The HeliosCentric console was the device used to record historically iconic classic rock albums such as Led Zeppelin’s IV, Bob Marley’s Catch a Fire and Eric Clapton’s “After Midnight”. To break down the detailed description, this HeliosCentric console is actually an “amalgamation” of two separate Helios consoles – Island Records’ Basing Street Studio 2 Helios Console and Alvin Lee’s Helios console from Space Studios . The two separate consoles were combined in 1996 by Elvis Costello and Squeeze’s Chris Difford with consultation from Helios Electronics Ltd, founder Richard Swettenham.
In December, it will be up for auction as announced by the Bonhams auction house. The console is regularly employed by engineer Phill Brown. Aside from IV, Catch a Fire and Burnin‘ and “After Midnight”, the console was also used to record other successful albums such as Stephen Stills’ self-titled solo album, David Bowie’s “Holy Holy,” Harry Nilsson’s “Without Out,” Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross” and dozens more well-known rock songs. Stephen Stills’ self-titled solo album, David Bowie’ “Holy Holy,” Harry Nilsson’s “Without Out,” Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross” a many more popular classic rock songs.
For Led Zeppelin, the majority of recording sessions for “Stairway to Heaven” took place at Island Records’ Basing Street Studio 2 using this Helios Console including Page’s iconic guitar solo.
Other renowned musicians who used this console included George Harrison, Ron Wood, Tim Hinckley, Boz Burrel, Jim Capaldi, Mick Fleetwood and also Joe Brown.
The two separate desks was put in storage after decades upon decades of being used as a vehicle to make an impact in history’s musical landscape until Elvis Costello and Chris Difford rescued it in 1996 when they opened their own recording studio. Difford described the HeliosCentric studio as “a chapel of music in the most idyllic spot”.
Now, after almost 50 years of being used to shape musical history, the console hits the auction block to seek a new home.