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Townhouse Studios

150 Goldhawk Road, London, W12 8HH

philsbook.com

 By Tony Harris

The Townhouse was opened in late 1978 as a complement to Virgin Records' successful residential studio "The Manor". Built into a building that previously housed Goldhawk Film Studios, Townhouse originally consisted of two studios, mastering rooms, accommodation, canteen and recreation rooms all under one roof, The Townhouse was a sort of "London residential".

Studio 1 was originally equipped with a 40 channel Helios desk with an Alison computer mixdown system. Unusually it was equipped with a Telefunken M15 32 track tape machine, half inch and quarter inch machines were Ampex. Monitoring and acoustic design was by Eastlake audio. A wide selection of outboard gear was available including: Rebis parametrics, Valley People Gain Brains, Scamp Rack, Compressors by UREI, Teletronix and DBX, Time processors by Eventide, MXR and Lexicon; plus trusty EMT plates for reverb. In 1984 Studio 1 had it's first refit and an SSL 4000E was installed together with Studer A800 multitracks . In 1993 all the Virgin studios were purchased by EMI records and the Townhouse had another makeover, in March 1994 a 72 channel SSL 4000G with Ultimation was installed (the 1,000th SSL built)

Studio 2 had the distinction of housing the World's first production SSL desk, a 32 channel 4000B. This was replaced by a newer SSL 4048E in 1984 (the 4000B making it's way across town to Matrix studios) Later it had a SSL 9000J Series. Its final upgrade was in 2000, the whole studio and control room were redesigned by Sam Toyoshima and a SL8072 G Series was installed, the control room now equipped to handle 5:1 mixdowns.

 

This upgrade marked the end of the famous stone room in Townhouse 2, site of the recording of Peter Gabriel's third album and partly responsible (along with Steve Lillywhite, Hugh Padgham, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Nick Launay, Phil Newell, Alan Stewart, the SSL foldback compressor and a host of others!) for "that" drum sound.

 

 

Townhouse 3

In July 1984 Townhouse 3 was opened, this being the old Ramport studio in Battersea, purchased from the Who, the Helios from Townhouse 1 being installed there, replacing a Neve, the Helios later giving way to another Neve.

 

A third studio was built in the original Goldhawk Road premises, this room was designated Studio 4. The room was the first in England designed by Sam Toyashima and equipped with a 56 channel SSL 4000 and Studer A800 multitracks. The studio had variable acoustics with rotating absorbent panels in the walls and ceiling (the latter motorized). The main studio area was augmented by two booths, one permanent and one separated by tracked screens.

 

 

The Townhouse cutting rooms were the first to offer mastering from a digital format, they were equipped with 3M 4 track machines and editors allied to a Neumann VMS 80 Lathe, with SX74 cutter head and SAL74 Drive Amplifiers. The cutting desk was also a Neumann, incorporating EMT compressors and Rebis parametric eqs. Analogue machines were Ampex ATR-100s.

The End

EMI sold the Townhouse to Sanctuary Group in 2002, it then endured a stuttering demise- put up for sale in 2006, re-launched by Al Stone and Sanctuary in 2007, bought by Universal in June 2007. Finally closed and equipment auctioned off in May 2008.

2012
    
October 2012 - ' Planning permission to create 3 townhouses, 3 urban barns, 1 apartment and to re-provide an element of recording studio space.'
Recorded at the Townhouse

ABC "BEAUTY STAB"

ADAM ANT "FRIEND OR FOE"

ASIA "ASIA"

ASIA "ASTRA"

AUTEURS "NOW I'M A COWBOY"

BIG PIG "BONK"

BILL NELSON'S RED NOISE "SOUND ON SOUND"

BLUR "THE GREAT ESCAPE"

BOOKS "EXPERTISE"

BROUGHTONS "PARLEZ-VOUS ENGLISH?"

BUGGLES "AGE OF PLASTIC"

CASIOPEA "JIVE JIVE"

CHARLATANS "SIMPATICO"

COLDPLAY "X & Y"

COZY POWELL "OVER THE TOP"

CRANBERRIES "NO NEED TO ARGUE"

CUBAN HEELS "WORK OUR WAY TO HEAVEN"

CURE "THE HEAD ON THE DOOR"

DARK STAR "TWENTY TWENTY SOUND"

DAVID CHARVET "SE LAISSER QUELQUE CHOSE"

DURAN DURAN "ASTRONAUT"

ENDGAMES "BUILDING BEAUTY"

ERIC CLAPTON "BEHIND THE SUN"

EUROPEANS "VOCABULARY"

EXPLORERS "THE EXPLORERS"

FEEDER "SWIM"

FISCHER Z "WORD SALAD"

FIXX "REACT"

FRIENDS AGAIN "TRAPPED AND UNWRAPPED"

GARY MOORE "CORRIDORS OF POWER"

GENERAL PUBLIC "ALL THE RAGE"

GIANNA NANNINI "G.N."

GILLAN "MAGIC"

GIL SCOTT-HERON "MOVING TARGET"

GTR "GTR"

HAMBI AND THE DANCE "HEARTACHE"

HEAVEN 17 "THE LUXURY GAP"

HEAVEN 17 "PLEASURE ONE"

HOUSE OF LOVE "BABE RAINBOW"

HUMAN LEAGUE "HYSTERIA"

IAN DURY AND THE MUSIC STUDENTS "4000 WEEKS HOLIDAY"

IOMMI "FUSED"

IT'S IMMATERIAL "LIFES HARD THEN YOU DIE"

JAM "SETTING SONS"

JAM "SOUND EFFECTS"

JAMES "SEVEN"

JANE AIRE AND THE BELVEDERES "JANE AIRE AND THE BELVEDERES"

JAPAN "GENTLEMEN TAKE POLAROIDS"

JEFF BECK "WHO ELSE!"

