Fairview Studios

Coordinates: 53°46′04″N 0°40′04″W / 53.7678923°N 0.6678188°W / 53.7678923; -0.6678188 Fairview Studios is an independent recording studio located in Willerby, East Riding of Yorkshire, England. Established by a local man Keith Herd in 1966, it has recorded musical acts such as Def Leppard, Mick Ronson, Red Guitars, Mostly Autumn and The Housemartins.[1] Over the years the facility has become well respected within the music industry.[2]


Keith Herd (born 1936)[3] hailed from Holmpton, East Riding of Yorkshire, the son of a farmer. Inspired by the music of Bill Haley and Tommy Steele, Herd formed his own outfit The Keith Herd Quartet and in 1962, recorded a demo of them in his own home in Willerby.[4] Their then vocalist, Dave Tenney, was signed to a recording contract by Dick James, although their collective musical ambitions faded. Tenney later sang part of the novelty song, "Star Trekkin'", by The Firm which reached number one in the UK Singles Chart in 1987.[5] Herd continued playing music locally and worked for a local music shop as a service engineer. A move in 1965 to a house named Fairview in Willerby, proved the catalyst to turn towards recording music as a career. Beginning in one of his two front rooms in the house, Herd initially recorded mainly local acts. He noted "at the time I started there were no studios in Leeds or Sheffield – even up to 1978 there still wasn’t a professional studio in Sheffield".[4] One of the earliest recordings at Fairview was undertaken by Johnny Small and The Little People, a group which featured both Herd and Rick Kemp.[6]

Herd also worked for a while with his eventual lifelong friend, Basil Kirchin, on early experimental pieces.[4]

Initially charging £2.00 per hour, despite his limited equipment and experience he taped many hours of material that was issued in 2008 on the compilation album, Front Room Masters – Fairview Studios 1966–1973. Herd still played semi-professionally until 1973, when he decided to concentrate all his efforts into the recording studio. Converting a barn in his back garden, the present day version of the studio was born.[4]

Numerous varied musical acts utilised the premises down the years, with Roy Neave and John Spence joining as sound engineers. John Spence started in 1981 and has been the studio's chief engineer for the last 25 years, guiding the studio through its 50th anniversary in 2016.[7] More recently, the Herd family moved to North Cave and run Fairview Duplication from that location.[4]

Selected notable recordingsEdit

Year Artist Single / EP / Album
1967 The Rats "The Rise and Fall of Bernie Gripplestone"[8]
1978 The Next Band Four By Three[9]
1979 Def Leppard The Def Leppard E.P.[9]
1980 Witchfynde Give 'Em Hell[9]
1980 Michael Chapman Looking For Eleven[9]
1980 Witchfynde Stagefright
1982 Salem "Cold As Steel" / "Reach to Eternity"[10]
1983 Red Guitars "Good Technology" / "Heartbeat Go! Love Dub"[11][12]
1984 Tokyo Blade Night of the Blade[9]
1984 Red Guitars Slow to Fade[9]
1985 Fatal Charm "You Know (You'll Never Believe)"[9]
1986 The Sisterhood Gift
1987 The Housemartins "Build"[9]
1990 Sally Barker "Money's Talking"[9]
1991 Uriah Heep Different World[13]
1993 Toy Dolls Absurd-Ditties[9]
1993 Fudge Tunnel Creep Diets[9]
1995 Toy Dolls Orcastrated
1995 Bill Nelson Practically Wired Or How I Became... Guitarboy![9]
1996 Bill Nelson Crimsworth (Flowers, Stones, Fountains And Flames)[9]
1996 Bill Nelson After The Satellite Sings
1997 Toy Dolls One More Megabyte
1998 Mostly Autumn For All We Shared...
1999 Mostly Autumn Spirit of Autumn Past...
2001 Mostly Autumn Music Inspired by The Lord of the Rings[9]
2005 The Paddingtons "50 to a Pound"[9]
2008 Mostly Autumn Glass Shadows[9]
2012 Mostly Autumn The Ghost Moon Orchestra[9]

Other recordingsEdit

Other notable musicians who have recorded music at Fairview include Barbara Dickson, Marty Wilde, Maddy Prior, The Glitter Band, The Beautiful South, Computerman, Shed Seven, XIII, Dumpvalve,[14] Lithium Joe,[15] Cannon and Ball, Kingmaker, The Farm, Bruce Foxton, Bill Nelson[16] John Parr

Compilation albumEdit

Year Title Included work by
2008 Front Room Masters – Fairview Studios 1966–1973[17] The Mandrakes, Michael Chapman, The Rats

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Fairview Recording Studio, Willerby, Hull, England". Fairviewrecording.co.uk. Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  2. ^ Dee, Michelle (22 July 2004). "Hull Local People: Computerman at Fairview Recording Studios". Thisisull.com. Archived from the original on 6 July 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  3. ^ "History of Fairview". Front Room Masters. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e Widd, Dean (30 January 2009). "Keith Herd, creator of Fairview recording studio, Willerby, talks about Humber-beat". This is Hull and East Riding. Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 200. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  6. ^ "The Little People". Britishmusicarchive.com. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  7. ^ "John Spence". Johnspencerrecording.co.uk. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  8. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 825–826. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Fairview Recording Studio – CDs and Vinyl at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  10. ^ "Ages of Metal festival official website". Agesofmetal.be. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  11. ^ "Red Guitars Rock Family Tree". Redguitars.co.uk. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  12. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997) Indie Hits 1980–1989 Archived 9 April 2001 at the Wayback Machine, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4, p.186
  13. ^ "Different World". Heepfiles.info. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  14. ^ "Dumpvalve World – About – Music – Recording Info". Disphobic.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  15. ^ "Smalltown EP | Joe Solo". Joesolomusic.bandcamp.com. 1 June 1996. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  16. ^ "Bill Nelson – Practice of Everyday Life: Celebrating 40 Years of Recordings CD Album". Cduniverse.com. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  17. ^ "About the Project". Front Room Masters. Retrieved 3 December 2012.

External linksEdit