|The Best of Suede But Not the Last: Rarities and Unreleased Material Found|
|Written by DJ Space|
|Wednesday, 13 October 2010 23:00|
When Suede releases The Best of Suede on November 1, the album will not be its last. As reports of the 90's Britpop group working on new material and of a new record deal with Warner Music Group remain unconfirmed, a spokesperson revealed that the band has "found some rarities and unreleased material."
In response to fans' questions on Suede's website, the official said that the songs found are "just not right for this [The Best of Suede] release" and that "perhaps they will get an outing at some point."
"I can confirm that there is not a bonus disc available," she added later in the thread. The double album will also be available as a download, with a bonus filmed interview included through iTunes featuring founders Brett Anderson and Mat Osman.
Taking its name from Morrissey's "Suedehead" single and officially known as the London Suede in the United States, British music weekly Melody Maker called the group "the best new band in Britain" in 1992 - before they had released even a single. Suede "have it in them to be just about the most extraordinary, intelligent and potentially enormous guitar band this country has seen in a decade," Q Magazine said.
The following year the band's self-titled, first album, Suede topped the UK's charts and became the fastest-selling debut album in almost ten years, turning gold on its second day and winning the Mercury Prize. "Suede have had more hype than anybody since the Smiths, or possibly even the Sex Pistols," William Leith reported in The Sunday Independent. "As Select magazine put it: 'Never mind the bollocks. Here's Suede.'" In ten short months since the release of their debut single, "The Drowners," Suede had "snared the imagination of a certain type of rock fan - the sort of people who latch on to thin, angst-ridden white boys, the caste who worshipped the Smiths in the Eighties and David Bowie in the Seventies." Curiously, none of the band's albums ever charted on the American Billboard 200.
The two CD compilation features versions of selected singles, B-sides, and album tracks, remastered by British music engineer and producer, Chris Potter, best known for his work with Richard Ashcroft and The Verve.
Earlier this year, British tabloid, The Sun screamed, "SUEDE will be back with an arena show later in the year - and a new record deal." In sensational style, the newspaper claimed, "A source said: 'There's an offer on the table and now Suede have to decide whether to go for it.'" Whether the group will work on new material together is still unconfirmed.
The "rarities and unreleased material" were discovered by the band "in remastering" and, as is the current trend, "at some point" it is conceivable that these may be included in future re-releases of the original 90's albums.
Announcing the release of The Best of Suede, the group's site hails the new collection as the "definitive Best Of album" and "the only Suede hits compilation that has been fully endorsed by the band." Containing no live, demo, or previously unreleased tracks, the remastered double disc album is clearly aimed at a wider audience than the band's original fanbase. It is not a chronological anthology. Similar to Britpop rivals Blur's release when they reformed in 2009 (Midlife: A Beginner's Guide to Blur), the album serves as a comprehensive introduction to Suede for new listeners. It should also satisfy anyone curious to know how the band wanted the early tracks to sound.
Predictably, the first disc is comprised of the band's singles. The second contains popular tracks from B-sides and albums, with particular emphasis on the early Anderson and Butler songwriting partnership which is generally considered to have produced a plethora of potential singles. "When Bernard Butler departed Suede in 1994, he left a band at the peak of their preposterously early fame, with two extraordinary albums and some of the greatest B sides ever written as a legacy," Jaime Gill wrote in 2005 for BBC Music Review.
"Brett [Anderson] selected the tracks with the band and has chosen the artwork and designed the cd booklet with [photographer] Paul Khera," the forum moderator confirmed.
She admitted that the "tracklisting proved to be a very difficult task, limited by the number of tracks you can physically fit onto a CD and the amount of great songs to choose from."
"Vinyl was discussed, but would have needed 8 sides to fit all and would have been hugely expensive to produce," she added.
In a review of the band's charity reunion concert at London's Royal Albert Hall in March, Simon Price of The Sunday Independent reflected, "Brett Anderson emerged as a Byron of suburban ennui, a small-town romantic with a distinctive lexicon of nuclear skies and council homes, and Suede came to embody an entire lifestyle, figureheads for a generation of young, sexually ambiguous hedonists as celebrated and mythologised in such subcultural anthems as "Trash" and "The Beautiful Ones"."
