Dog Man Star

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Dog Man Star
Dog man star.jpg
Studio album by Suede
Released 10 October 1994
Recorded 22 March–26 July 1994
Studio Master Rock Studios in London
Genre
Length 57:50
Label Nude
Producer Ed Buller
Suede chronology
Suede
(1993)Suede1993
Dog Man Star
(1994)
Coming Up
(1996)Coming Up1996
Singles from 'Dog Man Star'
  1. "We Are the Pigs"
    Released: 12 September 1994
  2. "The Wild Ones"
    Released: 7 November 1994
  3. "New Generation"
    Released: 30 January 1995

Dog Man Star is the second album by English alternative rock band Suede, released in October 1994 on Nude Records. The album was recorded in London at Master Rock studios in early 1994 and was produced by Ed Buller. It was the last Suede album to feature guitarist Bernard Butler, due to growing tensions between him and singer Brett Anderson ending with Butler leaving the band before the album was completed. As a result, some tracks on the album had to be completed with the assistance of session musicians.

Arriving late 1994 and the last of the Britpop "big four" to release an album that year, the record was viewed as being very out of step with the mainstream music scene; chronicling the band as they eschewed from the "Britpop pack".[1] In contrast to the first album Suede, which highly emulated the influences of David Bowie and The Smiths,[2] Dog Man Star exhibits an individualistic aesthetic, drawing from a wider range of influences. Although it did not sell on the same scale as their chart-topping debut, Dog Man Star reached number three on the UK Albums Chart and was certified as gold by the BPI in November 1994.[3]

The grandiose, ambitious, and heavily orchestrated album was greeted with enthusiastic reviews but muted commercial response.[4] Reviews in the UK were very positive, while reviews in the US were mixed. Nevertheless, it is now considered by many to be Suede's masterpiece.[5][6][7][8] On release it was relatively unknown in the mainstream, although the album has over time garnered universal acclaim from critics.[9] In the intervening decade between Suede's 2003 separation and the release of Bloodsports, the album has steadily garnered a strong following as a classic album. In October 2013, NME magazine placed the album at number 31 in its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[10]

Background[edit]

In early 1994, when Suede were about to release the standalone single "Stay Together", the morale within the group was at an all-time low. Butler's father had died just as the band were about to begin their second American tour. The first week of the tour was cancelled, and Suede flew back to London from New York. When the tour did resume, Butler distanced himself from the rest of the band far more than before. Recently bereaved and engaged to his fiancee Elisa, according to Butler, "they got really resentful of the fact that they were on tour with someone who didn't want to party."[11] He even travelled separately, either alone, by taxi, or on the tour bus of support act the Cranberries. Then in Atlanta, Suede suffered the disappointment of having to open for the Cranberries,[12] who had been given a friendlier reception than the head-liners and received the support from MTV as well.[4] By New York they had had enough and the last few dates were cancelled. According to drummer Simon Gilbert, Butler was becoming unworkable and intolerable, and the band could not function together any longer.[12] To record Suede's next album Anderson moved to Highgate, North London and began to write lyrics influenced by heavy drugs while living in a secluded Victorian mansion;[13] a time which is detailed in the band biography Love and Poison.

The album was later described by one journalist as "the most pompous, overblown British rock record of the decade."[14] Anderson has said that its overblown sound was down to his use of psychedelic drugs. "I was doing an awful lot of acid at the time, and I think it was this that gave us the confidence to push boundaries."[14] Anderson has said that he thrived on the surreal environment he lived in at the time; next door were a sect known as the Mennonites, who would often sing hymns during Anderson's drug binges.[15] After the success of their debut album, Suede were hailed as the inventors of Britpop, something they were proud of for a short while. However, Britpop started to be dominated by the "big four", who along with Suede, were Blur, Oasis and Pulp.[16] This disgusted Anderson, who called Britpop "horribly twisted, a musical Carry On film", and he began to distance himself from the scene.[14] "We could not have been more uninterested in that whole boozy, cartoon-like, fake working-class thing." the singer said in 2008, "As soon as we became aware of it, we went away and wrote Dog Man Star. You could not find a less Britpop record. It's tortured, epic, extremely sexual and personal. None of those things apply to Britpop."[17]

Recording and production[edit]

