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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > Apr 2019: Record Store Day > STEPHEN STREET

STEPHEN STREET

The music producer is best known for his work with The Smiths, Morrissey and Blur. He tells an attentive Ben Wardle about the 10 albums he’s worked on that mean the most to him

Even if you’re the sort of music fan who pays scant attention to production credits, the name Stephen Street will still be familiar. Maybe it’s the alliterative, almost poetic quality of his name, that ensures that it sticks firmly in the mind (and, yes, before you ask, it is the name he was given at birth – back in Hackney in 1960). More probably it’s because it’s very likely to appear on some of your most cherished records.

Beginning his career as a bass player (in ska-pop band BIM), he quickly became in-house studio engineer at Island Records, after which he went on to produce a list of albums that have sold in excess of 50 million copies. To have worked with arguably the best British band of the 1980s would be considered enough justification by most producers to start preparing laurels to rest upon, but Street spent a large chunk of the 1990s working with perhaps the most significant British band of that decade too (no, not Oasis, Gallagher fans). And he has continued to surprise music lovers right up to the present day. So in a career jam-packed full of classic albums, which 10 does Street pick to mark out his own life in vinyl?

THE SMITHS

THE QUEEN IS DEAD

Rough Trade 1986

“To be honest, my favourite Smiths album is Strangeways… but I chose this because it’s my first album with a credit; Morrissey couldn’t quite bring himself to share the production credit! But it was a big breakthrough for me. The first step.

“It has aged well. At the time, I could tell it was a good piece of work, but it’s amazing how it’s taken on a life of its own, and it’s so revered. They were constantly on the road, so it was recorded a bit haphazardly. The Boy With The Thorn In His Side was done up in Manchester on their own, then I finished it off and mixed it in London; Bigmouth Strikes Again was recorded at RAK in London, but it was mainly done at Jacobs in Farnham.

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About Long Live Vinyl

Issue 25 of Long Live Vinyl comes with your free 40-page Official Record Store Day 2019 magazine, the complete guide to all 500+ releases to help you get ready for 13 April! It’s the only place you’ll find full details of every Record Store Day release, plus there’s the chance to win £50 of Record Tokens to give you a head start on the big day. Elsewhere in issue 25, we pay tribute to Neil Young, as his bandmates, producers and a host of musicians influenced by one of the world’s greatest songwriters tell us about 50 years with Shakey. We also speak to Sleeper, Beirut and Michael Chapman about their brilliant new albums, meet stellar producer Stephen Street, chart the rise of Discogs and welcome our new columnist, Pete Paphides. If all that’s not enough, you’ll find the most comprehensive range of new album, reissue and hardware reviews anywhere on the newsstand. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers.