Exploring London’s musical heritage

Friday, 19 August 2016

The energy and creativity that exists in London is unparalleled. The city has given us Bowie, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, Amy Winehouse and The Sex Pistols, and you can see why people have been inspired to write songs about the city.

Arriving in London Euston on board the Caledonian Sleeper, you are minutes’ walk from some of popular music’s most iconic landmarks.

Primrose Hill is a prime example; there are more than 40 songs which mention the leafy north London area. People flock to Regent’s Park in London to experience beautiful sun rises and sunsets.

Ray Davies famously wrote about Waterloo, an area of London which is very close to his heart. Released in 1967, Waterloo Sunset is one of The Kinks best known and most acclaimed songs. The song depicts two lovers, Terry and Julie, crossing Waterloo Bridge and watching the sunset. The narrator describes the location as paradise and we have to agree with him on that!

Adele is one of the world’s biggest superstars. She is London born and bred.  From her first album, 19, her debut single was Hometown Glory.  It is a heartfelt ballad which was written shortly after her mother tried to convince her to leave her home suburb of West Norwood in London for university.

Arguably the most famous of all London’s pop music landmarks, Abbey Road has become something of a pilgrimage site for millions of fans the world over. While the thoroughfare is of particular interest to fans of The Beatles, aiming to recreate the famous cover of 1969’s Abbey Road, the building where the album was recorded is just as notable.

Opened as a recording studio in 1931, it became hugely influential during the early Rock and Roll era, hosting Cliff Richard and The Drifters, before George, Paul, John and Ringo redefined it with no fewer than 12 albums recorded between 1963 and 1969. It remains one of the world’s finest recording facilities, having been used by artists as diverse as Pink Floyd, Kate Bush, Fela Kuti, Radiohead and Lady Gaga.

You can explore all of this and more with Caledonian Sleeper.

We love these songs about London, but we’d love to know yours.

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