SUICIDE – ” Suicide ” Re-Issue

Posted: June 25, 2019 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Debut album by electronic pioneers Suicide reissued on limited red vinyl, Comprised of Alan Vega on vocals and Martin Rev on electronics, the duo formed in the early ’70s, before coming to fame later in the decade as part of legendary NYC club CBGB’s punk scene.

Originally released in December 1977, their debut album was “described as the rock and roll version of Martin Scorsese’s neo-noir New York thriller Taxi Driver,”  Suicide’s enduringly influential debut album, Suicide. A door opener for the guitar-less synthesizer bands of the 1980s and the electronic dance music of the 1990s, the disc continues to fascinate and inspire. Singer and lyricist Alan Vega and keyboard player Martin Rev formed Suicide in New York’s amphetamine-addled Lower East Side in 1970, a time and place they nailed in early songs such as ‘Methedrine Mary,’ ‘Speed Queen’ and ‘Junkie Jesus.’

The emblematic ‘Frankie Teardrop’ is a harrowing, 10-minute portrait of desperation in which Vega relates – or, rather, emotes – the blood-stained story of a young factory worker who is driven to madness and murder by poverty. Most of the album inhabits similarly grim territory, although ‘Cheree,’ a love declaration to a dominatrix, has a pretty tune. John Lydon memorably called the track “’Je T’Aime’ with tape hiss.”

In some ways, Suicide were a latter day incarnation of Lou Reed’s Velvet Underground, psychogeographers of the same edgy New York locales and chroniclers of the lives of outcasts, outsiders and unfortunates. Suicide was followed a string of consistently inventive studio albums, ending with American Supreme in 2002, and Vega and Rev continued to perform together until shortly before Vega’s death in 2016.

Co-produced by Ramones producer Craig Leon and Red Star Records founder Marty Thau, Suicide packs a payload equivalent to a dozen Greek tragedies rolled into one, with Vega periodically blending eruptions of Diamanda Galas-like screams and wails with the frantic rockabilly of mid-1950s Gene Vincent, his all-time hero.

Originally released in December 1977, all seven tracks have been remastered for this new reissue on red vinyl, with an accompanying 12″ print.

Suicide’s 1977 self-titled debut LP is being reissued on vinyl, this July via Mute/BMG.

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