Street Sounds was conceived from the need to expose and make available the latest, most upfront music from the streets of America to UK and European audiences. The concept was born from Morgan Khan's love of music as a fan and from his own frustration of not being able to get hold of certain tracks because they were either US imports, that cost up to 10 times that of a UK 12 inch single, or album AND that’s if you could even find the import.
Let us not forget that the majority of record shops in the early 80's, where ‘Mama and Papa’ type shops, which were totally oblivious to the new music being listened to by a new generation. Also, until the birth of Street Sounds the perception of compilation albums were ‘Ktel’ type albums, featuring mainstream pop hits, or cover versions, sometimes so butchered in length, to fit as many tracks as possible on each album.
Street Sounds is the 'godfather' of the modern compilation album and its format became the template for the labels that came later. The concept of each album; to literally represent the sound of the moment; full length versions and the highest quality.
The compilation albums and tracks released by Street Sounds have directly influenced and defined hundreds of thousands of people’s lives and have also been substantially responsible for today’s mainstream and street music culture. Street Sounds has been accredited by numerous journalists and DJs, including Paul Gambaccini, Bob Kilbourn and James Hamilton as pioneering Electro, Hip Hop and House in the UK. Numerous publications and other media have documented the importance of Street Sounds to popular culture.
The reason for the colossal success of the Street Sounds albums was having tracks which were just coming on import, or were still only available as promotional records to the few key DJs, or having just been UK released, or tracks hard to get hold of in there full-length version. Numerous tracks featured on the Street Sounds albums were never even were released as singles in the UK, or Europe. Street Sounds, or more precisely its sister label STREETWAVE were responsible for giving exposure to many artist, that would never have broken in Europe. One of these was Cheryl Lynn and her track “Encore”, which CBS records had decided not to release and thank God, Streetwave did, with major commercial success!
Why there is such collective respect, support and love for Street Sounds? The reasons include, our heritage, the fact that we have our finger on the pulse of street music, made buying hot and expensive in demand American imports affordable & widely available for many people and we became the ‘sound of the street’. Street Sounds is far more than just a record label and its distinctive yellow and black logo. Street Sounds is for many people a passage/journey from youth to adulthood, a way of life that helped shape their identity, that opened a new world of music and culture.
We are extremely proud of our heritage, pedigree and the respect that we have established with our audience, we like to call the Street Sounds family and the media.