Philips Studios - Phonogram Studios

Solid Bond Studios        philsbook.com  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philips Studios

In 1950 Dutch electronics company 'Philips' set up the Philips Records  label. In August 1956 they acquired the Regency building in Stanhope Place London,  formally a private house, as headquarters to its UK record division. A studio was built in the basement for use by the labels own artists. The rooms above were used for a pressing plant and offices.

 

The recording room was long and narrow measuring 60' x 20' with a 25' high ceiling. Although of a reasonable size gave the sense of being rather cramped in some musicians memories once, filled with orchestral players. The control room had a separate machine room with a small window between the two.


Although the studio was initially equipped with a German, 8 input mono valve console, rebuilt in 1958 for stereo, it is probably best remembered for its collaboration with Neve.

Philips Studios and Neve  ( Many thanks to John Turner)

By 1964 Rupert Neve had developed high performance transistor equipment, using the relatively new germanium transistors that replaced the previous valve designs. The first client for the new transistor equipment was Phillips Records Ltd. Rupert Neve was commissioned to design and build a series of equalizers to enable them to change the musical balance of material that had been previously recorded. This was before the days of multi-track tape machines. Re-balancing a 2-track recording usually meant a new session with artists, producers, and engineers reconvened at great expense.

The success of these units led to further orders from Phillips.

 

 

Complete Flexibility Studio Console for Phillips Records Ltd London

 

 

Philips Studios Neve Desk with Pye Compressors

 

 

Philips studios Neve desk

 

The Walker Brothers at Philips

The Walker Brothers started recording songs at Phillips Studio in 1965. One of the first songs they worked on was Bacharach and David's 'Make It Easy On Yourself'.
"Initially we were recording in mono and then stereo and later on, around the 'Portraits' album we started using 4-track. We'd have these great orchestras and great arrangers in the studio with us and we'd record the whole thing all at the same time, live. The orchestra would get ready and we'd get ready and we'd just do it. We did most of these songs in just a handful of takes."        John Walker.

'Make It Easy on yourself ' became a No.1 hit in September 1965. The next single 'My Ship Is Coming In' reached No.3 and then in March 1966, The Walker Brothers hit No.1 for the second time in six months with 'The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore'.

 

1968  -  Philips went 8-track.

In mid 1970, Philips purchased a Neve  A104.20 Channel 8 group custom console.

Phonogram Studios

In 1972 the Philips record division changed its name to Phonogram and the studios were renamed in line with this. The studio was also updated to 16 track with the purchase of an Ampex tape machine. This was used initially with the Neve desk. In the same year a new custom desk was built by Phonogram International Project Engineering Department in Baarn, Holland and installed as the main studio desk in August 1972. The microphone pre-amps used ICs. The Neve console was kept.

Polygram Studios

In 1978 the studios were stripped back to bare walls and rebuilt by Eastlake. Many people disliked the resulting dead sound and the rooms were altered over the following years to liven up the acoustics of the studio area.

The same year   Phonogram International came under control of the newly formed Polygram Record Operations so in 1979 the name of the studios was changed once again.

 

 



   

Solid Bond Studios

In 1983 the studio lease was put up for sale and would include the equipment.

It was bought by Paul Weller of the Jam and Style Council and the name changed to 'Solid Bond Studios'.


They used the Polygram and Neve desks until 1985 when due to commercial pressure ( the studio started taking in outside clients) an  SSL 4000E was installed. The Neve 8 into 2 from the Philips days was set up in the copy room and the Phonogram desk put into storage.

 

 

Quote : Philips Studios recorded... “Dusty Springfield, The Walker Brothers and all that.
And then all of a sudden this desk wasn't 'any good' any more and this tape machine wasn't 'any good'
any more and everything had to be digital. And as soon as we all went digital, man, everyone sounded the fucking same. From country & western to funk to rock'n'roll or whatever, everybody sounded glassy and linear. A technical thing but it's true".

 Paul Weller 2008

 

The End

Solid Bond Studios was closed on 21st August 1991 and the building converted into offices, thus ending the history of studios in Stanhope House.

 

"We simply cant afford to stay here. We bought the lease eight years ago when it was £20.000 a year but there are reviews every five years and the price doubles every time".    

John Weller


The Gear list when Solid Bond closed down showing that they still had the Neve and the Phonogram Desk.


Recorded at Philips - Phonogram - Polygram - Solid Bond Studios

 

ABC       “TEARS ARE NOT ENOUGH” (SINGLE)

ADRIAN WAGNER "INSTINCTS"

ALAN HAWKSHAW    "ORGAN SOUNDS IN SUPER STEREO"

ALAN SKIDMORE QUINTET    "TCB"

AMBROSE SLADE    "BEGINNINGS"

ATLANTIS    "IT'S GETTING BETTER"

BEGGARS OPERA   "GET YOUR DOG OFF ME"

BEN WEBSTER   "WEBSTER'S DICTIONARY"

BERNARD MANNING   "MY KIND OF MUSIC"

BERT WEEDON    "16 COUNTRY GUITAR GREATS"

BLOW MONKEYS   “ALBUM"

BOB DOWNES OPEN MUSIC   "ELECTRIC CITY"

BUTTON DOWN BRASS        "THIS GUY'S IN LOVE"

CHAQUITO     "THE GREAT

CHAQUITO REVOLUTION"

CHRIS THOMPSON    "OUT OF THE NIGHT"

CITY BOY       "CITY BOY" ONE TRACK

COCHISE     "SWALLOW TALES"

CZAR   "CZAR"

DAVE DEE DOZY BEAKY MICK AND TITCH     "DON JUAN"

