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Trident Studios      

17 St. Annes Court Soho London

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Trident Studios was originally set up in 1967 by Norman and Barry Sheffield as the in house studio for the Centredisc label.

In March 1968 Manfred Mann recorded the first major hit song that the studio would have with the single 'My Name's Jack'. This was the start of a period of 10 years were Trident would establish itself as one of the top studios in the world. .

On opening in 1967, the control room housed a Sound Techniques board that was in use for about 18 months before it was moved into the new mix room, at which point a new Sound Techniques was brought in. This was used for approximately two years before the prototype 'A Range', Tridents own desk was constructed.

In 1971, the in-house engineers built a small 6:2 desk for the tape copy room which would be the start of much bigger enterprises.

Malcolm Toft started his career at CBS Studios  in London and joined Trident when it first opened . After a spell as an engineer, which included working on David Bowie's Space Oddity, he became the studio manager responsible for the upgrade of the equipment at a time when studios were changing rapidly. 

Space was a problem in the control room at Trident, with the console location being next to a lift housing. They needed a 16 track desk that would fit in a space of 1.5m but also be able to be upgraded to accommodate 24-track in the near future. After Lengthy discussions with various manufactures including Neve, Malcolm Toft and engineer Barry Porter decided to built the console themselves. A room was set aside on the top floor of the studios and after a year of experimentation, design and building, the first desk was finished and installed.

The Trident A Range.

"That sound was created through painstaking listening tests by the engineers at Trident; people like Ken Scott, Roy Thomas Baker, Barry Sheffield and myself would get together and literally change components until we got sounds we were happy with. It was something you couldn't possibly quantify technically and quite honestly if we'd been able to measure things accurately we probably would never have got theses kind of results".   -  Malcolm Toft.

 It has been said that part of the design was borrowed from an article in Wireless World on building a mixing desk. Right are the schematics for the Trident line amps (top) and the Wireless World ones (below).

 Regardless, they came up with a great sounding desk.

The Trident B Range.

Before the installation of the first A Range, word had spread and they were ask to build a scaled down version for musician and producer John Congas in early 1972. This would  become the Trident B range. When a second order came in from Chipping Norton Studios, Trident Audio Developments or TRIAD was officially formed as a manufacturing company.

The A-range and B-range use the same mike preamp, eq, buffer amps, sum-amps and line amps.circuits. The B range has fewer  steps in the mic gain control and fewer selectable frequencies in the eq section.
They are very similar in the electronic structure, same mic preamp, equalizer, buffer  and line amps.

In 1972 Trident  signed Queen to a management and production contract which gave the band down-time studio access (when paying artists weren't recording) and they began working with producer Roy Thomas Baker on tracks for their first album. The band had already recorded  5 tracks at the newly opened Music Centre (De Lane Lea) Studio but Baker and Studio owners/management Norman and Barry Sheffield insisted on re-recording the five De Lane Lea demos.

 

Incidentally, the De Lane Lea demos were recorded on  Sound Techniques desks.  After much disagreement between the band and management as to which versions were better and many remixes, only "The Night Comes Down" was used from the De Lane Lea sessions. Not only did the recording of the album drag on but when it was finished Trident couldn't get a label to release it so the studio put it out themselves. Eventually the situation between band and management broke down completely and Freddie Mercury wrote 'Death on Two Legs' off 'Sheer Heart Attack' about their time with Trident.

The Famous Trident
 Bechstein Grand Piano



The in-house piano at Trident was a Bechstein Grand, No. 44064 with 'Ebonized' metal frame, seven octaves with ivory naturals and ebony accidentals. Trident Studios purchased the piano in 1986 after having rented it from Samuels from the mid 1960s. Along with the Trident desk, the piano  got a name for itself for having a  great sound and this  attracted many top musicians of the period to record using the instrument. The piano was used on  amongst many others, the following famous compositions:-

The Beatles White Album – including 'Hey Jude'.  David Bowie's albums, 'Space Oddity'   'Hunky Dory'   'Ziggy Stardust' and 'Aladdin Sane'.    George Harrison's 'All things Must Pass'      Elton John's 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road'    'Blue Moves' ' and 'Single Man' . Carly Simon's 'You're so Vain'. ' Mary Hopkins 'Those Were the Days' and Harry Nilsson's  'Without You'.    Queen - 'Queen'   'Queen II'  'Sheer Heart Attack'. Supertramp's 'Crime of the Century'.  All recorded at Trident.

