Seymour Stein, the founder of Sire Records, died at age 80 on Sunday in Los Angeles. He discovered the Talking Heads, Madonna, and many more in his music career. He died after fighting a long battle with cancer. His family member confirmed the news of his death to Variety.
In 1966, he founded the Sire imprint. He took the Echo, Soft Cell, Bunnymen and Pretenders in the Sire imprint. So many great works released on the Sire, including Ice-T, the Cure, My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Depeche Mode, Everything But the Girl and the Replacements.
Seymour contributed to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. Later this foundation led to Rock Hall; Stein was inducted in 2005 as a non-performer. Ice- T said a statement about Stein’s election “Seymour was looking for somebody who had something to say. When you take Mighty Lemon Drops, the Ramones, Madonna, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, Ministry, Ice-T — put them together, it doesn’t seem like they go together, but they do. They all had an edge,”
He always helped struggling artists; later, many became chart makers. Seymour also helped Rock music to make their career. In the 1980s, he contracted with Brian Wilson to release his album. In 1989, Lou Reed dropped the New York on the label and joined the Seymour.
Seymour was born on 18 April 1942. As a teenager, he was first introduced to the music industry. Stein worked in the Billboard magazine’s office and completed the given projects. After completing his graduation, Stein worked at Billboard.
King and Red Bird, an early Sixties Short term label, Seymour Stein worked for a few years in this label. Later Stein partnered with producer-songwriter Richard Gottehrer, and both launched Sire, a combination of their first names.
His memoir was published in 2018; he wrote about Madonna in this “I liked Madonna’s voice, I liked the feel, and I liked the name Madonna. I liked it all and played it again,”
He further described her “She wasn’t even interested in hearing me explain how much I liked her demo … she didn’t take long to cut through all the small talk and go straight for the kill. Peering into the back of my head with those Madonna’s eyes, she said, ‘And now, you give me the money.’
Social media tributes to Seymour Stein:
RIP Seymour Stein. One of the great record executives of all time. The last time I saw Seymour I put him on the phone with our mutual pal Jerry Blavat. This was such a great moment.
Very sad news ~ Seymour Stein has left us, one of the greatest record men of all time. Seymour was a true visionary, we are all aware of the musical talent that he discovered, nurtured and thrust upon the world. I will be forever grateful for his friendship, advice and belief. Rest in peace my friend.
My sincere condolences to his daughter Mandy and the family
The last time I saw Seymour Stein at a Blondie gig at the Greek, LA 2019, posing with Rodney. Seymour always got it, he always saw it. RIP Seymour and all my love to @mandessa and his family