The album was recorded between 22 March and 26 July 1994 at Master Rock Studios, Kilburn, London. The rehearsals were very tense and would inevitably split the band into two separate camps. Butler had his own agenda and he frequently clashed with the rest of the band and producer Ed Buller, who he had concerns with during the recording of the first album. Butler seemed to antagonise his separation further when he appeared on the front cover of Vox magazine with the tag line, "Brett drives me insane."[18] The interview explained how Butler liked to improvise and how Anderson made this impossible because of his slow ways of working, and his obsession with rock stardom.[4] A despondent Anderson remembers reading the article the same morning he was recording the vocals for "The Asphalt World": "I remember trying to channel all this hurt that I was feeling and the iciness I was feeling into the vocal."[19] Butler later apologised to Anderson over the incident. Musical differences over "The Asphalt World" triggered the next dispute. The version that made it on to the album clocks in at nine minutes 25 seconds, but according to bass player Mat Osman, Butler's initial creation was a 25-minute piece with an eight-minute guitar solo.[20]

Osman, felt that Butler's compositions were too audacious and experimental, "Lots of the musical ideas were too much. They were being rude to the listener: it was expecting too much of people to listen to them."[20] The original extended version was in fact 18 minutes long and had to be cut in half; although this long version was, according to Anderson composed in pre-production and featured only guitar and drums; and was intended to be edited, hence the original version is just over 11 minutes long. Butler had been writing lots of additional minor-pieces and was absorbed in complex arrangements. He was interested in prog rock and appeared in a BBC programme on Pink Floyd at the time.[21] The extended "Asphalt World" and the experimental ending for "The Wild Ones" were borne out of this affinity. Both would later appear in the 2011 expanded edition. The arguments over "The Asphalt World" spilled over on to the rest of the album, as Butler became progressively more dissatisfied with Ed Buller's production. In a 2005 interview, the guitarist maintained his position on the matter, stating that Buller "made a terrible shoddy job of it."[22] Butler wanted Buller dismissed, allowing him to produce the record by himself.

Although it was later revealed that Butler had recommended Chris Thomas as their producer. Thomas was more experienced and had previously worked with punk rock bands The Pretenders and the Sex Pistols; however Suede's label Nude Records dismissed the idea, saying he was too expensive.[23] Nude's owner Saul Galpern claimed that the guitarist became impossible to reason with and also made threats to him and Buller. Buller claims he received phone calls where he heard something akin to scratching knives.[24] Butler issued the band and their management an ultimatum: either they sacked Buller, or he would walk out.[20] The rest of the band refused to comply with Butler's demands and decided to let him walk out before the record was finished. Butler insisted he was kicked out the band, as he turned up to the studio one day to find he was not allowed in. He went back the next day to pick up his guitar and was told through the intercom that his guitar would be left in the street for him.[25] Suede's manager Charlie Charlton made a final attempt to reach consensus between the two parties, however during a tense phone conversation the final words Butler uttered to Anderson were along the lines of "you're a fucking cunt."[22][25]

On 8 July, Butler exited the sessions leaving Dog Man Star some distance from completion. Anderson had recorded little more than a string of guide vocals; several songs did not have titles; much of the music was still to be embossed with overdubs.[25] One notable song, "The Power" did not feature the guitarist and had to be played by a session guitarist instead.[26] Anderson and Buller admitted that the song suffers from his absence.[27][28] Buller and the remaining members succeeded in taking the record to its conclusion. Butler did finish some of his guitar parts, however he refused to do it at Master Rock and instead used another studio where he could work on his own.[29] This is where he made a contractual contribution to "Black or Blue".[21] Anderson discovered a covert backing vocal on the song, which he recalled: "I can't remember the exact words but it sounded vaguely threatening."[30] Among the post-Butler additions was a reworked ending to "The Wild Ones", replacing the four minute extended outro; an orchestral coda on "Still Life" and an electric guitar part, copied directly from Butler's original demo of "The Power", which he strongly criticised.[31] Butler became a harsh critic of the album, not just from a production standpoint, but the overall musicianship.

