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, a drummer of former 1960s group the Hunters, and his brother Barry. The current residing business, Trident Sound Studios Ltd, which opened in 1993, although not related, was named in recognition of the original Trident Studios
“My Name is Jack” by Manfred Mann was recorded at Trident in March 1968, and helped launch the studio’s reputation. Some well-known albums and singles recorded at Trident include the Beatles‘ White Album (although recording was largely done at Abbey Road Studios) and “Hey Jude“, George Harrison‘s triple album All Things Must Pass, Elton John‘s “Candle in the Wind” and David Bowie‘s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust. Rick Wakeman was the in-house session keyboard player at the time and can be heard on many recordings, including Bowie’s songs “Life on Mars?” and “Changes“.
Other artists recorded at Trident included the Bee Gees, Carly Simon, Chris de Burgh, Genesis, Brand X, James Taylor, Joan Armatrading, Joe Cocker, Kiss, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Marc Almond, Marc and the Mambas, Soft Cell, Queen, 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. The studio’s state-of-the-art recording equipment helped attract many major artists to record there.
The Beatles and Apple Records
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 single “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.
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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