Friday, 21 October 2016

REWIND: Suede - 'The Beautiful Ones'

Time once again to rewind back exactly 20 years ago for more of the wonderful music that entered the charts this week in 1996. If you weren't around or were too young to remember the mid 90s, consider this a lesson of enlightenment. If you (like me) were lucky enough to experience it all first time around, then these posts make a fine nostalgic blast from the blast. 

The UK singles chart from 20 years ago this week (20 - 25 October 1996) featured a varied mixture of the great and not so great. We'll focus only on the great ones. See the full chart rundown from that week HERE.

Last month (September 2016) marked 20 years since the mighty Suede released their 1996 masterpiece 'Coming Up'. It was the first Suede album I ever bought, even though I had previously purchased a cassette copy of the 'We Are The Pigs' single. Suede were the band that kickstarted the whole Britpop phenomenon, and yet by 1996 they found themselves overshadowed by the massive commercial success of Blur and Oasis. On 'Coming Up', the band weren't afraid to bring out the big melodies and infectious pop choruses. Their previous album 'Dog Man Star' was a dark, cold record that was seen as a commercial failure at the time. At the time, frontman Brett Anderson said: "I think the next album will be quite simple, actually. I'd really like to write a straightforward pop album. Just ten hits." 

Despite being the first album since the departure of guitarist Bernard Butler, his replacement Richard Oakes immediately proved himself to be a great addition to the group, and 'Coming Up' was the album that introduced Suede to a worldwide audience, in places such as Europe, Canada and Asia. The album went to number 1 in the UK charts, and sold over a million copies. It also spawned FIVE Top 10 hit singles, and the magnificent, anthemic headrush of 'The Beautiful Ones' went to number 8 in the UK charts exactly 20 years ago this week. It's one of those songs from my youth that I will always associate with a certain time and place, the time was the autumn of 1996 and the place was (oddly) a petrol station shop near my old house in Melksham. Not sure why I associate the song with that place, perhaps it had been playing on the radio in the car just before we went into the shop. I might have even just purchased the cassette single earlier that day. Whatever the reason, it's definitely there somewhere in my subconscious musical memory...

Random bit of trivia: this song was once covered on a children's show called Cachureos, on Chilean television, an was adapted to "Los Ancianos" (The Older Ones).

A special 20th anniversary deluxe edition of 'Coming Up' is available now, complete with all the excellent B sides from the singles.


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