London is a dream to visit if you’re a music fan. Its streets hum with the memories of the legendary musicians who have lived, played and recorded here. Whether you’re a fan of a specific artist or a genre from a certain era, delve into the city’s rich musical history with your own personal tour.
The shot of the Beatles walking across a zebra crossing on Abbey Road, used as an album cover for their 11th studio album, has become one of the most famous images in music history. Since then, it’s become a place of pilgrimage for their fans. The band made all their records between 1962 and 1970 at Abbey Road Studios; both the crossing and the studio are now listed as English Heritage sites.
This street in Soho, nicknamed Tin Pan Alley, has a rich musical history. NME and Melody Maker both had offices on the street when they first launched, and most of London’s music publishers and management companies were based there in the 1950s and 1960s. The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Elton John, David Bowie and the Sex Pistols have all made music at recording studios along this street. It’s also where Bob Marley is said to have bought his first guitar, and two members of Bananarama lived here in the late 1970s.
This is the spot where David Bowie posed as his alter ego Ziggy Stardust in 1972, while suffering from a severe bout of flu, for the album cover of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. Years later, in 2012, a plaque was put up on the wall of 23 Heddon Street, unveiled by Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp, to commemorate the site.
Berwick Street has been known as the ‘golden mile’ for vinyl junkies since the 1980s thanks to its many independent records shops including Sister Ray and Reckless. The Soho street also famously appeared on the cover of Oasis’s second album, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, in 1995. The band’s fans can often be found trying to recreate the image in the exact spot where it was taken.
The Good Mixer occupies a special place in London’s music history. The no-nonsense boozer in Camden was the favourite hangout of Britpop stars in the 1990s. It’s where Elastica signed their first record deal and also where Menswear were formed. The feud between Oasis and Blur is rumoured to have started here after one of the Gallagher brothers dissed Graham Coxon’s outfit. Amy Winehouse was also a regular and liked to play pool here while sipping on a pint.