You know what grinds my gears with Hits or Best Ofs or Greatest collections? When they put the songs in the order of release. Don’t get me wrong, the best bands have done it, The Beatles did it, Manic Street Preachers did it and now Suede are doing it, if you go for the 2 disc version, which you shouldn’t when there’s a glorious 4 disc version but we are getting ahead of ourselves here. Certain songs from certain bands remind me of specific times and so I don’t necessarily want to relive them, not the songs fault obvs, but also albums without such memories like Nevermind mean that when I listen to the Nirvana best of, I skip that section, not because it is not utterly magic, but just that I have heard those songs together so many times. It’s why I never listen to Manics’ National Treasures, but still regularly listen to Forever Delayed. If you mix the songs up, it gives them new life. The last three (okay, four, but I like to think A New Morning never existed, as do the band without Positivity on any of these collections, unless I’ve missed something) records did little for me. I like It Starts And Ends With You, Barriers is good, Outsiders, yep I’m on board there. It just seems as complete works they left me cold, which was the furthest thing from Suede I can imagine. So, my argument here is that if you’d have created a Best Of that mixed all the Suede periods together then I might have learned to love the newer songs, but splitting everything up like this, they don’t get the same second chance.
Before you @ me, bear in mind that I have opted for the 56 track deluxe version because…Kendall Lacey. I don’t have to make sense, especially when talking about some of the most glorious music ever released.
This version has Electricity which remains a high spot in my Suede adoration, the cold chill and classic Suede subjects. It’s not on the 2 disc version, which is some kinda bullshit. But it is 2020, we don’t have to talk about what’s missing (although I know David Barnett is sitting at home fuming about the missing ‘Attitude’) and we can look at what is here.
The deluxe version flows best because it hits all the singles, they are in order, which I have already mentioned that I don’t like, but quality wise it is glorious. Don’t get me wrong, the 2 disc version is great for what it is, I just don’t like how it is put together, A-sides, B-sides, next single, repeat to fade, I have already lived all of those songs in that order, again, we’ve covered this. If Where The Pigs Don’t Fly suddenly popped up after Trash, I would pop like the world’s largest balloon.
Here after (most of) the hits, we get a glorious run of b-sides and then back to a Best Of Things That Weren’t singles, if you have heard She enough times in your life then, well, I don’t believe ya.
I never like dissing Suede, because it feels like punching myself in the face, but I find For The Strangers kinda dull, as if someone had put together a how-to-make-a-suede jigsaw but used the wrong pieces. And I have zero time for Life Is Golden, it just sounds like the worst cloying Earth Song era Jackson, a charity single gone wrong, I’m still waiting for Jarvis Cocker to come in and shake his butt at it. No thanks.
Still, that is not a bad negative bit, eh? I used to hate Europe Is Our Playground, but having got the Roundhouse gold vinyl, I can not listen to it without skipping. Only took a couple of decades!
Look, they are one of the best bands ever, I’ve been on board since buying Metal Mickey in Sidmouth’s Woolworths and this is a quite magnificent collection. Sure it is unnecessary, but then we deserve every piece of joy we can get in these darkening days, right?
Ten out of ten, then.