on 7 November 2010
Suede were a band much like The Smiths in that there isn't this mix of good and bad songs - there were no bad songs. Period. I hate the term "Britpop" as much as Suede does because most of the bands with that moniker had a few hits and could be forgotten. Suede were original and legendary. Let's begin with the original genius of the band: Bernard Butler. When I first saw Suede in 1993, I was steps away from Bernard and he opened the show by banging out "The Next Life" on the piano while Brett's voice hauntingly echoed through the old Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. It's a pleasure that that song is included here. The music of Suede's finest crafted masterpieces were penned by Bernard Butler and this 2-CD compilation favors the Butler-penned songs more than the others. This is also a bonus.
Brett Anderson was a unique person. Very eccentric and artsy. With each album, his lyrics diminished in quality, but his voice was always wonderful. The first song I heard of Suede's was a track called "My Insatiable One", which I was turned onto when Morrissey covered it on his "Kill Uncle Tour". It was perfect in that it was inspired by one of my favorite old songs: "The Bewlay Brothers" on David Bowie's gem HUNKY DORY. Brett never really said this, and many may disagree, but when Bowie hits the highs in that song, it's quite similar. That masterpiece is also included here.
Richard Oakes was a competent replacement for Bernard Butler. How could anyone say that there was a huge drop-off in quality when you hear tracks like "Saturday Night" and "The Beautiful Ones" and "Trash"? All three of those excellent tracks are also included here. What was missing from Richard Oakes was the live performance. Bernard Butler was INSANE on stage. You couldn't catch a fleeting glimpse of his face at any point of the show as his long hair shook out of control. He was passionate, excited, and just simply went nuts. I later saw Jonny Greenwood copy this exact style, but Bernard did it first.
Matt's bass was rich and wonderful, as showcased here on "Europe In Our Playground", and Simon was a great drummer. Nothing bad you can say about his skills, as showcased on "She", also included here. You get the best singles, and there's nothing that you'd skip over like "Love The Way You Love", off SINGLES. I was actually pleased that track was left off.
I appreciate that the second disc includes non-singles and b-sides - because, as ANY real Suede fan knows, these tracks were often better than the singles! I love having "My Insatiable One" and "The Living Dead" and "The Next Life" all brilliantly remastered. All Bernard Butler tracks, all absolutely perfect.
I am such a big fan that I am going to get a bit nitpicky for a second here. I wish first that they'd have gone with the original version of "Europe In Our Playground" from the TRASH Single versus the version off "Sci-Fi Lullabies". It's a bit more organic and grandiose at the same time. I also would have opted for the original album version of "We Are The Pigs". The thing with "We Are the Pigs" is, it had that EPIC, EPIC ending! "..We'll watch them, we'll watch them, we'll watch them burn..." - which was completely hacked off of the single version included here. That song is really missing something without the epic ending, though it still features some of Bernard's best guitar work ever. Finally, I wish there would have been room for "Moving" and "This Time". Those missing makes me long for re-issues of all of the albums remastered, with a second disc of b-sides. I'm sure those album re-releases would spark a bunch of Amazon reviews by cheapos whining "I already have all of these songs", but the remastering reinvigorates these songs - giving them new life - and Suede deserve this treatment.
Nitpicking aside, this is one of the finest compilations ever, Unlike most of these "Hits" releases that focus on newer tracks and that add a throwaway new single, this compilation sharply focuses on Suede in their prime, nearly ignoring the substandard "New Morning" album. That album was ok because it was still Suede, but songs from that record don't really tell the story of Suede, nor do they capture them in their prime. Every track here is a gem and their less popular songs usually trump other bands' best singles. Brett and the band hand selected these tracks and they were nicely remastered. This isn't one to miss.
I bought this CD and, like many others no doubt, I bought it having owned the tracks for many years on previous album releases. So "Why bother?" you may ask!
Well, there are two reasons really. Firstly, I have an ongoing sense of loyalty to the band for the unspeakable pleasure their first two albums gave me. Secondly, the tracks on this CD have been remastered which is always a purchase incentive for any pre-millennium recordings
There are 35 tracks on this album. 30 of them are great and at least 10 of the 30 are perfect! Look no further than `Pantomime Horse' for a song so perfectly and beautifully structured it leaves you breathless. Want a dirty Ziggy/T.Rex crunching glam riff then `Flashboy' ticks the right boxes. Epic grandeur? You will find it on `Still Life', a song so gorgeously orchestrated it never fails to give me goose bumps! And if your eyes don't moisten when you hear `The Next Life' then you don't have any eyes. Most of these songs deserve plaudits, personaly I'd like their DNA injected into all aspiring musicians in the vain hope that we may see their like again. One can but dream!
