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Siren Song

My Life in Music

Seymour Stein with Gareth Murphy

St. Martin's Press

Siren Song Download image

ISBN10: 1250081017
ISBN13: 9781250081018


352 Pages



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Seymour Stein is America's greatest living record man. Not only has he signed and nurtured more important artists than anyone alive, now sixty years in the game, he's still the hippest label head, travelling the globe in search of the next big thing.

Since the late fifties, he's been wherever it's happening: Billboard, Tin Pan Alley, The British Invasion, CBGB, Studio 54, Danceteria, the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, the CD crash. Along that winding path, he discovered and broke out a skyline full of stars: Madonna, The Ramones, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, Madonna, The Smiths, The Cure, Ice-T, Lou Reed, Seal, and many others.

Brimming with hilarious scenes and character portraits, Siren Song’s wider narrative is about modernity in motion, and the slow acceptance of diversity in America—thanks largely to daring pop music. Including both the high and low points in his life, Siren Song touches on everything from his discovery of Madonna to his wife Linda Stein's violent death.


Praise for Siren Song

"Intertwined with behind-the-scenes tales of mayhem and craziness of the 1970s and '80s, Stein weaves down-to-earth storytelling about his Jewish upbringing in 1950s Brooklyn and his childhood fascination with Coney Island and how it stoked his young imagination, leading to his future life in music. A sometimes-gritty, sometimes-charming memoir that pays tribute to the American recording industry."Kirkus Reviews

"Stein, the entrepreneur who is generally credited as being the man who launched the punk/new wave movement (on his own label, Sire Records), recounts his life story in this entertainingly written, conversational book. This is a fun book, full of behind-the-music-scenes stories and personal anecdotes that capture the rockin’ spirit of the 1970s, ’80s, and beyond."Booklist

"Stein’s anecdote-packed memoir tells of his life as a music executive, in what is an entertaining ride though music history . . . Stein wonderfully captures his obsessive love for the bruising music business and introducing music-lovers to new bands—and not going deaf or broke in the process."Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt


On April 18, 1942, I was born Seymour Steinbigle, the only son of Dora and David. Considering my life’s obsession would be to get there first, it’s funny how late I arrived. Mother Nature’s...

About the author

Seymour Stein with Gareth Murphy

SEYMOUR STEIN is the co-founder and chairman of Sire Records, as well as a Vice President of Warner Bros. Records. Sire Records, which he founded in 1966, was the pioneer of New Wave music. Stein was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 under the lifetime-achievement category. He lives in New York City.

Stein is the author of the memoir, Siren Song.

Seymour Stein

© Judith Azoulay

Gareth Murphy

Official Links

Sire Records

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame