Suede’s self-titled debut has a few big, important historical distinctions. For one thing, it’s generally acknowledged as the birth of Britpop — possibly the last moment that guitar-rock has been bright and hard and fashionable and, at least in its homeland, hugely popular — even if the members of the band didn’t much like being lumped in with the rest of the wave. For another, while Suede certainly weren’t the first popular band whose two leaders (in this case, singer Brett Anderson and guitarist Bernard Butler) publicly hated each other, they may have been the first who started publicly hating each other almost immediately, to the point where they barely eked out two albums before going their separate ways and staying apart forever.
But for my money, the most important thing about Suede was that it was essentially an internet-rock album that had its moment before the internet existed in any significant way. Nearly a decade before the Strokes debuted, Suede became a lightning-rod for hype and argument, to the extent that conversations about their hype tended to overwhelm talk of their (actually great) music. This probably happened with other bands before Suede, but they’re definitely the first band I can remember whose buzz threatened to drown out their songs.