The Asphalt World (lost 25 minute version of Suede song; 1994)
In 1993, British band Suede was at the top of their success. Having started the Britpop craze, the band was left with the pressure of following up their critically acclaimed self-titled debut. Guitarist Bernard Butler started experimenting with heavy drugs after the death of his father. Already in an unstable state of mind, Butler became paranoid and almost intolerable for others to be around.
The band got back in the recording studio to start working on their second full-length album, Dog Man Star. Band arguments rose to full force as none of the members could get Butler to agree on arrangements or composition. Butler then started working on the track "The Asphalt World", which stretched over 25 minutes. The original version had an eight-minute-long guitar solo with a borderline atonal melodic structure and high use of dissonance. Suede vocalist Brett Anderson said it sounded so horrific in some parts that he almost couldn't sit through the whole thing. Thinking the song would be too nightmarish and inaccessible for most listeners, producer Ed Buller had it cut down to 9 minutes.
Understandably furious, Butler started getting extremely paranoid of Buller. Butler thought Buller was making death threats and that every one of the band members' lives was in danger. Buller recalled a few phone conversations with Butler where he could hear a knife scratching the phone. Butler's paranoia had gotten so severe that, by the time the ultimatum arose of either he or Buller having to leave, the label dumped him without a second thought.
The full version of "The Asphalt World" has never surfaced and it is unknown if any copies still exist. An "unedited" 11-minute version was released on the extended edition of the album in 2011, but not the alleged 25-minute version. A few fans have claimed to have heard the full version via bootlegs, but these claims remain unconfirmed.
- Don't Forget The Songs 365 blog post about "The Asphalt World". Retrieved 16 Jul '19