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Singles Extra tracks
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Suede were one of the pioneering bands of the Britpop era, combining sex, glamour, style and seediness with unmistakeable pop hooks. Singles is their first best-of collection, gathering together era-defining tracks such as "Metal Mickey", "Animal Nitrate", "Trash" and "The Beautiful Ones", as well as the brand new single "Attitude".
As this greatest hits-style collection--unglamourously entitled Singles--serves to prove, Suede were fashionably wasted and seedily sexy wretches years before catwalk pundits had even coined the phrase "heroin chic". Irrefutably the first great British band of the 1990s (they were, somewhat unwisely, dubbed "the new Smiths"), Suede stepped out from the despondent, suffocating shadow of moping American grunge with a head full of Ziggy Stardust and a hedonistic agenda of urban escapism, casual intercourse, recreational chemistry thrills and the sort of shoestring decadence that still makes the likes of "So Young" ("Let's chase the dragon" shrieked Brett Anderson) and "Animal Nitrate" the musical equivalent of promenading in a fur coat purchased from a charity shop. It was almost too good to last.
The ironically titled "Stay Together" (why not the full eight minute version?) was more grandiose in design but the mysterious union between Brett Anderson and furry-toned guitar maestro Bernard Butler was on the rocks and their marriage dissolved over the choice of mixer for the classic Dog Man Star, herein represented by the anthemic "We Are the Pigs", "New Generation" and "The Wild Ones". Guitar-slinging Poole Grammar school pupil Richard Oakes stepped into the breach and Suede became even more complicit with the charts via such brazen glam-pop stompers as "Trash" and "Electricity". Lately, though, Brett Anderson sounds more like an observer of rather than a participant in the pharmaceutically-addled underbelly of back-street British suburbia. The two exclusive new songs are slightly underwhelming ("Love the Way You Love" sounds like a Phil Oakey comeback) but every dog has its day and Suede have, with every justification, already earned their place in history. --Kevin MaidmentSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
The album opens with the blistering, anthemic The Beautiful Ones, and follows with Animal Nitrate, for my money the best two tracks on the album. That's not to say that it goes downhill from there, but these are without doubt the standout tracks. The seedy, whining guitarwork, and gender-bending vocals on tracks such as The Drowners is a testament to the quality of Butler and Anderson as a lyrical and musical team.
The departure of Butler has led the band to explore new territory, writing less anthemic tunes, but still able to craft some fine music, as Everything Will Flow, and She's In Fashion prove. The Head Music album, indeed, was in my view chronically under-rated, the sound of a band who will probably never reach their peak of yore, but are still able to make accomplished music.
The album must surely appeal to anyone with a casual interest in the band, like myself, and the two songs will make it a worthy purchase for the more dedicated fans. Knowing and loving the bulk of the singles before I bought it, I'm well glad I spent my hard earned on it, and would encourage others to.
As I listened to these songs back-to-back, I realised what works of art they really are. Tracks such as 'Animal Nitrate' and 'Trash' are uplifting stories of people managing, through difficult circumstances, to gain their self-esteem. Slower songs such as 'The Wild Ones' and 'Saturday Night' are beautiful, slow and simple, and sang with so much emotion. This album has it all, but it's mostly catchy and lively, and a solid greatest hits package showcasing a highly creative and talented band. The booklet contains the CD artwork for each of the singles, with the lyrics printed underneath.
Complete or complement you're Britpop music collection, and add some Suede to it. These guys basically took David Bowie's early 70s' glam-rock, and updated it to reflect the emergence of 80s' bands like The Smiths.
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