Suede

Suede kick started the Brit-pop revolution of the '90s, bringing English indie pop/rock music away from the swirling layers of shoegazing and dance-pop fusions of Madchester, and reinstating such conventions of British pop as mystique and the three-minute single. Before the band had even released a single, the U.K. weekly music press was proclaiming them as the "Best New Band in Britain," but Suede managed to survive their heavy hype due to the songwriting team of vocalist Brett Anderson and guitarist Bernard Butler. Equally inspired by the glam crunch of David Bowie and the romantic bed-sit pop of the Smiths, Anderson and Butler developed a sweeping, guitar-heavy sound that was darkly sensual, sexually ambiguous, melodic, and unabashedly ambitious. At the time of the release of their first single, "The Drowners," in 1992, few of their contemporaries -- whether it was British shoegazers or American grunge rockers -- had any ambitions to be old-fashioned, self-consciously controversial pop stars and the British press and public fell hard for Suede, making their 1993 debut the fastest-selling first album in U.K. history. Though they had rocketed to the top in the U.K., Suede were plagued with problems, the least of which was an inability to get themselves heard in America. Anderson and Butler's relationship became antagonistic during the recording of their second album, Dog Man Star, and the guitarist left the band before its fall release, which inevitably hurt its sales. Instead of breaking up, the band soldiered on, adding new guitarist Richard Oakes and a keyboardist before returning in 1996 with Coming Up, an album that returned them to the top of the British charts.