JEM "FINALLY WOKEN"

JIM RAFFERTY "SOLID LOGIC"

JOHN ARMATRADING "WALK UNDER LADDERS"

JOAN ARMATRADING "SLEIGHT OF HAND"

JOHN MARTYN "GLORIOUS FOOL"

JOHNNY WARMAN "WALKING INTO MIRRORS"

JUDIE TZUKE "SPORTS CAR"

JUNKSTER "JUNKSTER"

KAISER CHIEFS "EMPLOYMENT"

KATE BUSH "THE DREAMING"

KEEP IT DARK "1ST DOWN AND TEN"

KILLERS "HOT FUSS"

KILLING JOKE "EXTREMITIES, DIRT AND VARIOUS REPRESSED EMOTIONS"

KINGMAKER "IN THE BEST POSSIBLE TASTE"

KIRSTY MacCOLL "KITE"

KIRSTY MacCOLL "ELECTRIC LANDLADY"

LIVE WIRE "CHANGES MADE"

LLOYD COLE "LOVE STORY"

LONGPIGS "MOBILE HOME"

LUCIO BATTISTI "UNA GIORNATA UGGIOSA"

MAGIC NUMBERS "THE MAGIC NUMBERS"

MAGNUM "CHASE THE DRAGON"

MARCELLA DETROIT "JEWEL"

MARIUS M‹LLER-WESTERNHAGEN "DAS HERZ EINES BOXERS"

MARTI WEBB "I'M NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL"

McFLY "ROOM ON THE 3RD FLOOR"

MEMBERS "AT THE CHELSEA NIGHTCLUB"

MENTAL AS ANYTHING "MENTAL AS ANYTHING"

MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP "BUILT TO DESTROY"

MICRODISNEY "CROOKED MILE"

MIDNIGHT OIL "10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1"

MIKE KARN "DREAMS OF REASON PRODUCE MONSTERS"

MIKE RUTHERFORD "ACTING VERY STRANGE"

MISSION "CHILDREN"

MODELS "THE PLEASURE OF YOUR COMPANY"

MUSE "BLACK HOLES AND REVELATIONS"

OZZY OSBOURNE "THE ULTIMATE SIN"

PALLAS "THE WEDGE"

PETER BAUMANN "REPEAT REPEAT"

PETER GABRIEL "PETER GABRIEL 3"

PHIL COLLINS "FACE VALUE"

PHIL COLLINS "HELLO, I MUST BE GOING"

PHILIP BAILEY "CHINESE WALL"

PIL "FIRST ISSUE"

PIL "FLOWERS OF ROMANCE"

PLACEBO "BLACK MARKET MUSIC"

PLACEBO "SLEEPING WITH GHOSTS"

POSITIVE NOISE "HEART OF DARKNESS"

POSITIVE NOISE "CHANGE OF HEART"

PRESUNTOS IMPLICADOS "SER DE AGUA"

PULP "DIFFERENT CLASS"

PULP "THIS IS HARDCORE"

QUEEN "FLASH GORDON"

QUEEN "A KIND OF MAGIC"

QUEEN "LIVE MAGIC"

QUEEN "THE MIRACLE"

RAILWAY CHILDREN "NATIVE PLACE"

RECORDS "MUSIC ON BOTH SIDES"

ROBBIE WILLIAMS "INTENSIVE CARE"

ROGER DALTREY "CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THE MOVIE"

ROOM "IN EVIL HOUR"

RUTS "THE CRACK"

RUTS "GRIN AND BEAR IT"

SCOTT WALKER "CLIMATE OF HUNTER"

SCOTT WALKER "TILT"

SERVANT "THE SERVANT"

SERVANT "HOW TO DESTROY A RELATIONSHIP"

SEX PISTOLS "FILTHY LUCRE LIVE"

SHANKAR "TOUCH ME THERE"

SIMPLE MINDS "LIFE IN A DAY"

SIMPLE MINDS "NEW GOLD DREAM"

SIMPLE MINDS "ONCE UPON A TIME"

SINEAD O’CONNOR "UNIVERSAL MOTHER"

SKIDS "SCARED TO DANCE"

SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR "READ MY LIPS"

SOUND "HEADS AND HEARTS"

SPEAR OF DESTINY "GRAPES OF WRATH"

STARSHOOTER "PAS FATIGU…"

STING "TEN SUMMONERS TALES"

SUEDE "A NEW MORNING"

TIM FINN "BIG CANOE"

TOM JONES "RELOAD"

TOM VERLAINE "COVER"

TRANVISION VAMP "VELVETEEN"

TWINKLE BROTHERS "COUNTRYMEN"

UB40 "UB44"

UB40 "LABOUR OF LOVE"

UFO "MAKING CONTACT"

UTE LEMPER "PUNISHING KISS"

VAN MORRISON "INARTICULATE SPEECH OF THE HEART"

VAN MORRISON "AVALON SUNSET"

VAN MORRISON "POETIC CHAMPIONS COMPOSE"

VAPORS "NEW CLEAR DAYS"

XTC "BLACK SEA"

XTC "DRUMS AND WIRES"

YES "DRAMA"

ZAZIE "JE, TU, ILS"

ZUTONS "TIRED OF HANGING AROUND"

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       Studio Index

 

 

 

1979

 

 

 

1979

 

1980

 

The Canteen - 1980

 

 

1994

 

1994

 

 

 

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