In May 2011 the piano went up for auction with a guide price of between £300,000 and £400,000.

 After selling the Trident 'A' range console in 1983 to Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, the studio bought its first SSL 4000.


In December 1981 Trident studios closed for 3 months due to financial problems and was sold. During the early 80's the studio went through different changes and worked under different names until 1985, when Tape One took over. Tape One closed in March 1990.

Recorded at Trident Studios:

1968 Manfred Mann : My Name's Jack

The Beatles  :  Hey Jude (The first 8-track song  recorded by the band). -  July 1968  Dear Prudence -  Aug 1968   Honey Pie - Oct 1968    Martha My Dear - Oct 1968    Savoy Truffle -  Oct 1968

A RAINCOAT    "DIGALONGAMACS"
ACE                  "FIVE A SIDE"
ADDRISI BROTHERS   "ADDRISI BROTHERS"
AFFINITY    "AFFINITY"
A FOOT IN COLDWATER  "OR ALL AROUND US"
AGE OF CHANCE   "ONE THOUSAND YEARS OF TROUBLE"
ALAIN CHAMFORT   "ROCK'N ROSE"
ALAN HULL    "PIPEDREAM"
ALEC R. COSTANDINOS  "ROMEO AND JULIET"
ALEC R. COSTANDINOS  "THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME"
ALEC R. COSTANDINOS  "TOCADERO LEMON BLUE"
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH  "I.O.U."
ALPHONSO JOHNSON  "SPELLBOUND"
AL STEWART    "ORANGE"
AL STEWART    "PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE"
AMERICA    "AMERICA"
ANDWELLA'S DREAM  "WORLD'S END"
ANNABEL LAMB   "ONCE BITTEN"
ANTHONY PHILLIPS   "SIDES"
ANTHONY PHILLIPS   "WISE AFTER THE EVENT"
ATOMIC ROOSTER   "MADE IN ENGLAND"
ATOMIC ROOSTER   "NICE 'N' GREASY"
AUDIENCE    "THE HOUSE ON THE HILL" 
AUDIENCE    "LUNCH"
BADFINGER
BAD NEWS TRAVELS FAST  "LOOK OUT"
BAKER GURVITZ ARMY  "THE BAKER GURVITZ ARMY"
BAKER GURVITZ ARMY  "ELYSIAN ENCOUNTER"
BAKERLOO    "BAKERLOO"
BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST  "EVERYONE IS EVERYBODY ELSE"
BEATLES    "THE BEATLES-WHITE ALBUM"
BG AUDIO DYNAMITE  "NO 10 UPPING ST"
BILLY COBHAM   "SPECTRUM"
BILLY COBHAM   "CROSSWINDS"
BLACK SABBATH   "BLACK SABBATH"
BLODWYN PIG   "GETTING TO THIS"
BLOODIED SWORD   "THE BLOODIED SWORD"
BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS "NO SWEAT"
B MOVIE    "FOREVER RUNNING"
BOB SARGEANT   "FIRST STARRING ROLE"
BONZO DOG BAND   "KEYNSHAM"
BONZO DOG BAND   "TADPOLES"
BRAND X    "UNORTHODOX BEHAVIOUR"
BRAND X     "MOROCCAN ROLL"
BRAND X    "MASQUES"
BRAND X    "PRODUCT"
BRAND X    "LIVESTOCK"
BRAND X    "IS THERE ANYTHING ABOUT?"
BRIAN AUGER'S OBLIVION EXPRESS" REINFORCEMENTS"
BRIAN DAVISON'S EVERY WHICH WAY " BRIAN DAVISON'S EVERY WHICH WAY"
BRIAN ENO    "DISCREET MUSIC"
BRUFORD    "FEELS GOOD TO ME"
BRUFORD    "ONE OF A KIND"
