The EMI Archive Trust would like to thank Tris Penna for contributing this great memory about his time at EMI to our collection. Tris worked for EMI for 10 years (1987 – 1997) as a product manager, artist development manager and as A +R director. In this video he shares a short memory of his time at Abbey Road studios and the people he worked with.
What I’ve got here to remind myself of the brilliant time I had at EMI in the eighties and nineties is a picture of four people. They are; the most important of course is me here in middle! in about 1994 I think , and this is a lovely chap here called Chris Blair, who was always my preferred mastering engineer.
He was a real legend at Abbey Road because in one of his first sessions, you see he joined Abbey Road as a teenager, and one of his first sessions was to work on the Beatles. He went into the session and cacked himself so much, thought “I cannot do this! I want to work in a recording studio, but I don’t want to be an engineer on live sessions, I want to work in music.” So he became a mastering engineer and so he mastered a lot of my favourite albums of all time.
And in 1994 me here and a guy called Martin Green who is a big DJ and a guy called Paddy Whitaker. Martin used to run a club called ‘Smashing’ and they used to play insane sort of records that were on the Studio Two label , which was EMI’s middle of the road sort of label that kind of had sort of Beatles with beats, middle of the road stuff and we decided to do an album called the Sound Gallery. We put it together for three and six pence, revived the studio 2 label for it, put it out and it sold over 100 000 copies in the UK alone that year. It kick started the whole of the easy listening revival as it then was, so really special memories.
Chris, God rest his soul, died a few years ago and was a brilliant bloke. This is in his mastering suite at Abbey Road, you know the most important, famous recording studio in the world. So that’s a little memory of my time at EMI in the nineties.
Abbey Road mastering suite image – Martin Green, Tris Penna, Chris Blair, Paddy Whitaker
Manchester Square balcony – John Barrowman, Tris Penna, Janet Glass and Penny Ganz
Manchester Square boardroom – Andrew Pryor, John Barrowman, Janet Glass, Tris Penna and Penny Ganz
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