ARTIST: Suzanne Vega
TITLE: Suzanne Vega
YEAR RELEASED: 1985
CHART ACTION: #91 US, #11 UK
SINGLES: Marlene on the Wall (#21 UK), Small Blue Thing (#65 UK), Knight Moves
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Only if you’re a fan.
LINEUP: Suzanne Vega with session help
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Barnard College attendee does the Greenwich Village folk thing, places songs on anthologies, gets recording contract, creates a wonderful debut.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Vega’s journey to a recording contract sounded like it should be a 60’s thing, not the 80’s, complete with the folk clubs and anthology magazine / song clearinghouse. However, instead of woman with guitar and voice only, Vega’s debut has a (then) contemporary feel with some wonderful arrangements. Producers Lenny Kaye and Steve Addabbo add just the right touches to the songs whether its simple keyboards, electric violin or a full band.
Vega’s strength, of course, is songwriting, and even at this point in her career she was writing beautifully complex songs that sound simple and straightforward.
This album got a lot of hype amongst critics and was a sleeper hit in the UK thanks to the video for Marlene on the Wall. It definitely is worthy of the hype.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They loved this album in the Netherlands (#11) and New Zealand (#9)!
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: A- : Great debut with fitting songs and arrangements.