CABARET VOLTAIRE   "THE CRACKDOWN"
CARLY SIMON   "NO SECRETS"
CASS ELLIOT    "THE ROAD IS NO PLACE FOR A LADY"
CATHERINE HOWE   "WHAT A BEAUTIFUL PLACE"
CERRONE    "LOVE IN C MINOR"
CERRONE    "CERRONE 3-SUPERNATURE"
CERRONE    "CERRONE IV-THE GOLDEN TOUCH"
CERRONE    "WHERE ARE YOU NOW"
CHARLIE    “FANTASY GIRLS”
CHARLIE    “FIGHT DIRTY”
CHARLIE    “LINES”
CHARLIE    “NO SECOND CHANCE”
CHARLIE    "HERE COMES TROUBLE"
CHIEFS OF RELIEF   "CHIEFS OF RELIEF"
CHOCOLAT'S    "AFRICAN CHOCO"
CHRIS DE BURGH   "FAR BEYOND THESE CASTLE WALLS"
CHRIS MONEY   "I'M SITTING HERE"
CIRCUS    "FEARLESS TEARLESS AND EVEN LESS"
CITY BOY    "DINNER AT THE RITZ"
CITY BOY    "YOUNG MEN GONE WEST"
CITY BOY    "BOOK EARLY"
CLANNAD    "LEGEND"
CLOVER    "UNAVAILABLE"
COCKNEY REBEL   "TIMELESS FLIGHT"
COLIN SCOT    "COLIN SCOT"
CROISETTE    "KEEP IT ON ICE"
CURVED AIR    "AIRBORNE"
DALEK I LOVE YOU   "DALEK I LOVE YOU"
DANA GILLESPIE   "WEREN'T BORN A MAN"
DAVE BALL    "IN STRICT TEMPO"
DAVE GREENSLADE   "THE PENTATEUCH"
DAVID BOWIE   “ALADDIN SANE”
DAVID BOWIE   “SPACE ODDITY”
DAVID BOWIE   “THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD”
DAVID BOWIE   “ZIGGY STARDUST”
DEMIS ROUSSOS   "UNIVERSUM"
DIDIER MAROUANI   "SPACE OPERA"
DIFFERENCE    "HIGH FLY"
DR JOHN    "THE SUN, MOON & HERBS"
EASTBOUND EXPRESSWAY  "EASTBOUND EXPRESSWAY"
EDDIE HOWELL   "THE EDDIE HOWELL GRAMOPHONE RECORD"
ELTON JOHN    "FRIENDS"
ELTON JOHN    “DON’T SHOOT ME”
ELTON JOHN    “ELTON JOHN”
ELTON JOHN    “GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD”
ELTON JOHN    “TUMBEWEED CONNECTION”
ELTON JOHN    "CARIBOU"
ESPERANTO    "ROCK ORCHESTRA"
EVELYN THOMAS   "HIGH ENERGY"
EVELYN THOMAS   "STANDING AT THE CROSSROADS"
FATS DOMINO   "'HELLO JOSEPHINE' LIVE AT MONTREUX"
FERRIS WHEEL   "FERRIS WHEEL"
FIGURES ON A BEACH  "STANDING ON CEREMONY"
FRANK ZAPPA   "CHUNGA'S REVENGE"
FRANTIQUE    "FRANTIQUE"
FREE     "FIRE AND WATER"
GENESIS    "TRESPASS"
GENESIS    "NURSERY CRYME"
GENESIS    “TRICK OF THE TAIL”
GENESIS    “WIND AND WUTHERING”
GENESIS    "SECONDS OUT"
GENESIS    "AND THEN THERE WERE THREE"
GENTLE GIANT   "GENTLE GIANT"
GINGER BAKER'S AIRFORCE "AIR FORCE 2"
GOWAN    "STRANGE ANIMAL"
GRAHAM PARKER   "HEAT TREATMENT"
GUY SKORNIK   "HISTOIRES D'AMOUR"
GYPSY     "BRENDA & THE RATTLESNAKE"
HALFBREED    "HALFBREED"
HAPSHASH AND THE COLOURED COAT "WESTERN FLIER"
HAROLD McNAIR QUARTET "HAROLD McNAIR"
HAWKWIND    "HAWKWIND"
HOME     "HOME"
HOME     “THE ALCHEMIST”
IAN THOMAS    "LONG LONG WAY"
IDLE RACE    "IDLE RACE"
INDIAN SUMMER   "INDIAN SUMMER"
IRONHORSE    "IRONHORSE"
ISOTOPE    "DEEP END"
JACKIE LOMAX   "IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT?"
