Buying Trip: Olympic Records & Studios

Text by Tim Card.

Olympic Records

One of our buying team has just returned from a buying trip at Olympic Records in Barnes, London, where (he assures us) he was working very hard and bought some great records! He was also given a wonderful, guided tour by ‘artist-in-residence’, shop manager and all-round top bloke Roger Miles.

Olympic Records is steeped in music history, positioned a stones-throw-away from Olympic Studios, one of THE Great British recording institutions. The studios were opened in 1966 counting the Rolling Stones and Beatles among its first ‘rock’ clients. The Stones loved it so much they would go on to record a run of six classic studio albums here (including Beggar’s Banquet, Sticky Fingers, Their Satanic Majesties, Let It Bleed), but that’s not all, the first six Led Zeppelin albums were recorded here, as were albums from David Bowie, The Who, Queen, Jimi Hendrix – and that’s just the ‘60s and early ‘70s – pheew!

The studio would continue for the next forty years with landmark recordings from The Jam, Pink Floyd, Duran Duran, Oasis, Nick Cave, Madonna, Prince and, err, the Spice Girls. Sadly, it closed in 2009 with U2’s ‘No Line On The Horizon being the last album recorded at the studio. The studios reopened in 2013 and is now home to a beautiful vintage style independent cinema, a café/restaurant and launching at the end of 2022 a brand-new recording studio situated on the top floor.

Roger and the team at Olympic Records work in conjunction with Olympic Studios and the shop offers a real community experience, specializing in vintage and new release vinyl. The long-term goal of the shop is to create an archive of all 1075 albums recorded at the studio between 1966 – 2009 – that’s no mean feat, but with 875 albums acquired thus far they’ve done extremely well, although finding that copy of Billy Nichol’s super-rare ‘60s album ‘Would You Believe’ (recorded at Olympic) may prove a tough one to secure.

Click for more details on the shop and studio, and if you’re in the area, be sure to drop in.

A selection of pictures I took during my visit, shared below.


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