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Steve Forward

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Steve Forward
Steve Forward aux Studios de la Seine à Paris en 2016.jpg
Steve Forward at Studios de la Seine, Paris (2016)
Background information
Born (1954-03-14) 14 March 1954 (age 67)
Hatherleigh (England)
Occupation(s)Recording engineer, Mixer, Producer, Arranger

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Steven Forward, known as Steve Forward (born 14 March 1954, in Hatherleigh) is an English recording engineer, producer and musician.

He worked with numerous artists including Ray Charles, Paul McCartney, Manfred Mann, Depeche Mode, Robert Palmer, Fischer-Z, Johnny Hallyday, and Axel Bauer.[1]


After studying for a degree in social sciences at the London South Bank Polytechnic, he started his recording career as a tape operator and subsequently recording engineer at Nick Abson’s Freerange studios in Londons Covent Garden.[2]

The studio clients included many of the artists signed to Stiff Records who rented the ground floor of the same building.[2]

Freerange studios closed in 1979 and he started working as a freelance engineer at The Nova Suite, The Workhouse and Berry Street and numerous other major London studios.[2]

Following a period living and working in Norway, he moved to Paris (France) in the late 1980s.[2]

Initially he specialised in recording and mixing records but subsequently expanded his field to include record production, musical arrangement, audio mastering and lyricist.[3]


At the beginning of his career, Forward recorded or mixed music for numerous artists from the punk and new wave époque including  Wreckless Eric, The Members, The Damned, Eddie and The Hot Rods, The Pretenders, Gary Numan, Lena Lovitch and The Ramones.

Freelance from 1980, he recorded advertising music for Air Edel, with Hans Zimmer, Richard Niles, Fiachra Trench and expanded his horizons to mix and remix music for artists including Paul McCartney, Manfred Mann, Robert Palmer, Depeche Mode, Matt Bianco, Robin Trower, Willy and The Poor Boys[4] (featuring Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, Jimmy Page, Chris Rea and Paul Rogers)[5] Steve Strange, The Pale Fountains and Fischer-Z.

In the mid 1980s, he started to work for EMI Records in Scandinavia and subsequently moved briefly to Oslo where he recorded and produced records for Anita Skorgan[6], Karolina Kruger and Hi-Yo Silver!.

After mixing for Diane Tell, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Laurent Voulzy in Paris (France), he decided to make the city his home. [2][7]

In 1987, he mixed and produced the album Reveal for the group Fischer-Z and in 1989, the album A Round And A Bout for the British group Squeeze [8] which entered the UK top 50 in April 1990.[9]

During this same period, he produced the single "Precious Thing" for Dee Dee Bridgewater and Ray Charles which became an international hit.[10]

Steve Forward and Ray Charles at the Studio Guillaume Tell in Paris during the recording session of the single "Precious Thing" (1989)

This success starts a long association with the European manager and producer of Ray Charles, Jean Pierre Grosz,[11][12] who asked him to produce, record and mix the album Strong Love Affair.[13] The album was recorded during three years in 29 different studios throughout the world.[13][14] Finally, he recorded and produced the cover song "Imagine" (featuring the Harlem Gospel Singers) and the album Live at the Olympia 2000[15] for Ray Charles.

Recording, producing and mixing for numerous record companies and labels including Universal Music, EMI, Sony Music, Columbia Records, Polydor Records and Warner Music Group, he has worked for a number of French artists.

He met Axel Bauer,[16], with whom he constructed a studio in Montreuil, France. [17] They later co-produced the album Simple Mortel, released in 1998.[18] It established a lasting friendship and creative partnership which continues to this day.[19] Their latest collaboration being the album "Live à Ferber" released in 2018.

In 1996, Universal hired him to record and mix the singles "Savoir aimer" and "Chanter", extracts from the album Savoir aimer by Florent Pagny which became major successes in both France and Belgium.[20] He continued to mix titles for Florent Pagny for the albums Châtelet Les Halles, 2 and Ailleurs land.

