SRT began life as 'Sky Studios', a joint venture between Dave Richardson and members of Jethro Tull.  The band members didn't stay on board long; after they left, Sky was merged with a company called 'Truesound' to form SRT Productions and ex-Tornados-guitarist George Bellamy was brought on board ('Music Week', 27th April 1974).  SRT - Sound Recording Technology - received its first mention in 'Record Retailer' in the issue of the 27th of November 1971, which reported that the Shefford (Bedfordshire) based company had provided several companies with masters; product had been supplied to President, Avenue and EMI.  Singles mentioned in the article were 'Nashville Bound' by Amanda's Band (President, PT-346) and 'Trees And Things' by Maxwell-Nicholson (DB-8811), which appeared on Columbia via AIR.
As well as working as a production company SRT also provided facilities for custom recordings - getting records made for artists who put tracks down in the studio or who supplied previously-recorded tapes.  In that capacity it went on to be responsible for the production of a number of DIY Punk / New Wave singles (on various labels), and it was still making self-financed records in the mid 1990s.  In the early years the actual SRT label seems to have featured mostly these kind of recordings, mainly by Club or Cabaret artists.  However, 'Music Week' of the 23rd of June 1973 broke the news that the company had started to put records out on its own label: the first two releases had come out the previous week, 'Tables And Chairs' by the Yorkshire County Cricket Club (SRT-73300) being the first seven-incher.  SRT continued to sign acts and release records: 'MW' of the 27th of April 1974 said that a band called Eastwood, previously with CBS, had been signed; it also gave the studio's address as High Street, Barnet.  Billboard of the 16th of November 1974 referred to the signing of a band called the Second City Sound and reported that SRT had had a success with a Mick Abrahams guitar tutor LP.  Amidst all the amateur things, therefore, are singles by well-known names such as the Tornados, Jet Harris and Screaming Lord Sutch.  SRT continued to issue records until at least the end of 1982, though they tended to be few and far between latterly; the majority of its products from 1977 onwards were custom recordings.  According to 'MW' of the 1st of December 1979 a production company called Nisbet & Beck had agreed to provide SRT with 12 singles a year, starting with Katie Menalia's 'Caravan' (SRTS-79423), but that single seems to have been the only one to appear.
Catalogue numbers varied.  For several years they were all in the SRTS-xx000s, where 'xx' apparently represents the year in which the recording was made: for example, SRTS-75355 was recorded in 1975, and SRTS-79424 in 1979.  Recordings made at the end of one year could be released in the following year, as was the case with the Def Leppard EP, 'Ride Into The Sun' (SRTS/78/CUS-232), which was recorded in November 1978 and issued in January 1979 (on the 'Bludgeon Riffola' label; q.v.).  I have yet to find a record with a number in the SRTS-74000s, which suggests that the 73000 series was continued through 1974 for some reason.  This SRTS-xx000 series continued to be used for what appear to be actual SRT issues throughout the '70s, but from some point in 1974 the company adopted a different numbering system for its custom recordngs.  Initially they were numbered in the CUSTOM-000s (10) but after around half a dozen issues the CUSTOM prefix was replaced by an SRT/CUSTOM one (11); this was soon shortened to SRT/CUS, or SRTS/CUS for stereo records (12).  The only reference to SRT on the labels of these custom recordings was in the catalogue numbers; a state of affairs that continued throughout the decade and beyond.  In 1977 the catalogue numbers gained a '77' in front of the 000, becoming SRTS CUS-77000s; the extra digits were moved between the SRT and the CUS the following year, giving SRTS/xx/CUS/000.  Again the 'xx' seems to stand for the year of recording, SRTS/80/CUS-741 being from 1980.  Records which came out on labels other than SRT and had catalogue numbers appropriate to those labels seem to have been given an 'S' prefix instead of an 'SRTS' one to their SRT numbers.  Fairview Music Studios (q.v.) of Hull made a number of records through SRT; these had their own SRT/FMS series, and some of them had Fairview Music labels, so I've given them their own page.  I haven't as yet discovered when SRT started making records; I have yet to find an SRT single numbered in anything earlier than the SRTS-71100s, so if the first two numbers do usually indicate the year it's possible that the company started making recordings in 1971 and that the first one was numbered 71101.  Singles and albums shared the same numerical series but had slightly different prefixes.
The earliest SRT label that I have seen is the black-on-yellow one (1), the scan of which comes by courtesy of and Ian Pakes; this also came in red (2), orange (3) and silver-on-red.  In 1973 the 'forbids' at the bottom of the label grew in size and moved to the top (4); the colours changed to silver-on-black or occasionally black-on-white - the scan of the white 'non-custom' label (6) was supplied by Robert Bowes, as was the 'SRT/CUS' one (11).  The black labels seem to have been replaced by grey ones with a picture of a mixing desk on (8) for SRT's own issues in 1975; occasionally the word 'Records' was added above the spindle hole (9).  Sometimes the fact that the record was a custom recording was made clear on the label (5, 7), but not always.  Plain labels in a variety of different colours (13, 14, 15, 16) replaced the black ones on custom pressings in or around 1977.
While SRT never enjoyed any kind of Chart success, it appears to have built up a solid reputation and a wide client base by getting other people's records pressed.  The studios are still in operation today (2017) - 'MW' of the 27th of April 1974 claimed that they had been closed the previous year and that the company intended to concentrate to its label and on its publishing arm, but the closure, if it took place, muust have been temporary.  The discography below lists the custom recordings from the 1970s that I have been able to trace, as well as the singles from that decade which Music Master lists as being issues.  As can be seen, records with 'SRT/XX/CUS' catalogue numbers often appeared on other (DIY) labels; singles with S/79/CUS numbers appear to always have been on other labels.  Distribution of the issues was initially by the Lugton, Enterprise, H. R. Taylor and Solomon & Peres ('MW', 18th May 1974); later Enterprise was replaced by Record Enterprises ('MW, 24th May 1975).  From early 1975 the company's tapes were distributed by Precision ('MW', 22nd February).  As far as manufacture is concerned, the few post-1972 SRT records that I have seen in the vinyl have been Orlake products.  Thanks to Sid Stovold for the thirteenth scan, and to him and Stephen Small for discographical input.


Copyright 2006 Robert Lyons.