Stephen Street

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For the politician, see Steve Street.
Stephen Street
Birth name Stephen Brian Street
Born (1960-03-29) 29 March 1960 (age 54)
Hackney, London, England
Genres Pop, rock
Occupations Record producer
Years active 1982–present
Website Stephen Street's Official Website

Stephen Brian Street[1] (born 29 March 1960 in Hackney, London[2]) is an English music producer best known for his work with The Smiths and Blur. Street also collaborated with Morrissey on his debut album Viva Hate following the split of The Smiths broke up.

More recently he has worked with Kaiser Chiefs, Babyshambles and The Courteeners.

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Street started his musical career in the late 70's playing in various bands around London. He played bass in a ska/pop group, BIM, with future Neneh Cherry/Massive Attack producer, Cameron McVey.[3] The band were featured in the "Listen to London" documentary film. Street started at Island Records' Fallout Shelter Studio in 1982 firstly as an "in-house assistant" and then as an "in-house engineer".[4]

The Smiths and Morrissey (1984-1989)[edit]

One of Street's first jobs as in-house engineer was for a session for the The Smiths's "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now"[4] and commented in a HitQuarters interview, "I’d seen them just shortly beforehand on Top Of The Pops doing ‘This Charming Man’, and like most other people around that time who were into music I was really excited by them."[4] Although Street didn't work on the subsequent recording "William, It Was Really Nothing", he was asked to engineer their next album, Meat Is Murder, with Morrissey and Marr producing for the first time.[4]

During this time he also engineered for reggae artists including Black Uhuru and Linton Kwesi Johnson, and for jùjú musician King Sunny Adé. He also helped produce and mix several tracks on Stephen Duffy's first two albums, The Ups and the Downs in 1985 and Because We Love You in 1986. Twelve years later, he would again work with Duffy on his 1998 album I Love My Friends.

Street continued to work with The Smiths, working as an engineer on their album The Queen Is Dead before assuming a producer role for their final album, Strangeways, Here We Come.

After The Smiths broke up, Street was contacted by lead singer Morrissey, who offered him the position of producer and co-songwriter for his forthcoming album, which came to be titled Viva Hate. Street accepted and this album reached #1, spawning two top-ten hits in the UK. Street and guitarist on Viva Hate, Vini Reilly, had a dispute over songwriting credits - Reilly claimed to have written the majority of the tracks on the album, which Street dismissed and claimed that he wrote all of the tracks on the album and Reilly had no part to play in this. Street was credited as producer, songwriter, guitarist, and bass guitarist on the album. Street went on to co-write and produce two further singles for Morrissey which appeared on Bona Drag before the singer ended their association, apparently due to disputes regarding royalty payments and alleged conversations between Street and author of controversial Morrissey texts, Johnny Rogan.

Blur (1990-1997) and Graham Coxon (2003–2009)[edit]

After hearing Blur's first single, "She's So High", Street contacted their manager. Soon after he was called in and produced their second single, "There's No Other Way", although he did not produce the album as a whole. Street went on to produce Blur's next three albums, Modern Life Is Rubbish, Parklife and Blur.

Following Graham Coxon's departure from Blur, Street produced the guitarist's next album Happiness in Magazines, released May 2004, plus follow up albums Love Travels at Illegal Speeds in March 2006 and The Spinning Top in May, 2009.

The Cranberries (1992-1994; 2001-2002; 2011-present)[edit]

In 1992, Street started working with Irish band The Cranberries on their debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?. The album turned out to be a huge success in the US. In 1994, Street worked with the band again on their second album No Need to Argue. Following two albums with different producers, the band worked with Street again on their 2001 album Wake Up and Smell the Coffee and the two extra tracks that were recorded for their 2002 best of album Stars: "Stars" and "New New York".

After The Cranberries went on hiatus in 2003, guitarist Noel Hogan began working on a solo work then titled Mono Band. Street worked with Hogan in producing the album of the same name released in 2005.

