Al Steele was born in Australia, and moved to the UK in 1971. As a teenager he worked with some of the American rock ‘n roll stars,such as Johnny and The Hurricanes, and the now sadly departed Del Shannon.
In the 80’s, Al was a staff-writer at Southern Music, and he also began composing music for television.
He has written many T.V. themes, including BBC Series, Independent TV scores, sports themes for HTV, and promotional music.
During the nineties, he was a featured guitarist on a whole range of T.V. shows, including. “A Night Out With Money”, “Just Up Your Street”, “Money In The Bank”, “Peter Karrie Unmasked”, “Sian Cothi”, and “Voice Of A Nation”.
In the early 90’s, he was touring with The Korgis (“Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime”), and he also became Musical Director of the legendary R&B outfit, The Diva’s.
Also since ’93, Al has been the Arranger/Musical Director for The Sounds Of The Supremes, in ’98 taking them to Banff, Canada. He has worked alongside Vince Falcone (Frank Sinatra’s M.D.), where Al conducted the ‘All Stars Big Band’.
In 1997 Al composed a full orchestral score for the Dave Daggers movie, “Dance On A Volcano”, and was Vocal Arranger/Vocalist on the Oscar nominated animation, “Famous Fred”.
In ’99, in collaboration with fellow musician Nigel Hart, Al opened a digital recording complex, Shabbey Road Studios.
In May 2000, he took part in a rare performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass”. The concert, which was broadcast live on Radio 2, featured the National Orchestra of Wales as part of a cast of over 800 musicians and singers. Solo guitar and voice opens the whole piece.
He also toured with “Music To Watch Girls Go By”, featuring Gary Wilmot, and played for Jane McDonald on her “Summer Spectacular” in Bournmouth.
In the studio he was commissioned to sequence Elvis Costello’s ballet musical "Sogno". This was shortly before the world premiere.
In the early 2000’s, with Nigel Hart, Al arranged and produced Holly Holyoakes debut album. This was one of the first forays into strictly classical music, that would later become a mainstay.
Between 2000 and 2008 Al arranged and produced seven albums for world renowned guitar soloist Zoe McCulloch. Three of his compositions made the albums, as well as a collaboration with Mason Williams on a new version of ‘Classical Gas’.
Al and Nigel Hart formed the Welsh Television Orchestra in 2005, to broaden the studio recordings onto the live stage. Principle artistes were Paul Child and Owen Money. For HTV and the BBC the WTO were part of 7 different TV series backing many artistes.
Around 2001, Al began a long and fruitful partnership with songwriter Paul Weston. Initially with Louise Ryan (Charlotte Church vocal coach), and then later with just Al as producer/arranger and Paul as songwriter. This would continue all the way to his untimely death in 2014, and culminate in the Weston/Steele co-write ‘My Desire’, a 12- minute epic for orchestra/rock band and vocal.
In 2005 Al and Shabbey Road Studios were commissioned to compose the music for the Modern Television production starring Griff Rhys Jones, ‘A Pembrokeshire Farm.. After a few radical reshapes the series was aired on the BBC in 2007.
Also for Modern television was Terry Jones and The Great Map Mystery. Featuring an innovative score, this was broadcast in 2008.
In 2011 Al produced and arranged Britains Got Talent star Jamie Pugh’s debut album ‘Bring Him Home’. all the arrangements were tailored to Jamie’s unique voice. To date Jamie has over 10 million hits for his BGT rendition of the title song.
Between 2011 and 2013 Al recorded and produced the now acclaimed Peter Karrie album (West End’s longest running Phantom, in ‘Phantom Of The Opera’) ‘Standing Alone’.
In 2012 Daniel & Laura Curtis booked into Shabbey Road Studios to record a couple of songs from the American Songbook, and also a song of their own. A small start that would develop into an incredible partnership.
Al has since arranged and produced for Daniel & Laura Curtis:
‘A Miner’s Song’ (featuring Aled Jones, Caroline Sheen, Dennis O'Neill, Ioan Gruffudd, Iris Williams, Jamie Pugh, John Owen Jones, Jonathan Pryce, JP Jones, Mark Llewelyn Evans, Paul Potts, Rebecca Evans, Sian Phillips, Wynne Evans. Michael Sheen, Pino Palladino, Joe Calzaghe and the late Richard Burton... among others!).
The debut album ‘Love on 42nd St’ (featuring Ramin Karimloo, Sierra Boggess, John Owen Jones, Lea Salonga, Sam Barks, Simon Bowman and Kasia Howley), which topped the Broadway and Vocal chart, in the US and the UK
The singles ‘When You Smile’ by Laura Osnes, and ‘Find The Best Of Me’ by Cheyenne Jackson.
In 2014 Al was Musical Director for ‘The Songs Of Daniel and Laura Curtis’ performed at The Royal Albert Hall. Here a connection was made with the amazing David Stanley from The Music Man Group. In support of Mencap the group will perform at The London Palladium with an orchestra and massed choirs, under the joint batons of Al and David. Al is currently writing scores for the 20 odd songs that will be performed on the night.
Sequencing ballet music for Elvis Costello
Composing, orchestrating and recording numerous TV themes
for both BBC and ITV
Orchestrating and recording CDís for sopranos Holly
Holyoakes and James Rhys Lawrence
Arranging and recording CDís for, amongst others, ...
Guitar soloist Zoe
Al also arranged all Zoeís band parts with which she has toured Germany and
Jamie Pugh's 'Bring Him Home' album.
Adam Robert Lewis
Daniel & Laura Curtis
Griff Rhys Jones
John Owen Jones
Kara Lily Hayworth
Mark Llewelyn Evans
National Orchestra of Wales
The Sounds Of The Supremes
Welsh Television Orchestra