Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 76
Sun. April 14, 2013

“Lost in TV”


“♫ We
wander through
our minds/
with images
& scenes/ with
lives/ rehearsing
for our

While most Brit Pop fans would like to believe Suede’s songwriting suffered after Bernard Butler left the band, the truth is otherwise, look at the songs Anderson penned with Richard Oakes, new keyboardist Neil Codling and then there’s the majestic contribution by bassist Mat Osman. Osman wrote one of Suede most glorious contributions the b-side, “Europe is our Playground.” Osman talked about the feeling of getting his first Suede song on wax when he told David Barnett in Suede: Love & Poison, “I was absolutely thrilled. It was amazing. I couldn’t even talk about it. There’s always been really good songwriters in Suede who just do it like making a cup of tea. I’ve seen Richard and Alex and Bernard do it and it’s incredibly frustrating to be honest. I’d always felt the competition was too great. I felt like Ringo. And you don’t want more than one “Octopus’s Garden” on the album.”

Osman’s not the Ringo of Suede. He’s more of a stoic, brilliant Sterling Morrison, Velvet Underground type but with a bass guitar. The amazing thing that happened after Bernard left the band was that each member stepped up and co-writing with Brett Anderson to keep Suede’s Brit Pop flame ablaze. After Mat’s success with “Europe is my Playground,” expectations were high for the Suede bassist wanting to prove that lightning struck twice it wasn’t until six years later that Osman proved that his “Europe” wasn’t just a one hit wonder.

I believe David Barnett said it best, describing Osman’s 2002 contribution “Lost in TV” in his book Suede: Love & Poison, Barnett eloquently wrote, “The other songs were even more promising, particularly Mat’s “Lost in TV,” which managed to take the best bits of [Dog Man Star’s] “The Power” and “Stay Together” and cross them with Richard O’Brien’s “Science Fiction Double Feature” –not as hideous as it sounds.” In fact, “Lost in TV” might have just bested “Europe is our Playground” as Mat Osman’s best song. It was so good that Suede named its video collection after the bassist’s 2002 composition.

We can’t speculate what would have happened if Bernard Butler would have stayed with Suede. I can definitely tell you that Coming Up would have sounded less glossy and more moody. One of the, unseen, benefits of Butler’s exit are the songs co-written by the other talented members of Suede. None more memorable than bassists’ Matt Osman’s contribution who’s “Europe is our Playground” will go down as one of Suede’s most beloved b-side anthems. Not to be outdone, Osman wielded his songwriting magic with 2002’s ‘Lost in TV.” It’s time to switch off and rediscover Mat Osman’s luscious Sci-Fi lullaby. If you’re searching for the perfect rare track to complete your Brit Pop playlist/collection, I urge you to get “Lost in TV” with Suede again.