The following year their debut album Suede went to the top of the UK Albums Chart , becoming the fastest-selling debut album in almost ten years. It won the Mercury Music Prize and helped foster ' Britpop ' as a musical movement, though the band distanced themselves from the term.
The recording sessions for their second album, Dog Man Star , were fraught with difficulty and ended with original guitarist Bernard Butler departing after confrontations with the other members.
The album was completed without Butler, and the band toured the record with replacement Richard Oakes. Although a commercial disappointment at the time, the album was met with a generally enthusiastic reception on release and has over time been lauded as one of rock music's great albums.
In , following the recruitment of keyboard player Neil Codling, Suede went on to greater commercial success with Coming Up. The album reached number one in the UK, producing five top ten singles and becoming Suede's biggest-selling album worldwide. Despite problems within the band, Suede's fourth album, Head Music , was a British chart-topper. The album was promoted heavily with the band receiving considerable press coverage on its release, however the response from fans and critics was less enthusiastic than for previous records.
Codling left the band in , citing chronic fatigue syndrome and was replaced by Alex Lee. The band's fifth album, A New Morning , the first following the collapse of Nude Records , was a commercial disappointment, and the band disbanded the following year. After much speculation Suede reformed in for a series of concerts.
Three years on from their reunion gigs, Suede released their sixth album, Bloodsports. It was well received by critics and returned the band to the top ten in the UK. Their seventh album, Night Thoughts , followed in and became an even bigger critical and commercial success than its predecessor. Their eighth studio album, The Blue Hour , was released in September It became the group's first top five record since Head Music. Brett Anderson and Justine Frischmann met in while studying at University College London and became a couple soon afterwards.
No Musos. Some things are more important than ability. Call Brett. Lacking a drummer, the band initially used a drum machine. Justin Welch briefly fulfilled the role, though he only lasted six weeks before joining the Crawley band Spitfire. The band was dissatisfied with the result, and most of the copies pressed were destroyed.
He ultimately turned down the job as he felt Suede still had to forge their own identity. He felt that by being in a band that had similarities to the Smiths, he would have done them more harm than good.
After hearing the demo and realising the band did not have a drummer, Gilbert asked to audition. By spring , Anderson and Frischmann had broken up. Frischmann started dating Blur frontman Damon Albarn. She believed the band could accommodate the new situation. I think it was the day after she said that that Brett phoned me up and said, 'I've kicked her out. It was a combination of being personally motivated, and the chemistry being right once she'd left.
Through the end of and early , Suede received a number of favourable mentions in the music press, receiving slots at shows hosted by NME and attended by significant musical figures such as the former Smiths singer, Morrissey. He said, "They had charm, aggression, and Galpern was determined to sign the band in the long term and struck a deal with Sony — making them a tiny independent label with major company backing. Anderson soon became notorious for causing controversy, such as his infamous quote that resurfaced in interviews and articles in the following years, that he was "a bisexual man who never had a homosexual experience".
This was before we had that horrible term Britpop. Before Suede had released an album, they dominated the music press on the strength of just three singles, setting high expectations for the forthcoming album.
Following the success of the album, the band toured extensively in Europe, receiving major coverage by MTV. During the tour, tensions began to develop between Butler and the rest of the band.
The gig went ahead, but for the rest of the tour the two parties barely spoke. For their subsequent releases and shows in the United States, the band used the name "The London Suede". In February , the band released the stand-alone single " Stay Together ", which became their highest charting single at the time, reaching number three in the UK.
The single was backed by a collection of strong B-sides. The bombastic new sound, however, fractured the band and led to the departure of Butler. Tensions grew worse during the recording of the album when Butler criticised Anderson in a rare interview, claiming that he worked too slowly and that he was too concerned with rock stardom. It's very difficult for him to get around anything that isn't ABC.
Around this time, journalist Neil Strauss wrote that Suede were a band who were "unafraid to be out of step with its peers. The band started to record excessively lengthy songs at the behest of Butler.
Osman said that he, Anderson and Gilbert often thought these tracks were the result of Butler trying to wind them up. This was usually done in shifts, with Anderson coming to the studio in the evenings after Butler had recorded his guitar parts during the day. In the first interview the band gave as a three-piece, Anderson foresaw the scenario, telling NME' s Steve Sutherland: "I saw it coming two years ago.
