ARTIST: Suzanne Vega
TITLE: Solitude Standing
YEAR RELEASED: 1987
CHART ACTION: #11 US, #2 UK
SINGLES: Gypsy (#77 UK), Luka (#3 US, #23 UK), Tom’s Diner (#58 UK), Solitude Standing (#94 US, #79 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Calypso
LINEUP: Suzanne Vega, Marc Shulman, Anton Sanko, Michael Visceglia, Stephen Ferrera. Help from Shawn Colvin, Mitch Easter, and others.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The breakthrough record contained the hit, the novelty which later became a signature, and solid folk rock.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The tracks on this, the second Suzanne Vega full-length, were written during the 80’s and polished in the studio by the backing band. The musicians added a great deal of depth and adventure to the tracks, which helped this albums overall mood.
Vega’s warm alto is mixed well with the backing, and the lyrics and melody work for the songs and arrangements. Foremost is the title track, with its twists and key changes, and the big hit “Luka” which is a big-sounding song that is intimate as well.
“Tom’s Diner” was the out of left field hit – an acapella version became the basis of remixes and another album entirely. But here, it fits in well as an opener and as an instrumental coda to one of the best folk albums of the 80’s
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They tried to figure out the day Vega wrote it or was referencing, and the best guess is most of it was November 18, 1981.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE A: An interesting folk album deeper than the hits and novelty.