Last month, Anderson told Q Radio that he had been in the studio earlier remastering tracks with Butler. "Both Brett and Bernard [Butler] were involved in the remastering of the tracks with Chris Potter," the site moderator affirmed.
Butler was famously dissatisfied with Ed Buller's production of Suede's second album, Dog Man Star. In a 2005 interview with Alexis Petridis of The Guardian, Butler said, "When I look back at Dog Man Star, I don't regret for a moment that I didn't compromise about it." Butler continued, "I still say to this day that the producer made a terrible shoddy job of it."
"The early tracks sound much better and ultimately this is a release that the band is happy with," the moderator confirmed in a thread about the band's new collection. "Sony were not involved at all in this release as they no longer have any rights whatsoever in the band," she added. "The band own their catalogue of songs."
Twenty-two of the thirty-five tracks included in the new anthology were written by the Anderson and Butler partnership. "When Bernard Butler departed Suede in 1994... This was British pop's biggest loss since Morrissey and Marr split," Jaime Gill continued in his article. "Their songwriting partnership was talked of in the same breath as Morrissey and Marr," confirmed Alexis Petridis.
The new compilation also features seven tracks from the 1996 Coming Up album but only one track from the 2002 release A New Morning, Suede's final album before it disbanded in 2003.
Suede were formed in 1989 in London by bassist Mat Osman, singer Brett Anderson, and Justine Frischmann on rhythm guitar. Best known as founder and lead singer of Elastica, Frischmann was dating Anderson at the time. Guitarist Bernard Butler, "whose contributions to Suede’s first album earned him comparisons with The Smiths’ Johnny Marr" (Mark Edwards, Times Online, 2003), was recruited through an advertisement in Melody Maker. John Harris's Britpop history, The Last Party depicted Anderson and Butler as "inseparable friends during Suede's early years" (Alexis Petridis). The book "depicts them dressing identically and smoking the same brand of perfumed cigarettes."
"They are most often compared to the Smiths, the now-defunct British group whose lead singer Morrissey is already a fan," Neil Davidson reported in Jam! Showbiz Music following the debut album's 1993 release in Canada. "After attending a Suede concert, he promptly incorporated one of the band's songs into his own set."
In 1994, on the eve of the release of its second, critically acclaimed album, Dog Man Star, Butler left the band. "Butler took to flicking Vs behind the singer's back onstage," Alexis Petridis wrote. "According to John Harris's Britpop history The Last Party, the final words Butler uttered to Anderson for nine years were "you're a fucking cunt"."
"Every band hated you because you were getting all this attention," Butler said in The Guardian interview. "Frankly I hated us as well because the focus wasn't on the music. It was on all this stuff that I didn't understand," he added. "I just found it embarrassing to be honest."
Teenager Richard Oakes replaced Butler after auditioning for the role and Neil Codling joined as keyboardist. In 1996, Coming Up charted at number one in the UK, producing five top ten singles, and became the band's biggest selling album worldwide.
"What Suede delivered was the spirit of rock and roll, returning some of the creative impetus to electric guitar music in a scene increasingly dominated by techno," Neil McCormick wrote for The Telegraph in 1996.
Suede's fourth album, Head Music (1999) also reached number one. Soon after the release of Suede's B-sides compilation, Sci-Fi Lullabies (1997), Anderson became addicted to crack and heroin. Suede's final album, A New Morning (2002) was a commercial disappointment and, following the release of Singles in 2003, Suede disbanded. The band's last concert was played at London’s Astoria in December 2003. “There will be another Suede album," Anderson announced. “But not yet," he added. “See you in the next life” was his closing comment.
"Dog Man Star, the second album by Suede, is a work of genius," Simon Price reflected in 2003. "I was right all along, they're a work of genius."
"Suede stake a sure claim to being the most exciting live guitar-pop band of their era," Kevin Harley reported for The Independent in March. "Coming Up and Head Music packed in more hooks than a fishing-tackle shop."