DAVID ELLIOTT      "SOLID GROUND"

DEE C LEE             "SHRINE" (SOLID BOND)

DUSTY SPRINGFIELD  "SEE ALL HER FACES"

DUSTY SPRINGFIELD   "EV'RYTHING'S COMING UP DUSTY"   

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA   "ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA" 

GRACIOUS    "GRACIOUS"

GRAHAM COLLIER SEXTET   "DOWN ANOTHER ROAD"

IAN CARR   "BELLADONNA"

IAN CARR'S NUCLEUS   "ROOTS"

IAN CARR WITH NUCLEUS   "SOLAR PLEXUS"

IAN CARR WITH NUCLEUS   "LABYRINTH"

JACK JONES   "NOBODY DOES IT BETTER"

JACKSON HEIGHTS   "RAGAMUFFINS FOOL"

JACKSON HEIGHTS   "BUMP 'N' GRIND"

JANE BIRKIN   "DI DOO DAH"

JANE BIRKIN "EX FAN DES SIXTIES"

JAZZ DEFEKTORS "THE JAZZ DEFEKTORS (SOLID BOND)

JEFFREY LEE PIERCE "FLAMINGO" (SOLID BOND)

JOHN DUMMER BAND   "JOHN DUMMER BAND"

JOHN STEVENS AWAY   "SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN"

JO JO ZEP AND THE FALCONS    "SCREAMING TARGETS"

KALEIDOSCOPE    "FAINTLY BLOWING"

KEITH TIPPETT GROUP "DEDICATED TO YOU, BUT YOU WEREN'T LISTENING"

LEGEND   "MOONSHINE"

LINDA HOYLE   "PIECES OF ME"

MAGNA CARTA "MAGNA CARTA"

MAGNA CARTA "PRISONERS ON THE LINE"

MANFRED MANN  "HA HA SAID THE CLOWN"

MIKE ABSALOM "HECTOR AND OTHER PECCADILLOS"

MIKE WESTBROOK ORCHESTRA "CITADEL / ROOM 315"

MOTIONS "IMPRESSIONS OF WONDERFUL"

MOVE "LOOKING ON"

NIRVANA (NOT THAT ONE!) "SONGS OF LOVE AND PRAISE"

NUCLEUS "WE'LL TALK ABOUT IT LATER"

NUCLEUS "UNDER THE SUN"

NUCLEUS "SNAKEHIPS ETCETERA"

NUCLEUS "ALLEYCAT"

OPEN MIND "THE OPEN MIND"

PENETRATION "COMING UP FOR AIR"

RAMASES "GLASS TOP COFFIN"

RAY WARLEIGH "RAY WARLEIGH'S FIRST ALBUM"

ROY WOOD "BOULDERS"

ROY WOOD “MUSTARD”

SCOTT WALKER "SCOTT WALKER

SCOTT WALKER  "SCOTT 2"

SCOTT WALKER  "SCOTT 3"

SCOTT WALKER  "'TIL THE BAND COMES IN"

SCOTT WALKER  "ANY DAY NOW"

SCOTT WALKER  "THE MOVIEGOER"

SERGE GAINSBOURG  "VU DE L'EXTERIEUR"

SERGE GAINSBOURG  "ROCK AROUND THE BUNKER"

SERGE GAINSBOURG  "L'HOMME A TETE DE CHOU"

SPENCER DAVIS GROUP    "KEEP ON RUNNING / I'M A MAN / GIMME SOME LOVING"

STATUS QUO  "ON THE LEVEL"

STATUS QUO  “BLUE FOR YOU”

STATUS QUO “QUO”

STATUS QUO "LIVE"

STYLE COUNCIL "INTRODUCING" (SOLID BOND)

STYLE COUNCIL "CAFE BLEU" (SOLID BOND)

STYLE COUNCIL “OUR FAVOURITE SHOP" (SOLID BOND)

STYLE COUNCIL "THE COST OF LOVING" (SOLID BOND)

STYLE COUNCIL "CONFESSIONS OF A POP GROUP" (SOLID BOND)

TERRY SMITH "FALL OUT"

THE JAM “THE GIFT"

TRACIE "FAR FROM THE HURTING KIND" (SOLID BOND)

TUBBY HAYES ORCHESTRA "THE ORCHESTRA"

TWIGGY "TWIGGY"

TWIGGY "PLEASE GET MY NAME RIGHT"

ULTRAVOX “HA! HA! HA!”

WALKER BROTHERS     "MAKE IT EASY ON YOURSELF"  

WALKER BROTHERS    "THE SUN AIN'T GONNA SHINE ANYMORE"

THE WHO    " I'M THE FACE "  

WIZZARD "WIZZARD BREW"

WIZZARD “EDDIE AND THE FALCONS”

WIZZARD "I WISH IT COULD BE CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY"

WRECKLESS ERIC "HIT AND MISS JUDY (SINGLE)

YOUNG DISCIPLES "ROAD TO FREEDOM"

Forward to next studio - PYE

By Phil Burns, Tony Harris and John Turner -   2015

 

     

By Phil Burns and Tony Harris

Stanhope Place as Solid Bond Studios

Neumann Desk at Philips

Early  Mono Valve  Console

 

 

Neve Console

 

 

 

Dusty Springfield

Dusty in the Studio

 

 

 

Scott walker

Scott Walker and Johnny Franz

 

 

 

Phonogram Desk at Philips Studios

The Phonogram Desk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phonogram Studios

October 1975

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Lillywhite

1976  -  Steve Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

solid bond studios

December 1985

 

 

Solid Bond Studios - Paul Wellar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recorded at Philips - Phonogram - Polygram Solid Bond Studios