Around the time Head Music was released in 1999 Suede were literally the band of the moment. She’s in Fashion and Electricity were all over the charts as was bands lead singer Brett Anderson, Virgin Megastores had even gone to the length of renaming their stores Head Music in anticipation of the release.
Head Music topped the album charts when it was originally released. With the aforementioned singles racing up the charts it might have seemed to the outsider that the band were purring on all cylinders, but listen to the rest of the album and you’ll see the mind of Anderson particularly was not all well.
In the grips of addictions there were a couple of b sides that feature in the set, Crackhead and Heroin leave little to the imagination, indeed Anderson wanted these to feature on the albums track listing, maybe in hindsight it was a good decision to leave these from the spotlight. Savior Faire and Down were evidence of rehashing some older themes from their previous albums, the same could be said for She’s In Fashion. But saying all that the album is still a credible collection.
Producer Steve Osbourne brings the songs to life, the likes of Electricity has that stop start T Rex similarity, Crack in the Union Jack brings in some sweet acoustic guitar whilst Can’t Get Enough has a dense low fi quality. The various B sides and demos bring in some further little gems. Popstar sprinkles some jaunted pop, See That Girl broods until boiling point is reached, whilst Bored picks up the pace with some garage electro rock. Almost amongst the collection are a number of TV appearances including Jools Holland…Later plus Top Of The Pops showing the band are more than capable of delivering the goods.
Over all a hefty collection celebrating an album that might not be on everyone’s radar but should certainly be discovered and championed as one of the late 90’s stand out long players.
You can find Suede at their own website