There was always going to be a long, sprawling, self-indulgent article about Suede. There’s a guy I’ve known for around twenty years who, to this day, never fails to (warmly) mention my affiliation, as if being a Suede fan is a dark and dirty affliction that I should be attempting to keep from the world; “Well yes, my considered opinion is that Dog Man Star is a wonderful record, Diamond Dogs as channelled through a haze of ’90’s mascara and ennui. But it’s okay – I’m going for a lie down now, after which I’ll only be liking The Fall again”.
And yes, I know that Suede were horrifically pompous, that Brett Anderson was (and still is) a ridiculous caricature of a front man, full of self-important idiot speak. I know that any magic the band carried was entirely down to Bernard Butler’s gorgeous guitar licks (when he quit prior to the release of their second album, the band instantaneously lost their spark, becoming in effect a Suede tribute act, lashed to Anderson’s overblown ego and a predilection for dodgy synth dependence). And I know that you lost your virginity with Coming Up playing on the stereo, and that you find this fact deeply embarrassing.
And yet, despite being old enough to know better, I still grow excited at the prospect of sticking a Suede LP on the turntable. In order to pick a suitable track to illustrate this article I accidentally had to listen to a whole suite of Suede songs, and even their early b-sides have a seductive power that’s almost elegant (example below).
But it’s okay – I’m going for a lie down now, after which I’ll only be liking The Fall again.
NB: Suede’s back catalogue is being re-released over the next month. I won’t be buying anything, but you should.