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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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on 23 October 2014
One of the most seminal records of the '90s, "dog man star" is celebrating 20 years since its 1994 original release. Presented as an expansive multi-format super deluxe edition collector's box set, this is a lavish and fittingly extravagant anniversary album release. Not as comprehensive as one would expect, it features most of the tracks from the 2011 3-disc edition, omitting much that could have been included in order to make this a perfect 20th anniversary release (promo videos, tour footage, demos etc). That 2CD+DVD 2011 set remains the most complete. This new box set is clearly aimed at die-hard fans, being a high quality set, really well-put together, a fantastic collectible. I had originally ordered a copy from Suede's website because I wanted the limited to 500 copies only alternate orange cover edition, but was not lucky. By ordering from Suede's website, you also got an exclusive 12" vinyl of "Stay together". Except for these extras, both that edition and amazon's are identical, so, I am pleased. Dark, desperate, reclusive, claustrophobic, elegiac and romantic, this startling sophomore is a musical masterpiece. Though being Suede's second least commercially successful album (behind "A new morning"), it is widely considered as their finest work. As with previous Suede box sets, this is likely to sell out before you say Brettpop, so hurry up, you do not want to miss out on this!

List of contents:

- AUDIO BLU-RAY: High Fidelity Pure Audio blu-ray of album and B-Sides
- CD: 2 CDs in mini gatefold sleeve
- MC: a cassette of album with original inlay
- DVD: with July 2013 interviews with the band, 1994 Top of The Pops and The O Zone appearances, "Dog Man Star" tour films, and "Stay together" promo video
- LP: 12" singles of "We are the pigs" and "The wild ones", and a 7" reproduction of the NME flexi disc in original picture sleeve*
- BOOKS: a 60pp hardback book with notes by Brett Anderson, photos, handwritten lyrics, and ephemera; a 48pp sheet music book with 5 songs
- CARRIER BAG with exclusive design
- PRINT: an A2 poster with "Dog man star 20" artwork

* plus exclusive gatefold 12" single of "Stay together" when ordering from Suede's webstore
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on 8 May 2017
Very haunting and dark second album from Suede.. Takes a few listens but then the tracks grab you and will not let go .. !!
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on 18 March 2017
A masterpiece! I love this album!
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on 11 May 2015
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VINE VOICEon 15 July 2011
Having finally managed to absorb all five of these deluxe re-releases I can now review each of them.
There were probably only four major Britpop bands during the genre's mid 90's explosion, but dozens and dozens of lesser lights trailing in their wake (in this respect it was somewhat like punk); these four were Oasis, Blur, Pulp and Suede. Suede were the first of these, although it's perhaps an exaggeration to say that they invented the genre as it would have happened anyway. Blur and Oasis broke through within a few months of Suede's first album, whilst Pulp had been around in one form or another for many years predating all the others and had released some records, although they remained unknown until Britpop. However despite this Suede are acknowledged as the first Britpop band and for me they were always probably the most interesting of the big four. It cannot be denied however that they declined commercially extremely quickly and were superseded by Blur and especially by Oasis. Suede's Singles collection released in 2003 after the band had split didn't even make the top thirty (although I don't think Pulp's Greatest Hits released around the same time fared much better), whilst nowadays it's impossible to virtually give their albums away. I should know as no one seems to want to even offer 10p for the original releases of their final two albums which I have been trying to offload having bought these new editions.

Anyone with any interest in Suede will have heard the music on the original albums so it is perhaps sensible to concentrate mainly on the extra material included in these reissues. However before doing so I would make a few comments about the albums themselves. The first observation is that for me at least the final two albums released when Suede were in commercial decline are nowhere near as poor artistically as commonly thought. Both Head Music and A New Morning still hold up extremely well today and both feature many excellent tunes. Indeed Suede never really made a bad album which is probably more than can be said for the other three major Britpop bands. Having listened to all five albums again several times I would say that if one had to single out the weakest it might very well actually be the first one! Although this is more perhaps a case of overfamiliarity on my part. Suede's first three albums together with the B sides compilation Sci Fi Lullabies had all been released before I caught up with Britpop and I recall being slightly disappointed when I first bought Coming Up after the first two. However having listened to it again carefully it's actually a brilliant album and is almost certainly their most commercial, spawning as it did five hit singles.
Of course Suede's masterpiece is generally recognised to be their second album Dog Man Star. Having listened to it again several times this cannot be denied. Not only is it Suede's masterpiece and one of the five truly great Britpop albums (the others being Oasis's first two albums, Blur's Parklife and Pulp's Different Class) Dog Man Star is one of the greatest albums of any era. Songs such as The Wild Ones, Daddy's Speeding, The Power, The Asphalt World, and Still Life are as epic and moving as any songs released by anyone anywhere. Even had Bernard Butler stayed in the band it's doubtful they could have ever matched Dog Man Star and it's only compared to this epic masterpiece that their later music pales somewhat.

