Trident Studios

The former Trident Studios building at St Anne's Court, Soho, London, 2018, with the David Bowie Blue Plaque
Trident Studios Logo.
Trident Studios Logo
Trident Studios London showing Interior Mixing Desk.
Trident Studios interior circa 1975

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.

"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.

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 Sheffield brothers had a relaxed working attitude, but also emphasised high standards of audio engineering.[1][page needed] The studio's state-of-the-art recording equipment helped attract many major artists to record there.

The Beatles and Apple Records

In mid-1968, Trident Studios was the first in the UK to use Dolby noise reduction, and employ an eight-track reel-to-reel recording deck.

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 ..."[1][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.

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.

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