Suede / The Best of Suede
Ric Rawlins believes Suede are "one of the all time great British bands"
The Best of Suede
It’s hard to imagine now, but in 1992 the UK’s teenagers went absolutely bonkers for a band whose most famous t-shirt simply spelt out ‘GAY ANIMAL SEX’. The music behind it all combined bleak tones of depression with glam rock guitar solos, avant garde artwork, transsexual ambiguity and a romantic fascination with the city gutters. Needless to say, you wouldn’t have placed a bet on Suede becoming a commercial smash.
The braveness of the band in embracing the underground continued throughout their first two albums as they worked with the filmmaker Derek Jarman, included photography of breast cancer survivors on their sleeves and painted London as a beautifully Orwellian nightmare.
Yet for all their artistic credentials, Suede became massive for one good reason: with their catchy hooks, boldly emotional melodies and thrillingly unique guitar solos, they were a musically advanced pop group.
This 35-track Best Of wisely includes their excellent B-sides and album highlights, offering a complete picture of their legacy. Of these, ‘Killing Of A Flashboy’ struts along with a perversely alien violence, ‘The Big Time’ offers a bleak, morphined-up vision of suicidal contemplation, and ‘The Asphalt World’ remains a dystopian masterpiece, rivalling ‘70s Bowie for darkly theatrical ambition. The singles are here too of course, from the heart-bursting ‘So Young’ to the euphoric Britpop anthem ‘Trash’.
Although The Smiths and Bowie informed Suede, the band walked their own dark path – and as this collection demonstrates, became one of the all time great British bands.