Saint Etienne (band)

Saint Etienne (band)

Infobox musical artist |
Name = Saint Etienne

Img_capt = Saint Etienne
Img_size = 200px
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Croydon, England
Instrument =
Genre = House
Alternative rock
Indie dance
Dream pop
Occupation =
Years_active = 1988 – Present
Label = Heavenly Records
Creation Records
Mantra Records
Sanctuary Records
Associated_acts =
URL = []
Current_members = Sarah Cracknell
Bob Stanley
Pete Wiggs
Past_members =
Notable_instruments =

Saint Etienne are an English indie dance act, fronted by Sarah Cracknell (born April 12, 1967, Chelmsford, Essex). Former music journalists Bob Stanley (born December 25, 1964) and Pete Wiggs (born May 15, 1966) are the other regular members of the band. They are named after the famous French football team, AS Saint-Étienne, European Cup runners-up in the 1970s.


Saint Etienne were one of the bands that helped define the indie dance genre in the early 1990s, fusing the production values of the dance-pop that emerged in the wake of the Second Summer of Love with the clever lyrics and self-aware production of indie music. A decade after the band's formation, "The Times" observed that Saint Etienne "deftly fused the grooviness of Swinging Sixties London with a post-acid house backbeat" ["The Times Play", 12 October 2002] . During the 1990s the band also recorded two tracks - "7 Ways to Love" and "He Is Cola" - under the name "Cola Boy" with different singers; their explanation is that the tracks were "too cheesy for Saint Etienne. We'd have been finished overnight". []

Their early recordings were packed with generic house music clichés, such as standard TR-909 drum patterns and Italo house piano riffs, but they soon found a more original sound notable by the use of found dialogue, mainly from classic '60s British realist cinema as featured on their albums "Foxbase Alpha" and "So Tough". Some of these earlier recordings included skits by satirist Chris Morris. [] During the early 1990s the group enjoyed extensive coverage in UK music weekly papers "NME" and "Melody Maker" and gained a reputation as purveyors of "pure pop" in the period immediately prior to the Brit-Pop explosion. They began to shift towards a more atmospheric type of electronica in 2000 with the release of "Sound of Water", dividing their fanbase.

Their best-known songs are the cover of Neil Young's classic "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" (on which Moira Lambert provided vocals), "Nothing Can Stop Us" (which was Sarah Cracknell's first contribution as lead singer), "You're in a Bad Way", and the anthemic "He's on the Phone". The album "Finisterre" was released in 2002. A follow-up DVD by photographer and film maker Paul Kelly was released start_date|2005|7|4.

In start_date|2004|11, they released their first U.S. compilation of greatest hits, called "Travel Edition 1990-2005".

start_date|2005|6|13, saw the release of the band's new album, entitled "Tales from Turnpike House". It was preceded by a single for the track "Side Streets". A second single, "A Good Thing", was released in the United Kingdom on start_date|2005|10|31. Early editions of the album were accompanied by a six-track sampler CD for a planned album of children's songs entitled "Up the Wooden Hills".

"A Good Thing" is featured both in Pedro Almodóvar's award-winning 2006 Spanish film "Volver" and in the "Grey's Anatomy" episode titled "Tell Me Sweet Little Lies," the fourteenth episode of season 2 in 2006.

A compliation album, "", is due for release in October 2008.


1993's non-album single "Who Do You Think You Are" is a cover of a song by Jigsaw. The song was also covered by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods and by Candlewick Green, a winning act on the UK talent show "Opportunity Knocks". Saint Etienne recorded it as a duet with Debsey Wykes, former singer of Dolly Mixture.

In 1993, the band collaborated with Kylie Minogue for two songs: a cover of "Nothing Can Stop Us" (intended at the time to be her first single release for her new label) and "When Are You Coming Home" (unreleased).

Also in 1993, the Xmas 93 EP featured Tim Burgess from The Charlatans on the lead track "I Was Born on Christmas Day."

In 1995, the band co-recorded the "Reserection" EP with French pop star Étienne Daho; later, they also worked on his album "Eden" and single "Le Premier Jour."

For the band's first greatest hits compilation, "Too Young to Die" (1995), Eurodance producer Steve Rodway reworked the track "Accident" from the "Reserection" EP, producing the renamed single "He's on the Phone." The single, co-credited to Daho, gained the singer additional exposure to English-speaking audiences.

Rodway's co-producer Brian Higgins produced the band's following single, "Burnt Out Car," released in 1996.

In 2000, the band crossed genres by working with trance producer and DJ Paul van Dyk, resulting in the single "Tell Me Why (The Riddle)," with vocals by Cracknell.

The 2005 album "Tales from Turnpike House" features David Essex as a guest vocalist. Several tracks on the album were co-written and co-produced by Brian Higgins' songwriting production team, Xenomania.

Sarah Cracknell has collaborated with Marc Almond on his single "I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten" for his album "Stardom Road".


The 1998 album "The Misadventures of Saint Etienne" is the soundtrack to the independent film " [ The Misadventures of Margaret] ", starring Parker Posey. After the soundtrack was completed, the film's producers opted to replace it with a more 'conventional' soundtrack, although a number of tracks can still be heard in the background of the film's final version and Saint Etienne received top "Original Music" credit on the film. The band also recorded a duet by Cracknell and Posey titled 'Secret Love' for the soundtrack but due to legal entanglements it has never been released.

The band has also stepped out from behind their instruments and microphone stands to produce films, including two documenting the landscape of the city of London: " [ Finisterre] " (2002) inspired by the 1967 short film " [ The London Nobody Knows] ", and "What Have You Done Today, Mervyn Day?" (2005), which has a more specific focus on the dilapidation of the Lower Lea Valley. The band have produced a new film, "This Is Tomorrow", in their new capacity as artists-in-residence at the newly refurbished Royal Festival Hall in London, telling the story of the Hall's first 50 years. "This Is Tomorrow" premiered start_date|2007|6|29 as part of the RFH's opening season with the band performing the film's soundtrack live.



See also

*List of number-one dance hits (United States)
*List of artists who reached number one on the US Dance chart

External links

* [ Official site]

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