Julian Mendelsohn Recording Engineer & Producer
After spending my last few years at school in Australia dreaming of becoming a recording engineer, I arrived in the UK in 1972 thinking that it would be easy to get a job. This was far from the truth and it wasn't until 1974 that I was taken on at a small studio in Fulham Rd. Chelsea, called Milner Sound.
It was run by an ex BBC engineer John Milner who took me on at the princely sum of £15 a week. A year later a new assistant, Penny Morgan who is now at Sony International A&R, joined me.
She went on to run Milner after it was sold in '79 and renamed 'Producers Workshop'.
Steve Lipson and Hugh Jones also started their careers there.
John taught me all the basics of sound recording and the not so busy studio enabled me to experiment with the rather limited equipment in my own time.
The desk was a 10 channel into 4 group console, built like a tank by John Milner, it had a great sound.
The tape machines were an 8 track and 4 track by Leevers Rich, one 2 track Studer A62 and one mono A62. The only outboard gear was a mono Grampian Spring with which I used 2 tape delays to give stereo reverb.
There were 12 microphones to choose from but I only had 10 channels to play so it didn't matter!
My first band session was with Linda Lewis and her excellent band comprising of Jim Cregan (gtr), Max Middleton (keys), Robert Awaih (bass!) and Gerry Conway on drums. I still have a copy of this tape and despite my inexperience it still sounds pretty special.
Highlights during my time at Milner sound were sessions for Ian Hunter, Paul Rodgers, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Charlie Dore, Generation X, The Members, John Wetton & Bill Bruford, and Motorhead. Drummers were always happy to work with me at Milner because I went for a live drum sound, as opposed to the then fashionable dead sound.
By 1978 Milner Sound was becoming pretty busy and later on that year I was offered an interview with Jill Sinclair at Sarm Studios in Brick Lane. I got the job and jumped from 8 track to a mind boggling 48 tracks
(Sarm was first 48 track studio in Europe).
Chief engineer was Gary Langhan and after a few months of assisting I got the chance to do some sessions myself. This was an exciting period for both of us with the advent of new digital gear from AMS, Lexicon, Fairlight and the Linndrum to name a few. The highlight being the acquisition of one of the first Solid State Logic consoles in the UK.
Many late nights were spent in the studio getting to grips with the new technology.
During this two or three year period I was privileged to see Trevor Horn with Gary engineering become one of the most sought after producers of the time, working with artists like Yes, Dollar, The Buggles, ABC and Malcom McClaren.
I then started working with producer Peter Collins and mixed "Pass the Dutchie" by Musical Youth, my first number one single. Other artists included Tracy Ullman, The Belle Stars and Nick Kershaw.
Paul "Wix" Wickens (keys) and Charlie Morgan (drums) were the main musicians for Peter's sessions, both of whom I developed a lasting relationship with.
Around this time I was privileged to work with Peter Gabriel mixing "Shock the Monkey", Hugh Jones (taught me a lot!) mixing Monsoon and Echo and the Bunnymen.
I also worked with Andy Richards (producer and programmer) who later became one of Trevor Horn's team with artists like Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Propaganda. Andy now runs the excellent all digital East of Eden studios in Chiswick.
A very big moment was when Trevor asked me to do a last minute remix of "Relax" by the Frankies.
We started at 8 am one Monday morning in Sarm East studios, finished the 7" A-side by 11am, had a quick stab at the B-side then rushed across London to the Townhouse cutting rooms where the mastering engineer Ian Cooper was waiting. The rest is history!
I remember Jill Sinclair ringing me in Australia, where I was working with engineer Jimbo Barton, to tell me that I had a number one with Nick Kershaw's "Won't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" (engineered and mixed) and my mixes of the Frankie's "Two Tribes" and "Relax" at number 2 and number 3 respectively! !
I also produced my first album for Australian band The Machinations around this time and engineered my first of three Level 42 albums "World Machine".
In 1985 Jill suggested that I work with the Pet Shop Boys, remixing a track called "Suburbia". This led to me producing tracks with them including "It's a Sin" (UK No1) and "Always on My Mind" (Xmas No1). We also worked as a team with other artists such as Dusty Springfield and Liza Minelli.
Highlights during the next few years included co-producing the Level 42 albums "Running in the Family" and "Staring at the Sun". This band together with producer Wally Badaroo were top of the list for musicianship for me… Incredible! I have also recently mixed an album by Mike Lindup (Level 42) soon to be released.
Other highlights were album mixes for Del Amitri, ABC, Johnny Hates Jazz, Aztec Camera, Kate Bush and the Petshop Boys "Behavior" album.
One awesome job was working with Paul Rogers (Bad Company, Free) and Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) on their second Firm album.
Single and 12" mixes included Sam Brown, Scritti Politti, Simple Minds, Go West and Inxs.
In the early 90s I co-produced, together with "Wix" Wickens Tasmin Archer's debut album "Great Expectations" and the No1 single "Sleeping Satellite".
Just after that I was privileged to be asked by Paul McCartney to produce his album "Off the Ground".
More recent work includes various recording and mixing for renowned Australian guitarist Roland Chadwick, recording Scottish band Belle and Sebastian, recording tracks for Seal's unplugged greatest hits album both with Trevor Horn and a 5.1 mix of Level 42 live at Hammersmith Apollo.
Projects completed since moving back to Australia include album, single and extended mixes for Sydney artist Catcall.The extended mix of Swimming Pool has been critically acclaimed. Catcall is managed by Pete Lusty at Wintermann and Goldstein and released through Ivy League Records. Website is: www.myspace.com/catcallmusic.
Album "Surrender to the Change" by Melbourne based band The Glorious. I am in the process of completing the second album "Sweetwater" which should be finished around October. Website is theglorious.net
An ep for the exciting Melbourne band Undercolours has been completed including the critically acclaimed track "Spirit The Ghost". Undercolours are managed by Chris Reeves at Parallel Management in Sydney.Website is parallelmanagement.com.au Have a look at: http://neongoldrecords.blogspot.com/2011/08/woken-from-dream.html
An EP and tracks for excellent Melbourne band Goodbyemotel who are due to fly to New York very soon to further their career. Website is: goodbyemotel.com
FAMILY OF FREE LOVE