Steve Lillywhite gets CBE

Producer Steve Lillywhite has been named a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by HRH Queen Elizabeth in her New Year’s Honours List.

For those of you outside the UK and bewildered by the Honours List ”“ The Awards are essentially an acknowledgement of an individuals achievements in a particular pursuit, they are awarded to leading sports personalities, writers, public figures and more importantly to private individuals for their contribution to their own community/
The CBE is the third level in the Order of the British Empire after the Knight/Dame Grand Cross (GBE) and Knight/Dame Commander (KBE/DBE). Only those top two ranks receive the official title of Knight and the use of Sir or Dame.

Lillywhite began his career back in 1972 as a tape operator for Polygram before moving to Island Records as a staff/in-house producer. His first major success coming when he produced Siouxse &The Banshees first single, 1978’s ”˜Hong Kong Garden’, he also produced Steel Pulse’s first release ”˜Klu Klux Klan’

Over the next three decades, he would produce numerous major albums, including:

U2 – ”˜Boy’, ”˜War’ & ”˜October’, The Joshua Tree’ and ”˜Achtung Baby’
Dave Mathews Band – ”˜Under the Table and Dreaming’, ”˜Crash’
Rolling Stones – ”˜Dirty Work’
Peter Gabriel – ”˜Peter Gabriel (III)
Talking Heads ”“ ”˜Naked’
Morrissey ”˜Vauxhall and I’
Ultravox ”“ ”˜Ultravox!!!’
Psychedelic Furs ”“ ”˜The Psychedelic Furs’
Crowded House ”“ ”˜Time on Earth’
Big Country ”“ ”˜The Crossing’
30 Seconds to Mars – ”˜This is War’

He was also responsible for the production on many early new wave records including releases by Toyah, XTC, The Chameleons, and Eddie & The Hot Rods. More recently he has been linked to Beady Eye, and Evenessence – it is estimated that he has production credits for over 500 releases.

Lillywhite also produced the ultimate Christmas song, The Pogues ”˜Fairytale of New York’ which featured the late Kirsty MacColl who was previously married to Lillywhite.

Lillywhite also turned down Guns ”˜N’ Roses and bizarrely signed Darius Danesh (remember the Britney Spears X-Factor debacle?)

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


  1. Clearly a major contributor to the success of U2 – but after War he hasn’t been he main producer, instead quite often brought n part way to help ‘ polish’ certain tracks


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