He cites lack of commitment in the studio and the band's unwillingness to challenge his elaborate ideas as his main criticism: "I just heard too many times, 'No, you can't do that'. I was sick to death of it. I think it's a good record, but it could have been much better."[32] On the other hand, Buller has stated that the recording process had some "happy accidents" while the tape was running. Butler recorded separately from the rest of the band in a purpose-built lounge. There was a TV in the lounge and Butler can be heard tuning the TV at the beginning of "The Asphalt World".[28] At the end of the song Butler can be heard changing channels and picking up a section of dialogue from Lauren Bacall from the film Woman's World.[8] Buller also talked of the impromptu recording of Butler playing the intro to "The Wild Ones" on a dobro outside as he sat on the roof of his car.[28][8] Osman and Buller share similar views on the final recordings. For example, Buller described "Still Life" as being "over-the-top." While he said "New Generation" was in the wrong key, whose drums and mix were "appalling."[28] Osman stated that he regretted the addition of the orchestra on "Still Life" but understood the appeal of it; and on "New Generation," he criticised the production, saying the song "suffers from the murkiness of the mix."[33]

Influences and themes[edit]

"We were competing with the great records of the past; that's what we had to prove with it. I was trying to write without any boundaries. I was living in a bizarre house in north London, taking lots and lots of hallucinogenic drugs, and writing in a stream of consciousness about anything I wanted and pushing myself as an artist. Dog Man Star is a real testament to what you can create when you want to push yourself as far as you can go."
 – Brett Anderson reflecting on Dog Man Star in 2011.[34]

Writing for The New York Times, Neil Strauss said: "Dog Man Star looks back to the era when glam-rock met art rock, with meticulously arranged songs sung with a flamboyance reminiscent of David Bowie and accompanied by anything from a 40-piece orchestra to an old Moog synthesizer."[35] The Bowie influence was still omnipresent, however, unlike their debut, Suede focused on a darker and more melodramatic sound.[13] Anderson stated that a lot of the album's sexuality was inspired by Prince.[36] He also drew inspiration from Scott Walker. In his book The Last Party, John Harris opined that the influence of Walker was prevalent throughout the album, highlighting the songs "Still Life" and "Black or Blue".[37] Other influences were Kate Bush's Hounds of Love and Berlin by Lou Reed; which Anderson described as "albums with a musical journey and stories of sadness and darkness."[36] Butler drew inspiration from The Smiths' The Queen is Dead, Joy Division's Closer, Marc and the Mambas' Torment and Toreros and The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling".[38]

In retrospect, aside from being a collection of songs, there is a perception among some that the album tells a story; that its structure consists of a beginning, middle and end.[39] One critic opined: "There is a proper introduction, a rousing orchestral finale, and arguably a coherent narrative of love, sex, drugs and loss."[40] Anderson was highly influenced by the silver screen and admitted that during the recording of Suede's debut album, he watched Performance every night.[41] Critics have noted the album's cinematic influence, with Simon Price writing that Anderson used the city as a "cinematic backdrop to the tragic heroism of his own life."[6] Likewise, on the subject of Suede's familiar lyrical themes, the Radio Times wrote that "He [Anderson] would replace it with something deeper and timeless, drawing on old Hollywood and tragic, quotidian love stories."[26] Critics have likened the album to having an aura of claustrophobia.[42][2] While SPIN, summarised the album as "the work of a man cautiously opening the bedroom door and reeling from the discovery that other people have lives."[43] Other themes the album explores are solitude, paranoia and self-loathing.[1] On the darker side the album depicts tragedy, failed relationships and doomed romances; however, within this dark setting, Anderson allowed positive statements of ambition and social mobility, reflected in "The Power".[27]

Music and lyrics[edit]

As they were on Suede, elements of Anderson's lyrics were influenced by his drug use, citing William Blake as a big influence on his writing style.[14] He became fascinated with his use of visions and trance-like states as a means of creation, claiming that much of the "fragmented imagery" on "Introducing the Band" was the result of letting his subconscious take over.[44] The song was a mantra he wrote after visiting a Buddhist temple in Japan.[38] Lewis Carroll was an influence on the lyrics, who Anderson was reading at the time. There was also an Orwellian tone, which permeated into the second song "We Are the Pigs".[27] Lead single "We Are the Pigs" depicts Anderson's visions of Armageddon and riots in the streets.[44] The song also features horns that are reminiscent of those used in the theme music from Peter Gunn.[45] Anderson's lyrical subjects became exclusively tragic figures, such as the addicted teenager in "Heroine", and James Dean in "Daddy's Speeding".[46] Both songs, according to Anderson, introduce the themes of isolation where the obsession is forming relationships with fantasy figures, as opposed to real people.[27]

