For their third album, Coming Up, Suede had recruited 17 year old guitarist Richard Oakes via an ad in a music paper. Oakes replaced the departing Bernard Butler. The band also became a five-piece with the addition of keyboardist Neil Codling. Coming Up was released in 1996 and reached number 1 in the UK album charts. It is their biggest selling album and includes the singles Trash, Filmstar and Beautiful Ones.
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- DEMRECDLX001 / Deluxe yellow coloured vinyl, gatefold reissue 2LP on Demon. Includes disc of B-Sides
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- Coming Up by Suede
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7/10 The Doc Customer review, 5th October 2016
If Suede had split up after Dog Man Star, they would have left a small back catalogue that was damn near perfect - the glam strut of their eponymous debut album, the overblown sprawl of the second, plus the amazing B-sides that went on to make up Disc 1 of Sci-Fi Lullabies, not to mention that staggering standalone single Stay Together.
But after Bernard Butler left, they buggered on regardless, replaced him with a seventeen year old clone, and this was the first fruit of that new partnership. It's not a bad album, all things considered - Anderson in full-on pop mode for the most part, and it's no coincidence that at least four of these tracks were released as singles. Even at a distance of nearly twenty years there's still some really good stuff on here. 'Trash' rightly remains one of their signature songs; 'Picnic By the Motorway' is another gem, as is the quintessential bedsit weeper 'By the Sea', but the real highlight is the centrepiece 'The Chemistry Between Us', the central lyric of which ("Oh Class A Class B/Is that the only chemistry between us?" sums up much of the bands ethos in a single line. The rest of it is okay, just about, but tracks like 'Filmstar', 'Beautiful Ones' and 'Star Crazy' are too trebly to have the depth of their earlier work, although it's definitely worth making the point that this brand of Suede-lite was still much more interesting that a lot of the other shite (Travis? Stereophonics? Yuk!) that was popular at the time.
The trained ear can spot that Anderson's lyrics are starting to cannibalise themselves even at this early stage, but there's enough shake left in the hips, pout left in the lips and good old-fashioned pop-sense in the writing for him to get away with it. It would be lovely to call this their last great album, but sadly it's not. The first disc of Sci-Fi Lullabies wins that one hands down, but this is still well worth a listen, even if the band were already past their peak.
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