Denmark Street

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Denmark Street, July 2004

Denmark Street is a short narrow road in central London, notable for its connections with British popular music, and is known as the British Tin Pan Alley. The road connects Charing Cross Road at its western end with St Giles High Street at its eastern end. Denmark Street is in the London Borough of Camden.

Denmark Street appears on surveys from the 1730s. The area around it was known as 'the Rookery', a part of London that had developed in the 18th century as an unplanned slum to the west of the City. Though much of the area was cleared by the end of the 19th century, Denmark Street is one of the few roads in London to retain 17th century terraced facades on both sides. A small court connected by passages (known as Denmark Place) runs along the back of the north side of the street.

Venues on Denmark Street have strong connections with the histories of British jazz, rhythm and blues and punk music. Jimi Hendrix recorded in basements in the street. Elton John wrote his classic early song "Your Song" here. Later, the Sex Pistols lived above number 6, and recorded their first demos there. The street contains London's largest cluster of music shops. It was also the original home of London's biggest science fiction and comic store, Forbidden Planet.

The street was the scene of a fire (caused by arson by a disgruntled clubber who had been ejected and locked out) which killed 37 people in an illegal nightclub, on 16 August 1980

Denmark Street in popular culture

  • In the 1950s and 60s it was where songwriters and publishers were located<ref name="guardian"/>
  • In the late 1950s in the cafes around Denmark Street Lionel Bart, writer of the musical Oliver!, heard the latest R&B brought over by young London Merchant Navy men and was inspired to write early British Rock and Roll hits for the publishers of Denmark Street

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  • The Rolling Stones recorded their first album at Regent Sounds Studios on Denmark Street in 1964<ref name="guardian">[1] The Guardian, Making tracks, Saturday August 4, 2007


  • Regular Denmark Street session musicians included Jimmy Page, Big Jim Sullivan, Colin Falconer, Ray Smith, Geoff Livingstone and Jerry Donahue
  • Many entertainers including Donovan and Jimi Hendrix made their first recording at Regent Sounds Studios<ref name="guardian"/>
  • George Harrison of The Beatles bought a nylon string acoustic guitar on Denmark Street to play on the song "Till There Was You" on their album With The Beatles
  • In 1970 Elton John wrote "Your Song", his first hit single, in Denmark Street.<ref name="guardian"/> He mentioned the street in his 1974 song "Bitter Fingers" on the semi-autobiographical concept album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
  • "Denmark Street" is the name of a song on the Kinks' 1970 album Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One
  • Manager Malcolm McLaren asked architect Ben Kelly to refurbish a basement rehearsal room for The Sex Pistols, which McLaren had bought from BadfingerTemplate:Sfn
  • Scott Gorham bought his first guitar with Thin Lizzy on Denmark Street. He had turned up at the audition with a Japanese Les Paul Copy—when he got the job, Phil Lynott took him shopping on Denmark Street, where he bought a Sunburst Gibson Les Paul Deluxe
  • The promotional music video of the 1988 The Moody Blues song "I Know You're Out There Somewhere" shows a man walking along Denmark Street and then picking up a guitar in one of the shops
  • Denmark Street is mentioned in Jamie T's track '368' on the album Kings and Queens
  • Cormoran Strike, the protagonist of Robert Galbraith's The Cuckoo's Calling, has his office on Denmark Street.
2013 Revival of legendary recording facility Denmark Street Studios,

See also


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External links