Bernard Joseph Butler (born 1 May 1970, Stamford Hill, North London ) is an English people|English musician and record producer. He first emerged in the early Britpop era with Suede (band)|Suede. He has been hailed by some critics as the greatest guitarist of his generation, "Bernard Butler biography". Allmusic as well as one of Britain's most original and influential guitarists. . BBC News. 18 February 2009 He was voted the 24th greatest guitarist of the last 30 years in a national 2010 BBC poll. . BBC. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
He first achieved fame in 1992 as the guitarist with Suede (band)|Suede, forging a songwriting partnership with Brett Anderson, at the time an instant phenomenon in UK pop music. He co-wrote and played guitars on every track until 1994, when he exited Suede, leaving behind the Mercury Music Prize winning debut Suede (album)|Suede, as well as the follow-up Dog Man Star .
In 1994 Butler formed the duo McAlmont and Butler with David McAlmont. They released two singles, " Yes (McAlmont and Butler song)|Yes " and " You Do ". A compilation album, The Sound of McAlmont and Butler, was released after the split. He went on to release two solo albums under his own name, People Move On and Friends and Lovers (album)|Friends and Lovers on Creation Records yielding the hit single " Stay (Bernard Butler song)|Stay ". In 2001 Butler teamed up with McAlmont for a second McAlmont and Butler album, Bring It Back (McAlmont and Butler album)|Bring it Back, touring the UK with two singles, "Falling" and "Bring it Back".
In 2004 Butler healed his rift with former Suede singer Brett Anderson, forming a new band, The Tears. The Tears released their debut Gramophone record|LP, Here Come The Tears, produced by Butler, in June 2005. Singles include " Refugees (song)|Refugees ", which reached #9 in the UK Singles Chart, and " Lovers (song)|Lovers ".
In 2005 he was introduced to Welsh singer Duffy (singer)|Duffy contributing to her five million selling debut Rockferry which was nominated for three Grammy Award s. Butler contributed the title track as well as "Syrup & Honey" which was used in a worldwide Nivea advertisement campaign, produced "Please Stay" for "Telstar - The Movie" and co wrote "Smoke Without Fire", to be used in the 2009 film, An Education . They also produced a cover version of Wings (band)|Wings "Live & Let Die" for the 2009 War Child (charity)|Warchild album at Paul McCartney|Sir Paul McCartney 's request. In 2009 Butler has produced the music for the Diet Coke television advertisement featuring Duffy, as well as a cover of the "Stay With Me Baby" for the Richard Curtis film The Boat That Rocked . The pair continue to collaborate.
He has played on and/or produced records by Aimee Mann, Edwyn Collins, Neneh Cherry, Tim Booth (of James (band)|James ), Duffy (Singer)|Duffy, Eddi Reader, Hopper, Roy Orbison, Bert Jansch, The Libertines, Heather Nova, Mark Owen, The Veils, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, The Cribs, Pretenders (band)|Pretenders, The On-Off's, 1990s (band)|1990s, The Mescalitas, Cut Off Your Hands, Cajun Dance Party, The View (band)|The View, Arkitekt, Sons and Daughters (band)|Sons and Daughters, Black Kids, Tricky, Sharleen Spiteri, Nerina Pallot and Natalie McCool. He created the soundtrack to the 1997 film The James Gang and played on the soundtrack of Velvet Goldmine, alongside Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead. He has played live with The Cranberries, Sparks (band)|Sparks, Paul Weller (singer)|Paul Weller, Teenage Fanclub, Manic Street Preachers, and Duke Special.
Butler names former the Smiths|Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr as his major inspiration. He started learning to play guitar after hearing Marr and was able to play all Smiths songs by ear. . The Guardian . 25 August 2006 He is often seen performing with a 1961 cherry red Gibson ES-355|Gibson ES-355 TD SV (Stereo Varitone) with a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece.
Butler is managed by Rough Trade Records|Rough Trade 's Geoff Travis and Jeanette Lee (musician)|Jeannette Lee.
Butler won the Producer's Award at the 2009 BRIT Awards, Producer Of The Year at the 2008 Music Managers Forum Awards, and was nominated for Best Producer at the 2009 Music Week Awards.
In 2009 Butler co-wrote/produced/played on tracks by The Veils, Tommy Reilly, Jonathan Jeremiah, Duffy, Kate Jackson (singer)|Kate Jackson, Catherine A.D. He completed Kate Nash's second album My Best Friend Is You at his own "355" Studios.
In 2010 Butler worked concurrently with Nerina Pallot, Fyfe Dangerfield, Noisettes, Slow Club, Gabrielle, Howling Bells, The Veils, Simon Dine, as well as the new artists Jodie Marie, Vince, Daley, Summer Camp, Joe Worricker and Scott McFarnon. He switches between co-writing, producing and performing and sometimes all three on any of these works.