Compass Point Studios were founded in 1977 by Chris Blackwell, owner of Island Records.
In the late '70's and mid 80's, Compass Point was one of the great recording studios of the world. Artists came from around the world to record in the Bahamas. Many major producers utilised the facilities, including Chris Blackwell himself, in his role as record producer. The resulting records sold in the many millions of copies worldwide. AC/DC's Back In Black, widely regarded as the ultimate, and largest selling rock album of all time (and soon to be largest selling ALBUM ever), was just one of the many great albums recorded at Compass Point Studios. Some of the well known artists who were a part of early Compass Point were: AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, U2, Robert Palmer, The B-52's, Talking Heads, Dire Straits, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, The Cure, Adam Ant, James Brown, Duran Duran, David Bowie, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Mick Jagger, Whitesnake, ELO, Serge Gainsbourg, Status Quo, Tom Tom Club, Madness, Spandau Ballet, Third World, Grace Jones, Joe Cocker, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Eurythmics, Julio Iglesias, Power Station, Roxy Music, Thompson Twins, Wings, Ringo Starr, Julian Lennon, Bad Company, Average White Band, Carly Simon, and many others.
As Chris Blackwell's other business interests steadily increased, he was forced to spend less of his time directly looking after the studio. With the death in the late 80's of producer Alex Sadkin, then the manager of the studio, in a car crash, the studio began a brief period of decline on the international scene. Since no one was resident overseeing the studio who possessed international music business acumen, fewer artists came; studio equipment began to suffer from lack of proper maintenance and upgrading.
By the early 90's, a major turning point was being reached: close down Compass Point Studios or do it right. Blackwell took action to save the studio. He brought in Terry Manning, owner and operator of a successful recording studio in the US, to oversee all aspects of Compass Point Studios. Terry is also a well known record producer and engineer. Upon his arrival in late 1992, Terry Manning began a serious campaign to restore Compass Point to prominence. Both of the large studios were torn apart, and completely rewired with the latest state-of-the art components. Major redecoration took place. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of new equipment was purchased and installed.
After reopening in late 1992, the studios were very successful again. Artists from many countries happily completed their projects. These included: Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Shania Twain, Widespread Panic, AYO, Bjork, Shakira, Joss Stone, Puff Daddy, Mutt Lange, Sean Connery, George Lucas (Star Wars/Phantom Menace 1 & 3), Backstreet Boys, 2Pac, Joe, Nas, Missy Elliot, Ma$e, Little Kim, Alan Jackson, Crash Test Dummies, Belly, Baby Animals, Bonnie Tyler, Enrique Iglesias, Julio Iglesias, Roger Waters, REM, Liz Phair, Jesse Harris, Iron Maiden, The Rembrandts, Nine Inch Nails, Wynonna Judd, Sammy Kershaw, Diana Ross, The State, Colin James, George Thorogood and The Destroyers, Edna Swap, The Tragically Hip, Bryan Adams, David Bowie, Jimmy Buffett, Blake Morgan, Freak Power (Fat Boy Slim), Bon Jovi, Peter Reber, Suzy Bogguss, Sasha Dobson, Hot Chocolate, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Bonepony, Rheostatics, For Squirrels, Al Green, C. C. Adcock, The Ocean Blue, Monkey Beat, Doyle Bramhall, Tarka, Venice, C Force and many others.
Producers and engineers who used Compass Point's facilities included: Mutt Lange, David Foster, Nellee Hooper, Glyn Johns, Rodney Jerkins, Dave Jerden, Humberto Gatica, Brian Eno, Nick Launay, Patrick Leonard, Chris Kimsey, Keith Stegall, Brad Wood, Ed Stasium, Kevin Shirley, Jerry Harrison, Jeff Lynne, James Stroud, Russ Kunkel, Rob Jacobs, Gustavo Celis, Gavin McKillop, Howie B, Chris and Tina Franz, Sovory and Triangle Group, Eddie Kramer, Hugh Padgham, Michael Verdick, Martin Birch, Bernard Edwards, Rhett Davies, David Byrne, Jimmy Iovine, Jerry Wexler, Mark Hudson, Rob Eaton, Simon Thornton, Eric Clermontet, Norman Cook, Terry Thomas, Simon Franglen, Matt Stein, Joe Primeau, Allan Holly, Doug McKean, Bryan Carlstrom, Obie O'Brien, Mitch Williams, Eli Jenney, Alex Woltman, Kevin Maloney and many more!
But in 2010, several unfortunate local incidents occurred at or near to Compass Point Studios,
and both Blackwell and Manning determined that it was unwise to continue operations in The Bahamas.
The studio building was closed, and plans are nearing completion for the next pages of
Compass Point Studios History to be written…but in another country!
So stay tuned, the best is yet to come!