South of Manchester, in the post-industrial town of Stockport, are what remains of Strawberry Studios, a bonafide U.K. musical mecca. Some of the most significant creations in U.K. music history were recorded in this unassuming building between 1967 and 1993.
Eric Stewart of the Mindbenders and the 10cc and band manager Peter Tattersall opened Strawberry Studios in 1967. Stewart named the studio after his favorite Beatles song, “Strawberry Fields Forever,” and the pair would use the tagline “Strawberry Studios Forever.” During the 1970s and 1980s, the studio became one of the world’s most innovative places to create music. Milestone tracks such as “I’m Not in Love” and “Neanderthal Man” were recorded using experimental equipment and new cutting-edge techniques.
Strawberry Studios quickly gained international fame. Global artists, including Neil Sedaka, Paul McCartney, the Smiths, the Stone Roses, the Ramones, and many others, recorded songs at the studio. The studio is particularly well known for its role in capturing the northern gothic sounds of post-punk bands like Joy Division. It’s here dark incantations like Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” were made under the manic ministrations of producer Martin Hannett who oversaw much of the early output from Manchester’s ill-fated Factory Records. Another Strawberry Studio powerhouse, Joey Ramone, was particularly taken with the Chinese Takeaway just across the road and ate there often as he recorded the vocals for songs like “The KKK Took My Baby Away” at Strawberry.
After several changes of ownership, the studio finally closed in 1993. But the building on Waterloo Road remains and still bears the studio logo reminding passersby of the remarkable sonic milestones achieved in this sleepy corner of rainy Stockport.
Know Before You Go
Stockport is a historic centre for both cultural and industrial creativity. It played a significant role as one of the manufacturing powerhouses of the 19th Century Industrial Revolution. The town was renowned as a centre of excellence for the hatting industry. If you want to see how the modern industrial world was formed, Stockport is a compact and historically rich way to find out more