RECORDING STUDIOS TOUR
In a recording career that
began in 1949, Petula has recorded her songs in some of the most famous studios in the world, most notably in London.
For your enjoyment, we recently undertook a whistle stop tour encompassing 5 different London Boroughs and the City of Westminster to track down 9 of those studios in which Petula has recorded. Many of the studios no longer exist but the buildings do. To do the tour, you'll need lots of time and energy, a
travel card, a bus, tube and an A-Z map of London. Naturally, we also took a camera!
Our tour is restricted to those studios where Petula has recorded her own compositions - the list of recordings and recording studios
is not exhaustive.
Of her most recent work for the 2013 studio album Lost In You (which features 3 Clark
co-compositions), Petula reflects: "Over the years - I've recorded in all kinds
of studios, in several different countries. Some have been more fun or inspiring than others (Memphis,
Nashville and London spring to mind) but nothing compares to the "Wendy House" at the
bottom of producer John Williams' enchanting garden! Nestled in the heart of West London, the small perfectly formed studio became my home for
over 2 months, interrupted by a few trips to Paris and New York. A studio with windows looking out on trees and flowers
is unusual, and for me at least it was a joy just to hang out there and sing when the mood struck!"
Petula recording at "The Wendy
House" in 2012
whistle stop tour started in Barnes, South West London:
1. Olympic Sound Studios, 117 - 123 Church Rd, Barnes, London SW13
Olympic Studios closed in February 2009 after the Virgin EMI group announced that the longstanding renowned studio facilities which
originally opened at the site in 1965 would close. In 2013, the studio space reopened as a cinema. In September 1986, Petula
recorded her vocals at the Olympic Sound Studios for her 1986 album
Give It A Try issued in the US on the Jango label. The album included 2 Clark compositions:
Give It A Try, written with Kenny Clayton (issued on 39
different CD issues) and Mad About You, written with Dee Shipman
(issued on 41 different CD issues). An alternate mix of
Mad About You was released on the 2007 album In Her Own Write issued by Sepia Records.
The entrance to Olympic Sound Studios
Give It A Try and In Her Own Write
75 minutes later, using a train from Richmond and then jumping onto a tube to Wembley
Central, we arrive at Wembley:
2. The Cine-Tele Sound (CTS) Studios, Engineers Way, Wembley
CTS Studios closed its doors in June 2000 and were demolished in 2004 to make way
for the redevelopment of Wembley Stadium and its surrounding area. A studio version of
Petula's composition Darkness was recorded at CTS on 18 April 1981.
Darkness and Edelweiss were recorded during the same session. Both tracks were arranged and
conducted by Kenny Clayton and the session was funded by the Scotti Brothers Record
The massive studio facility was also ultilised on 06 February 1990 for recording 4
songs from the Clark / Shipman musical Someone Like You. Songs recorded:
Someone Like You (Petula Clark and Dave Willetts), Getting The Right Thing Wrong (Petula
Clark) - first issued on the 1990 First Night Records single, Home Is Where The Heart
Is (Petula Clark) - first issued in 1998 on the album Where The
Heart Is and I Am What You Need (Clive Carter) - first
issued in 2014 as a digital download. The four songs that were recorded were to form part of an intended cast album recording that never
Cine-Tele Sound (CTS) Studios
The Sound of Music and Natural Love
Songs from Someone Like You recorded
35 minutes later, using a tube from Wembley Central to Covent Garden, we arrive at Leicester Square, Central London and after a short walk up Charing Cross Road and turning right into Earlham Street / Seven Dials we are at:
3. Redwood Studios, 15 Neal's Yard, London WC2H 9DP
On 26 June 1985, Petula recorded her first demo recordings for the Clark / Shipman musical
Someone Like You at Redwood Studios. The songs recorded: Here We Are (Petula Clark),
Amen (Petula Clark), I Am What You Need (Paul Jones), What You Got! (Paul Jones) and
Young 'Uns (Petula Clark). To date, these recordings have never been released.
Neal's Yard is a small alley in Covent Garden between Shorts Gardens and Monmouth Street which opens into a courtyard. Today the studio is now home to the British retailer
Neal's Yard Remedies. The studios, which are still in existence relocated in the early 90s to
Neal's Yard Remedies (previously the 1985
home of Redwood Studios)
Staying in the London Borough of Camden we travelled 21 minutes by tube from Leicester Square to Hampstead:
4. Air Studios, Lyndhurst Road, Hampstead, London NW3 5NG
Associated Independent Recording (AIR) is an independent recording studio founded in
London in 1965 by the late Beatles producer Sir George Martin. Air Lyndhurst Hall opened in
1991 and is the site of an old church called Lyndhurst Hall. The site is of significant
architectural and historical interest, Lyndhurst Hall was designed in 1880 by Victorian
architect Alfred Waterhouse (designer of the Natural History Museum). In the spring of 2008,
Petula's composition To Memphis was recorded at Air Studios which was featured on her
UK chart album Then & Now issued by Universal. Interesting
Fact: In 1994 Petula recorded her vocals at Air Studios for the 1995
international cast recording of Blood Brothers.
