SUEDE: Animal Nitrate (12″, Nude NUD 4T, 1993)

Sleeve designed by Andrew Biscomb & Peter Barrett. I only picked this record up a couple of years ago, along with a couple of other Suede 12″s, from an Oxfam shop. I recall though, way back around the time this came out, thinking what a nice sleeve design it was – very simple, very effective, and with a vague bit of thought behind the imagery. This was somewhat out of kilter with many ‘indie’ record sleeves at the time, which would often focus more on either trying to make unhip band members look hip, or going down the ‘pure abstract’ route. Looking up Biscomb & Barrett on the internet now, I see that they designed sleeves for a variety of other artists too – Luke Haines, The Auteurs, and (horror of horrors) Simply Red amongst them. Quite an odd selection of clients!

Back at the time of the record’s release, along with other Suede 12″s – a flurry were released within a couple of months, as far as I remember – I recall this and a couple of other Suede sleeves hanging on the wall of a room in the house of a chap called Jigger. Well, that wasn’t his real name, but I can’t actually remember his real name. His was a house of choice of post-pub shenanigans – smoking, drinking, chatting, etc. I thought the sleeves looked cool up on his wall. I’m not going to put my Suede sleeves up on a wall – too much collector/catalogue-r mentality going on in my mind for that.

Suede later went on to work a lot with Peter Saville for their artwork. Saville’s cool, but I never much dug his work with Suede, it was a little too neo-cool for my tastes, too much mock airbrushing and shininess. A couple of years ago, I was having a band practice break outside a rehearsal studio in London, and who should pop out of the studio door but Mr Suede himself, Brett Anderson. This alone didn’t really fill me with excitement, but he then answered a mobile phone call with ‘Hello, Mr Saville,’ and I was somewhat overwhelmed with fanboy tremors at being – sort of – right next to Peter Saville. I kept a lid on it, of course, and maintained my exterior cool. I would’ve loved to grab the phone though and somehow blag a design job with Saville with a combination of guile and charm. Never going to get that opportunity again…

3 thoughts on “SUEDE: Animal Nitrate (12″, Nude NUD 4T, 1993)”

  1. I really liked the early Suede singles and their artwork, in fact I listened to The Drowners and Metal Mickey only the other day. The artwork for the first album seems to me to be slightly misguided in that, as an image, it didn’t really have as much impact as that of the singles. A quick dip into Google reveals that Veruschka, star of The Drowners cover, is now 70. I remember seeing photos of her in the Sunday Times Magazine when I was a child and then being slightly smug that I knew who she was when The Drowners was released. Little victories …

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