120 Reasons To Live: Suede

Nothing did more to further the cause of Alternative Nation-building than 120 Minutes, MTV’s Sunday-night video showcase of non-mainstream acts. For nearly two decades, the program spanned musical eras from ’80s college rock to ’00s indie, with grunge, Britpop, punk, industrial, electronica and more in between. MAGNET raids the vaults to resurrect our 120 favorite and unjustly forgotten videos from the show’s classic era.

#23: Suede “Animal Nitrate”

There are plenty of irritating things about Suede, and we actually bought three of their albums. Aside from his horrible preening in this video, singer Brett Anderson always had the unsettling aura of a Bond villain. A Bond villain in too-tight clothes who’s really sad about the abuse of amyl nitrate (poppers) and will do anything—even if it means implied bestiality—to get his point across. Suede had a similar dynamic as the Smiths: a flamboyant and polarizing frontman paired with a genius-level guitarist. In Suede’s case, Bernard Butler was the foil for Anderson, and the arrangement only lasted for 1.8 records. (Butler left the band shortly before the completion of second album Dog Man Star.) “Animal Nitrate” appeared on Suede’s 1993 self-titled debut, and though the group was later credited with kickstarting the Britpop movement—before being brushed aside by Blur, Oasis, et al—it’s a dubious point considering Suede actually just sounded like the next in a long line of glam bands that have been coming out of England for decades.

Fun Fact: One of Suede’s early managers was Ricky Gervais, who gave the band’s demo to Nude Records.

2 replies on “120 Reasons To Live: Suede”

Glam retreads they may have been, but superb glam retreads. And as much as I love Butler, Coming Up is still their best imo.

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