Suede - Singles

Bill Cummings 20/10/2003

Rating: 4/5

Suede emerged to a flurry of press in the early nineties replete with their own “cellophane sounds” name checking everyone from JG Ballard, to the Smiths and David Bowie. Brett Anderson obsession with the low rent glamour of suburbia was welded to some of the most expansive guitar work of the decade from Bernard Butler. In those early years Suede were glorious and imperious, they were one of the best song-writing partnerships to emerge since Morrissey and Marr themselves. This collection highlights that early period, from the sublime suburban glam of “Metal Mickey” to the sexual baiting of “Animal Nitrate” with its repeated refrain of “What does it take to turn you on?” Ballads are also here the heart-stopping and beautiful “The Wild Ones” being a highlight. The zenith of the Butler Anderson songwriting partnership comes on the skyscrapingly brilliant “Stay together” with its whirling guitar solos and Anderson's majestic vocal.

Butler's departure left a very different band to remerge in the Britpop years, streamlined and slimmed down(Richard Oake's now on guitar's) Suede were now stripped of their mystique, but producing glam pop for the easy to use generation. The highlight of this period was the gloriously anthemic “Trash” with its communally identifying chorus line of “We're trash you and me / We're the lovers on the streets the litter on the breeze” in many ways this is Suede's Heroe's the ultimate statement of hope through struggle.

Head Music's singles were characterised by an increasingly electronic palette from the excellent “Electricity” to the beautiful shuffle of “ Everything will flow.” Unfortunately recently this new suede sound came at a price in many places their lyrics became lazy on tracks like “positivity” with its rhyming dictionary verses and self parodying chorus. Of the two “new tracks” Attitude stands out sounding, as it does like a clipped Sneaker Pimps fronted by Mr David Bowie.

So this singles collection covers, each section of the career of Suede whilst maybe pointing the way for the future. Overall this is a insatiable collection of killer singles that shows the best of one of Britain's truly great bands.