JACK LANCASTER AND ROBIN LUMLEY "MARSCAPE"
JACKSON HEIGHTS   "THE FIFTH AVENUE BUS"
JADE     "FLYON STRANGEWINGS"
JAMES TAYLOR    "JAMES TAYLOR"
JAMES WELLS   "EXPLOSION"
JEFF BECK    "WIRED"
JERRY GOODMAN AND JAN HAMMER "LIKE CHILDREN"
JIMMY PURSEY   "IMAGINATION CAMOUFLAGE"
JIMMY PURSEY   "ALIEN ORPHAN"
JOAN ARMATRADING  "WHATEVER'S FOR US"
JOHN ENTWISTLE   "SMASH YOUR HEAD AGAINST THE WALL"
JOHN WATTS    "THE ICEBERG MODEL"
JONATHAN KELLY   "WAIT TILL THEY CHANGE THE BACKDROP"
JUDAS PRIEST   "ROCKA ROLLA"
JUDAS PRIEST   "STAINED CLASS"
JUDGE DREAD   "LAST OF THE SKINHEADS"
JULIAN CLERC   "FEMMES, INDISCR…TION, BLASPH»ME
KAI OLSSON    "ONCE IN A WHILE"
KAREN CHERYL   "KAREN DIRECT FROM PHILADELPHIA"
KAREN CHERYL   "LIARS BEWARE"
KEEF HARTLEY BAND  "OVERDOG"
KEEF HARTLEY BAND  "THE TIME IS NEAR"
KIKROKOS    "JUNGLE D.J. & DIRTY KATE"
KING     "STEPS IN TIME"
KISS     “DOUBLE PLATINUM”
KOKOMO    "KOKOMO" 3RD ALBUM
KONGOS    "AFRICANISM"
KRISMA    "CATHODE MAMMA"
LAURIE KAYE COHEN  "UNDER THE SKUNK"
LA VELLE    "RIGHT NOW"
LENNY WHITE   "VENUSIAN SUMMER"
LEONARD COHEN   "SONGS OF LOVE AND HATE"
LINDISFARNE   "NICELY OUT OF TUNE"
LINDISFARNE   "FOG ON THE TYNE"
LINDISFARNE   "LINDISFARNE LIVE"
LINDISFARNE   “ROLL ON RUBY”
LONNIE DONEGAN   "PUTTING ON THE STYLE"
LORETTA STOKES   "KIDNAP ME"
LOU REED     “TRANSFORMER”
LOVE AND KISSES   "LOVE AND KISSES"
LOVE AND KISSES   "HOW MUCH, HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU"
LOVE AND KISSES   "YOU MUST BE LOVE"
LOVE DELUXE   "AGAIN AND AGAIN"
MAGAZINE    "MAGIC, MURDER AND THE WEATHER"
MAGNA CARTA   "SEASONS"
MAGNA CARTA   "SONGS FROM WASTIES ORCHARD"
MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA  "BIRDS OF FIRE"
MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA  "VISIONS OF THE EMERALD BEYOND"
MAN     "WINOS, RHINOS AND LUNATICS"
MARC AND THE MAMBAS  "UNTITLED"
MARC AND THE MAMBAS  "TORMENT AND TOREROS"
MARY HOPKIN   "EARTH SONG / OCEAN SONG"
MAY BLITZ    "MAY BLITZ"
MELLROSE    "MELLROSE"
MENTAL AS ANYTHING  "ESPRESSO BONGO"
MICHAEL CHAPMAN   "RAINMAKER"
MICHAEL CHAPMAN   "WINDOW"
MICHAEL ZAGER BAND  "LIFE'S A PARTY"
MICK RONSON   "SLAUGHTER ON 10TH AVENUE"
MICK RONSON   "PLAY DON'T WORRY"
MIKE D'ABO    "DOWN AT RACHEL'S PLACE"
MIQUEL BROWN   "SYMPHONY OF LOVE"
MILLER ANDERSON   "BRIGHT CITY"
MODERN ENGLISH   "STOP START"
MOTT THE HOOPLE   "ALL THE YOUNG DUDES"
NARADA MICHAEL WALDEN "GARDEN OF LOVE LIGHT"
NAZARETH    "NAZARETH"
NAZARETH    "EXERCISES"
NICE     "THE NICE"
NICE     "ELEGY"
NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS "FROM HER TO ETERNITY"
NILSSON    "SCHMILSSON"
NILSSON    "SON OF SCHMILSSON"
NOVA     "WINGS OF LOVE"
NOVA     "VIMANA"
