Stereo MCs are an English Electronica group.
- "The Head" - born Nick Hallam, 11 June 1960, Nottingham, England.
- "Rob B" - born Robert Charles Birch, 11 June 1961, Ruddington, Nottinghamshire, England.
- "Owen If" - born Ian Frederick Rossiter, 20 March 1959, Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales
Vocalist Rob Birch
, and DJ
/producer Nick Hallam
, founded their Gee Street recording studio
and record label
, with money they were given to leave their London
flat and, instead of using a backing band, travelled to early gigs on buses, with bags of tapes.
When Gee Street caught the eye of 4th and Broadway, they recorded the debut Stereo MCs' album 33-45-78 (1989) on a shoestring budget with DJ Cesare, drummer Owen If and backing singer, Cath Coffey. In 1990, "Elevate My Mind" by the Stereos was the first British hip hop single to reach the U.S. R&B chart. At home, the emergent indie dance scene (they supported Happy Mondays in the U.S.), and a hook-up with the Jungle Brothers, ensured ultimate hipness for Supernatural (1990), and remixes for the likes of U2, PM Dawn, Queen Latifah, Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, Monie Love and Electronic.
They are still highly sought after producers, with most of their remixes being done under the name Ultimatum.
For their live shows, they assembled a live band including singers Andrea Bedassie and Verona Davis, and were one of the few hip hop outfits to play rock music festivals at the time. These acclaimed live shows paved the way for 1992's breakthrough Connected, a UK Albums Chart No.2, which spawned the smashes "Connected", "Step It Up", "Creation" and "Ground Level", and won them BRIT Awards for Best Group and Best Album. When Hallam and Birch set up music publisher Spirit Songs (which signed Finley Quaye), the Stereos confirmed their rock star status by taking an eternity to record Connected 's follow-up. A spokesperson told Q magazine in 1997, "They are very keen not to repeat themselves".
But remixes for Madonna ("Frozen"), and the Jungle Brothers ("Jungle Brother") in 1998, confirmed that the Stereos were at least still alive.
In 2000, they released a DJ mix for Studio !K7's DJ-Kicks series and remixed another song for Madonna, ("Music").
2001 saw the release of Deep Down & Dirty, followed by a tour, including slots opening for the recently re-united Jane's Addiction.
Their most recent album, Double Bubble, was released in July, 2008.
Song's Appearance in Advertisements
- The song "Sofisticated," from Deep Down & Dirty, has been used in a series of commercials for Pizza Hut. In some commercials, the original keyboard piano theme is kept, though the other instrumentation is different, presumably newly written by other musicians for the ads.
- The song "Connected" was used on the soundtrack for the American film, Hackers.
- The song "Connected" is also used as the main title theme for the USA Network Show, "Burn Notice".
- The song "Connected" was also used on the Carphone Warehouse adverts in the 90s.
Stereo MCs also released a self-titled EP
in 1990. It was written, produced and composed by themselves, and was released on Island Records
. The songs
would later appear on their first full-length album.
- "What Is Soul?" (samples Ben E. King's "What Is Soul?", David Byrne and Brian Eno's "Regiment" and Talking Heads' "Once In A Lifetime")
- "On 33" (samples George Clinton's "Atomic Dog" and Deep Purple's "And The Address")
- "Bring It On"
- "Gee Street" (samples Rose Royce's "6 O'Clock DJ")