Recording

Townhouse Studios to Close

EQUIPMENT WILL BE SOLD AT AUCTION 4/01/2008 8:00 AM Eastern

Andy Rose worked on an Oasis DVD in Townhouse Studio 1 in 2001.

By the time you read this, the Townhouse Studios (West London) will have closed. At press time, parent company Sanctuary Group announced that the facility would cease operations at the end of March 2008.

The Sam Toyashima-designed Townhouse was one of the top music studios in London from the time it was established by Richard Branson in 1979. The facility was home to artists including Queen, Bob Dylan, Blur, Oasis, Elton John, Placebo and many others. The first commercial studio in London to offer an SSL console, The Townhouse also figured in the careers of dozens of recording industry luminaries, such as Hugh Padgham, Mick Glossop, Tony Platt and Nick Launay. The Townhouse changed hands twice: It was sold to the EMI Group by Virgin Records in '92; the Sanctuary Group bought the facility from EMI in 2002.

Studio gear will be auctioned off by pro audio company mjQ (www.mjq.co.uk) in May. Sales will be conducted online and at the studio, and will probably include the facility's SSL consoles, as well as the Pro Tools systems, vintage tube mics and outboard, etc. A catalog will be posted on mjQ's site in April.

In a Music Week article celebrating The Townhouse's silver anniversary four years ago, producer Robin Millar said, “There are only a handful of truly great studios in the world. Those studios have turned out not just the great albums, but also the great engineers and producers. Townhouse is one of them, and one of the very few facilities we would honestly recommend to our own clients.”