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Coal Black Mornings

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  479 ratings  ·  68 reviews

Brett Anderson came from a world impossibly distant from rock star success, and in Coal Black Mornings he traces the journey that took him from a childhood as 'a snotty, sniffy, slightly maudlin sort of boy raised on Salad Cream and milky tea and cheap meat' to becoming founder and lead singer of Suede.

Anderson grew up in Hayward's Heath on the grubby fringes of the Home C

Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published March 1st 2018 by Little, Brown Book Group
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Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's probably no band that captures the zeitgeist of *my* the 90s more than Suede. I still vividly remember seeing the video for Animal Nitrate on late-night TV and rushing into the city the next day to buy the debut album on tape. That song - and video - sounded so fresh and new, but also instantly familiar. It was sexy and glamorous, but also grim and grimy and evocative of the brown-and-orange memories of the 1970s and early 80s of my childhood. I played Suede on the bus to and from univer ...more
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw Brett Anderson discuss 'Coal Black Mornings' at the 2018 Brighton Festival, and it was this which convinced me to read it. I'm glad I did, it’s a wonderful read.

'Coal Black Mornings' ends just as Suede get their record deal and finally start gaining their unstoppable momentum - however, prior to this, there were years of playing to tiny audiences.

'Coal Black Mornings', which focusses on Brett’s early life and the pre-fame years, is therefore not the standard rock memoir. It’s all the bet
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh Brett. I do love him.

I sped through this, and enjoyed how it leaned towards a meditation on fatherhood, and his newly found perspective of his own childhood through that. It is a thoughtful, generous book about how poverty, grief and heartbreak all kind of exposed him to this deeper artistic expression. It's easy to forget how vital and transgressive Suede were in the early-90's, and Brett remains classy and Suede remain great.
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Coal Black Mornings is an essential read for anyone who lived through Britpop in the 90s, and anyone who wants a fresh take on the rock autobiography. It's the artfulness of restraint that marks this book out, with Brett's story finishing while Suede were on the cusp of success, stepping away from the gratification of chronicling those glory years. Instead, Brett traces a dog-legged route from his unconventional childhood in a pebbledash council flat on the outskirts of nowhere, through early fo ...more
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I knew I would have to read this book in just a few intense shifts. A few pages in and I was delighted by Anderson's intelligent, concise and playful storytelling. His early years particularly fascinated me - before reading this I knew very little and had somehow misunderstood his background, thinking he had been raised by a single father (now realising I had his life confused with someone else). So I am glad to have a much better understanding of Brett Anderson's childhood years, especially as ...more
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music-books
When I first heard Brett Anderson was releasing a memoir I'm not too ashamed to admit my first thought was "Ooh I wonder what he'll have to say about the whole The Tears experience, or Damon Albarn!". The man is known to be pretty acerbic after all. By the time I actually sat down to read the book I was aware that it wasn't going to be that kind of book, but I was still a bit puzzled by how Brett was going to write this book but just end it when Suede became successful.

Coal Black Mornings follow
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-bought
It is my interest to read memoirs that focus on the early years of its subject matter, due that I wrote a memoir "Tosh" (City Lights Books) that does the same thing. Brett Anderson is the lyricist/songwriter and vocalist for the British band Suede. A band that I had mixed feelings for, but since I read this book by Anderson, I re-listened to his work with Suede, and now I appreciate their music and stance in British pop music of the 1990s. And they are still around, making interesting music. Sti ...more
Stephen Reynolds
A fascinating and compulsive look at the formative years of one of the most intriguing and essential musicians of my generation... Or any other for that matter. You don't need to be a Suede fan to enjoy this, but if - like me - you are, then all of the traits that make the lyricist so captivating are present in the prose. It's brutal yet heart-warming, honest and erudite. Whilst the latest Suede albums are clear evidence that the band still has much to give - I'd love to read more from Brett And ...more
Alexandre Melo
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sempre digo que o SUEDE é uma das bandas mais desvalorizadas e subestimadas do que se convencionou chamar 'britpop', acabaram ofuscados pelo brilho de Oasis e Blur que são bandas foda claro mas que jamais existiriam se não fosse pelo SUEDE.

