Stereo MCs

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Stereo MCs
Stereo MCs.jpg
Stereo MCs in concert, August 2006
Background information
Origin London, United Kingdom
Genres Hip hop, electronica, alternative hip hop, house, alternative dance, hip house
Years active 1985–present
Labels 4th & Broadway, Gee Street Records, Island Records, Graffiti Recording, Rhino
Website Official website
Members The Head
Rob B
Owen If
Cath Coffey
Aina Roxx

Stereo MCs are a British hip hop/electronic dance group which formed in Clapham, London, in 1985.[1] They had a transatlantic Top 20 with their single "Connected". After releasing eight albums for Island Records, K7, Graffiti Recordings, and Pias, they formed the label Connected[2] with Terranova to release their own material and that of other artists within the house/techno/electronic medium.


Stereo MCs 2005 in Berlin

Vocalist Rob Birch and disc jockey (DJ)/producer Nick Hallam founded their Gee Street recording studio and record label with money they were given to leave their London flat[1] and, dispensing with using a backing band, travelled to early gigs on public transport.[3]

As Birch & Hallam they recorded and two synth-pop singles in 1983: 'What You Say' and 'Pray For Me', both released on the A&M label.[4]

When Gee Street attracted the attention of 4th & Broadway, they recorded the début Stereo MCs' album, 33-45-78 (1989), on a shoestring budget with DJ Cesare, drummer Owen If and backing vocalist Cath Coffey.[1] In 1990, "Elevate My Mind" by the Stereos was the first British hip hop single to reach the United States R&B record chart.[3] Having supported the Happy Mondays on a US tour, in the emerging UK alternative dance scene, it took an alliance with the Jungle Brothers to ensure chart success for Supernatural (1990).[1] Remix work for U2 and Queen Latifah followed.[3]

Their live band included singers Andrea Bedassie and Verona Davis,[1] and they were one of the few hip hop outfits to play at rock music festivals at the time.[3] 1992's mainstream breakthrough Connected, a UK Albums Chart #2, contained the hit singles "Connected", "Step It Up", "Creation", and "Ground Level", and won them BRIT Awards for Best Group and Best Album.[1] Hallam and Birch then created the music-publishing firm Spirit Songs, which signed Finley Quaye.[3]

However, the follow-up to Connected did not appear for almost a decade. Further remix duties for Madonna ("Frozen") and the Jungle Brothers ("Jungle Brother") in 1998 kept the Stereo MCs' name in the limelight.[3] Madonna went on to use the "Frozen" remix on her 2001 Drowned World Tour.[citation needed]

In 2000, they released a Disc Jockey mix for Studio !K7's DJ-Kicks series and remixed another song for Madonna ("Music"). The following year saw the release of Deep Down & Dirty, followed by a tour including slots opening for the recently re-united Jane's Addiction.

Their sixth studio album, Double Bubble, was released in July 2008, followed by their seventh, Emperor's Nightingale, in August 2011. In December 2008, they supported Madness at the O2 Arena in London.

Stereo MCs at the Orange Music Experience Festival, Haifa, 29 June 2005




† This EP was written, produced and composed by the Stereo MCs and released on Island Records. The songs would later appear on their first album. The track listing is as follows:

  1. "What Is Soul?" (sampled Ben E. King's "What Is Soul?", David Byrne and Brian Eno's "Regiment" and Talking Heads' "Once In A Lifetime")
  2. "On 33" (sampled George Clinton's "Atomic Dog" and Deep Purple's "And The Address")
  3. "Bring It On"
  4. "Neighbourhood"
  5. "Gee Street" (sampled Rose Royce's "6 O'Clock DJ")


Year Single Peak chart positions Album

US Alt Rock
US Dance
1988 "Move It" (with DJ Cesare) Single only
"What Is Soul?" 33-45-78
1989 "On 33" 94
"Lyrical Machine" Single only
1990 "Elevate My Mind" 74 39 Supernatural
1991 "Lost in Music" 46 20 1
"I'm a Believer" (Continental Europe only)
1992 "Connected" 18 54 19 27 6 5 8 47 24 20 5 Connected
"Step It Up" 12 29 50 12 8 87 13 58 16 25
1993 "Ground Level" 19
"Creation" 19 25
2001 "Deep Down & Dirty" 17 98 97 92 Deep Down & Dirty
"We Belong in This World Together" 59
2002 "Running" 81
2005 "Warhead" Paradise
"Set It Off"
2008 "Black Gold" Double Bubble
2011 "Boy" (featuring Jamie Cullum) Emperor's Nightingale
"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released.

Song appearances in other media[edit]

  • "Deep Down & Dirty" in the 2001 video game Project Gotham Racing and the 2002 Six Feet Under soundtrack
  • "Elevate My Mind" was used on the soundtrack of Bad Company (1995) starring Laurence Fishburne, Ellen Barkin, and Frank Langella.
  • "Sweetest Truth (Show No Fear)" was used on the Help: a Charity Project For the Children of Bosnia album in 1995.
  • The song "Sofisticated," from Deep Down & Dirty, has been used in a series of commercials for Pizza Hut.
  • "Connected" was used on the soundtrack for the film, Hackers, the Carphone Warehouse adverts in the 1990s, and as the trailer theme for the film Blow. It was also used in a scene in the 2009-2017 series "The Vampire Diaries" season 6, episode 2 "Yellow Ledbetter"
  • The song "Step It Up" was used in the comedy films Wayne's World 2, Alien Autopsy and on the Halifax adverts in 2010.
  • "We Belong In This World Together" was used in a Target television advertisement in 2008.
  • The song "Wake Up" Appeared in the Shopping soundtrack[21] and on the compilation album of film soundtrack songs, Trackspotting.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 935. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  2. ^ "KOMPAKT.FM // BLOG // Read: Terranova and Stereo MC's start new label, Connected + win merch". Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Roberts, David (1998). Guinness Rockopedia (1st ed.). London: Guinness Publishing Ltd. p. 420. ISBN 0-85112-072-5. 
  4. ^ "Birch And Hallam Discography - UK - 45cat". Retrieved 19 April 2018. 
  5. ^ "Interview with Rob B of Stereo MC's". 21 March 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2018. 
  6. ^ a b c Australian (ARIA Chart) peaks:
    • Top 50 peaks: "Stereo MC's - Australian Chart". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
    • Top 100 peaks: Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. 
  7. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 528. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  8. ^ "Stereo MC's - UK Chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  9. ^ "Stereo MC's - Irish Chart Search". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 2012-05-05. 
  10. ^ "Stereo MC's - Dutch Chart". Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  11. ^ "Stereo MC's - Flemish Chart". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  12. ^ "Stereo MC's - French Chart". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  13. ^ "Stereo MC's - Swiss Chart". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  14. ^ "Stereo MC's - German Chart". Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  15. ^ "Stereo MC's - Austrian Chart". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  16. ^ "Stereo MC's - Swedish Chart". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  17. ^ "Stereo MC's - New Zealand Chart". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  18. ^ "Stereo MC's - US Hot 100". Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  19. ^ "Stereo MC's - US Alternative Songs". Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  20. ^ "Stereo MC's - US Dance Club Songs". Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  21. ^ "Various - Shopping". Retrieved 2015-10-10. 
  22. ^ "Various - Trackspotting". Retrieved 2015-10-10. 

External links[edit]