"The veteran British record producer has dealt with some of British music’s most notorious characters. How did he make their albums?
Stephen Street must have the patience of a saint. Over the last 35 years, he has become the go-to producer for some of music’s most demanding, damaged and downright difficult stars, coaxing career-defining albums from The Smiths, Blur, The Cranberries and Pete Doherty. He has never headlined Wembley or been stopped in the street by fans, but you almost certainly own one of his records.
“I don’t take any nonsense,” he says, speaking (via Zoom) from a home office piled high with CDs and cassettes. “We’re in the studio to do a job. It’s the artist’s money we’re spending and we have to deliver as good a record as possible.”
Straight-talking and considered, the 60-year old Londoner owes his career to this same sensible streak. He turned to music production in the early 1980s after realising that his...
" Mavis Nicholson is, or was - or is still the best television interviewer from these isles. She broadcast the most
compelling TV interviews with James Baldwin, Kenneth Williams, Bette Davis, Nina Simone, Germaine Greer,
David Bowie … but somehow had only an afternoon transmission - never evening, unlike most of the traditionally sexist
male interviewers. I was lucky enough to be interviewed by her in, I think 1991, when she came to visit me with a
small crew of technicians. I was so much in awe of Mavis … her humanity, her ease, her intellect … that I typically
completely messed it all up. I didn't think I was ready for such an important interview … I didn't think I was "me" yet,
and I rattled on so much about self-destruction and the inevitability of suicide that I later asked Mavis not...