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Suede - Coming Up

On September 10, 1996, "Suede" released their third album "Coming Up".

This is the album with which the band broke into worldwide consciousness. It is also the band's most successful album to date. Out of the album came no less than five singles that entered the top ten in various charts all over the world.

"Trash" was the first to be released as a single even before the release of the album. It was the band's first single written without guitarist Bernard Butler and featured the first writing collaboration between Brett Anderson and Richard Oakes.

It was followed by "Beautiful Ones", which was originally called "Dead Leg" following a threat by bassist Mat Osman on guitarist Richard Oakes. Osman threatened Oaks that if he will not write a "hit" that would enter the top ten he would make sure to break his leg. Of course, Oaks "survived" after the song became a big hit.

"Suede" did not stop and continued with the third single and one of the most beautiful ballads of the nineties: "Saturday Night". The music video for the song was produced by Pedro Romhanyi, who also "handled" two other music videos for the band: "Animal Nitrate" and "Beautiful Ones".

The "bomb shelling" continued with the fourth single, "Lazy", which proved to all that the collaboration between Brett Anderson and Richard Oaks is simply meteoric. Pedro Romhanyi also directed this clip.

The band finished with the fifth and final single released from the album. Like its predecessors, this song also entered the top ten on the British chart. "Filmstar", with its oriental scent, introduced the band's musical diversity.

The success of the album is intensified by the fact that only two years earlier "Suede" was at a low point in their short musical career. The downturn came after their second album, "Dog Man Star," failed in sales. Following the meteoric success of its debut album, the relevance of "Suede" was suddenly questioned. In an instant, the band became an uninteresting act, while watching the British media praise and glorify its colleagues, “Oasis” and “Blur”, who became the hot thing at the time.

Add to that the fact that one of the band's main pillars, guitarist Bernard Butler, left and you have a deep crisis that could have threatened the future of "Suede." Butler's departure was no small matter. Beyond the fact that Butler was an excellent guitarist who greatly influenced the band's special sound, he was also its lead songwriter, along with Brett Anderson.

But Suede members did not say desperate. They worked hard to find a new guitarist to replace Butler. The task was not easy as Butler was a key player in the band. In the end, Richard Oakes, who was a fan of the band and was only 17 years old, was chosen from among 500 different candidates for the guitarist position. What’s amazing about Oaks, is that he was the only guitarist who didn’t do an audition in front of the band but sent a demo tape to its fan club.

Armed with the young spirit of a 17-year-old guitarist, the band entered the studio. The writing process was different from the previous two albums. If on the previous albums Brett mostly wrote the lyrics and Butler the music, this time the creative process was done by all the band members. In addition, the band decided to enrich its sound with the addition of keyboards. Thus, on the recommendation of drummer Simon Gilbert, his cousin, Neil Codling, was recruited to the role of keyboardist. Codling was also a co-writer of the songs and remains in the band's relatively stable lineup to this day (except for a brief break between 2003-2001).

To avoid further shocks, the band decided, after some deliberation, to continue working with their previous producer, Ed Buller. It is interesting to note that during the deliberations the names considered for the role were, among others, Brian Eno and Flood, who is known for his productions for "New Order", "Depeche Mode", "U2" and "Nine Inch Nails".


The material written for the album was more accessible and catchy compared to previous albums and even a bit "Popish". The creative process was particularly fruitful. In addition to the ten songs that entered the album, the band also wrote the song "Young Men". The song was left out of the album, as producer Buller, thought it was too dark compared to the rest of the album's catchy tracks. This song eventually came out as a b-side to the song "Beautiful Ones" and was included in the double masterpiece album "Sci-Fi Lullabies" which was released in 1997 and included 27 songs that were not included on the band's albums.

In the end, the album turned out to be a huge success for the band. It included an incredible sequence of hits and garnered rave reviews from critics. You could say that this album even saved the band from disbanding, as it is very likely that it would not have survived another commercial failure. If that wasn't enough, this album brought back the relevance of the band, which was fading in the face of the success of bands like "Oasis" and "Blur".

It seems that in the end, the name of the album predicted the future of the band. The album brought "Suede" "up", exposed them to a large and diverse audience, and earned them worldwide recognition and great appreciation.

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