As promised, the third installment of sessions from Strangelove. This one takes place in Paris as part of The Black Sessions over Radio France International and recorded on October28, 1994.
Even in this third session, the evolution of the band is noticeable. Patrick Duff is even more intense than he was during the first session. It was also during this time that the band had issued Time For The Rest Of Your Life, which has been considered a breakthrough for the band. It was also the debut album from their newly-inked relationship with Food/EMI and the first album which went to the top of many critical “best of 1994” lists. It also began their close relationship with Suede, who performed many of their songs and were hardcore fans – the same was also true with Manic Street Preachers. Strangelove had arrived.
But it was also around this time that stories of wretched excess and Duff’s drug problem started to surface. It had always been under the surface, and at times created problems, but after a fashion it was becoming harder to pretend things were okay. So with success came an increased pressure and the beginning of a vicious circle of events which would put Patrick Duff in rehab and threaten to destroy the band, just as they were achieving the success they had worked so hard for.
It would be a few more years before Strangelove ceased to exist – until then, there was much more to explore and to discover. I hope, at some point, to locate some later sessions/concerts of the band, as not only were they one of the most intriguing and evocative bands of the 90s, they were also one of the most listenable.
And every note this band played and recorded is worth scrutiny. They were different in that respect.