Friday, May 1, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 56)

56. "Metal Mickey"
Artist: Suede
Year: 1992

Although it was 22 years ago, I have a vivid memory of buying the self-titled debut of Suede. Why? Two things you never forget are girls and poverty. Allow me to explain. Sometime in late 1992 I read about the band while perusing the UK music magazines at a record store. That's what you do at a shop when you have no money to actually buy anything. There were a couple of earlier singles, including this one, but the album didn't come out until the spring of 1993. I had not heard these songs, but I could tell by the article these fellas would probably be up my alley. I was a few months away from graduating college when I got my parents to buy me a train ticket home for spring break. Real food! My trip coincided with the release date of 'Suede.' Knowing that the best record store in the area where I grew up was a block away from the train station, I spent the preceding couple of weeks pinching pennies for an album I was going to purchase without hearing a single note... a huge risk in trying economic times.

My brother still lived at home, and he met me at the station. We walked to the shop. I was surprised to see a girl I knew well from high school behind the counter. We had run in the same circles and had similar musical tastes in our younger days. I couldn't wait to impress her with my purchase of a hip band like Suede... and on the very day it was released. Unfortunately, I was completely dismissed without a word about my selection. Worse, she chatted up my brother about his Fugazi find. Like I said, you never forget girls and poverty.

There were a few singles I liked in later years, but this was the only Suede album I ever got into. I do remember spending a lot of time studying the androgynous kissers on the album cover... trying to sort it all out. On this side of the pond, "Metal Mickey" did very well on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, peaking at No. 7. Alas, as the band piled up hit after hit on home soil, there would never be another "Metal Mickey" over here. If you were into Suede for the long haul, let me know what you think I missed.

10 comments:

george said...

I've had a "God that's boring2 coming from my right, Brian. But she's wrong there. I have the album Coming Up and really like it. Yes, they are not original, and got a lot of stick I think because of that, but if the music's good, so what???? I went to see Suede in ca. 1994. I was 31. I felt I was the oldest person there by about 15 years, and it felt realu realy seedy to be there so Ileft after 30 or so mins. (I've just been told nottowrite about stuf that my partner says, so please ignore that first comment)

friend of rachel worth said...

Could do with a suede now. Check out bloodsports it is better than any comeback lp has a right to be

Scott said...

Quite a few people seem to think that Dog Man Star is their best album but they are wrong. The Debut album still sounds glorious today. I saw them live round about the same time as George in a great venue in Glasgow called The Plaza Ballroom, which is sadly no longer there, and they literally took the roof off the place. In their early live days they were peerless. I think Coming Up is almost on a par with the debut and totally agree with FORW about Bloodsports.

The Swede said...

If you pinned me to the floor and threatened me with violence to name, off the top of my head, my favourite three tunes from the 1990's, 'Trash' would be No.2. A glorious, glamtastic riot of a song that takes me effortlessly back to a particularly happy period of my life.
I'm very intrigued to see if my No.1 (or No.3) appears later in your excellent series.

C said...

Hi Brian - I love this post. Love the fact that you bought this album without ever having first heard a note of it. How is it some bands can some bands have that effect and not others?!
I'm a huge Suede fan now... and a large proportion of the S section on the CD rack is taken up with their output. The irony is that I didn't take much notice of them at the time (and just thought of Brett as being a Bowie wannabe). It's only in the last five years that I really started to appreciate them. I think their performance of Animal Nitrate at the Brit Awards was as anti-establishment as punk had been in the early days and had I been the same age then as I was when I first saw the Pistols etc. I think the effect on me would've been the same.
Anyway...Head Music is a fave of mine now, in spite of bad reviews at the time. But I like just about everything, incl. Bloodsports. And Brett himself ;-)

Brian said...

George, If you want your partner to like Suede, perhaps you would be better off showing her a music video. Anyway, sure happy you like them. I have felt like the oldest at a show before. Not the best I have ever felt.

FORW and Scott, Thanks for the suggestions. I should pull the trigger on Bloodsports already. Made the year-end lists of plenty of bloggers I respect.

Swede, I'm the one that's intrigued. Quite curious about your 1 and 3 and will be wondering if I'm getting warm every time I post a slot.

C, Thanks so much for your thoughts and suggestions on Suede. Animal Nitrate received some serious consideration for this list. Must check out that performance at the Brit Awards. I spent a great deal of time on your blog tonight... really enjoyed it. I would be honored to add you to my blogroll. At any rate, you will surely be part of my regular reading rotation.

Dirk said...

Then again, Brian, sorry to say that Fugazi are way cooler than Suede, so perhaps the girl behind the counter did the right thing ....

Brian said...

I was waiting for that one, Dirk.

Dirk said...

... always happy to oblige, mate :-)

Anonymous said...

Trash is v good.
Swiss Adam