Like The Smiths Suede have not been served at all well by their record company. Where are the sumptuous remastered album releases with additional discs of demos or live recordings? Why should bands of this stature and importance be limited to a smattering of remastered tracks when far less worthy outfits receive the `deluxe' treatment? On the evidence of these remasters, crisp with clarity, the Suede back catalogue is ripe for revisitation.
So buy this release because, new to suede or not, it will truly enrich your life. At the very least these songs will make you yearn for a time when young men singing popular tunes were prone to wear their mother's blouses and unambiguously promote sex and violence on a caravan site! Superb.
on 10 February 2011
I quite liked Suede back in the day, but never bought any of their albums & so wasn't overly familiar with their work - not exactly a fan! However, upon seeing this CD collection & recollecting how good a couple of the better known songs were, I decided to order a copy & I'm very pleased I did. This is a really good collection, featuring consistently high quality material. I thoroughly enjoyed my first listen & I'm already looking forward to becoming much more familiar with all of the tracks. A rare 'Best of -' that can be thoroughly recommended. Superb!
on 27 January 2011
I liked Suede "back in the day" but never quite appreciated how good they were. This first disc transported me back to listening to their dark, sexy indie/britpop as a teenager. Songs like Metal Mickey, Animal Nitrate and Trash sound just as good as they did then. The second disc has a good smattering of gems that I missed first time round.
The Best of Suede is probably one of the very few best ofs, that I have bought, that really deserves the title. It's all good.
on 23 December 2010
always thought Suede were the first and best brit pop band. Sound better than ever 19(!) years on.
This is a great introduction for the unconverted, especially 2nd disc that throws in all those B side gems (Insatiable One, Europe Is Our Playground,,etc) and the lost album tracks (especially The Asphalt World).
Cheap as chips now as well
on 24 April 2013
If we go back to the early 90's when I, like Suede were in our prime, had I got round to purchasing Dog Man Star it could well have been a very special relationship. However, as much as I liked Suede's hits at the time, I failed to keep a tab on all that was happening musically at that time, with Suede possibly being the biggest to slip the net. Now that I'm in my forties and I can afford to indulge myself on new or replacement cd's, I am thoroughly glad to have bought this best-of compilation. Not for those really catchy tunes that became the hits for Suede I hasten to add, but for disc 2 of this compilation which consists of B sides to those singles as well as one or two rarities. May I be so bold as to say that I actually prefer disc 2, without wishing to offend any of Suede's very loyal followers. Please dont get me wrong, the hit songs are great and for me a wonderful trip down memory lane, but hearing all these b sides for the first time gives Suede a greater depth which I was previously unaware of. A very solid double cd compilation and perhaps this time around I can actually appreciate them in "real time"!
Ah, Suede. How you were loved, then forgotten at the time. On the heels of their immensely successful reunion show in March, Suede reclaim the ground from alleged contemporaries - Blur, Oasis - who recently have also set stall with Best Of's recently. Seven years makes people forget how amazing this band were at their peak. A passionate, powerful, and thrilling pop group : who can forget the opening chords of "Animal Nitrate", "Metal Mickey", "Trash", and not feel... that sense of joy? All of them are here, remastered, sparkling and burning with previously buried backing vocals and guitar overdubs presented in a pristine, immaculate condition for your listening pleasure.
Having long been regarded, unjustly, as the ugly pups of their era, Suede were, and are, the only of their contemporaries not to be rehabilitated into the view of being cool. Until recently, the band were almost verboten, their body of work overlooked, and the sad, slow slide into obselence on record that peppered their final years becoming their final epitah. They grab you by the scruff of the neck, and remind you why they were so loved. Not everyone liked them, but then again, who wants to be liked by everyone?
Despite an absence of material from the latter years which undersells their final incarnation, Suede take themselves back from the sneering public image and belittling snide comments. Remembering that for some people, these songs aren't embarrassing memories, but lifelines and long lost friends that took the edge off the bad days, the bad years, the decades of dirt.
But this - when the music starts and the adrenaline rushes - it's Suede as good as, no, better, than ever. Time and years may have corrupted us, but this music reaches to our souls that are as pure as they were then. Songs like "This Hollywood Life" and "Killing of A Flashboy" are songs that stand head and shoulders above their alleged contemporaries, who were busy peddling sludge about binmen and Beatles pastiches. These songs, all of them are taut, tight set of firey, passionate dispatches from the frontline of adolescence, sound better than ever.
