CELEBRATED AND PREVIOUSLY UNPUBLISHED PHOTOS OF SAINT ETIENNE TAKEN BY SOME OF THE BEST KNOWN MUSIC AND FASHION PHOTOGRAPHERS, PLUS PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN IMAGES FROM THE BAND MEMBERS’ PERSONAL ARCHIVES, ARE GATHERED IN A NEW BOOK FROM FIRST THIRD.
It documents Saint Etienne’s dalliance with various pop culture styles; pre-FOXBASE ALPHA indie dance roots to the European chic of recent ﬁlm work and 2012 album WORDS & MUSIC.
SAINT ETIENNE includes commentary on many of the photos by singer Sarah Cracknell and founder members Pete Wiggs and Bob Stanley, plus a complete discography and an eloquent foreword from friend and musician Lawrence of Felt, Denim and Go-Kart Mozart.
The book illustrates key moments in Saint Etienne’s story, including a tantalising suggestion of an alternate history; an atmospheric black-and-white shot of early singer Stephanie Ansell in a dressing room in Paris on the 1991 Heavenly package tour.
Inspired by Sixties pop culture, folk, electronica and house music, and with groundbreaking use of samples, the band’s striking pop collages eventually gave them a run of hits including YOU’RE IN A BAD WAY, Neil Young’s ONLY LOVE CAN BREAK YOUR HEART and HE’S ON THE PHONE, plus yards of coverage in the 1990s music press.
Glitzy sessions with Cracknell, a 1993 cover shoot for the NME, behind-the-scenes glimpses of studio recording or filming various videos (including I WAS BORN ON CHRISTMAS DAY, featuring Tim Burgess from The Charlatans), plus gritty post-Britpop comedown across Europe and more conservative London shots from 2013 all have their merits.
Glimpses of the group in concert across the years offer a reminder of how much fun they could be, reinforced by some of the memories accompanying the photos (the choice being Sheffield 1993, a show broadcast live on Radio 1, the band confounding the powers-that-BBC and confusing listeners at home by playing in old Radio 2 jingles between songs).
Published on 3rd June, the book is printed in two versions (cloth-bound hardback or deluxe edition of 300 copies, featuring a 7″ single), and offers visual record of a group sometimes unfairly pushed to the margins in recollections of the previous two decades or so of alternative music in the UK.
Published by First Third Books
on 3rd June 2014
176 pages, 20cm x 27cm, weight: 1.2 kg
Available to pre-order here
NOTE: the deluxe edition has now SOLD OUT