Then & Now featuring To
Travelling by tube for 13 minutes on the Northern Line from Hampstead to The Angel:
5. Angel Studios - 311 - 312 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 2TU
In 1996 Petula recorded her composition Better Late Than Never at Angel Studios, London during sessions funded by Reader's Digest - a host of other tracks were also recorded including a selection of Petula's 60s hits and various cover songs that were to be featured on various Reader's Digest CD releases.
Better Late Than Never was first released in 1999 as part of the
now highly collectable 3 CD box set
The Songs Of My Life released by Reader's Digest.
Songs from the Clark / Shipman musical J'Accuse ...! The Passions of Emile Zola were also recorded at Angel Studios in 2011 by West End performers Dave Willetts, Jill Martin and Meredith Braun for the concept cast recording issued by Stage Door Records.
Better Late Than Never and J'Accuse
concept cast album
From The Angel, we travelled by tube for 15 minutes to Piccadilly
6. Radio Luxembourg Studios, 38 Hertford Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 7SG
In 1952, 38 Hertford Street became the studios and offices of Radio Luxembourg London (RLL). Petula first recorded for Radio Luxembourg London in 1952 when she presented her own 15-minute weekly programme from the Hertford Street studios.
In August 1980, Petula collaborated with her then musical director Kenny Clayton on a set of concept instrumental themes intended for film. Petula composed four diverse instrumental pieces that Kenny Clayton recorded with The Kenny Clayton Trio (piano, drums, bass) on 02 August 1980. The recording sessions took place at the Radio Luxembourg London Studios in Hertford Street, London. All four themes were first released on the 2007 retrospective
In Her Own Write issued by Sepia Records.
38 Hertford Street today
38 Hertford Street is no longer a recording studio (it is now the home of several businesses and private flats) - Radio Luxembourg moved premises in 1990 to
their current location at 74 Newman Street, London.
From Mayfair, we walked up Park Lane to Marble Arch
7. PYE / PRT Studios, Great Cumberland Place (Bryanston Street), London, W1
The home of Pye Studios (later PRT Studios from September 1980) was located in the basement of ATV
House in Great Cumberland Place (Bryanston Street). Petula's megahit Downtown was recorded here. Of her own compositions, the following were recorded at Pye / PRT Studios:
1977 - Put A Chrysler Sunbeam In Your Life (vocal recorded at Pye Records, Studio 2)
1977 - When You're Gone
1977 - What Am I Doing Here
1977 - Songbird
1977 - You're My Destiny
1977 - Put A Little Sunbeam In Your Life
1977 - Put A Little Sunshine In Your Life
1986 - Guess You've Got A Lot To Learn - recorded by Petula Clark and Majorie Barnes
(from the Clark / Shipman musical Someone Like You)
1986 - Liberty - recorded by Lance Ellington (from the Clark / Shipman musical Someone Like You)
1986 - Look Where The Journey Led - recorded by Petula Clark (from the Clark / Shipman musical Someone Like You)
1986 - Three Time Loser - recorded by Petula Clark (from the Clark / Shipman musical Someone Like You)
The ATV offices and PRT Studios closed in 1989 when PRT moved to smaller premises in Chiswick. The building was demolished in 2003 to make way for a new contemporary building.
ATV House / Pye Studios on Great
Cumberland Place (1970s)
ATV House / Pye Studios on Great
Cumberland Place (2000)
From Marble Arch, we travelled 4 minutes by tube on the Central Line to Queensway
8. Redan Recorders, 23 Redan Place, Queensway, London, W2 4SA
Redan Recorders was a multi-media recording studio providing music production for countless theatre shows in the UK, Europe, the USA and beyond. The studio was ultilised by Petula in December 1987 which produced polished demos
from the Clark / Shipman musical Someone Like You including an ensemble cast performance of Amen together with full company performances of
Into The Light, Get It Together and Home Is Where The Heart
Is. These sessions were funded by Bill Kenwright.
The Redan Recorders studio closed in 1991 and is now home to several non-music related businesses.
The Redan Recorders Studio Building
For our final stop, we travelled 15 minutes by tube from Queensway to Fulham Broadway
9. Snake Ranch Studios, 90 Lots Road, Chelsea, London, SW10 0QD
Snake Ranch Studios produced the second set of demo recordings for the Clark / Shipman musical
Someone Like You which were recorded in December 1985. The songs recorded were
Empty Spaces (Petula Clark), Green Hills Of Old England (Petula Clark),
Green Hill, West Virginia (Petula Clark), Love Is All That Really Matters (Petula Clark, Paul Jones and Majorie Barnes),
Someone Like You - as the Major's Ballad (Steve Barton), Young 'Un (Majorie Barnes).
Snake Ranch Studios closed in 2003 and is now the home of property
developers Chelsea Waterfront.
Snake Ranch Studios Building
your lot - we hope you enjoyed the tour!