Vinyl walkway of famous albums unveiled at Windmill Lane in Dublin

Former recording studio was venue for artists such as U2, Van Morrison and Kate Bush

The musical history of the original location of Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin has been honoured with the unveiling of an installation featuring the sleeves of 21 of the most famous albums that were recorded there. Video: Bryan O’Brien

 

A “vinyl walkway” of 21 of the most famous albums recorded at the Windmill Lane studio in Dublin, including U2’s first three albums, was unveiled at the site on Wednesday.

Musician Moya Brennan of Clannad was at the site to formally launch the two new installations, which celebrate the musical history of the original docklands location of the recording studios.

One installation is dedicated to the six U2 albums that include tracks recorded and mixed at the studios. The other displays the covers of 15 albums that were picked to reflect “the extraordinary breadth of acclaimed material created there over the studio’s 14 years at the location”.

The album covers are embedded beneath perspex glass and set into the footpath. They will be lit so they can be viewed at night.

To celebrate the unveiling, the first of a series of Windmill Live concerts arranged by Hot Press magazine takes place at the venue on Wednesday night, with Hothouse Flowers headlining.

They will be joined on stage by Grammy- and Emmy-award winning Moya Brennan for a free gig attended by 270 guests.

The albums are encased in perspex glass and will be lit up at night. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times
The albums are encased in perspex glass and will be lit up at night. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

Soul singer-songwriter Erica Cody, one of the stars of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra’s The Story of Hip Hop, will provide support.

U2’s first three albums – Boy, October, and War – were recorded in full at Windmill Lane and the band also did much of the work on The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby in the original studio building.

The studios – regarded as central to the development of an internationally successful music culture in Ireland – were also the recording location for albums by Clannad, Van Morrison, The Waterboys and Kate Bush.

Founder of Windmill Lane Recording Studios James Morris said the new installations commemorated not just the musical heritage of Windmill Lane but also celebrated “the extraordinary talent of those in Windmill – particularly my former partner and co-founder of Windmill Recording Studios Brian Masterson – that made it the place it was”.

“It is appropriate that both they and all the musicians and artists who worked here will be permanently remembered through the artwork of their album covers in Windmill Lane,” he said.

In 1992, Windmill Lane Pictures sold the Windmill Lane Music Recording business and all its equipment to Windmill Lane Recording Studios co-founder Brian Masterson. He subsequently relocated the music recording studios to Ringsend.

Windmill Lane Pictures continued to operate from Windmill Lane until 2009, during which time the original music studios were renamed Number 4 and continued to operate as audio studios for film and television. In 2015, the site was redeveloped as 1WML by property company Hibernia REIT.