Moving on to the extra audio material included on these releases and most of this consists of B sides or demos. Most of the B sides from singles released from their first three albums were gathered up in 1997 on the double release Sci Fi Lullabies, and this excellent compilation reflected the high quality of Suede's B sides; the better ones such as My Insatiable One, The Living Dead, The Killing of A Flashboy and Europe Is Our Playground are as good as many of their album tracks, although if you already own Sci Fi Lullabies you will already have the best of these. The B sides of Head music and A New Morning do represent a drop in quality. Suede released three singles not on albums. The lengthy Stay Together, which attempts to be epic, but is actually my least favourite of their early singles, is included on Dog Man Star, whilst Attitude and Love The Way You Love are on A New Morning; all three were previously available on Singles anyway. So there is actually very little music that wasn't previously available; apart from the demos just a handful of tracks, none of which are that good, and the endless Eno version of Introducing The Band on Dog Man Star is a waste of space.
As I previously had all five albums together with Sci Fi Lullabies and the Singles collection for the three tracks unavailable elsewhere it was for the video material I mainly purchased these re-releases and I guess that would be the same for many Suede fans. And it is here I am afraid to say I am largely disappointed.
I had the Introducing The Band dvd which featured an excellent 1994 concert, or actually series of concerts edited to look like one, together with some promo videos. I sold the dvd thinking the concert would be duplicated on one of these discs, however it isn't and the concerts that do feature are worse video and audio quality.
The 1993 Sheffield Leadmill material is pretty awful in terms of both audio and video quality and doesn't make for repeated viewing. The slightly later Love and Poison from Brixton is far more professionally produced, but doesn't feel like a real concert as it is stylised with camera tricks (slow motion, etc) and intercut footage. As the concert develops the audio and visuals are out of synch, and all in all I found it unsatisfying. Moving on to Dog Man Star dvd and again the material is slightly disappointing with a so so electric performance and a short low key acoustic set both from different Paris venues. Coming Up features two more relatively short concerts - either Suede didn't play for that long in those days, or the entire concerts were never filmed, but none of the concerts last barely an hour. This time the London Roundhouse concert and yet another Paris performance are better audio and video quality. Head Music features a short concert filmed in front a fan club audience whilst A New Morning includes another rather low key performance from Singapore in front of a restrained audience and a short acoustic gig from Madrid.
Between them the five discs feature every Suede single promo video, together with a few extra promos. I have never been a great fan of promo videos, always preferring to see bands playing their material live, rather than miming and intercutting it often with sequences that have little to do with the music. However as promo videos go Suede, particularly early on, had some of the better ones, and I suppose they are nice to have. It does make Suede's other dvd Lost In TV now rather redundant.
Finally we come to the interviews. Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler are featured on Suede and Dog Man Star. However I can't comment on the Dog Man Star interview as owing to a production fault it won't play, despite my trying it in four different players. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this. The last three discs feature Anderson, Richard Oakes and Neil Codling. As expected Anderson dominated proceedings and for some reason Codling says little and looks rather uncomfortable throughout. Again they are nice to have and do feature some interesting comments on the music but once again you wouldn't play them more than a couple of times.