Nesta bio, Brett lança alguma luz sobre surgiu a banda, sua vida antes dela e o que move sua escrita, bela, de uma poesia única e urbanidade cortante, sempre pensei em suas letras como rasgos no tecido do asfalto da cidade e uma espiada nos dramas que se escon
Peter W Blaisdell
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brett Anderson’s COAL BLACK MORNINGS is less an autobiography than a meditation on how class, upbringing, and relationships with parents, lovers and artistic collaborators drive the creative process. As such, it evokes Patti Smith’s JUST KIDS, heavy company indeed.

Anderson led Suede, a premier ‘Britpop’ band from the 90’s that produced a couple of strong albums and got a ton of attention from the English musical press back when this sort of journalism was influential. There’s a story to tell her
Victoria Sadler
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did umm and aah a bit about whether this was more a three star review rather than a four star but I flew through this and I was much impressed with its honesty so, you know what, I'm in a generous mood!

Suede were always one of the most underrated British band - a group with a unique sound and fluid visual in an era of hyper-masculinity and Brit-pop groups in-fighting. And, in this memoir, frontman Brett takes us behind the scenes in a look back upon his life, his younger years, and the early b
Simon Sweetman
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written, rivals Just Kids in a sense. We cheer for success, validation for our hero - even though we know of course that he does make it. Wonderful suspension of disbelief there. And a beautiful examination of how back-story is crucial, is context, is key.
Cecilia Broberg
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hugo Falque
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ce que la biographie de Brett a d'effroyable, c'est qu'elle s'arrête à ses débuts. Auteur respectable depuis Dog Man Star, il raconte ici son enfance avec une mesure et une humilité inquiétante. Puis le silence...

Suede est une énigme du panthéon britanique. Même en assimilant leurs influences, on connait peu d'albums semblables aux leurs. Leur grandeur semblait provenir d'un malaise dormant que la Britpop ne souhaitait pas réveiller. Entre ses lignes et jusqu'à la fin des années 2000, le NME att
Abigail Allen
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this so much, I adored Suede, they plastered my bedroom walls and were the sound of my teenage years, the thrill and excitement of listening to the first album on my worn out cassette tape has come back to me reading this autobiography. Brett Anderson does a wonderful job of recalling his early life, his parents and then Justine and early Suede, without being gossipy.

It’s a short book and if I said I didn’t want more salacious details about Justine and Bernard etc I’d be lying, but this
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Closer to Jeanette Winterson's "Why be happy when you could be normal?"than a music memoir; shelve under Literature. While Brett's childhood was poorer and stranger than most, for anyone growing up in England in the 60s/70s there is much that is familiar: rainy caravan holidays, beans on toast for tea, provincial dullness. The first two Suede albums made an impact on me but this is so well-written: thoughtful, reflective, funny and compassionate. Even more than as an artist he impresses as a man ...more
Stuart Beaney
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well. I knew this book was going to be good. The reviews were promising, all the right things were being said in the pre-release interviews. The pretext was great. However, I was unprepared for the effect the book has had on me. I’ve deliberately made it last three days, as I could so easily have downed it in one. Cover to delicious cover.

I feel like I’ve been under a religious spell for 3 days, and a deep love has been rekindled. The first two Suede albums were so profoundly beautiful, intense
Chantal Patton
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this - beautifully written and really compelling.
Derek Baldwin
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A strange sort of anti memoir which deliberately grinds to a halt at the moment when Suede stand on the cusp of their initial, enormous, success. For maybe a year they genuinely were the most exciting band in the world. But all of this “common knowledge” is a sequel not yet written to Coal Black Mornings.

