Maison Rouge Studios 

Wansdown Place    Fulham   London




Maison Rouge had it's first incarnation as a mobile studio, commissioned in 1975, the mobile was housed in a Mercedes lorry. Equipment consisted of a 32/24 Helios desk , Studer 16 and 24 track recorders, monitoring by Tannoy and JBL, with reverb by EMT Gold Foil and Masterroom. The studio was owned by Jethro Tull , designed by Peter Smith and operated by ex-Morgan engineer Robin Black. Some of it's first recordings were Jethro Tull albums "Minstrel in the Gallery" and "Too old to Rock n' Roll; Too young to die" both recorded in Monte Carlo. The mobile had an arrangement with Ridge Farm in Capel as a recording venue, Ridge Farm later built it's own control room and became a successful studio in it's own right.

In 1977 a fixed-site studio was built next to Chelsea football Ground in Wansdown Place in Fulham. The studio was purpose built and originally consisted of one studio designed by Sandy Brown Associates. The control room was equipped with another Helios, this one also a 32/24 equipped with an Alison Mix Computer (engineer Dave Bascombe recalls only 26 channels had automation, for "cost-saving" reasons!). Monitors were Tannoy Lockwoods powered by Amcron DC300A amplifiers. Tape machines were Studer A80s with Dolby noise reduction. Other equipment included Eventide Flangers, DDLs and Harmonisers; UREI limiters and EQs; Audio and Design compressor/limiters; Kepex noise gates; Klark-Teknik graphic equalisers; Marshall time modulators and EMT plates.

 The mobile had a special sound-proofed garage, the idea of which was it could be used as a second control room for mixing sessions when not out on the road. There were also tie-lines to the main studio to allow for multi-track copying. The mobile worked well for years before suffering the ignominy of being stolen in 1983 (another classic desk disappears!).


By the end of 1980 a second studio had been added, this time an Eastlake design featuring a 52 channel MCI JH500 desk with MCI tape machines. Outboard equipment was very similar to Studio 1 with the addition of AMS DDLs, a Roland Phaser, a BEL flanger and a Rebis rack. A large "stone room" was added to Studio 1 by building out into the garage that the mobile had occupied. Studio 1's control room was also redesigned by Eastlake.

In 1982 Ian Anderson put the studios up for sale with the idea of reinvesting the money in his fish farm in Skye.

'" I sold my studio around 1982 because I saw it coming that all the original equipment that had gone in would be unfashionable within two or three years.... The... digitals were coming in. It became very threatening to realise that we might have to invest something in the region of £500,000 to re-equip both studios with new gear. And there was no way that I was going to make that kind of profit in a couple of years."             Ian Anderson



In 1983 Maison Rouge was bought by Nick Richards,  a member of band "Boys Don't Cry" and owner of Legacy records. Both the Helios and the MCI  were replaced by SSLs.

An early booking was Wham recording their breakthrough album "Fantastic", this lead to Maison Rouge becoming the hippest studio in town and for most of the 80s it was booked solid with rock and pop "royalty".



In 1990 the studio was sold to Robin Millar's Scarlett group, who then sold it in August 1992 to Nigel Frieda's Matrix group. Matrix added a third studio, an SSL mix room designed by Recording Architecture.




Still a popular studio Maison Rouge ended it's days recording such luminaries as Blur and Robbie Williams, before finally closing in 2000, a victim of decreasing record company budgets. The building was sold to property developers and was sadly demolished.


Recorded at Maison Rouge:

ADORABLE                                          "FAKE"

ANGE                                                   "MOTEUR"

ASIA                                                     "ARIA"

BABYBIRD                                            "THERE'S SOMETHING GOING ON"


BASHUNG                                            "PIZZA"

BIG COUNTRY                                       "THE SEER"

BLISS                                                   "A CHANGE IN THE WEATHER"

BLUR                                                    "LEISURE"

BLUR                                                    "MODERN LIFE IS RUBBISH"

BLUR                                                    "PARKLIFE"

BLUR                                                    "THE GREAT ESCAPE"

BLUR                                                    “PARKLIFE”

BOB GELDOF                                       "THE VEGETARIANS OF LOVE"

BOMB THE BASS                                 "CLEAR"

BOYS DON'T CRY                                "BOYS DON'T CRY"

BURLESQUE                                        "BURLESQUE"

CATATONIA                                          "WAY BEYOND BLUE"

CIRCUS ALL STAR BAND                      "LIVE" MOBILE

COLOURBOX                                        "COLOURBOX"

CRANBERRIES                                    "EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING IT, SO WHY CAN'T WE?"

