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Philips  Studios, 

Phonogram Studios

Solid Bond Studios  

Wood Cottage  - Aldworth Road, Streatley,  West Berkshire.

In 1950 Dutch electronics company 'Philips Electrical Ltd' set up its Gramophone Division.  Previously located in Great Portland Street in London, in May1956 they acquired the Regency building, Stanhope House in Stanhope Place.  Formally a set of flats, the building was gutted  and redesigned to become the new headquarters to its UK record division. A studio was built in the large basement area for use by the labels own artists. The rooms above were used for a pressing plant and general offices.


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


The studio was initially equipped with a German, 8 input mono valve console, rebuilt in 1958 for stereo. 

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They claimed to be the first studio in London to adopt 4 track recording. In the early sixties the studios started getting  used for pop music under the guidance of A&R man and producer Johnny Franz.

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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. 

These attained a reputation for sonic clarity and excellent workmanship. Demand for Neve consoles began to grow rapidly.


The success of these units led to further orders from Phillips. 
These attained a reputation for sonic clarity and excellent workmanship. Demand for Neve consoles began to grow rapidly.


Complete Flexibility Studio Console for Phillips Records Ltd London.


Philips Neve

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.


The Walker Brothers at Philips

'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'.

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1968  -  Philips went 8-track.

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

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Recorded at Philips Studios


The Walker Brothers - The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore

Make It Easy On Yourself : June 1965


Dusty Springfield - You Don't Have to Say You Love Me : 9–10 March 1966


Spencer Davis Group - Gimme Some Lovin

Recorded at Philips Studios


Tubby Hayes

Grits, Beans And Greens : June 24th 1969

Anna Diamond


The Move - California Man : 1971

Kevin Jordan


The Electric Light Orchestra - The Electric Light Orchestra : 1971

David Rodriguez

Phonogram Studios

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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.

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In 1971 a new custom desk was built by Phonogram International Project Engineering Department in Baarn, Holland and installed as the main studio desk in September 1972. The Neve console was kept.


In 1977 the headquarters of the label were moved from  Stanhope Place so it was decided to add further soundproofing to the existing studio area so so upstairs rooms could be rented out to a different business. 

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.

Recorded at Phonogram


Bo Diddley : The London Sessions -1972


Wizzard :  Wizzard Brew - 1972/1973


 Wizzard :   I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday - August 1973

Recorded at Phonogram


Status Quo: On the Level. -  1974


Status Quo: Blue for You. -  December 1975 - January 1976


Rezillos :   Top Of The Pops. -  1978

Solid Bond Studios


"This place came up for sale and because we'd done so much work in here they offered it to us first,"

Between October 1981 –and February 1982 The Jam recorded their sixth and last studio album at the studios. 

In 1983 the studio lease was put up for sale for £20,000 a year, including the equipment. It was taken on by Paul Weller and the name changed to 'Solid Bond Studios'.

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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.


'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

Solid Bond Studios

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John Weller

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They used 

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Solid Bond Studios

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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

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

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Solid Bond Studios

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