Trident Studios

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This article is taken from WikiPedia (possible automated direct link here).
Although it's a good start, it should be reworked ASAP.

Trident Studios is a British recording facility, located at 17 St Anne's Court in London's Soho district. It was constructed in 1967 by brothers Norman and Barry Sheffield. The first major hit recorded at Trident was My Name's Jack by Manfred Mann in March 1968, which launched its reputation. One of the many famous albums recorded at Trident was Lou Reed's Transformer, produced by David Bowie, who in turn recorded many albums there including Ziggy Stardust. Rick Wakeman was the in-house session keyboard player at the time and can be heard on many recordings, including the classics "Life on Mars?" and "Changes".

It was the Sheffields's relaxed attitude to audio engineering and state of the art recording equipment that made many artists want to record there. In other studios, such as EMI/Abbey Road Studios, the engineers walked around in white coats and did most things "by the book".

Trident Studios always had the newest and most groundbreaking equipment. They were the first studio in the UK to use Dolby noise reduction, and employ an eight-track reel to reel recording deck. Whereas other studios might spend months testing a new device, the Sheffield brothers believed that if it had been manufactured in the first place, then it was good enough for studio use. Their Ampex eight-track machine drew the Beatles on July 31st 1968 to record "Hey Jude" (Abbey Road still only used four-track)although Abbey Road had taken delivery of a 3M 8 track machine it was not sutible for over dubbing and had to be modified before use. The White Album tracks "Dear Prudence", "Honey Pie", "Savoy Truffle" and "Martha My Dear" were also recorded there.The Beatles also recorded on 22nd February 1969 'I want You (She's So Heavy)'for the album Abbey Road. John and Yoko later returned with The plastic Ono band to record 'Cold Turkey' featuring the brillant lead guitar track played by Eric Clapton.

Many Apple Records artists used Trident Studios, including Billy Preston, Mary Hopkin, and James Taylor. George Harrison's triple album, All Things Must Pass, containing the massive 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. Paul McCartney inadvertently helped Queen on their road to success — he used to block-book the studio and not always turn up. This allowed Queen to record in the studios down time.

Trident gained a reputation for its piano which can be heard on "Hey Jude", Elton John's "Your Song", and many other tracks. It was a handmade C. Bechstein concert-sized instrument that was over one hundred years old and its classic sound was much sought after but, after being re-strung towards the end of Trident's history, lost its magic and was never quite the same.

Other artists who were sent from Apple Records to Trident, considering the limitation of the Apple studios at the time, were Harry Nilsson, Billy Preston, Mary Hopkin and James Taylor, as well as the four members of the Beatles for their solo projects. Apparently, it was during these days that Paul McCartney decided to support a new promising band called Queen by letting them use the booked hours at the studio that he was intentionally not using. In March 1968 Manfred Mann recorded Trident's very first number 1 at the studio, the single "My Name's Jack", launching Trident as a top professional studio. During the early 70's, some of the most reputed artists used the studios for their recordings, including Elton John, Marc Bolan/T.Rex, Carly Simon, Frank Zappa, Rolling Stones, Free, Plastic Ono Band,lindisfarne, Dusty Springfield, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Krisma and Jeff Beck/Rod Stewart.

This period coincided with the incorporation of a young engineer called Ken Scott, who would become one of the most reputed engineers and producers in the history of rock music with his involvement in David Bowie's albums "Hunky Dory" (1971) and "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust" (1972). Scott later gained an international reputation with numerous works, including Supertramp's "Crime of the Century" (1974), Lou Reed's Transformer (1972), Devo's "Duty Now For The Future" (1980) and Jeff Beck's There and Back (1980).

Tony Stratton-Smith's Charisma Records was also one of the most regular clients of the studios during the 70's. Genesis recorded at Trident several of their most renowned albums there, including "Trespass” (1970), “Nursery Cryme” (1971) and “A Trick Of The Tail” (1976). Other artists from the label who recorded at Trident were Van Der Graaf Generator, Peter Hammill, Lindisfarne and Peter Gabriel.

The history of the Sheffield brothers and Trident studios is also linked to the early days of Queen despite their turbulent professional relationship which ended up with acrimony. The Sheffield brothers did an agreement with the band to get their debut album recorded only during the studio's downtime. This turned the process of the recordings into a painful and long experience and, to add more fuel to the fire, after the album was completed the Sheffield brothers failed to find a record company to get it released. Finally, eight months later the brothers released the album themselves under the Trident label. The same story repeated again with the release of the band's second album Queen II, which was delayed for several months and it was solely issued in UK. This caused the split between Queen and the Sheffield brothers and in 1973 the band signed to EMI.

Trident Studios was sold in December 1981.

The current studio 'Trident Sound Studios' are at the same premises but are not related to the original Trident Studios, they specialise in Audio Post Production. The original control room is still in use and on Thursday evenings at 6pm they hold a 'Magical History Tour'for the public and you can listen to over 35 minutes of clasic tracks which were recorded in that very same room and listen to a guide tell you about its magical history. The walls are covered with Memorabilia and Tridents history is kept alive.

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