"Heroine", with the refrain, I'm aching to see my heroine, has a celebrity influence, paying homage to Marilyn Monroe, while evoking Lord Byron.[47] "She Walks in Beauty like the night", the song's opening line, is the first line of a Byron poem. Anderson wrote the eulogy "Daddy's Speeding", about a dream involving taking drugs with the late American actor James Dean.[38] The slow-tempo song culminates with a build-up of feedback and white noise, depicting a car crash. Osman stated that this was an effort to replicate the sound of machinery using guitars.[33] It was partly inspired by "How Do You Think It Feels" from Lou Reed's Berlin.[27] The recurring theme of self-loathing is reflected in the ballad "The Wild Ones", which tells of a dying relationship.[2] Anderson considers this song to be his favourite single moment in Suede's history.[27] Pitchfork agreed, saying it "might be Suede's best single, its sweeping orchestration, vocals, and guitar parts coming together in fragile but perfect balance."[48] The main refrain was partly inspired by Jacques Brel's "Ne me quitte pas".[27] Here, Anderson alternates between tenor and falsetto.[49] Anderson's voice is generally deeper compared to other Suede albums, where he sang in a higher register.[39]

"Black or Blue" is a song about racial intolerance and tells the story of a doomed interracial romance. Critics have likened the song to West Side Story.[49][43] "This Hollywood Life" is the most aggressive song on the album. A standard rock song, it features a guitar riff throughout the verses and a guitar solo. John Harris of NME wrote: "a record so couched in earth-shacking drama probably needs at least one spittle-flecked tantrum."[45] Anderson states that the song is about the "seedier side of the music business," where people are forced to debase themselves somewhat to succeed.[27] "New Generation" is an up-tempo song, considered the most upbeat song on the album and a moment of "sleek rock'n'roll."[50] One writer noted that Anderson sounds more like Bowie in "New Generation" than he did in previous songs that drew similar comparisons.[49] "The Asphalt World" is the longest song on the album and considered its centrepiece. It is a slow-tempo rock ballad partly influenced by Pink Floyd, with one of Butler's longest guitar solos. Its lyrics convey deviancy and sexual jealousy as Anderson revealed the song's lyrics could have been lifted entirely from his own diary.[27] The song uses one of Anderson's familiar lyrical themes of hired/rented cars.[51]

The piano ballad "The 2 of Us", according to Anderson, is about loneliness against the backdrop of wealth and fame; a professional couple incapable of relating to one another emotionally. It features Anderson's favourite lyrics on the album: the snow might fall and write the line on the silent page.[27] A tap dancer was originally heard over the middle eight section. This was removed and replaced with a flute player.[33] Echoing "Sleeping Pills" from Suede, "The 2 of Us" and "Still Life" are considered to be written from the viewpoint of a bored or lonely housewife.[43][52] An early concept that was originally planned for Suede,[53] "Still Life" features the 40-piece Sinfonia of London orchestra.[54] The song is a tale of someone waiting for their lover to come home, gazing out the window. Anderson also agreed with Buller and Osman that the orchestral coda was over-the-top but defended it saying: "it was conceived very much with the album's journey in mind and as such provided an eloquent end point."[27] Alexis Petridis called it a "suitably overblown finale to an overblown album."[42]

Title and artwork[edit]

The back cover of the album featuring the photograph "Lost Dreams".

Anderson spoke of the album's title as a kind of shorthand Darwinism reflecting his own journey from the gutter to the stars.[55] Fans noted the similarity to experimental film-maker Stan Brakhage's 1964 film, Dog Star Man. According to Anderson, the film had no influence on the title. He claims that the three words are featured in almost all the songs in some form.[56] The title is intended as a proud summation of Suede's evolution. "It was meant to be a record about ambition; what could you make yourself into."[15]

The artwork, which features a naked man sprawled on a bed was lifted from one of Anderson's old photo books. Taken by American photographer Joanne Leonard in 1971, the front cover picture was originally titled "Sad Dreams on Cold Mornings" and the rear photo "Lost Dreams".[55] Anderson says, "I just liked the image, really, of the bloke on the bed in the room. It's quite sort of sad and sexual, I think, like the songs on the album."[57] The image on the window of the back cover is the same image on Quintessence' 1972 album Self.

Release[edit]

Dog Man Star was released in the UK 10 October 1994, and entered the UK Albums Chart at no. 3.[58] In response to the lower charting than the previous album, Anderson said: "I felt that it didn't get the commercial success it deserved, it got the critical success. I think a lot of people thought the band had split up because Bernard had left."[59] Lead single "We Are the Pigs", peaked at 18,[58] plunging to 38 the following week. The choice of lead single had been a subject of debate, with Sony wanting to release "New Generation" first for commercial reasons.[21] However, Anderson disagreed as he felt that it lacked the drama that represented the album.[60] Second single, "The Wild Ones" also peaked at no. 18. The third single "New Generation" charted at no. 21.[58] "The Power", the proposed fourth single, set for release May of 1995 never materialised.[61]

The album was released in the US on Columbia two weeks later on October 25.[62] The album and its singles did not receive the same level of promotion and radio play as the previous album. This was due to the difficult climate surrounding the time of release. Such difficulties were the departure of Butler, a name change to the London Suede, as a singer has rights to the name Suede in America, and an anti-Anglo sentiment at modern rock radio.[63] The US release contained a bonus track "Modern Boys",[62] b-side to "The Wild Ones". The album charted at no. 35 on Billboard's Heatseekers Albums chart.[64]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[13]
Chicago Tribune 3/4 stars[65]
Entertainment Weekly B[66]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[42]
The Irish Times 4/5 stars[67]
NME 9/10[45]
Pitchfork 8.9/10[48]
Q 5/5 stars[52]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[68]
Select 4/5[69]

The album was released to universal praise in the UK music press. John Harris of NME gave Dog Man Star a rating of nine out of ten, calling it "a startling record: an album surrounded by the white heat of something close to genius." He stated: "the songs of Dog Man Star are grand designs, enacted against grandiose backdrops."[45] David Sinclair of Q magazine gave the album a full five stars; in his review he said. "With Dog Man Star the group has vindicated just about every claim that was ever made on their behalf...It will be hailed in years to come as the crowning achievement of a line-up that reinvented English, guitar-band rock'n'roll for the 1990s."[52] Nicholas Barber of The Independent complimented Butler's musicianship, "The follow-up to Suede's Mercury-Prize-winning debut is a larger-than-life blend of pop hooks and theatrical gestures. The music is a testament to the talent of its composer, Bernard Butler, whose lurid guitar curls notes into the mix exactly where they are needed." He added that, "at times Dog Man Star is messy and preposterous. But no record collection is complete without it."[50] Stuart Maconie of Select gave the album four stars out of five, writing: "fools will call it lush when in fact it's a masterpiece." He singled out "The Power" and "Still Life", as "the best things they've done to date."[69]

In the US, Suede never matched the moderate success of the first album. This was partly due to the mix-up over the band's name and partly because Dog Man Star "was one of the most pretentious albums ever released by a major label," according to music journalist Rob Sheffield.[68] Dog Man Star has sold 36,000 copies in the US as of 2008 according to Nielsen SoundScan. By comparison, this is about a third of the sales of Suede, which shifted 105,000 units.[70] In contrast to the first album, Dog Man Star had a mixed critical reception in the US. Robert Christgau of The Village Voice was keen on Suede's debut album, however he rated Dog Man Star a "dud" in his consumer guide review.[71] Likewise, Entertainment Weekly were less enthused. Chuck Eddy said: "the band that used to be Suede comes off affected and dull."[66] Steve Hochman of the Los Angeles Times expressed similar views, saying that "Suede's 1993 debut held promise, but this one looks backward instead of forward."[72] However, on the contrary some critics saw the album as a step forward. Simon Reynolds of The New York Times felt that the band "soars to new heights of swoony hysteria," in contrast to the first album, which targeted a small audience with its glam sound. In conclusion, he said: "Dog Man Star deserves attention, if only for its absurd ambition."[73]

