1. Olympic Studios
Olympic Studios in South-West London was to South London what Abbey Road studios has been to North London. Originally starting out as a theatre, Olympic Studios has played host to the greatest names in rock and pop music. The Rolling Stones recorded their first ever single there in 1963, a cover of Chuck Berry’s ‘Come On’. The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and The Jimi Hendrix Experience all recorded at the studio. The Troggs’ classic ‘Wild Thing’ was also notably conceived at Olympic Studios. Like Abbey Road, Olympic was also a popular venue for film soundtrack production. The studios scored ‘The Italian Job’, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’. After four years of closure Olympic Studios re-opened in 2013 as a popular cinema.
2. Sarm Studios
Originally Sarm Studios was a converted chapel and first launched as Basing Street Studios in 1969 by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell. Notably famous for the Bob Geldof-organised ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ charity single released in 1984, the classic Sarm Studios in West London is probably most well known for being the home Bob Marley & The Wailers’ album ’Exodus’, Led Zeppelin’s ‘IV’ and Queen’s classic ‘We Are The Champions’. Other interesting records laid down at Sarm include George Michael’s ‘Faith’, which took nearly a year to record. Sarm Studios is now, unfortunately, a block of luxury flats.
3. IBC Recording Studios
In the late 1950’s IBC switched to music production from broadcasting independent radio, and throughout the 1960s & 70s IBC Recording Studios were used by many of the biggest recording acts in the world. Classics recorded here included: Lonnie Donegan's, ‘My Old Man’s a Dustman’; The Kinks’ ‘You Really Got Me’ in 1964 and The Who's rock opera, 'Tommy' in 1969. Other artists included The Rolling Stones, Deep Purple and Cream. Today, the studios are used by Musion das Hologram Ltd, the company Madonna used at the Grammys to appear as a hologram.
4. Britannia Row Studios
Britannia Row Studios, hidden away in the North London borough of Islington, was set up by Pink Floyd in the mid 1970s and used for the recording of the band’s classic tracks ‘Animals’ and ‘The Wall’. The infamous 'We don’t need no education' chant actually features children from nearby Islington Green School (now City of London Academy). Since then the studios have been used by countless artists, ranging from the Manic Street Preachers to Bjork to Snow Patrol. Classic albums of note recorded at Britannia Row also include ‘Closer’ by Joy Division and ‘Power Corruption and Lies’ by New Order. The studio is now based in Fulham.
5. Trident Studios
Trident Studios in Soho ran from 1968-81, originally constructed in ‘67 by Normal Sheffield, drummer of 1960s group The Hunters. Multiple classics were recorded here, including part of The Beatles’ ‘The White Album’, as well as ‘Hey Jude’, Elton John’s ‘Candle in the Wind’ as well as many David Bowie recordings, including ‘Space Oddity’, ’Hunky Dory’ and ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust’. Other famous musicians to record at Trident Studios included The Bee Gees, Lou Reed, T-Rex and Queen. The studio was sold in 1981.