A celebration of Strawberry Recording Studios, Stockport,
1967 - 1993.
18th January 1985
STRAWBERRY STUDIOS - A CHOICE PICK
It started in a Stockport attic. But then it was called Inter City Studios. From these humble beginnings, the rumblings of one of the first recording studios to be set up outside London, grew into a resounding success and came to full fruition as Strawberry Studios.
The name turned out to be a choice pick as co-director Richard Scott explained; "Strawberry Studios was launched in 1969 (sic) and at the time The Beatle's hit Strawberry Fields was in the charts, and I suppose it was hoped that we were going to be around forever."
Nobody can predict quite so far ahead, but Strawberry on Waterloo Road have proved they are very much around, with a long line of the famous and glamorous (as well as the not quite so famous yet) who have passed through their corridors of powered sound. The all-star line-up includes names like Paul McCartney, Spandau Ballet, Joy Division, Terry Hall of Fun Boy Three, Andy Williams, Tony Matthis and the almost forgotten Bay City Rollers (hoards of screaming adoring females had to be dragged from the doors of Strawberry by local constabulary whne they were recording - how times have changed.)
But by far the biggest name as far as the Strawberry books are concerned is 10cc - whose Eric Stewart was a founder member of the studio with Peter Tattersall. Said Richard, "10cc have been a very big part of Strawberry - they did their first four albums here. They are a very professional band and musically very competent. They're still very much associated with us even though they had to move south for practical reasons." And lining the walls of the reception platinum discs awarded to the group tell the story of sweet success - shining examples like I'm Not In Love and I'm Mandy Fly Me.
Said Richard, who has been recording Strawberry sounds for eight years; "Sometimes I'm recording something and I'll really like it and think it could be a possible hit, but you can't always tell. One of the oddest hits I mixed was Grandma We Love You by the St Winifred's School Choir. It was very nice but a bit sentimental. It came out at Christmas and struck just at the right time - it was the best selling record of the year over The Police and Abba." He added, "The kids were great - there were about fifty packed lunches all over the studio - but they were very professional and learned very quickly."
Besides, as Richard describes "twiddling knobs and making things sound nice" for records, he also does TV and radio jingles and audio visual scripts. And proving that appearances aren't everything he added "A lot of people think the work is very glamorous - but it's not at four in the morning. You tend to be on call 24 hours a day." But then the sliver lining in the recording studio's cloud more than makes up for it.
For Richard, of Woodley, after a hard day's night at his 'desk' there is nothing like striking the right note with the listening nation. He said "If people like the end product and they're happy with it then I'm happy." And, after all, that's entertainment.