In 2001, he recorded and mixed the album Comm’si La Terre Penchait, produced by Philippe Paradis for the artist Christophe with whom he composed the song Nuage D’Or[21]. The album was subsequently nominated in the French Victoires de la musique in the category "Album de Variété/Pop"[22].

In 2003, he mixed the solo album of Ahmed Mouici, ex member of the hit group Pow Wow and known for his role of Ramses in the musical Les Dix Commandements by Élie Chouraqui.

In 2008, the producer Frank Autier contacted him to record and mix the album Toi + Moi de Grégoire, the initial production of the first French ‘crowdfunded’ record label My Major Company. The album reached number 1 in the French charts and stayed in the top 30 record sales for more than two years.[23] Forward continued to work for My Major Company mixing the second album of Grégoire and those of other artists signed to the label.

In 2015, the French blues artist Fred Chapelier called him to record his album It Never Comes Easy[24][25] and described him as a "magician of sound".[26]

In 2017, Forward worked once again with Fischer-Z, recording and mixing the album Swimming in Thunderstorms at ICP studios in Brussels with his long-term friend and founder member of the group John Watts, the album being released in 2019.[27]

In 2018, Universal Music called upon his services to mix Marcel Amont's album of duos Par dessus l'épaule, featuring new interpretation of his greatest hits with many leading French artists including Charles Aznavour and Alain Souchon.[28].

Other projects[edit]

In 1990, he played as a guitarist for Anita Skorgan.[29]

Selected discography[edit]

  • 1984: Mais où sont passées les gazelles ? - Lizzy Mercier Descloux
  • 1985: Willie And The Poor Boys - Willie And The Poor Boys (groupe composé de Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, Jimmy Page, Chris Rea & Paul Rogers)
  • 1985: Beyond The Mist - Robin Trower
  • 1986: Press - Paul McCartney
  • 1986: Criminal Tango - Manfred Mann's Earth Band
  • 1987: Reveal - Fischer-Z
  • 1988: Le Soleil Donne - Laurent Voulzy
  • 1988: Fasetter - Karoline Krüger
  • 1988: Degriffe-moi - Diane Tell
  • 1988: Sweet Lies - Robert Palmer
  • 1989: Victim of love - Dee Dee Bridgewater
  • 1989: Precious Thing - Dee Dee Bridgewater & Ray Charles
  • 1989: Entre Douceur Et Violence - Gilbert Montagné
  • 1990: Basic - Anita Skorgan
  • 1991: Caraïbes - Ralph Thamar
  • 1996: Strong Love Affair - Ray Charles
  • 1996: Flomela - Eddy Louiss
  • 1997: Savoir aimer - Florent Pagny
  • 1998: Simple Mortel - Axel Bauer
  • 1999: M'Zee Fula-Ngenge - Papa Wemba
  • 2000: Châtelet Les Halles - Florent Pagny
  • 2000: Augustin et Anita - Daran
  • 2001: Imagine - Ray Charles
  • 2001: Comm'si la terre penchait - Christophe
  • 2001: Pop sessions - Serge Gainsbourg
  • 2002: A La Vie, A La Mort - Johnny Hallyday
  • 2002: L'aventurier - Nada Surf
  • 2003: Je prends le temps - Ahmed Mouici
  • 2003: Notre étoile - Linkup
  • 2003: Chansons - Élie Semoun
  • 2003: Ailleurs Land - Florent Pagny
  • 2003: Taxi Europa - Stephan Eicher
  • 2004: Live At The Olympia 2000 - Ray Charles
  • 2008: Toi + Moi - Grégoire
  • 2010: Black spirit - Paul Mancini Quartet
  • 2013: Peau de serpent - Axel Bauer
  • 2014: Live à Ferber - Axel Bauer
  • 2015: Chinese driver - Peter Kingsbery
  • 2015: Live au Blues Café - Ahmed Mouici & The Golden Moments
  • 2016: It never comes easy - Fred Chapellier
  • 2018: Par dessus l'épaule - Marcel Amont
  • 2019: Swimming in Thunderstorms - Fischer-Z

