Windmill Lane Studios
|Windmill Lane Studios|
Windmill Lane Studios is known for its graffiti (pictured above in 2008).
|Alternative names||U2 studio|
|Location||Ringsend, Dublin, Ireland|
|Current tenants||Van Morrison|
|Design and construction|
|Owner||Pulse Recording College|
Windmill Lane Studios, also known as the "U2 studio", is a three-storey music recording studio located in Dublin, Ireland. It is located on Windmill Lane, a small street just south of City Quay and the River Liffey and a little north of Pearse Station. It was opened in 1978 by Brian Masterson who is a company director and head engineer. It was originally used to record traditional Irish music until U2 came along and began to record there. Prior to this, Irish rock bands such as Thin Lizzy or The Boomtown Rats carried out their recordings outside Ireland. It is now boarded up, with the actual studios having moved elsewhere. Nevertheless, the studios are still a popular cult symbol and are regularly visited by tourists, particularly those originally from the United States. Criticism has been expressed amongst local activists at proposed plans to turn the old building into a six-storey office block. Pulse Recording College recently took ownership of the studios. The college has previously sent students to work at Windmill Lane straight after graduation and these students have collaborated with 50 Cent, Bryan Adams, Moya Brennan, Donovan, Jon Bon Jovi and New Order.
Windmill Lane Studios is globally recognised for its connection to internationally recognised artists of Irish extraction such as U2, Sinéad O'Connor, Eleanor McEvoy, The Corrs, and Clannad, whilst Van Morrison acquired it for his own personal use in 2006. Juniper, the band which later became Bell X1 and Damien Rice, recorded some of their musical material on location at the studios during their brief existence in the 1990s, including the song which eventually divided them creatively. The Clannad song, "Theme from Harry's Game", which went on to chart in the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as in the band's native Ireland, was originally recorded at Windmill Lane Studios. International artists have also made use of Windmill Lane Studios; these include the Rolling Stones, Status Quo, Kate Bush, Kylie Minogue, R.E.M., Elvis Costello, The Waterboys and The Spice Girls. Albums to have been fully or partially recorded at Windmill Lane Studios include Boy, War and The Joshua Tree by U2, Back on Top, Magic Time and Pay the Devil by Van Morrison, Hounds of Love by Kate Bush, Fisherman's Blues by The Waterboys, and Spike by Elvis Costello. Renowned producers such as Steve Lillywhite, Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, Stephen Street, Geoff Emerick, Nellee Hooper, Trevor Horn, Flood and Don Was have made extensive use of the facilities at Windmill Lane Studios.
The soundtracks to several films have been recorded at Windmill Lane Studios. These include the soundtracks to films such as A Room with a View, The Remains of the Day, The Mask and The Tailor of Panama, as well as The Grifters, My Left Foot and A River Runs Through It. Orchestras would regularly record their music there as it is one of the larger locations in Ireland to do this. Windmill Lane Studios have been recommended as a tourist attraction by publications such as The New York Times. Many people are attracted by the significant amounts of graffiti left as a tribute to acts such as U2 and some even add to it themselves when they visit the site.
Recording artists and facilities 
Several prominent recordings have been made at Windmill Lane Studios. These include film scores such as A Room with a View, The Remains of the Day, The Mask and The Tailor of Panama. Studio one saw the recording of The Grifters and My Left Foot, both by Elmer Bernstein and Bernstein's rejected score to A River Runs Through It. The posthouse at Windmill Lane became the first building in Ireland to buy a Baselight colour grading system on 2 April 2008. The posthouse has been used for several films, including In America and Get Rich and Die Tryin' directed by Jim Sheridan, and has been used for American films made in Ireland, examples of which include King Arthur and Veronica Guerin.
Studio one is the only known room in Ireland where an eighty-piece orchestra may record their music apart from Radio Telefís Éireann. Brian Eno and Michael Nyman have all played the Steinway grand piano located in the corner of this studio.
