‘A celebration of the madness of our lives’ – Suede look back on writing ‘Beautiful Ones’
“I wanted the song to reflect mine and my friends marginal lives”
As the band kick off a run of UK tour dates, Suede have looked back on the origin of their classic single ‘Beautiful Ones’.
Watch our ‘Song Stories’ video with the band above
Taken from the band’s seminal 1996 album ‘Coming Up’, the track has become a staple of the band’s live set and from the canon of ’90s indie for capturing the atmosphere of the era.
“I wanted the song to reflect mine and my friends marginal lives,” frontman Brett Anderson told NME. “Almost to be a celebration of the madness of our lives. I remember the original title was ‘The Beautiful Scum’, which I thought was a bit too marginal as a title. It was a bit odd and sounded like it was trying a bit too hard so I changed it to ‘Beautiful Ones’. It’s just a list of craziness I suppose.
“It’s one of those songs that we can’t not play live, I suppose. It’s like written into our contract to play it live. The idea of playing it live again is quite boring, but the reality is that it creates an amazing level of excitement in the room.”
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Bassist Mat Osman continued: “That riff at the beginning, Richard [Oakes, guitarist] had it for a long time – and the whole song is just built around it,” Osman continued. “I think we tried it on 20 different guitars.
“It’s probably the song that we’ve had sung back to us the most. For some reason, it’s one of those songs that after gigs and stuff, you’ll see huge gangs of people start singing it if they see us leaving. I’ve got a real memory of being in China in the lobby of a hotel, and there were about 100 people outside just singing the song back to us because they weren’t allowed in.”
He added: “It’s one of those songs that’s really taken on a life because it just connects with people. They feel it’s about them, and it is. That and ‘Trash’ – those ‘Coming Up’ songs are about the people around the band.”
Asked about the iconic video, Osman said: “I think it’s a really typical ’90s video in that, we look good in it, we’re playing the song, there are a couple of cut-aways, and it probably cost £100,000. It’s OK, its’a nice video, it shows what we looked like at the time and captures some of the excitement of the song.”
Suede recently released their acclaimed eighth album ‘The Blue Hour‘.
The band’s upcoming UK and Ireland tour dates are below. Tickets are available here. They will be joined by The Horrors.
Friday October 12 – LONDON Eventim Apollo
Saturday October 13 – LONDON Eventim Apollo
Sunday October 14 – DUBLIN Bord Gais Energy Theatre