Suede Gets Pitchfork Praise

Joe Tangari at Pitchfork has reviewed the reissues of Suede’s first two albums today, and they have been given “Best New Reissues” status. You may remember that I wrote my own ode to Suede recently.

I cannot stress how utterly wonderful these (Suede and Dogmanstar) albums are, and how much they shaped me in my formative years. I cannot wait to get them (via import) in the mail.

The review begins:

There is music on these albums. Obviously. The reason I’m saying that up front is that discussion of the first two Suede albums is invariably framed in a discussion of the bigger picture, both in terms of what was happening in British rock in the early 1990s and in terms of the discord within the band, particularly during 1994. There are good reasons for this. Suede were at the center of the conversation that gave us the Britpop narrative that so dominated the UK in the mid-90s. They were the band on the cover of the issue of Select that invented Britpop as a concept, they were massively hyped before they even released anything, and their debut album was the fastest-selling in British history. They were ignored in the United States and ridiculously had to change their name in this country to the London Suede after a lawsuit by an obscure lounge singer.

This stuff is all important to understanding who Suede were– the music they made, especially on their first three albums, is tied closely to their story as a band– but I really want to make sure that as I make my way through that story, the music doesn’t slip to the side of the conversation. Stories and meta-cultural narratives aside, the music is what we have to listen to now, and there is a lot of great music spread over these elaborate reissues. The whole band, including once-estranged original guitarist Bernard Butler, was involved in putting together these packages, each of them a 2xCD/DVD featuring the original album, demos, unreleased outtakes, every contemporary B-side (plus one non-album A-side), music videos, interviews and live performances. The band’s entire output, with the notable exception of three early unreleased tracks, “Be My God”, “Art”, and “Wonderful Sometimes”, is now available on five very well-done reissues that include all of the original artwork for both the albums and the singles. They have curated their past well.

This gem is actually from their third album “Coming Up”:

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