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52) Suzanne Vega

Suzanne Vega is probably best known in the UK for her number two hit with DNA, Tom’s Diner.

I remember the single Marlene On the Wall back in 1985 it was different compared to the other music of the time and I really liked it, but I was fourteen I had just discovered punk there are angry men for me to listen to, so her debut passed me by.

A couple of years later I heard the song From Liverpool on the radio from her fourth album, 99.9F, and was in a shop and her debut was five pounds, so why not?

The album opens with Cracking a simple acoustic guitar and Vega mainly speaks the lyric. It’s clear and articulate and as with all the songs on this record Suzanne’s vocals are at the forefront. It’s a beautiful start.

A Small Blue Thing is the highlight for me she sings as if she is completely detached looking down on the subject. Exceptional lyrics and music.

It’s clear Suzanne wants to ensure we hear her words and quite right as they are well thought out and are as much a part of the song as the music, Undertow and The Queen and the Soldier are excellent examples of this with the later more a story than a song.

Neighbourhood Girls ends the album with a more rock feel Vega again speaking the verses with exquisite slide guitar played in the background.

Thirty-eight years after its release this is still a powerful record that if you have not heard you should really give it a listen.


GIVE IT A STREAM: A Small Blue Thing

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