Street also produced their sixth studio album Roses, released in 2012.[5]

Kaiser Chiefs and The Ordinary Boys (2004-2007)[edit]

Street produced Employment, the debut album by Kaiser Chiefs, after hearing one of their early demos and contacted the band with a view to producing them. At one point Street brought Blur guitarist Graham Coxon into the studio to rev his moped for a sound effect. This can be heard on the track "Saturday Night". Street also produced the band's second album Yours Truly, Angry Mob. Street also produced the first two albums for ska-influenced indie band The Ordinary Boys, Over The Counter Culture in 2004 and Brassbound in 2005.

Babyshambles (2007–present) and Peter Doherty (2008–present)[edit]

Street produced Shotter's Nation, the second album by Pete Doherty's band Babyshambles. The recording of the album was said to have been a hard process, due to Street's lack of co-operation with Pete Doherty. Street later commented that "Pete wasn't in a very good state for the first couple of weeks of making the record for the reasons that people know about. It was a bit worrying to be honest with you. There were a couple of times I had to fire warning shots across his bow, say 'Listen, you've got to sort yourself out here because if you don't I can't work with you'. I felt like I was going to let down the rest of the band if I walked away from things." Street went on to produce the band's third album Sequel to the Prequel.

Street also produced Doherty's solo album Grace/Wastelands (2009) and also will produce the next Babyshambles record.

The Courteeners (2007-2008)[edit]

Street approached Manchester indie band The Courteeners after hearing demos and offered to produce the album. The album was recorded in London over a six week stretch and was named St. Jude. The album reached No. 4 in the British UK Album Charts but was subject to mixed reviews.

Other work[edit]

In 1988, Street, along with journalist Jerry Smith, set up the Foundation Label. The label was home to artists including Bradford and Sp!n. However, the label wasn't a commercial success and folded in 1991.

In 1989, Street produced and engineered "The Black Swan" by The Triffids. Street produced the 1990 Danielle Dax album Blast the Human Flower, released on Sire Records, along with a subsequent remix EP.

Street worked with The Darling Buds' on their third and fourth albums Crawdaddy (1990) and Erotica (1992).

He also stepped in on production duties for The Caretaker Race's album Hangover Square in 1990. The band, formed by ex-Loft guitarist Andy Strickland and roving drummer Dave Mew, had recorded a number of singles previously, some produced by John Parrish. For Hangover Square, the band added a number of new tracks including "Man Overboard" and "2 Steel Rings", both released as singles.

Street also worked with Lloyd Cole, produced Shed Seven's 1998 album Let it Ride and more recently worked with New Order. In addition to this, he also produced several tracks on the Longpigs second album Mobile Home in 1999.

In 2001-2002, Street worked from Jacobs Studios in Farnham, Surrey, England to produce The Promise Ring's final album, Wood/Water, released by ANTI- in 2002.[6] Street also co-produced A New Morning by Suede which was released in September 2002.

Street produced The Magic Treehouse, the debut album from Ooberman and Tired of Hanging Around, the second album by The Zutons, released in the UK in April 2006.

In 2006, Street produced the next album by Feeder, which was released in 2008. Street also co-produced the tracks "Save Us" and "Burn the Bridges" from the band's The Singles album with lead singer Grant Nicholas, released in 2006. An exclusive mix of this track, done entirely by Street, was available from iTunes upon release.

Street also worked with alternative post-punk band White Lies when they were known as Fear Of Flying, producing "Routemaster" and "Three's A Crowd".[7]

In August 2010, Street produced the debut EP for Dublin based band The Vagabonds.

It was confirmed in late 2010 that he is working with The Subways on their third album, set to be released in 2011.[dated info][8] During 2011 he will also work with Britpop revivalist Viva Brother.[dated info][9]

Street approached the newly rising indie rock band, Life in Film, and is expected to produce their debut album in 2014.[10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]