Trash (Suede song)

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Single by Suede
from the album Coming Up
B-side "Europe Is Our Playground"
Released 29 July 1996
Format CD, Vinyl record (7")
Recorded 1996
Genre Britpop, indie rock
Length 4:06
Label Nude Records
Songwriter(s) Brett Anderson, Richard Oakes
Producer(s) Ed Buller
Suede singles chronology
"New Generation"
"Beautiful Ones"
"New Generation"
"Beautiful Ones"

"Trash" is the first single from the album Coming Up by Suede, released on 29 July 1996, on Nude Records. It is the first single on which all the songs were written without guitarist Bernard Butler, since Richard Oakes had taken his place. The single is tied with "Stay Together" as the band's highest charting at number three; however, it outsold the earlier single, thus making it their biggest selling single.


The song signified a dramatic change in the band's sound, as they went from gloomy and theatrical to glam-induced pop. The single version of "Trash" charted at No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart in 1996.[1] The song was the band's first overseas number one, hitting the top of the charts in Finland.[2] The song proved to be a successful comeback single for Suede, receiving universal praise from critics. Melody Maker had proclaimed the song "single of the week" a fortnight prior to release.[3] Ted Kessler of NME said: "So the scaremongers were wrong. Brett Anderson is the creative force behind Suede. Here's the proof: this week sees the release of their first post-Bernard Butler single and nobody can really admit that they thought it would sound half as good as it does."[4]

Song Meaning[edit]

Various meanings have been given to the song, but the main themes seem to be about 'outsiders', being different but living well with it. Anderson also described it as the soundtrack to his life, saying "It's about believing in the romance of the everyday."[5] In an interview in late 2009, for the SkyArts' Songbook series, Anderson said about the song:

"I actually wrote it about the band Suede. It's a celebration of the band, but by extension, it's a celebration of the fans as well. And it was a kind of a song written about us, as a gang, it was written about the values we stood for. And even though it sounds like a love song, it was actually about the idea of the identity of the band, and what they stood for."

Music Video[edit]

The video for the title song was filmed at Elstree Studios and directed by David Mould. Like the video for "New Generation", it has the whole band playing in a crowded room, yet this time, the people in the room as well as the setting are far more glamorous. The video also marks the first appearance of a new band member, keyboard player Neil Codling.


A 2014 poll by US music magazine Paste marking the 20th anniversary of Britpop listed "Trash" at number 14 in its list, "The 50 Best Britpop Songs." Michael Danaher wrote: "The song is a festering, anthemic pop gem that featuring a glorious chorus and guitar and synth-driven rhythm. A vastly underrated song this side of the Atlantic."[6]


A different version of the song appears on the group's 2003 compilation album Singles, where the vocals were re-recorded along with an alternative ending. All four of the singles' B-sides were included on Suede's compilation Sci-Fi Lullabies, which was released the following year, although the version of "Europe is our Playground" was a new version and not the original B-side version found here. "Europe is Our Playground" also marks the songwriting debut of bass guitarist Mat Osman.

A cover of "Trash" is featured on the 2009 album Rocket Science by Norwegian electro-rock band Apoptygma Berzerk.

Track listings[edit]

All songs by Brett Anderson and Richard Oakes except where noted.

7" Vinyl (via mail order), Cassette
  1. "Trash"
  2. "Europe Is Our Playground" (Anderson, Mat Osman)
  1. "Trash"
  2. "Europe Is Our Playground" (Anderson, Mat Osman)
  3. "Every Monday Morning Comes"
  1. "Trash"
  2. "Have You Ever Been This Low?"
  3. "Another No One" (Anderson)


  1. ^ "Artist Chart History: Suede". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Finnish Charts – Suede – "Trash"".
  3. ^ Thompson, Ben. "Suede's frontman was into British pop...". The Independent. 21 July 1996
  4. ^ Kessler, Ted. "I can't believe it's not Butler! The sensational rebirth of Suede". NME. 27 July 1996
  5. ^ Barnett, Laura. "Portrait of the artist: Brett Anderson". The Guardian. 18 January 2010
  6. ^ Stiernberg, Bonnie (11 June 2014). "The 50 Best Britpop Songs". Paste. Retrieved 5 June 2017.