So there we have it, almost the entire history of Suede in five triple disc packages. When I first heard these discs were going to be realised I was quite excited thinking there would be lots of material I hadn't heard or seen from one of my favourite bands of the last few years. However I must admit I am a little disappointed now. If you already had the Suede cd's I had together with the Introducing the Band dvd then there isn't that much incentive to splash out once more on these discs. However if you're new to the band then you have a great treat in store.
And everyone should own a copy of the utterly brilliant Dog Man Star!
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VINE VOICEon 10 June 2011
Four or five years ago, there was minimal, if any, talk about Suede - they seemed to have slipped into Britpop's dustbin, despite having preceded said "movement" by a couple of years. Thank goodness, then, that they reformed and their fans have decided to remind themselves of how brilliant they actually were.
Like it or not, there were two Suedes and this release represents the peak of the first - an extraordinary, self-contained suite of darkly glamorous, dislocated torch songs for a post-everything universe. It's important to remind 2011 of exactly how ambitious and isolated Suede were in 1994 - against a backdrop of chirpy indie-pop and stadium-eyeing mundanity, they created an album so audibly crepuscular that the group's fracture was immediately understandable on the first listen. Brett Anderson's lyrics are amongst his best - whilst they are certainly dystopian and, in places, all too redolent of 4am substance psychosis (the creepy, immersive "Daddy's Speeding"), they are playful ("Introducing The Band") and truly soulful - "The Wild Ones" is so strikingly compassionate as to instantly render virtually all their supposed contemporaries hackneyed and lame. Bernard Butler's dilemma is laid particularly bare on this new edition - the previously unheard longer versions of "The Wild Ones" and "The Asphalt World" show him at his most indulgent and his most thrillingly expressive respectively. The fact that the dirty glam thrash of "This Hollywood Life" and the tragic, lonely piano ballad "The 2 of Us" sit side by side on this album is a perfect illustration of the scope and talent these writers possessed together. Throughout, Mat Osman's bass strikes the perfect balance between the melodic and the supportive and Simon Gilbert's bluesy, expressive drumming - the unsung delight of Suede's career as a whole - is deployed expertly.
At the time, this album felt strange due to the circumstances of its making and release - it was hard not to feel sorry for Richard Oakes, obliged to mime Butler's parts for television and written off almost instantly due to his youth. Within two years, Oakes would prove himself beyond even the most jaundiced argument but we'll deal with that separately. Today, "Dog Man Star" feels strange because it *is* strange - an exceptional, totally individual statement of incredible skill, vision and emotional weight. And now, you can have it with all its relevant satellite B-sides (as well as a slightly edited "Stay Together") and a useful DVD of single-camera live footage, gig projections and an only-slightly-awkward Butler/Anderson interview. A necessary archive document of a totally singular work.
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on 16 March 2014
Love vinyl and this is an excellent addition to my collection will keep looking for more new records as you are quite cheap
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on 7 June 2011
Suede - Dog Man Star (1994)
Deluxe 2cd/dvd set - June 2011 release review.

Now this may sound silly but to be honest I've not understood the allure of deluxe package before this. I was almost tempted with Pulp's His and Hers and Radiohead's Kid A, but nothing got me going quite as much as when I saw this 2CD/DVD set listed... my heart began to quicken.

This album means a lot to me... Dog Man Star was originally released on my 20th birthday in October 1994. I was a massive Suede fan, having adored their first album as a sixth form student, especially getting lost in the majestic playing of a certain guitarist named Bernard Butler.

Earlier in February 1994, as the charms of Boo Radleys much under appreciated Giant Steps was tempting me away, Suede released the stop gap single Stay Together (finally remastered and released here in almost all it's glory on Disc 2). I found this single just staggering. Being an undergraduate and a cassette man to boot it was the first CD single I ever bought to get the full length version of the single and the extra track (how many bands at the time were worth doing that for?). I taped it and proceeded to wear out my Sony Walkman listening to it. Many say Oasis are the b-sides band, but then these folk have never heard or understood Suede, who set the standard in the 90s. I spent many happy hours on the top deck of buses around Leicester listening with wonder to the guitar heaven of the last 4 minutes of Stay Together, an ingenious, crazed rock opera, or the delicate desperation and beauty of The Living Dead (lyrically along with Still Life Brett's finest moment), OR the soaring majesty of My Dark Star (how many guitarists bother to write a bloomin great solo for the 2nd b-side?). If a band can throw away music this good and not put it on the next album then they must be heading for the flipping moon. Here was a band with genuine white hot ambition. My love for them deepened... this was a band to die for.