NUCLEUS    "ELASTIC ROCK"
ONE     "ONE"
ONE THE JUGGLER   "NEARLY A SIN"
PADO & CO    "PADO & CO"
PARIS CONNECTION   "PARIS CONNECTION"
PARTNERS IN CRIME  "ORGANISED CRIME"
PAT TRAVERS   "PUTTING IT STRAIGHT"
PAUL STANLEY   "PAUL STANLEY"
PAUL WILLIAMS SET  "IN MEMORY OF ROBERT JOHNSON R.I.P."
PETER HAMMILL   "FOOL'S MATE"
PETER HAMMILL   "THE SILENT CORNER AND THE EMPTY STAGE"
PETER HAMMILL   "NADIR'S BIG CHANCE"
PETER HAMMILL   "IN CAMERA"
PHILLIP GOODHAND-TAIT  " PHILLIP GOODHAND-TAIT"
PHOENIX    "PHOENIX"
QUANTUM JUMP   "BARRACUDA"
QUEEN    “QUEEN 1”
QUEEN    “QUEEN 2”
QUEEN    "SHEER HEART ATTACK"
RADIATOR    "ISN'T IT STRANGE"
RALPH McTELL   "YOU, WELL-MEANING, BROUGHT ME HERE"
RARE BIRD    "RARE BIRD"
RENAISSANCE   "A SONG FOR ALL SEASONS"
RETURN TO FOREVER  "ROMANTIC WARRIOR"
RICK WAKEMAN   "THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII"
ROD ARGENT    "MOVING HOME"
ROMANELLI    "CONNECTING FLIGHT"
RONNIE DYSON   "IF THE SHOE FITS"
RUSH     “HEMISPHERES”
RUSH     "PERMANENT WAVES"
SAINT TROPEZ   "BELLE DE JOUR"
SAMUEL PRODY   "SAMUEL PRODY"
SAUVEUR MALLIA   "SPATIAL & CO"
SAVOY BROWN   "HELLBOUND TRAIN"
SAVOY BROWN   "LION'S SHARE"
SHAKTI    "A HANDFUL OF BEAUTY"
SHAWN PHILLIPS   "SECOND CONTRIBUTION"
SHAWN PHILLIPS   "FACES"
SKYLINE    "SKYLINE"
SOUND    "ALL FALL DOWN"
SPANDAU BALLET   "JOURNEYS TO GLORY"
SPHINX    "SPHINX"
SPIDERS FROM MARS  "THE SPIDERS FROM MARS"
SPRING    "SPRING"
STATE OF PLAY   "BALANCING THE SCALES"
STEPHEN EMMER   "VOGUE ESTATE"
STOMU YAMASHTA   "GO"
STOMU YAMASHTA   "GO TOO"
STRAWBS    "DRAGONFLY"
SUNSHINE ON THE WORLD  "SUNSHINE ON THE WORLD"
SWEET THURSDAY   "SWEET THURSDAY"
SYLVIA MASON   "SYLVIA MASON"
TEA AND SYMPHONY  "AN ASYLUM FOR THE MUSICALLY INSANE"
TERRAPLANE   "MOVING TARGET"
THEO VANESS   "BACK TO MUSIC"
THESE IMMORTAL SOULS  "GET LOST (DON'T LIE!)"
TOMMY BOLIN   "TEASER"
TONY RALLO AND THE MIDNITE BAND "BURNIN' ALIVE"
TREVOR BILLMUSS   "FAMILY APOLOGY"
T.REX     "T.REX"
T.REX     "ELECTRIC WARRIOR"
TYGERS OF PAN TANG  "CRAZY NIGHTS"
TYRANNOSAURUS REX  "UNICORN"
TYRANNOSAURUS REX  "PROPHETS, SEERS AND SAGES"
TYRANNOSAURUS REX  "A BEARD OF STARS"
UK     “UK”
VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR "THE AEROSOL GREY  MACHINE"
VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR "THE LEAST WE CAN DO IS WAVE TO EACH OTHER"
VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR “H TO HE “
VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR “PAWNHEARTS”
VARIOUS    "PETER AND THE WOLF"
V…RONIQUE SANSON  "VANCOUVER"
VOYAGE    "VOYAGE"
WARHORSE    "WARHORSE"
WARSAW PAKT   "NEEDLE TIME" DIRECT TO DISC
YES     "YES"

 

 


 

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