Nigel Gray

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Nigel Gray (1947 – 30 July 2016)[1] was an English record producer. His album credits include Outlandos d'Amour (1978), Reggatta de Blanc (1979), and Zenyatta Mondatta (1980) for the Police,[2] Kaleidoscope (1980) and Juju (1981) for Siouxsie and the Banshees, as well as five albums for Godley & Creme.[3]

Gray was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album for Zenyatta Mondatta (1981) and also won two Grammys for producer of Best Rock Performance ("Don't Stand So Close to Me") and Best Rock Instrumental ("Behind My Camel").[4]

Gray was revered by Radiohead's producer Nigel Godrich for his work on the Police's Reggatta de Blanc.[5] Gray's production on Siouxsie and the Banshees' records with guitarist John McGeoch was also a reference for Godrich during the recording of Radiohead's "There There".[6]

Surrey Sound Studios (1975–1987)[edit]

In 1974, Gray converted a dairy depot building on Kingston Road, Leatherhead in the south of England into a four-track recording studio named Surrey Sound Studios, with his brother Chris Gray as engineer.[7] In 1977, the studio became 16-track and amongst others The Police recorded their first album Outlandos d'Amour there. In 1979, the studio upgraded again to 24-track and The Police, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Godley & Creme recorded albums. Singles from The Lotus Eaters and Latin Quarter made the UK Singles Chart. Other albums included Slow Crimes by the Work, and those by The Professionals, Girlschool, Tank, Hazel O'Connor and Eurogliders.[7]

In 1987, Gray sold his studio and retired in Cornwall.[8] Gray's last project was producing the album Universal Sky, the third album by local band The Viewers.

His younger son Tom is a well-known British luthier, under the name Gray Guitars.


On 31 July 2016, the members of The Police; Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland reacted on a social network to Gray's death writing: "Nigel Gray recorded the first three Police albums, the first two in his converted studio above a dairy in Leatherhead in Surrey. Nigel was a qualified medical doctor who followed his passion into music and was able to use his kindly bedside manner to coax three extraordinarily successful records from a band operating at the time on the tiniest of shoestring budgets. We simply couldn't have done it without him, that's the truth".[9]


Artists for whom Nigel Gray has produced or engineered include:


  1. ^ Richard, Craig (2 August 2016). "Doctor who Recorded The Police albums in Leatherhead died". Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  2. ^ Campion, Chris (28 September 2009). Walking on the moon: the untold story of the Police and the rise of new wave ... – Chris Campion – Google Books. ISBN 9780470627839. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  3. ^ "Strawberry North". Strawberry North. 27 May 1972. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  4. ^ Nigel Gray Discography, Discog
  5. ^ "Nigel the Nihilist". 25 January 2000. Archived from the original on 31 January 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Radiohead Biography". Archived from the original on 29 June 2006. Retrieved 10 February 2012.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) Excerpt. Colin Greenwood remembers: "The running joke when we were making this record was that if we recorded a track that stretched over 3mn 50 sec., we'd say "Oh fuck, we've buggered it then. It's gone on too long." Of course, the irony is that the first single we're releasing is actually the longest song on the record. ("There There"). It was all recorded live in Oxford. We all got excited at the end because Nigel was trying to get Jonny to play like John McGeoch in Siouxsie And The Banshees. All the old farts in the band were in seventh heaven."
  7. ^ a b "Nigel Gray, record producer, the police, siouxsie and the banshees". Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Surrey Sound Studio". Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Death of producer (The Police Lutto per la band lannuncio di sting summers e copeland)". 31 July 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2016.