Brett’s tales of his prosaic, somewhat deprived, childhood in Haywards Heath are marvellously well written, even the clunky weird bits are beautiful... and there are really a lot of them. The l
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this man and his songs. The book's good, too. I hope he'll continue the story one day.
I loved this. Aside from my being a big fan of Suede back in the day, Brett Anderson always seemed to be set completely apart from the often heavily macho and laddish posturers of the so called Cool Britannia (or, in music, Britpop) movement that included figures such as Damien Hirst, the Gallagher brothers, the Chapmans, Blur etc. His memoir is incredibly moving, as he describes his family background - his father was brought up in "an enclave of identical, boxy, nineteen thirties houses cloyed ...more
Mark Hibbett
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love the fact that Brett Anderson ends this story right where you'd think it would have begun - with Suede JUST about to make it big. Instead he talks about a childhood growing up in a dreary, grey seventies that will be achingly familiar to anyone who did the same, leading to a brilliant depiction of life as a student in the 1980s. It was so true that I could SMELL the mold on the walls!

It's always great to read a rock biography that talks about what life in a band is really like. Brett Ander
Ross Cumming
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ve got to admit that I’m not a huge Suede fan and haven’t really followed their career path or listened to much of their more recent output but did enjoy their early work, especially while Bernard Butler was a member. However I’ve always thought Brett Anderson was an interesting and intriguing character and I was drawn to this book in order to find out about his early life and also about the formation of the band.
I read quite a lot of artist/band autobiographical books and I always enjoy the c

I wanted to love Coal Black Mornings the way I love Dog Man Star, but they aren’t in the same league. Anderson is an extremely gifted songwriter and singer, but only a pretty good writer. He mentions “coal black mornings” about seven times in the book! It would have been more impactful to have chosen one key point in the memoir to use the phrase. That said, Coal Black Mornings certainly fulfills what Anderson states as the book’s purpose in his foreword:

“This is a book about failure. It’s a boo
Catriona Sheppard
A short but beautiful read, Anderson proves he is not just a great lyricist but also book writer. His reflections on his life within the book go from childhood to just when Suede were just on the cusp of their success in the mid-late 90's, the fact that he stops at this point is so restrained but effective. It's refreshing to see someone within their autobiography not to go down the path of retreading old material, none of what he has written felt clichéd or overwritten. It's concise, artfully ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't begin to tell you how much I loved this book. I had tears in my eyes before I'd finished reading the introduction, when Anderson was so honest about the relationship between himself and his father, and how his own son might view him.

The writing throughout is gorgeous, just as you would expect from Brett Anderson. I'm a fan of his music, and his lyrics have always been amongst my favourite. He has influenced me as a writer, finding the poetic sublime in the everyday (Anderson has a T S E
Rick Burin
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A terrific memoir that traces Anderson’s life from his austere, eccentric satellite-town childhood – dominated by a domineering father who was obsessed with Franz Liszt and often wandered their council house dressed as T. E. Lawrence – to the cusp of stardom with singular indie heroes, Suede (who are, of course, the greatest band of all time).

There’s the odd moment of repetition, cliché or pre-emptive defensiveness (perhaps unsurprising given the unwarranted kicking he received from a bitchy mus
Tim Trewartha
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent memoir from the lead singer of Suede, Brett Anderson. I'm not going to lie. Suede were/are my favourite band to come out of the UK in the 1990's so I was pretty excited to pick this book up, despite the fact that I had no idea Anderson had even written a book.

'Coal Black Mornings' is kind of like Moby's book from a few years back as it ends just as Suede were about to take off in the UK. So no, it doesn't cover the period 1992 to the present, although Anderson does allude to it throug
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wouldn't consider myself a Suede fan: I bought their album back in the day but knew basically nothing about the band and its history. But I do love a rock biography, particularly of this period, and I had an inkling that Brett Anderson would be a good writer. And he is. He uses quite a lot of difficult words (it had been a while since I encountered a book with so many words I didn't know!) and he can be poetic, as any lyricist can, I suppose. But, in essence, he can tell a good story and he's ...more
Lee Johnson
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK, so Suede were MY band of the 90's. Nobody I knew really liked them but I played their albums to death. My poster of the cover of Animal Nitrate took up nearly a whole wall of my bedroom.

This is a fascinating book. With most music autobiographies there is the temptation to skip past the 'growing up years' and just head straight to the 'music'. This does not give you the chance as Brett explains his past right up until the point where that fantastic debut album is just on the horizon.

It's an e
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