In contrast to the dying Madchester scene and in response to American grunge, "Suede kick started the Britpop revolution of the '90s," MTV said in the band's biography. "Anderson and Butler developed a sweeping, guitar-heavy sound that was darkly sensual, sexually ambiguous, melodic, and unabashedly ambitious."
"What Suede represented was nothing short of a rebellion," Simon Price further reflected this year. "At a time of bearded grunge machismo and faux-Americanism, here was a band whose singer had the poise of a Piccadilly rent boy circa 1955."
In 2004, following a nine year interval, Anderson and Butler reunited to form The Tears. They named the band after the final line of the Philip Larkin poem Femmes Damnée, “The only sound heard is the sound of tears," and released their only album in 2005. Anderson has released three studio solo albums. Butler has recorded two solo albums and released two more as McAlmont and Butler with David McAlmont.
Speaking to BBC 6Music in January, Butler spoke of Suede's reunion concert at the Royal Albert Hall. "I haven't been asked to do it," he said.
"I kind of thought he wouldn't want to do it anyway," Anderson said in his interview on Q Radio.
"It's a great charity and I'll be in the front row chucking peanuts at them," Butler added.
Featuring the 1996 lineup, Suede reformed earlier this year for a Teenage Cancer Trust benefit at London's Royal Albert Hall, and made further appearances at the 100 Club in London and the Ritz in Manchester. London's 5,000 capacity Royal Albert Hall sold-out in under ten minutes and all concerts were well-received by critics. "Brett Anderson and the gang reminded us just how brilliant they were in an astonishing one-off reunion concert for charity," Simon Price wrote. "Suede have never sounded this brutal, so determined; the best British punk, rock n roll, sex-pop-glam band of the past 20 years. Many of the diehards present proclaimed this to be the best Suede gig they've ever seen," The NME claimed in a two-page review. "Suede find the old spark and swagger," "A timeless slice of euphoric indie rock," and "Sensational," reported the Observer, the London Evening Standard, and The Times, respectively. "Brett Anderson's fringe rarely dominates music magazines anymore," Kevin Harley reminisced in a review for The Independent. "Hugely influential... they sound better than they did at their commercial peak," Alexis Petridis concluded. "Whatever their past, they sound like a band who might conceivably have a future."
Suede appeared at the Smukfest festival in Denmark and at Parkenfestivalen in Bodø, Norway during August.
The band is set to play London's 350-capacity Bush Hall venue on October 27 to promote the release of The Best of Suede, and has announced its biggest indoor UK show to date at The O2 Arena, London on 7 December. Dates in Spain, France, Belgium, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Germany have also been confirmed.
In 2009, Anderson told BANG Media, "I'd quite like to make a band record again, my last few [albums] have just been me in the studio with a piano." In last month's interview with Q Radio, Anderson, said, "I don't know whether we [Suede] are going to make another record again. We might do, we might not. I can't really answer that."
Commenting on the band's appearance at The O2 Arena, London in December, he added, "The O2 might be the last gig, it might not be."
"Brett Anderson simply stands there, gazing around the upturned fruit bowl of the Royal Albert Hall in disbelief, drinking in wave after wave of deafening applause and grinning like a lunatic, occasionally mouthing the words 'Come on!'," Simon Price reported in his review of the band's triumphant performance at London's Royal Albert Hall in March. "After a small eternity, he steps back to the microphone. 'We ain't finished yet ...'"
The Best of Suede (tracklisting):
Bush Hall, London, England - 27th October 2010 [sold out] [support act: Midimidis]
Razzmatazz, Barcelona, Spain - 26th November 2010
Elysee Montmartre, Paris, France - 28th November 2010
Cirque Royal, Brussels, Belgium - 29th November 2010
Cirkus, Stockholm, Sweden - 1st December 2010
Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands - 2nd December 2010 [sold out]
Columbiahalle, Berlin, Germany - 3rd December 2010
The O2 Arena, London, England - 7th December 2010 [support act: New Young Pony Club]
|Last Updated on Saturday, 16 October 2010 09:04|