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Technology: Roy Thomas Baker

Knob-twiddling aristocracy.

You were a producer at Trident Studios in London where some of the best Queen albums were recorded. How exciting was it?

It was the place to be. One of the things that made it so good is that we were designing our own equipment. We had the famous Trident A Range console, and we were one of the first studios in the country to get a 16-track machine. Everyone was fighting to have one of those.

 

You had a reputation for extravagance in the studio. Was it justified?

The important things were always songs, performance and musicianship – and that’s still what’s most important now. You can fart around in the studio, twiddle as many knobs as you want, but you’ve got to have those other things. 

 

A Night At The Opera_ was supposedly the most expensive album ever made in 1975. Can technology buy you a great record?_

I actually have no idea how much Opera cost. All we were thinking about was ‘how can we make this a hit?’ It didn’t matter how much we spent in the studio, it wouldn’t have worked without a singer like Freddie in tune or a drummer like Roger playing live in the middle of a room. It wasn’t the studio, it was the band that made it a hit. 

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