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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 115
Fri. May 24, 2013

“Beautiful Ones”
Suede

1996

“♫ because
you’re
beautiful
♫”

I woke up with this catchy Coming Up number in my head this morning and let me tell you it was quite electrifying. Although during my more mournful bachelor nights I may have preferred the shadow sounds of Dog Man Star, I am starting fall for the golden and more glorious Bit Pop sound of Coming Up. Having been a true Suede-head since the first single, 1992’s “The Drowners,” I am finding lately that my favorite Suede album is 1996’s Coming Up.

Even though ‘Beautiful Ones” sounds like an effortless Brit Pop classic, the making of this Coming Up single was anything but glamorous, co-written with new teenage prodigy guitarist Richard Oakes, Brett Anderson explained how “Beautiful Ones” was birthed, when he said in David Barnett’s Suede: Love & Poison, “ ‘Get Richard, I wanna hear that riff.’ And so we called Richard and he comes over and there were these weird scenes where we had these bits of songs […] That was part if the whole experience. [Richard] didn’t take drugs and I’d be sitting there with [Brett’s childhood friend] Alan [Fisher] and we’d been up for days I’d invite him around. And the way the songs were written in this weird, hedonistic atmosphere was sort of what the songs were about as well.”

Did you know it was Richard Oakes, during one of the band’s rehearsals for the Coming Up sessions, who came up with the legendary “Beautiful Ones” riff? The sober teenage prodigy Oakes actually calmed the fears, after original axe-man Bernard Butler left Suede, Richard took up the mantle penning some Brit Pop classics with Anderson. Young Richard recalled those writing sessions at Brett’s, steeped in excess; the guitarist remembered telling Barnett in Love & Poison, “Alan and Brett were wrecked. They’d been up for a couple of days and they invited me round. And every time it got to the end of “Beautiful Ones” neither Brett nor Alan could be bothered to lean over and press rewind. We ended up cramming into his tiny writing room, which was basically a cupboard, and he gave me a guitar and said ‘Play the riff.” And I played it and he’d sing on top of it, sweating buckets. But I knew it was a winner […]”

Richard was right; “Beautiful Ones” was a winner and became a UK Top Ten Hit reaching number 8 in 1996. “Beautiful Ones” captures the classic love and poison riff esthetic of Suede with Brett’s trademark anthem chorus and mix in an addictive backbeat taking you on a postmodern Brit Pop trip that you will want to immediately re-experience.

Created under altered states, “Beautiful Ones” remains a clever pop song with a Suede twist; This Brett Anderson/Richard Oakes hit was crafted for the off kilter, sexually hungry and for those searching the high life, making “Beautiful,” One of the most memorable Brit Pop excess anthems of 1996.

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