Album: The Sound of McAlmont and Butler (1995)
Charted: 8
Play Video


  • Suede guitarist Bernard Butler had flounced out of the band after recording Dog Man Star, as tensions between him and frontman Brett Anderson became unbearable. Around the same time, vocalist David McAlmont's rock 'n' soul duo Thieves collapsed in swathes of even heavier acrimony and he hooked up with Butler on the musical rebound. The result was this defiant message to their former band mates, told through the narrative prism of the heartbreaking ending of a gay relationship. Butler told NME: May 11, 2013: "It was the first piece of music I wrote after I left Suede. I wrote it as an instrumental. Everything was in place, but it didn't have the voice. I wanted to write a piece of music that made me feel good. I'd just left the band and it was a frightening time."

    "Everything I'd done in the past six months had been really dark," he continued. "I'd come out of a very sad situation and lost a lot of friends, so it was a very liberating song. I met David at the Jazz Café in Camden and said, 'I've got this song, do you wanna try it out?' He came back to me two days later and sang the first verse. He had no second verse, so I just said 'Sing the first one again.' How many good songs do you get when the singer's too lazy to write a second verse?"
  • Musically, the song is a collision between Philly-style Soul and Glam Rock fused into a Phil Spector type wall of sound. Bernard Butler played all the instruments.
  • The song reached #8 in the U.K. and its follow up "You Do" peaked at #17, but demands that the pair tour in support of their hits were loudly ignored. Though they made several television appearances, McAlmont and Butler played just one low key gig together, before acrimoniously breaking up. The Sound of McAlmont and Butler album was released after their split peaking at #33 on the UK album chart. After pursuing solo careers for several years, the duo resolved their issues and recorded a second album together.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Boz Scaggs

Boz ScaggsSongwriter Interviews

The "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" singer makes a habit of playing with the best in the business.

Tony Banks of Genesis

Tony Banks of GenesisSongwriter Interviews

Genesis' key-man re-examines his solo career and the early days of music video.

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce PavittSong Writing

The man who ran Nirvana's first label gets beyond the sensationalism (drugs, Courtney) to discuss their musical and cultural triumphs in the years before Nevermind.

Chris Tomlin

Chris TomlinSongwriter Interviews

The king of Christian worship music explains talks about writing songs for troubled times.

John Parr

John ParrSongwriter Interviews

John tells the "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" story and explains why he disappeared for so long.

Ralph Casale  - Session Pro

Ralph Casale - Session ProSongwriter Interviews

A top New York studio musician, Ralph played guitar on many '60s hits, including "Lightnin' Strikes," "A Lover's Concerto" and "I Am A Rock."