Decca Studios

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Decca Studios was a recording facility in Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead, North London, England. From the company's beginnings in 1929, British Decca's earliest recordings were made at two locations: firstly the Chenil Galleries Studios in Chelsea, and later in Lower Thames Street. Ironically for a company later renowned for its technological developments of recording, auditory evidence from the time suggests that these setups were rather rudimentary affairs, with the recording quality mediocre at best, although from about 1933 onwards, with technological and acoustic changes to these studios, recording quality gradually improved, but was still a long way short of the standard being produced by HMV at Abbey Road, and it was only with the opening of new purpose built facilities at Broadhurst Gardens that Decca was finally able to compete for acoustic quality.

Famously, The Beatles failed their audition with Decca Records at the location on 1 January 1962,[1] and subsequently signed with Parlophone instead.

Many popular songs and albums were recorded at Decca Studios (for example, John Mayall's 1968 Blues from Laurel Canyon and five albums by the Moody Blues). Britain's leading Big Band, Ted Heath (bandleader) and his Orchestra recorded a succession of outstanding big band jazz records at Broadhurst Gardens for Decca during the band's peak years from 1945 until Heath's death in 1969. David Bowie recorded his first single, "Liza Jane", at the studio in 1964.[2] The studios also saw the formation of the original Fleetwood Mac, under the aegis of then-Bluesbreakers guitarist Peter Green, after John Mayall bought him studio time as a birthday present, recording the tracks "First Train Home", "Rambling Pony" and the instrumental "Fleetwood Mac".[3]

Marmalade recorded most of their Decca hits in Studio 2, including "Reflections of My Life".

The Zombies recorded "She's Not There" at the facility.

Marc Bolan recorded his debut single The Wizard at the studio in 1965.[4]

Adam and the Ants recorded full band demos of their then live repertoire at the studio in August and December 1978. These have been widely bootlegged among Adam Ant fans and four of the recordings were included in the 2000 box set Antbox as well as a further two of the tracks on the 2015 DVD live album Dirk Live At The Apollo .[5]

Many classical recordings were made there as well. A complete list is available.[6]

With the sale of Decca to Polygram, the studios were closed in 1980 and the building was renamed Lilian Baylis House, and is currently used as rehearsal space by English National Opera.

There were also Decca Studios at 50 West 57th Street in New York City, 5505 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood, and another in Chicago.

Selected recordings

See also


  1. ^ "London Studios and Clubs". Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  2. ^ "David Bowie FAQ: Early On". 1966-01-14. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  3. ^ Martin E. Adelson. "The Original Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac". Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  4. ^ Melly, George (2013-09-21). "From the Observer archive, 26 September 1965: life's a gas for the latest pop sensations". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Philip Stuart (2009). "Decca Classical, 1929-2009" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  7. ^ "Bands and Artists: R: Rolling Stones: Discography: Singles: Rolling Stones EP, The". MusicMoz. 1964-01-10. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  8. ^ "Music Collectors pages - John Mayall's Bluesbreakers - 05/04/2010". Chrome Oxide. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  9. ^ "Taylormade - The Mick Taylor Database". Retrieved 2012-12-04. 

Coordinates: 51°32′47″N 0°11′25″W / 51.5463°N 0.1904°W / 51.5463; -0.1904

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