The Church Studios

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The Church Studios
Recording studio
IndustryMusic
Area served
London, England
OwnerPaul Epworth
ParentMiloco Studios
Websitethechurchstudios.com

The Church Studios is a recording studio located in a former church in Crouch End, North London. It was rented and then owned by Dave Stewart in the 1980s and 1990s, and was used to record Eurythmics’ debut album Sweet Dreams. David Gray acquired ownership in 2004 before UK leading music producer Paul Epworth bought and refurbished the studio in 2013. It has since been used by notable artists such as Adele, Beyoncé and Mumford & Sons.

History[edit]

It was built in the 1850s and served solely for religious purposes for the Agapemonite sect until the middle of the 20th century. As a result of the social changes that took part in the second half of the 20th century, the building became desired within the creative industries. It was eventually split in two halves; one continuing as a traditional church, the other a creative studio that has been through a number of ventures since the 1980s [1].

In the beginning of the 1980s, animators Bob Bura and John Hardwick bought the building. In 1982 they rented out the church room upstairs to Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox of Eurythmics. Stewart and Lennox converted the room into a recording studio and used it to complete their debut album Sweet Dreams. As the popularity and success of the Eurythmics increased, they purchased the building from Bura and Hardwick and recorded much of their catalogue there. The Church Studios' legacy continued to be established with artists such as Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, Depeche Mode and My Bloody Valentine being welcomed [2].

In 2004, singer-songwriter David Gray acquired ownership of the studio, bringing it into a new era. Gray recorded four of his studio albums at The Church Studios: Life In Slow Motion, Draw The Line, Foundling and Mutineers[3]. He also welcomed other artists, including Bombay Bicycle Club[4] and Kaiser Chiefs[5], to use the studio. Gray’s ownership lasted for almost a decade, however due to the decline of record sales changing the landscape of the music industry, Gray decided to move on and the studio became under threat of falling into the hands of property developers[6]. Eventually music producer Paul Epworth, who was looking for a studio facility of his own, bought the studio and took it over in October 2013[3].

The 2013 refurbishment

Epworth partnered with Miloco Studios to run the studio as a commercial venture [7]. However, the studio needed reconstruction due to sound leakage between the two main studios. With the help of Walter-Storyk Design Group[8] and Miloco Builds[9], Epworth transformed The Church Studios into a modern studio complex. While the top floor was left relatively untouched, the downstairs floors were completely refurbished to offer three studios: a large tracking room, an SSL studio and a writing suite [1]. In the large tracking room he installed a 72 channel vintage EMI Neve console consisting of two halves: one from Abbey Road Studios and one from the Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris[9]. The downstairs studio, featuring a vintage SSL console, had to be raised of the ground to deal with the high sound pressure levels, as a pair of custom Augspurger monitors were installed[8].

Artists[edit]

EMI console at The Church Studios

After the renovation of the studios, artists such as U2[10], London Grammar[11] and Lana Del Rey[11] have recorded in the studios. Adele filmed a live version of her song "When We Were Young" in the main studio in 2015, which has been watched more than 400 million times on Youtube[12]. In 2018, Beyoncé and Jay-Z used the SSL studio to mix four of their songs, as well as cut vocals for another, on The Carters' first album Everything Is Love[13]. The latest act to use the renovated studio complex is Mumford & Sons, who worked with Paul Epworth on their latest album Delta[14].

List of artists who have recorded, mixed or filmed at The Church Studios[15]:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Church Studios History - London Recording Studios | Miloco". Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Dylan studio 'could become flats'". 21 August 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b "David announces sale of legendary London studios | DavidGray.com". www.davidgray.com. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Bombay Bicycle Club unveil acoustic album". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Kaiser Chiefs - The Future Is Medieval". Discogs. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Singer hits a sour note with Crouch End neighbours as he plans to turn". Evening Standard. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  7. ^ "The Church Studio, re-opened by new owner, Paul Epworth". The Music Producers Guild. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  8. ^ a b Molho, David. "The Church Studios / Paul Epworth". WSDG. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  9. ^ a b "The Church Studio 1". Miloco Builds. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  10. ^ "U2 'recording' new album in famous Crouch End studios - News - Broadway - Hampstead and Highgate Express". web.archive.org. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  11. ^ a b "London Grammar - Miloco". Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  12. ^ AdeleVEVO (17 November 2015), Adele - When We Were Young (Live at The Church Studios), retrieved 19 March 2019
  13. ^ https://www.beyonce.com/album/everything-is-love/credits/
  14. ^ Aubrey, Elizabeth (20 September 2018). "Mumford & Sons return with 'Guiding Light' and announce details of new album". NME. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  15. ^ "The Church, London". Discogs. Retrieved 19 March 2019.

Coordinates: 51°34′39″N 0°07′25″W / 51.5775°N 0.1237°W / 51.5775; -0.1237