With this, their 1993 debut album, Luke Haines and his band released the best British album of the Nineties and, with 'Showgirl', the coolest opening song on any album. The lack of a hit single with a sing-along chorus on this or any of their subsequent albums meant that at the height of Britpop the best band with the best songs were outsiders looking in on the party they helped to get started. With razor-sharp lyrics and a pared-down Marc Bolan Glam influence, this is a confident and intelligent album.
This two disc Expanded Edition features 22 extra recordings and clocks in at 107 minutes. Disc 1 comprises the original album plus six B-Sides and, just to clarify, the track list for Disc 2 is as follows:
1. Housebreaker (Acoustic) (A-Side - Rough Trade Singles Club 7" Feb 1993)
2. Valet Parking (Acoustic) (B-Side - Rough Trade Singles Club 7" Feb 1993)
3. Starstruck (Acoustic) (Recorded Live, Paris 22 Feb 1993)
4. Junk Shop Clothes (Acoustic) (Recorded Live, Paris 22 Feb 1993)
5. Housebreaker (Acoustic) (Recorded Live, Paris 22 Feb 1993)
6. Home Again (Acoustic) (Recorded Live, Paris 22 Feb 1993)
7. New French Girlfriend (BBC Radio Session 2 Feb 1993)
8. Government Bookstore (BBC Radio Session 2 Feb 1993)
9. How Could I Be Wrong (BBC Radio Session 2 Feb 1993)
10. Junk Shop Clothes (BBC Radio Session 2 Feb 1993)
11. Bailed Out (4 Track Demo)
12. American Guitars (4 Track Demo)
13. Showgirl (4 Track Demo)
14. Glad To Be Gone (4 Track Demo)
15. Starstruck (4 Track Demo)
16. Early Years (4 Track Demo)
The best songs on the second disc are the 4 track demos that got the band signed to Hut Records and booked as the support act for Suede. Unexpectedly rough, they are more or less unchanged from the songs that appeared on the album, just more primitive sounding. The radio sessions and the four tracks recorded live in Paris highlight that they were more than competent live and none of the B-sides would have sounded out of place on the original album. It's not been remastered and I don't think it needed to be.
Housed in a basic double gatefold cardboard sleeve, Luke Haines has penned some (surprisingly) pleasant sleeve notes about the period the album was recorded and on a couple of occasions he speaks very highly of Suede without the slightest hint of sarcasm or cynicism, unlike in his book 'Bad Vibes'. He does clarify that the book was written in the present tense for the period it covered and for these notes "hindsight has been applied".
If you missed this album first time around, I wholeheartedly recommend it and if you already own it, this is a worthwhile investment for the extra tracks. Haines' Baader Meinhof concept album from 1996 has also been reissued by 3 Loop Music.
on 14 July 2014
The first & in my opinion best Auteurs album from oh god was it that many years ago , anyway this stunning album has been a constant companion down the years , no filler here just great music from a criminally underrated songwriter , the new expanded package is a welcome collecting up of demos , b-sides , live tracks from that period , you know the score with these things & they all sound great , utterly essential in my book.