Suede's first single "The Drowners" was released amid an "alternative" media frenzy, and was a moderate hit, though surpassed by "Metal Mickey" and "Animal Nitrate" a few months later. Their debut album Suede cemented the band's popularity. Their American success was, however, limited, as they were touring with the Cranberries, who had video support from MTV. Moreover, a lounge singer's lawsuit forced the band to go by the London Suede in the US. Inter-band tensions also mounted as they began working on the second album. Anderson and Butler were fighting constantly, and in the end Butler left before Dog Man Star (1994) was released. Though sales were sluggish, the album was critically acclaimed.
Butler was replaced by Richard Oakes before an international tour to promote the album; the band were then also joined by keyboardist and backing vocalist Neil Codling in the making of perhaps the album that gained the most mainstream success, Coming Up (1996). The album was a hit throughout the Europe, Asia and Canada, but still not in the United States. Their next album, Head Music (1999) was generally considered a disappointment, and Suede parted company with Nude Records, signing instead to Sony to record their fifth album A New Morning (2002). This album saw Neil Codling leave the band, citing chronic fatigue syndrome, to be replaced by long-time band associate Alex Lee. In concerts Lee now plays second guitar, as well as keyboards, backing vocals and, at one point, the harmonica.
In Autumn 2003, along with a large retrospective of the band's work, they played five nights at London's ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts), playing an entire album a night - with B-sides and rarities as encores - in chronological order. A mammoth rehearsal task for any band. After the release of their Singles Album and single 'Attitude', the band announced there would be no more projects under the Suede name for the foreseeable future - effectively announcing the split-up of the band. Their two last shows are to be played in December 2003.
"See you in the Next Life" was their closing remark.
Their last concert at London's Astoria on December 13, 2003 was a two-and-a-half hour marathon show, split into two parts (plus encore) with the first part being "songs we want to play". Brett made an annoucement that "there will be another Suede album. But not yet," to everyone's delight.
So watch out...
And indeed, May 2004: Brett Anderson confirms the rumours that he and Bernard Butler are working together again - they have written 15 songs and are putting together a band. It won't be called Anderson and Butler, or Suede.
"Welcome to the Next Life," said Anderson.