So, when Dog Man Star finally arrived 8 months later I was almost beside myself with anticipation. Lord knows how I would have felt had Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler had actually Stayed Together. After hearing the news of the break up my enthusiasm was dampened. I started to wonder, like most Suede fans, what kind of album was going to emerge. But as another reviewer has already mentioned they did have a very good friend in the music press at the time and the NME started to hype the album's release, eloquently reigniting the fire, alongside a picture of a forlorn Brett, being propped up by a harp in a corn field, oooooh the drama of it all.

I was very lucky to be studying in Sweden at the time of release and when the bleak video for We Are The Pigs appeared on MTV Europe (slotted in alongside Parklife, Green Day's Basket Case and The Cranberries' Zombie!) it was a devilishly good sign... Again, how many bands have ever had the balls to release such a violent, unapologetically disturbing anthem as their first single from an album? Especially the follow up to a No. 1 selling debut? This is a dark s***-stained dream. Brett's opening lines say it all "Well the Church Bells are calling/Police cars on fire/And as they call you to the eye of the storm all the people say "stay at home tonight" followed by a sing-a-long chorus as black as "We are the pigs/We are the swine/We are the stars of the firing line" This is not bum slapping, cockney suggestions of gay sex... this is Clockwork Orange, Paris 1968, an Orwellian nightmare, football hooliganism, nasty sex, Lord of the Flies.... Erm, excuse me Brett... this is terrifying! Bernard wasn't slacking either, the music that man wrote to this day baffles and stuns me.

The album opens with the unnerving trio of Introducing The Band (which still shocks and wrong foots the listener more than ever), We Are the Pigs and the ice cold hypnotic swagger of Heroine. The scene is set, this is no ordinary record. The opening chords of The Wild Ones break the tension and in doing so define the album, despite living in an often hellish world, love can still conquer all. I owe them a debt of gratitude for the hope and joy The Wild Ones has given me over the years and THAT guitar! I swear as Brett wails the title at the climax of the chorus Bernard pulls out a ten story high riff that makes has guitar sound like the roar of a lion, something Ive never heard anyone do before or since.

The delights continue... the emotions swing across the map. New Generation is a blast of fresh air (and would stand out big time on most other records). The Asphalt World is a triumph, the artistry that Bernard put into that epic guitar work is just incredible, at one point you hear not just one but four stunning solos overlaying each other... this is music with 4 dimensions. Lyrically The Asphalt World is mind boggling too with a leather clad Brett enthusiastically delivering a particularly sordid tale of love and poison in the back of taxis in London. Anderson had fire in his belly on this record and indeed his intuition boded him well as he came up trumps again with a wonderfully carefree and sexy reinvention of himself on the entertaining Suede (pt II) follow up Coming Up.

The closing track Still Life is perhaps Brett's crowning glory, I don't know if it's intentional (or if Bernard had left by that point) but they drown out his guitar with lushious, fantastically/bombastically cheesy strings. It almost heads for Bonanza at one point but only after Brett has delivered the vocal performance of his life. It's an overblown, romping celebration of the ordinary and the everyday and it's what make Suede's lyrics and imagery so, so special. The tour film captures the mood perfectly with its reflective study of the minustia of life, on the surface all is still, quiet, unremarkable but underneath the skin there is a yearning so strong its almost unbearable. It's an unbeatable way to finish a record.

Producer Ed Buller does a fine job, despite being attacked at the time in interviews by a post Suede Bernard Butler, his influence over the sessions seems from the outside as a key reason for the split. Buller's use of atmospherics strengthen the sense of loneliness and desperation within Dog Man Star which at the time matched exactly the early fall into winter I was experiencing so far north in Scandinavia. I can still close my eyes and see the autumn leaves falling around me in the weakening sunlight to The 2 of Us, or feel the biting Arctic wind battering me in the face whilst riding when I hear This Hollywood Life. It was a welcome, deranged postcard from my home country.

There are moments on Dog Man Star where Buller (or maybe Anderson) frustratingly reduce the volume on Bernard Butler's guitar, particularly on the exceptional openings to The Wild Ones and The Asphalt World, causing me to often fiddle with the volume. I have always wondered whether this was to build the atmospherics in the songs or was it a direct response to the guitarist leaving the sessions?

