The Drowners

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"The Drowners"
Single by Suede
from the album Suede
  • "To the Birds"
  • "My Insatiable One"
Released11 May 1992 (1992-05-11)
StudioMaster Rock (London, England)
Producer(s)Ed Buller
Suede singles chronology
"The Drowners"
"Metal Mickey"

"The Drowners" is the debut single of English rock band Suede, released on 11 May 1992 on Nude Records. It was later included on the band's debut album, Suede (1993). "The Drowners" charted at number 49 on the UK Singles Chart.


Though not a hit at first, it amassed airplay over time and has become one of the band's definitive singles. Two different videos were produced for the song, one on rotation in the UK and the other created for the American market. The cover art features a seventies photo of German model Veruschka body-painted with a man's suit.[3]


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."[4] It garnered much acclaim from NME and Melody Maker, who both voted the song single of the year.[5]

In 2014, NME ranked the song at number 104 in its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[6] "The Drowners" was placed at number 40 in a 2016 poll of "The 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the '90s" by music site PopMatters.[2]

Cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by Bristol space rock band Flying Saucer Attack. B-side "My Insatiable One", was covered by Morrissey during his 1992 world tour.[7] The song was covered in concert by the Manic Street Preachers. Bernard Butler played two songs at the same gig but contrary to many reports did not join them for The Drowners – a recording was released as a B-side to their single "She Is Suffering" in late 1994.

Track listings[edit]

All songs were written by Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler.


Chart (1992) Peak
UK Singles (OCC)[14] 49

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United Kingdom 11 May 1992
  • 7-inch vinyl
  • 12-inch vinyl
  • CD
Nude [15]
Japan 21 November 1992 CD [16]


  1. ^ Ross, Peter (6 July 2017). "'Oasis were about as dangerous as Herman's Hermits': Luke Haines and Louise Wener on Britpop revisited". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b Gerard, Chris (25 July 2016). "The 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the '90s". PopMatters. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  3. ^ Savage, Jon (January 1994). "Suede: Dream On". Mojo.
  4. ^ Carpenter, Troy. "Suede – The Drowners". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  5. ^ Davidson, Neil (21 April 1993). "Suede: The next big thing?". jam!. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ Barker, Emily (31 January 2014). "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". NME. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  7. ^ Daly, Steven (27 May 1993). "Suede: All That Glitters". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  8. ^ Suede (1992). The Drowners (UK 7-inch single vinyl disc). Nude Records. NUD 1S.
  9. ^ Suede (1992). The Drowners (UK 12-inch single sleeve). Nude Records. NUD 1T.
  10. ^ Suede (1992). The Drowners (UK CD single liner notes). Nude Records. NUD 1CD.
  11. ^ Suede (1993). The Drowners (European maxi-CD single liner notes). Nude Records. NUD 659714 2, 659714 2.
  12. ^ Suede (1993). The Drowners (US CD single liner notes). Columbia Records, Nude Records. 44K 77172.
  13. ^ Suede (1993). The Drowners (Japanese CD compilation liner notes). Nude Records. ESCA 5683.
  14. ^ "Suede: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 January 2024.
  15. ^ "New Releases: Singles". Music Week. 9 May 1992. p. 21.
  16. ^ "ドラウナーズ | スウェード" [Drowners | Suede] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 17 January 2024.

External links[edit]