Famous producers to have used studio one include Stephen Street, Geoff Emerick, Nellee Hooper, Trevor Horn, Flood and Don Was. Elvis Costello recorded Spike there. U2 also recorded their first three albums at Windmill Lane, the Steve Lillywhite masterminded Boy and War, as well as the Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois collaboration, The Joshua Tree.
Juniper began recording their first album there in 1999 but soon split. The song "Volcano", recorded here, was seen as the reason for disagreements between Damien Rice and his bandmembers, the future Bell X1.
Early years 
Windmill Lane Studios began life located in Dublin's docklands. It was originally used to record traditional Irish music but no rock band recorded in the studios until U2. Other bands, such as Thin Lizzy or The Boomtown Rats, went to London or further afield to record their albums. The drums on Boy were recorded in the reception area of the recording studios due to producer Steve Lillywhite's desire to achieve "this wonderful clattery sound". They had to wait until the receptionist went home in the evenings as the phone rang through the day and even occasionally in the evening.
Artists such as U2, Van Morrison, Sinéad O'Connor, Clannad and Elvis Costello and Eleanor McEvoy recorded at Windmill Lane Studios. Clannad's hit "Theme from Harry's Game" was recorded at the studios; this song which propelled the band and their singer Moya Brennan into international territories. Status Quo recorded two albums in 1980 in these studios during a tax year away from the UK, the Just Supposin album released in 1980 and Never Too Late released in 1981.
The studios were expanded in the 1980s under the supervision of Andy Munro of Munro Acoustics. Much of the work was done specifically for U2's album The Joshua Tree which became one of the most successful rock albums of all time.
The original building in Windmill Lane (53° 20′ 44.9″ N, 6° 14′ 44.7″ W) houses Windmill Lane Pictures (a video post-production facility) incorporating Number 4 (an audio post-production facility), Trend Studios (audio mastering) and a number of other related services.
Recent years 
The studio is no longer located on Windmill Lane, although it retains the name. Windmill Lane Studios has not been located on Windmill Lane for quite some time and the current facility was originally Ringsend Studios in Ringsend, Dublin 4. Plans to construct a six-storey office block on the old site led to criticism from local resident groups in early September 2008.
The studio remained empty from 2006 onwards, although reports circulated which linked Van Morrison with purchasing the studio for his own personal use that August. Morrison had previously recorded several albums there, including Back on Top, Magic Time and Pay the Devil. In January 2008, the studio was used to record "The Ballad of Ronnie Drew". In 2009, Pulse College took over Windmill Lane painstakingly renovating the studios which are internationally perceived as being at the heart of the Irish recording industry. The renowned multimedia college has now transformed the facilities with state-of-the-art equipment which encompasses not only 3 fully equipped recording studios, but also a creative hub for Digital Media Training in areas of Music Production, Film Production and Game Analysis and Design.
- "Ghostly echoes as U2 studio is revived". The Irish Times. 2009-06-12. Retrieved 2009-06-20. Another copy of this article is located here.
- Lenker, George (2008-07-13). "36 Hours in Dublin". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- "Pulse calls for state funding for industry-focused private colleges". Irish Examiner. 2009-06-19. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- "Baselight for Windmill Lane". broadcastnow.co.uk. 2008-04-02. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- "Kurzprofil Bell X1". u2tour.de. Accessed 20 June 2009.
- Matthew Magee (2002-02-03). "THAT'S RICE". Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
- "Album Review-The Tides". BBC. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- "U2's producer reveals studio secrets". BBC. 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- "Seven-storey scheme for SCR Windmill Lane plan appealed". The Irish Times. 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2009-06-20. "A new plan for the former Windmill Lane studio off Sir John Rogersons Quay has provoked criticism from local resident groups. Plans for a six-storey office on the site are excessively high and poorly thought out, says Creighton Street Residents Association, one of 15 parties to object to the scheme. The site is home to Windmill Lane Pictures Ltd and formerly housed the studios where U2 recorded their early albums."
- "Van Morrison buys Windmill Lane Studios". Hot Press. 2006-08-11. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- Richie Taylor (2008-01-18). "Cream of Irish music in tribute to Dubliner as he battles with cancer". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
- Pulse College
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