The untold story of McAlmont & Butler's 90s classic Yes

Virgin Radio

11 Dec 2022, 23:58

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A new podcast reveals all!

Ask any Britpop fan what their favourite song within in that classic era, and chances are you won't hear them say Blur, Pulp, or even Oasis, but 'Yes', the 1995 single by Bernard Butler and David McAlmont.

Released after guitarist Butler had acrimoniously left Suede in 1994 and thereby connected with former Thieves singer McAlmont, the soaring indie soul song peaked at number 8 in the charts, but left an even bigger impact on music fans that endures to this day.

"I had a conversation a couple of years ago, in Wales," McAlmont, 55, told The James McMahon Music Podcast in a new interview last week. "A gentleman came up to me and spoke about his trans daughter. Apparently my music had been really powerful in her transition. I've had people say that they couldn't get out of their wheelchair until they heard that song. Or leave bad relationships. It's very moving to hear."

David says he has "no idea" why the classic song connects with so many people, in such a deep way.

"Being a 90s kid myself, I was one of those many musicians who was like, "Why are Suede on the cover of the Melody Maker and why are they calling them The Best New Band in Britain?" says the singer, referencing the late music paper's famous cover story, which elevated an unsigned Suede to stardom.

He continues, "But ever since I heard Prince as a teenager I've loved an axe wielder, and I think Bernard is splendid at it. It's one of the highlights of my working life, sitting in the studio with him watching him play. Before the played me the song, all those years ago, he said he'd been listening to lots of Dusty Springfield, and I can hear that in it. I took the record home and did some work on it, but I don't know what I did. I've heard people say it's uplifting, but whatever I did, I've never done it again!"

David is currently pairing up with former Soup Dragons member HiFi Sean - aka Sean Dickinson. The pair release their debut album, Happy Ending, on February 3rd, 2023. David says, in a strange twist of fate, a lot of his music making in recent years has been inspired by Suede singer Brett Anderson.

"I heard him talk about having a lyric book," he says. "I didn't know people had lyric books, so I started using one!"

Listen to the full episode of The James McMahon Music Podcast here.

In related news, Suede recently played an exclusive session in our studios! Watch that here!