Posts Tagged ‘Mat Osman’


Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Listen: The Drowners / Suede
The Drowners /Suede

Those early days of Suede, meaning about the time of ‘The Drowners’, now seem like a lifetime ago. It may have been the last great heyday for many, and someone somewhere coined that period, specific to the band, as capturing all the love and poison of London. In hindsight, it’s probably a bit over romantic but regardless, that’s how I choose to remember it.

Every label and industry person was in a twirl about them, all scheming for their piece, while simultaneously pretending to help each other. Even the haters knew they were unstoppable.

The adulation was both warranted and undeniable, making the jealousy and competition that lurked behind the curtain even more intriguing. I guess that was the poison bit.

Good for Suede, they showed the world. Every single in their active career stretch was stellar. No one could stop their greatness, and no one did.

Above: Jukebox Tab signed by Brett Anderson

Listen: Attitude / Suede
Attitude / Suede

Right up tight to the band’s very last single, ‘Attitude’, the circle was unbroken. Not a flawed release in Suede’s historic trail. And I bet, rather unexpectedly, as their star seemingly began to dim, ‘Attitude’ kicked everyone in the face by proving they were still current both musically and as a chart contender.

National treasure status successfully established. None of the hate nor poison of London can ever take that away.

Above: Jukebox Tab signed by Mat Osman


Monday, August 15th, 2011

Listen: Film Star / Suede
Film Star / Suede

Easily my favorite British act from the 90′s, and one of my favorites of all time. Favorite hardly describes it really. We’d met when they were unsigned, looking for a deal, having recorded their demo with Ed Buller, then resident engineer, in the Island demo studio at 22 St. Peter’s Square, during my last few months at the label.

By then, I was plotting my new venture through Warner Brothers, The Medicine Label, back in New York, but still spent a lot of time in London. I would soon try to sign them to my company for the US. Didn’t happen, but never mind, it not once blemished my love for their music.

It was during those months in early ’92 that I did my A&R drill, showing up at several of their shows around England, where they were playing to bulging crowds in small pubs and clubs, booked only a month or so prior to the frenzy. One night after a show at the Princess Charlotte Pub in Leicester, Brett, Mat and I rode back to London together, Brett dj-ing David Bowie’s HUNKY DORY the entire trip. In my opinion, Suede never took their eyes off it as one of the band’s great inspirations.

Third album, COMING UP unexpectedly took everyone off guard. Having replaced their original guitarist, the naysayers were naysaying big time. Big surprise, new guitarist Richard Oakes was a much better musician and ultimate band catalyst. As well, COMING UP established Mat Osman as one of rock’s very most accomplished bassists. After the album’s cycle, which by it’s finishing stretch had delivered five Top 10 UK singles, the non-believers were silenced. A fantastic work.

‘Film Star’ was the fifth of those five, a #9 in England.

Candi Staton

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

CandiStatonGhettoUSA, Candi Staton, Rick Hall, Fame, Mac Davis

Listen: In The Ghetto / Candi Staton CandiStatonGhetto.mp3

Country Soul, as Candi Staton’s sound has been tagged, well I guess somebody had to do it. Thankfully, her great voice lent itself to loads of covers while with Rick Hall’s Fame Records, including ‘Stand By Your Man’ and ‘That’s How Strong My Love Is’. Just after Fame secured distribution through United Artists in ’71, he and Candi cut this Mac Davis song at the company’s studios on Avalon Avenue in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. A history with some of the greatest voices both Fame and Rick Hall certainly had: Etta James, Clarence Carter, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin.

Mac Davis, now who would have thought he wrote ‘In The Ghetto’. Not me. This version is a nice end piece to Elvis’, a hit some 4 years earlier.

I had a few Candi Staton singles in the collection, but honestly, didn’t realize the power of her voice until hearing the compilation cd, titled simply CANDI STATON that Mat sent me. We’d been sitting in the Spreadeagle Pub in Camden – and I think ‘In The Ghetto’ came on the jukebox or something. Anyways we both basically lit up at the mention of her name, and he offered up his extra copy. Without it, I think I’d still be a little in the dark about her greatness.