system for creating stereophonic sound was demonstrated by Clément Ader in Paris in 1881. The pallophotophone, invented by Charles A. Hoxie and first demonstrated in 1922, recorded optically on 35 mm film, and some versions used a format of as many as twelve tracks in parallel on each strip. The tracks were recorded one at a time in separate passes and were not intended for later mixdown or stereophony; as with later half-track and quarter-track monophonic tape recording, the multiple tracks simply multiplied the maximum recording time possible, greatly reducing cost and bulk. British EMI engineer Alan Blumlein patented systems for recording stereophonic sound and surround sound on disc and film in 1933. The history of modern multitrack audio recording using magnetic tape began in 1943 with the invention of stereo tape recording, which divided the recording head into two tracks.
Trident A Range consoles were originally built by and for Trident Studios. When word spread about this revolutionary new multi-track recording console design, other studios placed their orders and Trident Audio Developments was formed. Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles was one of the early recipients of one of the first production models. David Bowie, Rod Stewart, and Frank Sinatra are among the early artists who first recorded hit records on Cherokee's first A Range console. With only 13 consoles ever built of this model, the Trident A Range has attained a near mythical status in the professional recording industry.
Malcolm Toft is an audio engineer and businessman who worked at Trident Studios, first as an audio engineer, then as the studio's manager, and eventually as co-founder of recording console maker Trident Audio Developments. Toft went on to form another console company, Malcolm Toft Associates, which eventually led to the founding of Toft Audio Designs and now to Ocean Audio. Toft is also co-owner of The Music Mill Studio.
Norman Sheffield was a music and advertising industry figure, most noted for his music industry recording and management roles, ownership of the former Trident Studios, and being the original manager of the rock band Queen.