CROSS                                                 "SHOVE IT"

DARLING BUDS                                    "CRAWDADDY"

DARRYL WAY                                      "CONCERTO FOR ELECTRIC VIOLIN"

DAVE EDMUNDS                                “INFORMATION"


DAVID KNOFPLER                               "SMALL MERCIES"

DIANE DUFRESNE                               "OLYMPIA '78" MOBILE

DIED PRETTY                                       "DOUGHBOY HOLLOW"

DIRTY THREE                                       "HORSE STORIES"

DO RE MI                                             "DOMESTIC HARMONY

DUANE EDDY                                       "DUANE EDDY"

DURAN DURAN                                     "WILD BOYS" SINGLE

DURAN DURAN                                    "A VIEW TO A KILL" SINGLE

DIVINE COMEDY                                  "NOEL COWARD"


ESCAPE CLUB                                     "WILD WILD WEST"


GANGWAY                                           "THAT'S LIFE"

GENESIS                                              "DUKE"

GENTLE GIANT                                      "GIANT FOR A DAY"

GENTLE GIANT                                     "PLAYING THE FOOL" MOBILE

HEAVEN 17                                          "PENTHOUSE AND PAVEMENT"

HERWIG MITTEREGGER                       "JEDESMAL"

JETHRO TULL                                       "A"

JETHRO TULL                                       "BROADSWORD AND THE BEAST"

JETHRO TULL                                       "BURSTING OUT"

JETHRO TULL                                       "MINSTREL IN THE GALLERY" MOBILE

JETHRO TULL                                       "SONGS FROM THE WOOD"

JETHRO TULL                                       "STORMWATCH"

JETHRO TULL                                       "TOO OLD TO R'N'R TOO YOUNG TO DIE"

JETHRO TULL                                       “HEAVY HORSES”

JOHNNY THUNDERS                               "D.T.K.-LIVE AT THE SPEAKEASY" MOBILE

JUDIE TZUKE                                        "THE CAT IS OUT"

K.D. LAING                                           "ANGEL WITH A LARIAT"

KULA SHAKER                                      "K"

LEVEL 42                                             "THE PURSUIT OF ACCIDENTS"

LEVEL 42                                             "RUNNING IN THE FAMILY"

LEVEL 42                                             "WORLD MACHINE"

LONGPIGS                                           "MOBILE HOME"


LOVE AND MONEY                              "DOGS IN THE TRAFFIC"

LYDIA CANAAN                                    "THE SOUND OF LOVE"

MADDY PRIOR                                      "WOMAN IN THE WINGS"

MALLARD                                             "MALLARD" MOBILE

MARC ALMOND                                    "OPEN ALL NIGHT"

MARILLION                                           "FUGAZI"

MELANIE HARROLD                             "BLUE ANGEL"

MEZZOFORTE                                      "OBSERVATIONS"

MICA PARIS                                         "SO GOOD"

MIKE RUTHERFORD                            "SMALLCREEPS DAY"

MUD                                                     "AS YOU LIKE IT"

MURRAY HEAD                                    "RESTLESS"

NAZARETH                                           "NO MEAN CITY" MOBILE


OPAL FRUITS                                       "FARLINGTON ROAD"

PASSIONS                                           "SANCTUARY"

PETER MURPHY                                  "HOLY SMOKE"

PEZBAND                                             "LAUGHING IN THE DARK"

PIL                                                       “THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT”

POWER STATION                                 “THE POWER STATION"


RAINBOW                                             "DOWN TO EARTH" MOBILE

RENAISSANCE                                     "AZURE D'OR"

RIBLJA CORBA                                     "MRTVA PRIRODA"

RIBLJA CORBA                                     "BUVLJA PIJACA"

RICHARD DIGANCE                               "COMMERCIAL ROAD" MOBILE

ROBBIE WILLIAMS                                "LIFE THRU A LENS"

RORY GALLAGHER                              “STAGE STRUCK" MOBILE

RORY GALLAGHER                              "FRESH EVIDENCE"

ROY WOOD                                          "STARTING UP"

SAD CAFE                                            "THE POLITICS OF EXISTING"

SAD CAFE                                            "WHATEVER IT TAKES"

SANNE SALOMONSEN                          "INGEN ENGEL"

SCHEER                                               "INFLICTION"


SHAKATAK                                           "MR MANIC AND SISTER COOL"

SHAM 69                                              "VOLUNTEER"

SHRIEKBACK                                       "JAM SCIENCE"

STATUS QUO                                       "STATUS QUO"

STEELEYE SPAN                                 "LIVE AT LAST" MOBILE

STEVE HILLAGE                                   "LIVE HERALD" MOBILE

STRANGLERS                                      "COUP DE GRACE"

STRAY CATS                                        "RANT AND RAVE"

SWINGLE SINGERS                              "SWINGLE SKYLINER"

TASMIN ARCHER                                   "GREAT EXPECTATIONS"

TERRAPLANE                                        "BLACK AND WHITE"

THIN LIZZY                                            "LIVE AND DANGEROUS" MOBILE

THOMPSON TWINS                               "BIG TRASH"

TITANIC                                                "RETURN OF DRAKKAR" MOBILE

TONY BANKS                                       "A CURIOUS FEELING"

TWISTED SISTER                                 "UNDER THE BLADE"

UFO                                                     "MECHANIX"

UFO                                                     "MAKING CONTACT"

WATERBOYS                                       "A PAGAN PLACE"

WELL RED                                           "MOTION"

WHAM!                                                 “FANTASTIC"

WILDHEARTS                                       "EARTH VERSUS"

WILL TURA                                           "20 JAAR : 1957-1977" MOBILE




By Tony Harris  2012


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Recorded at Maison Rouge: