The Drowners

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Not to be confused with The Drowners (Swedish band) or Drowners (American band).
"The Drowners"
The drowners.jpg
Single by Suede
from the album Suede
B-side "To the Birds"
Released 11 May 1992
Format CD, vinyl record (7", 12")
Recorded 1992
Genre Britpop
Length 4:10
Label Nude
Writer(s) Brett Anderson, Bernard Butler
Producer(s) Ed Buller
Suede singles chronology
"The Drowners"
"Metal Mickey"

"The Drowners" is the debut single by Suede, released on 11 May 1992 on Nude Records. It charted at number 49 on the UK singles chart.[1] Though not a hit at first, it amassed airplay over time and has become one of the band's definitive singles. The song has been considered by many to be the beginning of the Britpop movement along with Blur's "Popscene". The title track featured two videos, one in rotation in the UK and the other in America

Critical reception[edit]

In a retrospective review of the song, Troy Carpenter of AllMusic wrote: "'The Drowners' itself is a raucous anthem, lassoed by Bernard Butler's punctuated guitar riff. Singer Brett Anderson's ambiguous lyrics ("We kiss in his room/to a popular tune") and high-pitched croon recall Bowie's most theatrical moments, but in a different musical setting."[2] It garnered much acclaim from NME and Melody Maker, who both voted the song single of the year.[3]

In 2014, NME ranked the song at number 104 in its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[4] "The Drowners" was placed at number 40 in a 2016 poll of "The 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the '90s" by music site PopMatters.[5]

Cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by Bristol space rock band Flying Saucer Attack. B-side "My Insatiable One", was notably covered by Morrissey during his 1992 world tour.[6] The song was covered in concert by the Manic Street Preachers with Bernard Butler guesting - a recording was released as a b-side to their single "She Is Suffering" in late 1994.

Track listings[edit]

All songs written by Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler.

7" Vinyl
  1. "The Drowners"
  2. "To The Birds"
12" Vinyl, CD
  1. "The Drowners"
  2. "To the Birds"
  3. "My Insatiable One"
CD (1993 US release)
  1. "The Drowners"
  2. "My Insatiable One"
  3. "To the Birds"
  4. "The Big Time"
  5. "He's Dead" (live at Glastonbury June 1993)

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1992) Peak
UK Singles Chart [1] 49


  1. ^ a b "Artist Chart History: Suede". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Carpenter, Troy. "Suede - The Drowners". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Davidson, Neil (21 April 1993). "Suede: The next big thing?". jam!. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Barker, Emily (31 January 2014). "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". NME. Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  5. ^ Gerard, Chris (25 July 2016). "The 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the '90s". PopMatters. Retrieved 15 December 2016. 
  6. ^ Daly, Steven (27 May 1993). "Suede: All That Glitters". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 

External links[edit]