Although Liverpool is known worldwide for its contribution to music, we were thrilled to be able to reveal a particularly local claim to musical fame that hasn’t had the coverage it deserves – so many groundbreaking and era-defining acts recorded at Kirkby’s Amazon Studios in the 1970s and 80s!
We were lucky to be able to display the gold disc for Echo and the Bunnymen’s best-selling Ocean Rain album awarded to John Fairclough of Rainhill Tape Specialists, the Recording Engineer on the album, alongside lots of their singles and albums also recorded and mixed at Amazon Studios. Visitors were able to take a seat and listen to it. There was a second listening post for people to enjoy African and White by China Crisis, another very local internationally successful band.
Amazon Studios created their own Indie record label, Inevitable, founded by Jeremy Lewis and Pete Fulwell. They created an album of tracks by a number of the Inevitable label artists called Small Hits and Near Misses, with a cover designed by artist Steve Hardstaff; we were very fortunate to be able to exhibit the original artwork by Steve for the Inevitable label album, as well as his design for ‘Blind’ by The Icicle Works (both shown below in the right hand photo).
In the 1970s and early 80s, most major recording studios were in London, so Amazon Studios was a good alternative location for artists to record their music and produce demos. A very broad range of artists used the facilities, from emerging bands to more established ones, including Black Sabbath, The Smiths, New Order, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, The Waterboys and The Christians. Music of every genre was recorded there, from classical, pop, rock, folk, hymns – even Liverpool Football Club recorded their 1986 single Sitting on Top of the World at Amazon Studios!