Scepter Records

Scepter Records

254 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019


Not only was Scepter Records ground zero for the girl-group explosion, the first album by The Velvet Underground was recorded in 1966 at the record company’s studio located in a midtown office building.


The Velvet Underground Record at Scepter Records Studios


In 1966, Lou Reed and his band recorded The Velvet Underground & Nico at the studios of Scepter Records, which was largely associated with the Shirelles and other girl groups. Eight years later, engineer Tom Moulton created the first twelve-inch extended dance remix in Scepter’s studio, which became a crucial format for disco DJs. And when the disco movement was peaking in 1977, Studio 54 opened inside an old soundstage that originally broadcast hit television shows like The $64,000 Question and Captain Kangaroo. That former CBS television studio was located underneath Scepter Records at 254 West Fifty-Fourth Street—a building that produced an unlikely mix of girl group pop, left field rock, debauched disco, and children’s television programming.

From Chapter 4 of The Downtown Pop Underground — order online, or from a local independent bookstore