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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
25th May 1905 Born today: Binnie Barnes, London, actress (Adv of Marco Polo, Diamond Jim)
25th May 1878 Gilbert/Sullivans opera HMS Pinafore, premieres in London
The First Air Studio
George Martin's first Studio complex was here.
Location: 214 Oxford Street
Description: This is where Associated Independent Recording (AIR), an independent recording company, was founded in 1965 by Beatles producer George Martin. He and his partners John Burgess (Capitol Records), Peter Sullivan (Decca) and Ron Richards (EMI), decided to start a new business here after their departure from EMI.
It was here on the fourth floor of 214 Oxford Street, that four studios, and later a MIDI programming room were set out. They included two Bsendorfer pianos, many soundproof booths, and a 56-channel mixing console, custom-designed by Neve.
Allegedly they consumed 450 bottles of the finest Bollinger when Air Studios opened on October 6th 1970.
Kate Bush recorded Wuthering Heights here while Roxy Music recorded their second album For Your Pleasure here. Madness recorded Mad not Mad here. King Crimson, Wings, Genesis, Little Angels, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Procul Harum, The Pretenders all recorded here.
The rest of the building was once Peter Robinson's department store and a banqueting hall. In 1991 the lease for Air ran out and Air moved to a church in Hampstead.