Film music[edit]

  • Coca-Cola Kid, realised by Dušan Makavejev, recording and mix of the song "Home For My Heart" composed by Tim Finn
  • Les Grandes Bouches, realised by Bernie Bonvoisin, réalisation, recording and mix of the song composed and interpreted by Nadia Farès
  • Wasabi, realised by Luc Besson, recording and mix of the song "Follow Me" composed by Nadia Farès and Paul Breslin
  • Blanche, realised by Bernie Bonvoisin, recording and mix of the music
  • Backstage, realised by Emmanuelle Bercot, mix of the music composed by Laurent Marimbert

Notes and References[edit]

  1. Spalt, Tania (9 March 2020). "Recording guitar". The Holy Grail Guitar Show. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Interview of Steve Forward from 24 March 2009 by Marion Delhaye and Christophe Bouillot". Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. "Steve Forward - Discography, credits". All Music. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  4. "Willie and the Poor Boys - Overview and credits". All Music. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  5. "Cover song of "These Arms Of Mine" by Willie and The Poor Boys". Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  6. Fabriguès, Bruno (31 March 2020). "Skorgan "Basic" (1990) - AOR". La Bible de la West Coast. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  7. Haliday, Mark (1994). "Steve Forward, An Englishman in Paris". Homestudio Magazine: 30–34.
  8. "Squeeze - Discography". Squeezefan.com. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  9. "A round and a bout - Album von Squeeze". Chartsurfer.de. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  10. Bouasse, Philippe (1989). "Steve Forward: Maggie's farm no more". Soundcheck Magazine. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  11. Le Gall, Pauline (13 October 2014). "Ray Charles raconté par son ancien manager". Le Figaro. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  12. Hiltzik, Michael A. (20 April 2008). "Ray Charles' battle over his legacy". Los Angeles Times. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  13. 13.0 13.1 "A made to measure album. Three years of work with the genius". Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  14. "The album "Strong Love Affair" is the fruit of a long friendship between one of the last great dinosoars of music Ray Charles and the frenchman Jean-Pierre Grosz, but just who is this French producer ?". FHCOM - Influence, Social, Media & RP. 2 February 1996. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  15. Genone, Paola (29 November 2004). "Ray Charles - dernier blues à Paris". L'Express. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  16. Villepreux, Olivier (26 March 1998). "Quatorze ans après cargo, le chanteur sort son troisième album, "Simple Mortel"". Libération. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  17. Bauer, Axel (2012). Maintenant tu es seul. France: Michel Lafont. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  18. Universal Music. "Biographie d'Axel Bauer". Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  19. "Axel Bauer et Steve Forward nous parlent de JJ Cale". RollingStone. 1 April 2019. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  20. "Palmarès 1998 - Victoires de la musique". France TV. 1998. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  21. "Répertoire SACEM - Nuage d'or". SACEM. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  22. "Palmarès 2002 - Victoires de la musique". France TV. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  23. "Grégoire, success story d'un artiste financé par les internautes". 16 October 2008. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  24. "Fred Chapellier " A 300% dans le blues ! "". Le Blues Café Live. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  25. "Fred Chapelier - It never comes easy". CVW Disques Office SA - Switzerland. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  26. Baerst, David. "Interview of Fred Chapelier on 25 March 2016". Sur la Route 66, la voix du blues. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  27. "John Watts of Fischer-Z rocked up with producer Steven Forward for new recording". ICP Studios' page on Facebook. 21 December 2017. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  28. "Rencontre avec Marcel Amont qui sort un album de duos avec les plus grands". France TV Info. 27 October 2018. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  29. "Clip of the song "Pride to be your lover" by Anita Skorgan in 1990". Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)

External links[edit]

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