As a songwriter: I have written songs for artistes such as SHEENA EASTON: Please Don’t Sympathise (Listen) CELINE DION: Ne Me Plaignez Pas (Listen) (story) ELAINE PAGE: It Takes Love Listen (Lyrics by Tim Rice) SARA BRIGHTMAN: Hurry Home (Listen) (Story) ELKIE BROOKS: The Last Teardrop Listen) ALVIN STARDUST: Taking The Easy Way ( Listen) (story) BRUCE RUFFIN: Messing Around (Listen) and have enjoyed hits with: WAVELENGTH Top 20 ballad, Hurry Home (Listen) (story) BABY FORD Acid House dance track, Chiki Chiki Ah Ah (Listen) (story) THE SEARCHERS: pop song, I Don’t Want To Be The One (Listen)(stories)
THE TYGERS OF PAN TANG: rocker, Paris By Air (Listen) (stories )
As a producer:
I assisted the early work of……..
Andy Taylor (Duran Duran) and Toni Haliday (Curve) and during the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWBHM) produced records by Raven (story), The Tygers Of Pan Tang, Venom and The Police.
These days I’ve been diversifying quite a bit doing musicals and exhibition projects with experimental stuff. I also produce specially commissioned music for commercials, video, animations and computer games as well ocassional demos for other writers. In recent years I have also begun to produce all forms of media including video, CD ROM web media and websites.
In 1969 he formed the band Bullfrog who established a huge reputation in the North East of England and then further afield. The band played support to the likes of Wishbone Ash, Gary Glitter, Vinegar Joe, The Pretty Things, East Of Eden, The Edgar Broughton Band, Juicy Lucy etc and did TV shows with the Bay City Rollers, and Lindisfarne. In 1973 the band signed to Cube Records (Joe Cocker, Joan Armatrading, T Rex) and started work with Black Sabbath producer Roger Bain. Hugh Murphy (Gerry Rafferty/Baker Street) later replaced Bain in the production chair. Unfortunately although many recordings were made, only one single saw the light of day and this flopped. However, watch out for this re-appearing in the postscript to this document.
Steve turned his attention to song writing and production and set up Neat Records and Neat Music publishing based in Wallsend. Neat Records became the premier UK Indie Heavy metal label and Steve produced bands that had quite notable (or infamous) careers such as The Tygers of Pan Tang, Raven and Venom. This became part of music folklore as NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal). Steve also assisted the early careers as producer for Andy Taylor (Duran Duran), Toni Haliday (Curve) and Alan Clark (Dire Straits)
In 1980 Steve re-established his aquantence with Bulfrog’s first producer Roger Bain. Roger was now A&R manager for Phonogram Records and he signed Steve and his act to the label. Roger introduced Steve to legendary producer Gus Dudgeon (Elton John, Elkie Brooks, David Bowie) and although the Phonogram recordings were unsucessful, Steve continued to work with Gus on many projects over the ensuing years.
In 1982 Steve quit the Neat label to concentrate on songwriting and was rewarded in a short space of time with a massive chart hit. Hurry Home recorded by Wavelength stayed in the UK charts for a full three months peaking at 17 for two weeks in a row. It also earned him the holy grail of pop stardom (in those days) ; a “Top Of The Pops” appearance.
There followed a furtile period of songwriting for Steve earning him hit singles and albums and a couple of gold discs. Hit singles include the top 20 ballad, Hurry Home (Wavelength), Acid House dance track, Chiki Chiki Ah Ah (Baby Ford), I Don’t Want To Be The One (The Searchers), and Paris By Air (The Tygers Of Pan Tang) Album hits include a number of tracks with The Tygers of Pan Tang, The Searchers and Sheena Easton. In 1983 Celine Dion covered Steve’s Sheena Easton Track and had a hit in Canada and France with “Ne Me Plaignez pas which helped form the basis of her massive international recording career. This song still appears on many compilations and earnes Steve royalties to this day.
