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Jan 24

Broadhurst Gardens, NW6

Broadhurst Gardens may not be a household name, but back in the day it was the home of Decca Recording Studios which rivalled EMI’s Abbey Road Studios as the country’s leading recording facility.

Decca recording studios

Decca recording studios

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. 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.

Decca was founded on the original site of West Hampstead Town Hall at 165 Broadhurst Gardens, near the junction with West End Lane – built in 1886.

By the early 2000s, the building was home to the English National Opera.

On the corner with West End Lane, the Railway pub was the venue for Jimi Hendrix’s first London gig.

One of the other (hidden) features of the road is the Broadhurst Gardens Community Meadow – a private area open only to the residents of the houses which surround it.

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