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Inside the ruins of Beatles producer George Martin's Montserrat studio

  • Historic studio owned by Martin on Montserrat island churned out records from music royalty in the 1980s
  • It has been defunct since 1989, when the Rolling Stones last recorded there, after a powerful hurricane hit 
  • Now the space is crumbling, ruined by the elements, is littered with old equipment and caked in ash and mud
  • Chart hits to come out from AIR include The Police's 'Every Step You Take' and Afro-Latin track 'Hot Hot Hot' 

By Jordan Barnes For Mailonline

Published: 05:34 EDT, 12 June 2018 | Updated: 12:21 EDT, 12 June 2018

George Martin's AIR recording studio on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, a prolific space for churning out albums by music royalty of the 1980s, is rotting in the shadows of a volatile volcano.

The active crater has 'wreaked havoc' on the island that was hit by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 leaving the building caked in ash and dried mud.

A swimming pool, where Beatles' producer Martin would lounge in the sun, is now filled with murky rainwater.

An active volcano has 'wreaked havoc' on Montserrat island for decades leaving AIR Studio rotting in the shadows
An active volcano has 'wreaked havoc' on Montserrat island for decades leaving AIR Studio rotting in the shadows

An active volcano has 'wreaked havoc' on Montserrat island for decades leaving AIR Studio rotting in the shadows

Bits of old recording equipment  lie abandoned in the recording space that was once used by pop stars such as Sting, Phil Collins and Michael Jackson
Bits of old recording equipment  lie abandoned in the recording space that was once used by pop stars such as Sting, Phil Collins and Michael Jackson

Bits of old recording equipment lie abandoned in the recording space that was once used by pop stars such as Sting, Phil Collins and Michael Jackson

A winding staircase leads through the back of AIR Studio where vegetation climbs the crumbling walls that have suffered from years of neglect and destructive weather
A winding staircase leads through the back of AIR Studio where vegetation climbs the crumbling walls that have suffered from years of neglect and destructive weather

A winding staircase leads through the back of AIR Studio where vegetation climbs the crumbling walls that have suffered from years of neglect and destructive weather

A path leading up to the studio is covered by iron gates with the lettering 'AIR STUDIO' cut into them sitting slightly ajar
A path leading up to the studio is covered by iron gates with the lettering 'AIR STUDIO' cut into them sitting slightly ajar

A path leading up to the studio is covered by iron gates with the lettering 'AIR STUDIO' cut into them sitting slightly ajar

Beatles' producer George Martin, pictured in leisurely clothing, enjoys a recording session at AIR Studio in Montserrat
Beatles' producer George Martin, pictured in leisurely clothing, enjoys a recording session at AIR Studio in Montserrat

Beatles' producer George Martin, pictured in leisurely clothing, enjoys a recording session at AIR Studio in Montserrat

You can’t tell by looking at it now, but the grimy complex was once a hot spot for the musical greats of the 1980s.

Famous English record producer Martin, dubbed the 'fifth Beatle' after the band he discovered and recorded until they disbanded, opened AIR Montserrat in 1979. 

It was a branch of Associated Independent Recording (AIR), the company he co-founded ten years earlier.

The studio cranked a total of 76 albums including three by Elton John, Dire Straits' 'Brothers in Arms'. 

Memorable chart singles to emerge from AIR Montserrat include The Police with 'Every Step You Take' and island hero Arrow who found success with Afro-Latin track 'Hot, Hot, Hot'.

It also hosted Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Black Sabbath, Lou Reed, Eric Clapton and Duran Duran. 

The Rolling Stones recorded comeback album 'Steel Wheels' in 1989, thought to be the final record made there.

A category four hurricane swept over Montserrat in 1989 rendering the once glittering recording studio defunct
A category four hurricane swept over Montserrat in 1989 rendering the once glittering recording studio defunct

A category four hurricane swept over Montserrat in 1989 rendering the once glittering recording studio defunct

The studio is now in an advanced state of dereliction and is engulfed by tropical overgrowth of the exotic island
The studio is now in an advanced state of dereliction and is engulfed by tropical overgrowth of the exotic island

The studio is now in an advanced state of dereliction and is engulfed by tropical overgrowth of the exotic island

AIR Studio produced famed hits of a bygone era including The Police with 'Every Step You Take' and Arrow's 'Hot, Hot, Hot'
AIR Studio produced famed hits of a bygone era including The Police with 'Every Step You Take' and Arrow's 'Hot, Hot, Hot'

AIR Studio produced famed hits of a bygone era including The Police with 'Every Step You Take' and Arrow's 'Hot, Hot, Hot'

An aerial shot of AIR Montserrat which hosted a range of 80s best-loved musicians including Black Sabbath and Duran Duran
An aerial shot of AIR Montserrat which hosted a range of 80s best-loved musicians including Black Sabbath and Duran Duran

An aerial shot of AIR Montserrat which hosted a range of 80s best-loved musicians including Black Sabbath and Duran Duran

Just a decade after the state-of-the-art studio opened, boasting some of the most advanced recording technology equipment in its hay day, its life came to an abrupt end. 

Category four Hurricane Hugo swept across Montserrat in 1989 devastating much of the island and forced the studio to shutter after it tore the roof off.

Then, only six years later, the Soufrière Hills volcano erupted, bombarding the land with lava flows and thick layers of ash. 

George Martin (second from right) seen here in 1964 with The Beatles (from left) Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon, who he discovered and recorded until they disbanded 
George Martin (second from right) seen here in 1964 with The Beatles (from left) Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon, who he discovered and recorded until they disbanded 

George Martin (second from right) seen here in 1964 with The Beatles (from left) Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon, who he discovered and recorded until they disbanded 

Jimmy Buffett’s album 'Volcano' was named for the then-dormant volcano.

Ongoing volcanic eruptions have made nearly half of the island uninhabitable.

The decaying ruins of the studio are too fragile to safely walk within, bearing little resemblance to its original grandeur.

AIR Studio is fenced-off and aggressively marked with no-trespassing signs on the paths leading up to the building
AIR Studio is fenced-off and aggressively marked with no-trespassing signs on the paths leading up to the building

AIR Studio is fenced-off and aggressively marked with no-trespassing signs on the paths leading up to the building

The studio cranked a total of 76 albums including three by Elton John, Dire Straits' 'Brothers in Arms'
The studio cranked a total of 76 albums including three by Elton John, Dire Straits' 'Brothers in Arms'

The studio cranked a total of 76 albums including three by Elton John, Dire Straits' 'Brothers in Arms'

Hurricane Hugo destroyed most of the structure when it hit and tore the roof off the ultimate get-away recording space
Hurricane Hugo destroyed most of the structure when it hit and tore the roof off the ultimate get-away recording space

Hurricane Hugo destroyed most of the structure when it hit and tore the roof off the ultimate get-away recording space

Martin in his little 'paradise' surrounded by workers seen cleaning the instruments, wiping the floor and microphone
Martin in his little 'paradise' surrounded by workers seen cleaning the instruments, wiping the floor and microphone

Martin in his little 'paradise' surrounded by workers seen cleaning the instruments, wiping the floor and microphone

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