Saturday, 9 May 2009

Suede 'Trash'

Chart Peak: 3


Suede's first A-side without Bernard Butler: their biggest-selling single, apparently, and the first of five Top 10 singles from their Coming Up. My brother had that album and I spent quite a lot of 1996 making fun of various aspects of the record, from the horrible scrawl on the cover to the frequent lyrical howlers, but above all Brett Anderson's whiny Mockney vocal. And yes, I am aware that I've just written a glowing review of a Blur song, but even I have my limits. My brother used to join in with all this too, but then he's always appreciated music in more dimensions than I have.

The bald fact is that I never really liked Suede: not that I'd ever really listened to them pre-1996, but I looked up them pretentious, self-important, overhyped, whingy and prizing style over content. Despite its status as their great commercial breakthrough, 'Trash' just seemed to comfirm all my prejudices about them: right the way down to the cliche of the title. Not unusually in pop, it presents itself as an anthem for outsiders but gives the distinct impression that it's really only interested in the right type of outsider and if you don't conform to exactly their brand of nonconformism they're going to look down on you. Over the years, I've warmed to the band somewhat, possibly because I'm now more appreciative of The Smiths and David Bowie. But I still don't like this track much. Thirteen years on, the production sounds shrill and tinny: I'd suspect this of being intentional except that the band seem to have agreed with me, as they used a partially re-recorded version on their Singles album.

Also appearing on: Now 35
Available on: Coming Up (European Release)

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