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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. The Beatles and 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.


Denmark Street in popular culture

  • The Rolling Stones recorded their first album at Regent Sounds Studios on Denmark Street in 1964.[1]
  • In the 1950s and 60s it was where songwriters and publishers were located[1].
  • In the late 1950s in the cafes around Denmark Street Lional Bart, writer of the musical "Oliver!", heard the latest R&B brought over by young London Merchant Navy men and was inspired to knock out early British Rock and Roll hits for the publishers of Denmark Street.
  • In 1970 Elton John wrote "Your Song", his first hit, in Denmark Street[1] and then mentioned the street in his song "Bitter Fingers".
  • Many entertainers including Donovan and Jimi Hendrix made their first recording somewhere on the street[1].
  • Manager Malcolm McLaren asked architect Ben Kelly to refurbish a basement dive for the Sex Pistols[1].
  • Denmark Street is the name of a song on the Kinks' 1970 album Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One.
  • It is also referenced in the Elton John song, Bitter Fingers off his Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy album.
  • Denmark Street is mention in Jamie T's 2009 Kings&Queens album track '368'

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e [1] The Guardian, Making tracks, Saturday August 4, 2007

External links

Coordinates: 51°30′55″N 0°07′46″W / 51.51528°N 0.12944°W / 51.51528; -0.12944



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