The Drowners EP came out in 1992 and at that time I was playing with All About Eve and spending a lot of time back in England. We listened to that EP 1000 times, all three tracks, The Drowners, To The Birds and My Insatiable One – it was always getting another spin. The guitar was magnificent, the androgynous image and the affected accent Brett Anderson sang in, the cover art, the lyrics – it was all so good and then Butler left before the second album was released and it was never quite the same without him.
I continued to buy all the Suede 12 inch and 7 inch singles, CD singles and albums on vinyl and CD – I have so many records by this band. I guess the Bowie hero worship was a little excessive but that’s what happens when you are born in 1967 and only 5 years old when Bowie released Ziggy Stardust. I also played Ziggy to death but I was 14 and bought it new, what else could I do? I guess for Anderson, Scott Walker was in there too, Marc Bolan, some Lou Reed, he built a character out of his heroes from an era he wasn’t old enough to appreciate first hand.
I saw Suede live once at the American Legion Hall in LA (same place I saw Jeff Buckley) where unfortunately they had to be called The London Suede because another artist called Suede owned the name in the US. Although they went on to make Coming Up 1996, another album I liked, they never really surpassed the raw, creative Butler/Anderson songwriting days with Anderson’s obvious voracious reading and the added strangled poetry wrung out of the guitar. This all worked especially well on the first EP 1992 and album 1993 and then Dog Man Star 1994 , the magic was really working for them then and they had the world at their feet, like they were starring in their own erotic romance. Although Head Music 1999 somehow collapsed in on its own missing mythology, A New Morning in 2002 was better, although by then popularity had waned – in my humble opinion, they were so much better than Blur and Oasis.
In recent years they have released Bloodsports in 2013 and are in the process of making a new album for 2015 release.