Jonathan Bernstein of SPIN also praised the record. He felt that "Still Life" was the best moment, calling it "a stunning conceit that the group pulls off immaculately." He concluded by saying: "this is a group capable of far surpassing its perceived limitations."[43] Writing for the Michigan Daily and echoing similar feelings of pushing boundaries, Thomas Crowley said that "Dog Man Star will not only silence the band's most spiteful critics, but it will also surpass fans' expectations with its monumental sound."[49] There was further praise from American critics, with Chicago Tribune,[65] People magazine,[74] and LGBT magazine The Advocate[75] publishing positive reviews. Outside the London-centric press, there were positive reviews from other parts of the British Isles. Ireland's Hot Press,[76] and Scottish magazine The List[77] published very positive reviews. Dog Man Star featured in many end-of-year lists with SPIN, Vox, NME, Rockdelux and Select including it in their top ten. With Mojo ranking at 15, OOR at 14, Melody Maker at 13, Eye Weekly at 12, and The Face at 11.[78]

Reissues[edit]

In June 2011, Suede released remastered and expanded editions of their previous five studio albums. Released in chronological order each week. The expanded version includes the original 12 tracks remastered. Additional bonus material includes demos, all b-sides from the singles "Stay Together", "We Are the Pigs" and "The Wild Ones". Missing are the b-sides to "New Generation", which featured replacement guitarist Richard Oakes. Also included are six extra tracks; notable songs include the original unedited versions of "The Wild Ones" and "The Asphalt World", and "La Puissance", a version of "The Power" sung in French. The DVD features song-films which were specially created for the Dog Man Star tour and previously-unseen footage of the band playing at the Casino de Paris and at the Fnac, Les Halles in Paris on 27 November 1993. The bonus DVD material features a 2011 interview with Anderson and Butler including contemporary film inserts from Simon Gilbert. The booklet contains all the lyrics, hand-written lyric drafts and previously unpublished photos of the band. There is also a specially-written note by Anderson; in it he says: "If I could choose to be remembered for just one musical document it would be this."[79] Out of all Suede's reissues, Dog Man Star sold the most units and charted at no. 63 in the UK Albums Chart.[58]

Contents of the 20th anniversary box set

To celebrate the 20th anniversary release of the album, Suede released a limited edition box set in October 2014.[80] The special edition included High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray of the album and b-sides; 2 CDs in mini gatefold sleeve and a cassette of entire album with the original 1994 inlay; DVD footage and previously unseen video interviews with the band from July 2013; 1994 performances from Top of the Pops and The O-Zone, Dog Man Star tour films and the "Stay Together" promo video; vinyl 12″ singles of "We Are the Pigs" and "The Wild Ones" and a 7" reproduction of the NME flexi disc in original picture sleeve; 60 page hardback book with notes by Brett Anderson, photos, handwritten lyrics and ephemera; a 48-page sheet music book with five songs; plastic carrier bag with an exclusive design; an A2 poster and a 12″ x 12″ print. There are two versions of the box set packaging artwork. One is identical to the original artwork. The other design, which is the Collector's Limited Edition comes in an alternative colour treatment of an orange tint, which was limited to five hundred units. This version also included a vinyl 12″ "Stay Together" single.

Legacy[edit]

With the exception of A New Morning, Dog Man Star was Suede's least commercially successful album from before they split up, yet It is widely considered by many critics as Suede's masterpiece.[5][6][7][8] Although the album remained a favourite among critics, appearing in many best of lists throughout the 1990s, it was often designated as a 'lost classic'. Following Suede's disbandment in 2003 some critics recognised this while writing about the album in the years during the band's hiatus. In September 2003, shortly before Suede disbanded, the album featured in Stylus Magazine's 'On Second Thought' feature, which aims at providing a fresh look at unjustly ignored or misunderstood albums. Their contributor Jon Monks said: "Suede will never make a record this good again, whether it is because Butler left or merely it was a such a perfect time for Brett to be writing, they have failed to make anything nearly so encompassing as this."[2] In a 2006 retrospective review, Michael Furman of Tiny Mix Tapes, while comparing Suede to Radiohead, Oasis and Manic Street Preachers, all bands who released popular records around this time, said: "It is Suede's Dog Man Star, however, that often slips through the recollections of this period."[81] Echoing this sentiment, in 2008 writing for Head Heritage, Jason Parkes said: "Dog Man Star remains an interesting record and quite odd and too rich for the mainstream at the time."[21]

