The Great British Recording Studios

Series: Book
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Format: Hardcover
Author: Howard Massey

The Great British Recording Studios tells the story of the iconic British facilities where many of the most important recordings of all time were made. The first comprehensive account of British recording studios ever published, it is endorsed by and was written with the cooperation of the British APRS (Association of Professional Recording Services, headed by Sir George Martin) to document the history of the major British studios of the 1960s and 1970s and to help preserve their legacy.

The book surveys the era's most significant British studios (including Abbey Road, Olympic, and Trident), with complete descriptions of each studio's physical facilities and layout, along with listings of equipment and key personnel, as well as details about its best-known technical innovations and a discography of the major recordings done there. Seamlessly interweaving narrative text with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from dozens of internationally renowned record producers and a wealth of photographs (many never published before), this book brings to life the most famous British studios and the people who created magic there.

Meticulously researched and organized, The Great British Recording Studios will inform and inspire students of the recording arts, music professionals, casual music fans, and anyone interested in the acoustically pristine facilities, groundbreaking techniques, and innovative artists and technicians that have shaped the course of modern recording.

$34.99 (US)
Inventory #HL 00333513
ISBN: 9781458421975
UPC: 884088635886
Width: 8.25"
Length: 10.25"
376 pages


“Fans of the Beatles, Kinks and other bands who comprised the British Invasion won't be the only ones interested in grabbing The Great British Recording Studios. With a foreword by Sir George Martin providing a noteworthy kick-off, Howard Massey's wonderful book provides an in-depth review of the growth of England's recording studio industry following World War II, and looks at specific facilities including Abbey Road (EMI Studios), Decca, IBC and others.” – Music News Nashville

“With its association with The Beatles, Abbey Road became Britain's most famous recording studio. However, it wasn't the only facility in the U.K. that produced great rock recordings in the 1960s and '70s. Howard Massey goes into loving technical detail, describing the equipment and including floor plans and vintage photos of Abbey Road, Trident, AIR and dozens of other studios familiar to music fans who read the jacket notes on their favorite albums. In the analog age, each studio had a unique sound based on the acoustics of the room and the often custom-built recording gear.” – Shepherd Express

“All of the big ones are in this coffee-table book, from Abbey Road and Olympic to Trident and Decca. A lovely read, with lots of images and sidebar boxes, and a forward by George Martin.” –

“An original, detailed, and impressively informative study, The Great British Recording Studios is exceptionally well written, organized and presented. This hardcover edition of The Great British Recording Studios from Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing is especially recommended for personal, community, and academic library Music History reference collections and supplemental studies lists.” – Michael J. Carson, Midwest Book Reveiw

“The very attractively produced large format hardback sweeps across the UK and presents a studio-by-studio guide taking in everything from the grandeur of Abbey Road to Joe Meek's ramshackle home-made arrangements...Author Massey – a writer who's also had recording studio experience – has clearly carried out some exhaustive research that yields an authoritative flavor. There's an abundance of technical information, but the book's approach will also delight those who enjoy behind-the-scenes stories.” – The Beat Magazine

“Let's not mince words. As a touring musician-producer-engineer-author-music journalist, Howard Massey is uniquely qualified to do what he has accomplished in writing The Great British Recording Studios. He has documented the definitive history of the British recording studios that brought the art of sound recording to a level that spurred, and was spurred by, a breathtaking outpouring of musical creativity in the 1960s and '70s – led, of course, by The Beatles and their insatiable curiosity regarding sound and sonic effects...Too much praise cannot greet The Great British Recording Studios. An invaluable historical document, and also one rousing ride through the most incredible musical era of the 20th Century. This book has it all. Mark it essential.” – Mix Magazine

“If you're a fan of the more technical aspects of music and recording, a fan of British rock music of the 1960s and 1970s, or of that era in general, The Great British Recording Studios is an essential book. It's easily one of the coolest, most interesting, and enjoyable books I've read in a long time and in the off chance that you couldn't tell from the above review, I highly recommend it.” –

“Trust the American to make such a great job of writing a book about the golden age of UK studios...It's a book that will becomes one of the most used in the MusicTech Library. An excellent and thorough read.” – MusicTech

“Howard Massey has constructed an exhaustive, well-threaded account of every major studio operating during those times, providing detailed histories, discographies, layouts, technical breakdowns and over 100 memories from those who used them, illustrated with rare photos...It's a genuinely worthwhile, often fascinating chronicle of this essential aspect of music history. Surprisingly, with most of these studios now gone, this is the first time anyone has attempted such a necessary project. It's doubtful anyone could do it better.” – Record Collector Magazine

“Now this is a beautiful book: hardcover with lavish illustrations and much detail...Massey writes with intelligence, detailing the famous studios and their clients, and his thoughts on the 'British Sound' are never jingoistic. Fans of Cream, Alexis Korner, Led Zep, the Stones and other British blues recordings will find much of interest (Mike Vernon's Chipping Norton Studios are detailed here). With many studios now shut, this book offers a fine recollection of their glory days.” – The Blues

“If an overview of the series and an exploration of its core and recurring themes is what you're after, then look no further than this well-written and well-researched offering.” –

“There is nothing else on the market that covers the UK's historic recording studios in the depth and breadth Massey has managed here, and his meticulously researched book is very timely: we are now starting to lose so many of the great artists, engineers, and producers who lived and worked through the most pioneering and influential period in the UK's recording industry...I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and I'm sure it will be something to which I refer often in the future. I found it fascinating, inspiring, surprising, nostalgic, informative, eye-opening, and amusing, all at the same time. I learned a great deal along the way, and I reminisced over studios that I once knew (if only superficially in many cases) which have now gone. This is an absolute must-read for any student or enthusiast of British recording history and technology. Very highly recommended.” – Sound on Sound

“With a foreword by Sir George Martin, former musician-producer Howard Massey has constructed an exhaustive, beautifully presented account of very major studio from those seminal times, giving detailed histories, discographies, layouts, technical breakdown and over 100 memories from the artists and production staff who used them...With most of these studios now gone, this is the first time anyone has attempted such a project. This fascinating tome will now stand as the definitive account.” Prog Magazine

“If you're looking for a perfect gift for the audiophile who loves British rock music of the 60s and 70s, this is it. Howard Massey examines 46 major recording studios of the period, looking at their personnel, equipment, the individual recording rooms and the original recording techniques. It's all here, as verified by George Martin in the foreword. A fascinating work for music lovers!” – San Francisco Book Review

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