Steve Albini RIP

Saddened to hear the passing away of Steve Albini at the age of 61. Punk pioneer, producer (though he would say engineer) of Nirvana, Pixies, PJ Harvey and a beacon of ethics in an industry often found wanting in the ethical department.

His long term band, Shellac, have been a fixture on my ‘must see’ list for decades. They played minimalist punk rock with incredible precision and attack. New album apparently due for release next week.


Rest in piece Steve …

Cobain listed his favourite records in Melody Maker soon after the release of Nevermind. He mentioned two Albini productions: The Pixies’ Surfer Rosa and the first Breeders album, Pod. Both had that distinct sound that was soon replicated on In Utero. I never realised he was so young when he started producing, considering Big Black had been around since the early eighties. I always assumed he was a bit of a veteran when he produced Surfer Rosa, but he would have been only 25 at the time. Sad news

Edit: Cobain’s list from Melody Maker.


I was lucky enough to see Shellac play live a few years ago. One of those gigs that just stays with you.

Part way through Steve asked if anyone had any questions. An impromptu Q&A followed. I recall particular interest in the drummer’s hair stylist. “It takes a team of hundreds “ was the reply.

A wonderful night and a sad, sudden loss. Music is poorer for his passing.


I’m a musician here in Chicago. I’ve had the opportunity to record in his studio, Electrical Audio, and I’ve also played in his poker home game.
It’s hard to believe this legend is now gone. He was a friend to all musicians, a professional, and a man of pure ideals. His musical expertise was always in service to the musicians he recorded.
We’ve lost a true original, the likes of which we’ll probably never see again.
His bullshit meter was always perfectly in tune, and he had no problem telling anyone when the needle jumped.
Check out a great profile of him in The Guardian, from August 2023. A long read, and worth your time if you want to learn about the man.



Listening now to the Alibini recorded “Secret Name” by Low (through my SN3), and it sounds glorious. I love that anyone could hire Albini. Here was a guy who had recorded some of the biggest bands, and yet, if your humble band could scrape together 3 or 4 grand, you could hire Steve to record your album. I think the studio rate at Electrical Audio was $900 a day, Albini included.

He should be remembered as a great pioneer of sound and recording…just as important as Spector, Martin, Rubin etc. By all accounts, a real stand up dude as well. May he rest in peace. I will continue to listen to his work for the rest of my time.

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A good obituary here. What a body of work.