Many other songs were also released but failed to chart and these include “It Takes Love” by Elaine Page (a collaboration with Tim Rice on lyrics), “Fooling Around” by Bruce Ruffin and a cover of Hurry Home by Sarah Brightman.
Every suceessful songwriter will also have a tantalising aray of recorded but unreleased tracks and in Steve’s case these include gems by The Hollies, Chris Farlowe, Colin Blunstone, and an entire album penned and produced by Steve with Alvin Stardust. To this should be added a most extraordinary recording – Jaws 3D, yes Steve penned lyrics to the movie theme at the behest of the movie producers but those who have heard it agree that is is fortunate that this composition never actually “surfaced”. This collaboration was brought about by pop impresario, Pete Waternan who had signed Steve to an exclusive songwriting contract with MCA music. During this time MCA sent Steve to their Los Angeles office where he spent 3 months on the MCA Universal front lot working with MCA staff writers including notably, Brock Walsh (The Pointer Sisters, Andrew Gold, Bette Midler, Christina Aguilera) and Glenn Ballard (Michael Jackson, Quincey Jones, Alanis Morissette, Aerosmith, Van Halen)
Next, Steve once again joined forces with Gus Dudgeon and Gus brought the legendary Dick James (the man who signed the Beatles) out of retirement to sign Steve to an exclusive songwriting agreement with DJM (Dick James Music). More album and single releases ensued. Allthough operating as a “back room boy” Steve was also performing on many records and stage performances: A live TV appearance playing keyboards heavily disguised with the Tygers of Pan Tang, an out of shot appearance playing keyboards with the Seachers for a Manchester TV show. A tour with John Verity (Argent, Saxon) starting at the famous Maquee Club on Wardour St. A live appearance for the Bradford Fire Disaster appeal with the Nolan Sisters, Smokie, Motorhead and Kiki Dee. There is also a reasonably well known album that, despite the label credit and sleeve picture actually features an uncredited and unpictured Steve on Bass and Keyboards.
No 1980’s songwriter’s credits are complete without a spot of Eurovision and in 1982 Steve wrote Engish lyrics for the Italian finalist Per Luchia (Riccardo Fogli). Then In 1987 Steve’s “I Want You” made it to the semi final on Wogan. What the public could not know was that international producer Gus Dudgeon was on the BBC mixing desk as a special favour.
In the late nineties Steve managed Kudos Music Publishing for 3 years. Kudos was the library-publishing arm of video production company Q Video. The music published and released on CD’s was specifically for use in film, video TV and Advertising. Steve managed the artistes, liaised with all copyright bodies and produced the recordings.
Steve’s next publishing venture was to set up his own pubishing company firstly called ST Music and now named ST Media. First recordings incuded two of Steve’s tracks on Elkie Brooks “Pearls III” album, “One Of A Kind” and “The Last Teardrop” with the latter also being realeased as a single. Now many of Steves early hits are published by his ST Media pubishing company. An International collection contract with Kalibur Music looks after his interests worldwide. The songwriter finally owns his own copyrights.
Steve’s most recent musical exploits include two musicals in collaboration with playwright and poet Tom Kelly: Steel Town and Songs of Love Work and War. He also collaborated with Tom and photographer Peter Dixon on a multi media touring exhibition called Voices. Steve is very interested in experimental music having produced work for live performance or multi media production with poets and photographers. He also has an interested watching brief on copyright in the digital age and has lectured and presented on the subject. He has seen his copyrights appear all over the internet and manages such occurences pragmatically being interested in the affordances of new technology. There are many mashups and pesentations of his work on the Internet and he views these with an open mind, particluarly if they are done with respect. Steve has earned himslef a ban on MySpace and YouTube for copyright infringement where the copyrights in both instances were his own.
And the postscript?
Well, the record released in 1974 is now selling a full 40 years later under the title of:
20 Powerglam Classics From the UK http://amzn.to/ZDspR