“Suicide: Alan Vega · Martin Rev” by Suicide - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1980Album Chart of the Decade: 1980s

TJR says

Coming some 30 months on from their self-titled debut of 1977, the second Suicide in May, 1980, was relatively anticlimactic. It was given the big studio production by Ric Ocasek of The Cars, using his synths and, sonically, being a tad more polished, lost some of the disturbing lo-fi allure which had been so affecting on the debut. Still, as I say, that is a relative complaint, for there was much to cherish all the same. They remain: Alan Vega (41, vocals) and Martin Rev (32, electronics). There's some rebel love for the album's opener, “Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne”, a song reflecting the decadent side of a nightlife scene filled by women, cadillacs and cocaine. He wishes. The rhythm track is busy and repetitive and makes the piece. Maintaining this cool approach is the darkly nervous “Mr. Ray (To Howard T.)”, a song which had been in their live sets for the last few years. A whole lot of body slapping adds to the unsettling nature of the performance; this is what we want from our Suicide. Almost apologetically, the electro-doo-wop number “Sweetheart” is a middle-of-the-road pop concession. Bouncing back immediately, “Fast Money Music” is a jolt from the malaise; the body slapping's back and Martin Rev’s in-yer-face manic loops combined with the nervous energy of Alan Vega’s vocal delivery is vintage Suicide. Alas, the classic pre-album single from the same sessions (“Dream Baby Dream”) was not included, a mistake in terms of the album's legacy. It's a a good one, but not the classic they were capable of making and not, I suspect, the record they really wanted to make.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:21] 7.0.png Suicide - Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne (Alan Vega, Martin Rev) Electronica
A2 [05:14] 7.5.png Suicide - Mr. Ray (To Howard T.) (Alan Vega, Martin Rev) Electronica
A3 [03:37] 5.7.png Suicide - Sweetheart (Alan Vega, Martin Rev) Rock n Roll Ballad
A4 [03:08] 8.9.png Suicide - Fast Money Music (Alan Vega, Martin Rev) Electronica
A5 [04:24] 6.8.png Suicide - Touch Me (Alan Vega, Martin Rev) Electronica
B1 [06:38] 6.4.png Suicide - Harlem (Alan Vega, Martin Rev) Electronica
B2 [02:13] 6.4.png Suicide - Be Bop Kid (Alan Vega, Martin Rev) Electronica
B3 [04:10] 6.9.png Suicide - Las Vegas Man (Alan Vega, Martin Rev) Electronica
B4 [04:25] 5.7.png Suicide - Shadazz (Alan Vega, Martin Rev) Electronica
B5 [03:23] 5.5.png Suicide - Dance (Alan Vega, Martin Rev) Electronica

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