This 2CD/DVD remaster is a very special package indeed for several reasons. To suddenly find in the last few days an original, completely different unedited 7 minute version of The Wild Ones that Bernard had originally intended is just fascinating, its a fabulous audio christmas present I forgot to open from 20 years ago. To hear new licks and attacks from what I regard my favourite ever guitarist after all these years is nothing short of exhilarating. Who knows what would have happened if the band had survived and supported his vision? The alternate versions, demos, unreleased tracks, a pile of great b-sides, home movie footage and pictures of the sessions, the interviews, video footage of live shows from Paris and new liner notes lovingly put together by Brett himself, make this the sort of deluxe reissue the album deserves. I caught myself this morning, sitting in my car having arrived at my destination listening again, in awe and wonder to the previously unavailable extended version of The Asphalt World. The tour films too are worth a mention, they effortlessly capture the spirit of the songs.

The interviews are, from this fan's viewpoint, fascinating. I'm glad they stuck to talking about the music and didn't use the interviews as a chance to finally set the record straight or settle an old score. Although neither of them talk directly about the split, there is a lot to be taken from these interviews which for me only adds to the myth and the legend surrounding the recording of such a masterpiece.

As a fan returning back to 2014 Im chuffed to see Bernard pick up his guitar again. I've thoroughly enjoyed his solo work (People Move On is a classic record), McAlmont & Butler (Disappointment, You Do match anything here) and despite the edge being rubbed away on the 2005 Anderson/Butler reunion record Here Come The Tears it's still a great listen. If Neil Young had given up putting out records at his age we'd have missed out on Freedom, Ragged Glory, Greendale and god forbid no Sleeps With Angels!!!

As the Mojo reviewer calls it `Barmy, in a good way' you do have to listen to this album with a forgiving heart and an open mind. If you take Dog Man Star on it's own terms then you're in for a treat. This music is the naked, sepia toned man from the cover, desperately yearning for something greater (and undefined) as the daylight gently fades. It is ultimately an unrestrained expression of tortured youth in all its wasted joys and burning sorrows, along with some of the greatest guitar work ever recorded. Oh rejoice! to hear it all over again.
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on 27 April 2004
One can only wonder what Suede would have go on to achieve if Anderson andButler had not fallen out. The debut and this spectral masterpiece of analbum could easily stand up to any bands first two albums ever, TheBeatles and The Smiths included. Dog Man Star is very much a winter album.Lyrically it is a very paranoid, reclusive piece. It is alleged that Brettlocked himself in his flat in the middle of nowhere with a mountain ofL.S.D. to write it. Bernard's guitar work is incredibly atmospheric anddense, particularly on the near-ten minute Asphalt World the final cut ofwhich upset him due to it's severe edit! God knows what the demos musthave sounded like. By a mile suede's finest album, it is an undeniablyEnglish work, Syd Barrett, Julian Cope, Kate Bush, and yes, Bowie and theSmiths are all in there somewhere. There are a few up beat glam-stompers,New Generation being the best up-beat number, but most of the set isdrug-addled and claustrophobic. Daddy's Speeding is the oddest track, afeedback entrenched eno-style piece about James Dean that eventuallycollapses under it's own weight. The opener Introducing the Band couldalmost be off Piper At The Gates Of Dawn and Heroine surely IS a DavidBowie song. The reason Dog Man Star is such a work of genius though, isthe last four tracks. Roughly 25 minutes of music that is so enormous thatif Brett and Bernard had stayed together, they would have probably landedon the moon. The 2 Of Us is a dark, sparse romantic ballad written about apossibly imaginary lover, Black or Blue is another drug track which couldbe out of a particularly creepy West End musical, The Asphalt World iscolossal and features Butler's best ever guitar work and closer Still Lifeis the last track because it simply can't be followed, so vast andglorious is the orchestral outro. So there you have one of the greatestever english songwriting teams, splitting up under the strain of their ownambition. Please buy Dog Man Star, it proves that Suede are arguably themost underated band of all time.
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on 17 July 2017
One of the best albums of the Nineties. A masterpiece which embarrasses the now-moribund genre of indie guitar rock.
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