It was no shock, I don't think he ever really wanted to be in the band or anything that goes with it. The album was very well-received by critics in the UK who wrote favourably of the band's new experimental direction.
It entered the UK Albums Chart at number three,  but slid quickly down the charts. Rolling Stone would describe it as "one of the most pretentious albums ever released by a major label.
After reading about Butler's departure, he had sent a demo tape to the band's fanclub. Oakes' first official duty as a member of Suede was an appearance in the "We Are the Pigs" video. Suede embarked on a long international tour during late and spring , before disappearing to work on their third album. In , the band contributed a track to The Help Album charity compilation, covering Elvis Costello 's "Shipbuilding". In the autumn of , the band was joined by new member Neil Codling , a cousin of Gilbert who played keyboards and second guitar.
His first appearance was at a fanclub gig at the Hanover Grand on 27 January , which turned out to be one of Suede's most important gigs. A short set devoid of Butler songs was well-received by critics, "A set that says. The single was popular and tied with "Stay Together" as the band's highest-charting UK single, reaching number three.
Coming Up never did win an audience in America, partially because it appeared nearly a year after its initial release and partially because Suede only supported it with a three-city tour. With the success of the album, Suede secured top billing at the Reading Festival. By the time the compilation was released in , the Britpop movement was noticeably waning in popularity, and the band had decided to split with their long-time producer Ed Buller before commencing work on the follow-up to Coming Up.
Despite being backed by their second-highest charting single, " Electricity ", Suede's fourth album, Head Music , did not evoke the critical and listener enthusiasm that previous records did, though it once again took the band to number one on the UK Albums Chart. While the record was heavily promoted with some strong financial backing, and received almost widespread critical enthusiasm from the UK music press,  the consensus with people close to the band was a feeling that things were not quite right.
Richard Oakes was aware of the fans' disapproval of the album, as well as Anderson's more gaunt-like appearance and Oakes' own admission of spending two years "being pissed out [his] face and being out of shape. The next three singles released from the album failed to enter the top 10, breaking a run stretching back to the single "Trash". Anderson also attracted more criticism from fans for his frequent use of redundant vocabulary and limited lyrical themes.
It's the scariest drug in the world because the hit you get from it is so, so seductive. I wanted to experience that, and I did — repeatedly.
During , there was press speculation that Suede were on the verge of disbanding, which was not helped by Codling's absence from some European gigs. Anderson denied these claims and insisted that Codling was healthy and that they were keen to record the next album. The band premiered several new songs that eventually appeared on the final album. Not long after the release of Head Music , Nude Records effectively ceased to exist.
The album title, according to Anderson, referred to "a fresh start, a new band and a new fresh outlook" — the singer had been addicted to heroin and crack cocaine , which was having an increasingly deleterious effect on his health. Anderson claimed that A New Morning "was the first ever Suede record that wasn't influenced in its making by drugs". Furthermore, the mainstream public interest had long disappeared.
Only two singles, " Positivity " and " Obsessions ", were released, the fewest singles taken from any of the band's albums, and neither charted particularly well. Anderson has since stressed his disappointment with Suede's final album, stating "We made one Suede album too many. In September , Suede played five nights at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, dedicating each night to one of their five albums and playing through an entire album a night in chronological order, with B-sides and rarities as encores.
The band had begun working on a follow-up album to A New Morning , which was planned to be released after the Singles compilation. On 28 October , Anderson made the decision to call it a day. At the aftershow event, Osman revealed to Allen that they decided to call it quits less than a minute after their last interview. Anderson made an announcement, saying, "I just want you to know. There will be another Suede record.
But not yet. Following persistent rumours, Saul Galpern, the boss of the band's former label, Nude Records, officially announced on 15 January that Suede would be playing together again. The two-disc compilation, put together by Anderson, consisted of 18 of the band's 20 singles on disc one; and a mixture of album tracks and popular B-sides on disc two. The band concluded the tour on 7 December at the O2 Arena in London. After their biggest show ever at the O2 Arena in London, Brett confirmed that Suede were in the mood for more shows.
In January, they announced their first festival appearance of that year, playing at the SOS 4. This marked the group's first live American show since The final performance was at the Berlin Festival on 9 September , directly following the Asian tour in August. Suede began recording a new album with Ed Buller in and Brett Anderson stated that of the songs showcased in Russia, only "Sabotage" was thus far in contention. On 7 January , the band announced that the sixth studio album, Bloodsports , would be released in March.