David “Shuffle” Steele is an English musician who was a member of The Beat and Fine Young Cannibals.
He was born in Cowes, Isle of Wight.
From 1978 to 1983, Steele was bassist in the 2 Tone ska revival band, The Beat, (known in the United States as The English Beat). After Ranking Roger and Dave Wakeling left The Beat to form General Public, Steele and guitarist Andy Cox recruited singer Roland Gift to form Fine Young Cannibals, whose career lasted into the early 1990s. In 1988, while FYC were on hiatus, Cox and Steele released the instrumental house music single, “Tired of Getting Pushed Around”, under the name of Two Men, A Drum Machine and A Trumpet. It reached #18 in the UK Singles Chart.
Steele’s bass lines in The Beat, took the Jamaican style of ska and added a harder, punk rock-influenced style. The Beat song, “Mirror in the Bathroom”, is largely built on top of the driving, eighth-note bass line that runs through the entire song. Fine Young Cannibals had a more soulful, and sometimes electronic sound, and Steele’s bass lines were less prominent in the outfit.
Steele has co-written songs for both The Beat and Fine Young Cannibals, most notably “She Drives Me Crazy“, “Good Thing” and “I’m Not the Man I Used to Be“.
After the end of his work with Fine Young Cannibals, Steele went on to play a variety of other roles in the music industry. He produced Gabrielle’s album Find Your Way, which reached # 8 in the UK Albums Chart in 1993, as well as the soundtrack to the movie The Truth About Cats & Dogs in 1996. He has appeared on more than two dozen other albums, most commonly as a backing vocalist, but also as a guitarist, drummer and mixer.
In summer 2004, he released the album Fried, on which he collaborated with the New Orleans vocalist, Jonte Short. The album was a mix of soul, funk, and R&B. Fried signed to SonyBMG and their second album, Things Change, was released in 2007.
Steele spent some time living in the French Quarter of New Orleans, but now resides in London.