While it no longer inhabits the space, the former home of Decca Records will long be remembered not only for turning away a little band called The Beatles, but also for recording David Bowie’s first single.
Decca Records’ third location was a building in Broadhurst Gardens, North London, previously belonging to Crystalate Records, and before that, an engineering company. Decca, founded in 1929, moved into the building and its three main recording studios in 1937.
Decca Records is likely most famous for turning away The Beatles when the band auditioned for them in 1962. But even after that debacle a lot of memorable musicians passed through to record songs—Bing Crosby (1976), David Bowie (1964), the Moody Blues (1974), Fleetwood Mac, Marmalade, and The Zombies. Bowie actually recorded his first single, Liza Jane, there at Decca.
From Decca Studios, you could head down Abbey Road and and get to Abbey Road Studios, which is still active today. Though the name Decca is not as recognizable as Abbey Road, Decca Studios had top-level facilities at one time. Now, 165 Broadhurst Gardens is home to the English National Opera. While Decca may be gone, music lives on at the site.
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