brett by numbers

since the gig i’ve been obsessing over all things anderson and trawling through the back catalouge. it’s nice to ‘rediscover’ songs you’ve loved for years. after a while you stop hearing them when you’ve listened to them so many times but every once in a while you can still put your earphones on, close your eyes and capture something of how it felt the first time you heard it. also, i’ve found songs appealing to me now that i never really liked at the time. i’m not sure if this is due to my tastes changing or just hearing something removed of the time and context.
so whilst i’m obsessing i thought i might write a little multi-media tour through brett’s career. partly for those who don’t know much about him, partly for those who do and partly for some good old self indulgence!
mr anderson (a phrase which i can now only hear in hugo weaving’s voice) was originally known as the lead singer of suede – of whom, please excuse me while i quote myself:

like many pallid adolecents stranded in early ninieties suburbia suede were my teenage dream. they were the band i would wait forever outside a venue for, the band i talked to when no-one was looking, the band i would take a punch for.

more than a band: a badge. a gang. a gun.

 

so without further ado i shall begin at the (almost) beginning…

    first album ‘suede’

animal nitrate – 1993

this is the video i properly fell in love with suede to. i can still remember watching it (open mouthed and holding my breath) on 120 minutes in a scene not unlike the ‘that’s me, that is’ bit in velvet goldmine. it had everything i could possibly want in a pop video at that age – grimy urban settings, deviant sexuality, david lynch curtains, good cheekbones, arse spanking, thinly veiled drug references and social politic. oh aye, and a breakdancing pig.
hard as it is to believe in retrospect this video was considered ‘controversial’ at the time and the chart show infamously refused to play it in full…

he’s dead – live (from the ‘love and poison’ video)

ah, the wedge-step bob and the geisha dance…
i think i only actually stopped signing my letters ‘love and poison’ when i started sending emails.

so young – 1993

this is a video that still warms the cockles of my heart. a beutiful swoony, romantic, woozy sort of a song. about.. er..heroin.

stay together – released as a single, but not on any album

some of the imagery in this one is a bit clunky and juvenile in retrospect but it’s a great song that perfectly dovetails the transition from the first album to the second. a perceptable darking of tone. and a chorus that it is totally impossible to sing accapella and sound in any way serious. i dare you!

second album – ‘dog man star’

heroine – live on jools holland – 1994

marilyn & suede!

She walks in beauty like the night
Discarding her clothes in the plastic flowers
Pornographic and tragic in black and white
My Marilyn come to my slum for an hour

 

I’m aching to see my heroine
Aching, been dying for hours and hours
I’m 18, I need my heroines
Aching, been dying for hours
Oh and I’m never alone now
Now I’m with her

it freaks me out a wee bit that i was still under 18 when this came out…

we are the pigs – 1995

dark, apocalyptic, vaguegly anti-authortarian and deliciously nasty

new generation – 1995
it’s got 3 choruses – honest, count ’em if you don’t believe me!
this is still one of my alltime favourite suede songs. it’s got such a great chuggy rhythm to it.

the asphalt world – backdrop video for tour

my favourite suede song. it sums up everything i love about them – epic, dark, nasty, romantic, twisted and beautiful. i could write an entire blog post just on this song – and nearly did.
if you only listen to one of these tracks this should be it.

With ice in her blood
And a Dove in her head
Well how does she feel when she’s in your bed?
When you’re there in her arms
And there in her legs
Well I’ll be in her head

Cos that’s where I go
And that’s what I do
And that’s how it feels when the sex turns cruel
Yes both of us need her
this is the asphalt world

third album – coming up

trash – live on totp – 1996

the tasteless bracelettes and the dye in our hair…

(oh, and watch out for peter andre at the start!)

lazy – 1997

wot no floppy fringe?

filmstar – 1997

got a nice stompy little feel to it this. some of the coming up stuff sounds a bit flimsy to me now but this still has a good bit of meat on it’s bones.

fourth album – head music

everything will flow – 1999

beautiful song. video sponsored by evian. almost.

can’t get enough – 1999

i love this song. it’s a bit of a joke that head music is the ‘shit’ album and ,predictably, when it came out i really didn’t like it – i think it just wan’t what i/we wanted or expected from them at the time. i realise now they were done a huge disservice as there are some great songs on it. nasty little arse shakers and slinky electropop. and some superb strung-out performances. ‘walking like a woman and talking like a stone age man’ indeed.

savoir fair – 1999

currently my favourite track on the album.mi love brett’s performance in this video – very slinky punky.

fith album – a new morning

obsesssion – 2002

um, this post is a case in point i guess…

positivity – 2002

blonde highlights and a wind machine quite possibly on loan from the manics

attitude – 2003

not actually on the album, but on the greatest hits. and then they split up…

the tears – ‘here come the tears’

 

apollo 13 – 2005

the best song on the tears album, to my mind. though far better live than on record.

solo

love is dead – 2007

lush, swooning, sad and bitter. gorgeous song.

scorpio rising – 2007

i think this song has a really filmic quality to it. like the end credits of some european spy movie.
a nice video too.

and if anyone is still reading (?) that’s it for now…

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4 thoughts on “brett by numbers

  1. !!!!!!!!!
    how omegaesque!
    ace post even just for the inclusion of asphalt world i missed that out on my suede blog.

    not much i could add to that really.

    suede do bring out the worst of fandom
    i think i hate myself for it.

  2. there are certain bands that inspire that ferverance. i always knew they were special because i really did care about the music (maaan) at an age when good hair or eyeliner was pretty much enough to get me to a gig (menswe@r anyone?)

  3. YESSSS, I can read your blogs again!!! Thanks! I loved the way you describe this video with the David Lynch curtains, etc. Also, it’s funny to me that Alice Cooper was “too much” for parents in his heyday and then along came Marilyn Manson!!!

  4. yes, every generation’s ‘shocking’ is the next ones passe. i love watching that infamous tv interview with the sex pistols where *gosh gee whizz* he actually swears on tv. it just seems so ridiculous now..

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