Album #386 – Suicide

Album #386

Suicide is a early new wave duo consisting of singer Alan Vega and instrumentalist Martin Rev. The group still exists today, making albums and touring. Their self-titled debut proved to be a precursor to synth pop groups of the 80’s namely Depeche Mode and industrial bands like Ministry, Skinny Puppy and Nine Inch Nails. Suicide even influenced techno music. Their music was a combination of Vega’s vocals and Rev’s accompaniment on keyboards with primitive drum machines. Suicide was co-produced by Craig Leon, whose credits include Blondie and The Ramones first albums, Willie Alexander and Chilliwack’s least successful album in Canada, Rockerbox. Leon would go on to produce classical music artists including Joshua Bell and Sir James Galway.  The album features upbeat classics like Johnny, Che, Cheree and Ghost Rider. But, this album’s centerpiece is a track called Frankie Teardrop. The song’s character,a working class man who shares his name with the title, gets laid off from his job and decides to kill his wife and newborn. Vega’s haunting vocals and Rev’s accompaniment add to the atmosphere successfully. Frankie Teardrop was a very hard song for me to listen to and I actually teared up. The song was actually inspired by a similar story Alan Vega read in the paper. But, the song was very influential. Nick Hornby, author of About A Boy, High Fidelity and Fever Pitch, named the song one of his favorites. And, Frankie Teardrop inspired Bruce Springsteen’s song, State Trooper. Suicide was a very influential album and without this band, where would synth pop, industrial, techno and even dubstep be today. Overall, I give Suicide, 4 out of 5.

Next: The Idiot by Iggy Pop!!!

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