At the height of Suede's 2010 reunion, the band attracted strong interest from the music media. In 2010 American music magazine Crawdaddy! reappraised the album, saying: "Despite the challenges Suede faced, Anderson achieved the anti-Britpop album he wanted in Dog Man Star, to the kudos of the hipper critical circle, and the detriment of the band's mainstream appeal. For all its indulgence and Bowie-esque melodrama, it's more literate, more tortured, and more ambitious than its peers. More substantive than a "woo-hoo", brighter than any champagne supernova, Dog Man Star's origins, theatrics, and sense of rebellion are the stuff of rock'n'roll legend."[82] To coincide with the release of the long-awaited sixth album Bloodsports in March 2013, Dog Man Star became a talking point among critics and soon garnered more coverage with a collection of retrospective critical essays.[39][40][46] In 2013, NME placed the album at number 31 in its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[10] In 2014, Mike Diver of Clash, included the album in a list of his six favourite Britpop albums, saying: "Listening today, the record feels as weighty as it did at the time, its production carefully pointing distress through the noise, setting beauty against the bleak."[83]

In September 2003, Suede played five nights at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts, dedicating each night to one of their five albums and playing through an entire album a night. Tickets sold fastest for Tuesday's Dog Man Star night,[84] and were selling for over a £1,000 a pair on eBay.[85] By comparison, tickets for A New Morning went for up to £100.[86] In March 2014, Suede made their second appearance at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust's annual series of gigs. The band performed Dog Man Star in its entirety to mark the album's 20th anniversary.[87]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Alternative Press US The 90 Greatest Albums of the 90's[78] 1998 37
British Hit Singles & Albums UK Poll: Greatest 100 Albums of All Time[88] 2006 75
Robert Dimery UK 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die[89] 2005 *
The Guardian UK 1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die[90] 2007 *
Guitar World US Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994[91] 2014 *
Colin Larkin UK All Time Top 1000 Albums[92] 1998 62
Melody Maker UK All Time Top 100 Albums[78] 2000 16
Metro Weekly US 50 Best Alternative Albums of the '90s[93] 2014 17
NME UK 100 Best Albums[78] 2003 78
The 100 Greatest British Albums Ever[78] 2006 58
The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time[10] 2013 31
Pitchfork US The 50 Best Britpop Albums[94] 2017 5
Q UK In Our Lifetime: Q's 100 Best Albums[78] 1995 *
Readers' All Time Top 100 Albums[95] 1998 35
250 Best Albums of Q's Lifetime[96] 2011 81
Rockdelux Spain 150 Best Albums from the 90s[78] 2000 67
Select UK The 100 Best Albums of the 90's[78] 1996 17

(*) designates unordered lists.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Brett Anderson; all music composed by Bernard Butler.

No. Title Length
1. "Introducing the Band" 2:38
2. "We Are the Pigs" 4:19
3. "Heroine" 3:22
4. "The Wild Ones" 4:50
5. "Daddy's Speeding" 5:22
6. "The Power" 4:31
7. "New Generation" 4:37
8. "This Hollywood Life" 3:50
9. "The 2 of Us" 5:45
10. "Black or Blue" 3:48
11. "The Asphalt World" 9:25
12. "Still Life" 5:23
American release bonus track
No. Title Length
13. "Modern Boys" 4:07

2011 Remastered and Expanded Version[edit]

20th Anniversary Box Set Limited Edition[edit]

Disc two and DVD contain same tracks as per the 2011 reissue.

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Original album weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1994) Peak
position
The Official Finnish Charts[98] 14
French Albums Chart[99] 32
Japanese Albums Chart[100] 39
Swedish Albums Chart[101] 5
UK Albums Chart[58] 3
US Heatseekers Albums Chart[64] 35

2011 Remastered and Expanded Version[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
Japanese Albums Chart[102] 232
UK Albums Chart[58] 63

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jones, Chris (21 September 2007). "Brett and Bernard's big bust-up album. Lovelier than ever.." BBC. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
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Bibliography[edit]