Lyrically some of these songs have dated, and it's impossible for them not to : the riproaring rush of "Animal Nitrate" makes reference to being `over 21', instantly placing the song to the dark years before the age of consent was equalised.Others, with refences to Factory Lines and other cultural signifiers seem from another age where the world was made very differently, where Britain still has a manufacturing industry and a society structure that has been, to all intents and purposes, dismantled by technology and finance. Even "Film Star", a formulaic stomp that, like all good Suede songs melds a sophisticated interpretation of indie-glam and intelligent, heartfelt wordplay roars like a beast ; one that predates Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" by over a decade.
Like all great artists, and all great bands, whilst there might be nothing but old material, this stuff still sounds relevant, still sounds now, for it connects with what it meants to be human, what it means to be alive, and sometimes, the core parts of that do not change, with love, hope, and the sense of bristling injustice that the world we live in often sells short our potential, and our beauty. A lyric like "I'm 18, and I need my heroine" seems desperately trite on the page, but when combined with the fierce music, it becomes the sound of a world we all remember, the raw, primal need of youth for acceptance and love. That, or a boatload of naughty druqs.
Suede were a great band out of step with the rest of the world, and that when the hype and bluster, fog, smoke and gasoline clears, what is left is silly, great songs about this silly, great thing called life we're all part of wether we like it or not. Fall in love all over again, for falling in love is easy, it's the staying there that counts.
on 4 January 2015
WOW! This is a stunning two disc compilation of Suede in their prime (1992-2002). Running over two discs there are 35 cracking songs, all superbly remastered. This equates to over two and a half hours of classic singles, fab album tracks and killer B-sides. This is easily the best, and most expansive, Suede collection available.
Fully endorsed by Suede, and compiled by lead singer/songwriter Brett Anderson, the tracks are extremely well chosen. The group's first two legendary records, "Suede" and "Dog Man Star", are very well represented with respectively seven and eight songs apiece. From "Coming Up" there are six tunes, from "Head Music" four and finally from "A New Morning" there's just one.
Disc one is crammed (almost) full with 18 classic Suede singles. The excellent non-album release "Stay Together" is included. It omits only two singles. One of these isn't missed - the below par "Positivity" from their underwhelming "A New Morning" album. The other one, the sleazy "Attitude", an underrated single recorded for the previous 2003 compilation "Singles", also failed to make the cut. It should, arguably, have been included, especially as there was room on the first disc (only 73 minutes long, compared to disc two's 78 minutes).
On to disc two; if you're not a Suede obsessive, this will come as a REVELATION! These generous 17 tunes comprise some of their lesser known, but most breathtaking songs. Incredibly these were often hidden away as album tracks, or on B-sides. Check out, to pick just three, the stomping "She" (from the invigorating third record "Coming Up"), the epic "The Asphalt World" (from Suede's masterpiece "Dog Man Star") or the glam-tastic "Killing Of A Flash Boy" (flip side to the magnificently intense "We Are The Pigs").
To sum up; "The Best Of Suede" is a truly fantastic and essential addition to your music library. I recommend you purchase this over "Singles". This collection is faultless - you won't hit the "skip" button once. If new to Suede, after hearing this, I'd urge you to then proceed to the debut album and work your way chronologically forward from there. INDISPENSABLE: BUY IT!
on 2 January 2013
Quality never runs out of style: Here we have at last the most wonderful songs Suede has ever recorded and the tag "best of" matches well, bringing together singles, album tracks alongside b-sides that were previously issued on the "Sci Fi Lullabies" double album. As an old fan who owns all their albums it's always questionable to purchase compilations of this sort (I personally don't care much about the re-mastering hysteria among audiophiles). In case you already own Suede's major albums, the single "Stay together" and the b-sides double album I wouldn't recommend buying this one. If you are new to Suede I'd suggest listening to "Heroine" (from Dog man star), "Animal nitrate" (from their brilliant debut) and "Trash" from their second release in order to catch a glimpse of their musical genius. All in all this is a perfect round up purchase, in my eyes miles better than the "Singles" compilation from 2003 bringing back lots of memories from the British pop movement of the 1990s.
on 1 November 2010
my all time favourite band suede,at long last release a best of that includes ,album tracks,b sides and all bar one of their stunning singles.this is a great starting point for any new fans of the band and after buying this should really purchase the self titled debut ,the masterpiece that is 'dogmanstar' ,the glam-tastic 'coming up' and the b-sides collection sci fi lullabies which has some of their greatest songs.all essential.the last two albums ,'head music' and 'a new morning ' are patchy ,but do have a few decent tracks.