There are few people living in the UK who will not have heard a Stephen Street record. His legendary creative production style has contributed to some of the most iconic records by UK bands and artists of the past three decades, including The Smiths, Blur, New Order, Pete Doherty, Kaiser Chiefs and countless other platinum-selling acts.
Stephen’s career began in the late 1970s when he performed in various bands around London. After a period playing bass in ska/pop outfit BIM, he changed his focus towards audio engineering and record production, landing a gig as Assistant Engineer at Island Records’ Fallout Shelter Studio in Hammersmith where he quickly rose to house engineer. It was a position that would lead to his first meeting with The Smiths: from 1984 until the band’s split in 1987, Stephen’s engineering work on three Smiths albums – Meat Is Murder, The Queen Is Dead and Strangeways, Here We Come – would help write the band into British popular music history.
When The Smiths disbanded, Stephen went on to form a hugely successful partnership with Morrissey as a solo artist in the late 1980s, all the while developing a portfolio of work with the likes of Durutti Column and The Triffids. But it was 1991 when another landmark meeting, this time with a young London group named Blur, sparked the next longstanding relationship with another pioneering British band. Stephen produced the first five Blur albums which included the multi-platinum selling Parklife, one of the most critically acclaimed records of the 1990s and which earned four BRIT Awards in 1995, including ‘Best British Album’.
In 1994 Stephen won the first of many personal accolades, Q Magazine’s ‘Producer of the Year’ in recognition of his work with Blur and The Cranberries – another band Stephen has enjoyed prolonged success with over the years. Other production credits from the 1990s included Sleeper, Catatonia, The Pretenders, Lloyd Cole and Shed Seven.
Since the turn of the millennium, Stephen has been as prolific as ever within the UK’s alternative music scene. Besides continuing collaborations with the likes of The Cranberries and Blur’s Graham Coxon, his talents as a record producer have been an instrumental component behind the success of Kaiser Chiefs, The Ordinary Boys, The Maccabees, The Courteeners, Pigeon Detectives, Pete Doherty, Babyshambles, The Subways and more.
In 2006 Stephen Street was named Producer of the Year at both the Music Week Awards and the MMF Annual Dinner.