As was the way with Suede during their fecund early years, ‘He’s Dead’ would have been good enough for most bands to include on an album, perhaps even release as a single; some would have tried to build a career round it. For Suede, however, it was track three of three from their second single, Metal Mickey, released in September 1992.
Admittedly it was track three of three in a single seemingly designed to send a pouting, thrusting message of intent to the world: You heard The Drowners? Well we’re back with more, and then some.
And admittedly too, with the release of Sci-Fi Lullabies, Suede’s b-sides of extreme and rare excellence compilation, no-one is suggesting that ‘He’s Dead’ (or any other of the songs on that collection for that matter) has been abandoned or forgotten, but knowing how much greater it made Suede to be able to send tracks this good out as nothing more than additional tracks for a debut single doesn’t stop me from wishing, every now and again, that they’d sent a different message by releasing the double album to end all double albums: could there have been a better debut double album than the best twenty tracks from their early years?