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Alan Vega of Suicide (1938-2016)

(BRIAN) - Here at Growing Bored, we could not let the passing of Alan Vega go unheralded. So I went back to October 2014 and rescued a Suicide post that Scott did. I also added this video clip here at the beginning. This post has been read over 5000 times, and many of you already have the material, but there's always somebody out there who hasn't heard "Frankie Teardrop" yet! And devoted fans: dig into these live discs if you haven't. I have another one of his solo discs that I'll add to this sometime, but for right now this is a perfect tribute. Fuck, can anyone picture Alan Vega almost making it to eighty????


I first became aware of Suicide in 1979-80 on an episode of "The Midnight Special" that was hosted by The Cars. I remember Iggy performed "Bored" and "Five Foot One" from his then current "New Values" album, M performed "Pop Musick", and I don't remember who else, but Suicide really struck me. (Brian here - above  is a vid from that performance) - 

 ....vocalist Alan Vega and synthesizer/drum machine
whiz Martin Rev treated me to a creepy new sound, one that would influence many others in the future (Ministry and the Raveonnetes come to mind, among others)......went out and bought their debut album the next day, thought it was REALLY great,
my friends were pretty split on it, some loved it, some hated it. Myself, I loved the hypnotic synths and Vega's tortured
vocals on great tracks like "Rocket USA", "Frankie Teardrop", "Cheree" and "Ghostrider".....I'd give it a four star rating at
the time, still sounds good enough to maintain that rating today for my money.
They released a similar album, also titled "Suicide", which is generally referred to as "the second album".....still pretty
good, "Diamonds, Fur Coats, Champagne", the great "Dream Baby Dream", "Radiation" and a couple more would stack up with most
of the first album.
Suicide didn't enjoy a lot of mainstream popularity, and are REALLY forgotten today, sort of strangely, as they were quite
influential......as I was always a fan I do have a fair amount of rarities, these really aren't for dabblers, check the two
official releases before diving headfirst into some of these. "The Rehearsal Tapes" contains no overlap with anything on the
albums, basically it could almost stand independently as an album on its own....."Speedqueen" is quite a cool track
The treasure here though is the rare SIX disc set of live shows, see below for dates, venues, and set lists, again,
DEFINITLEY not for the dabbler, but if you find yourself a new-found fan of the band, or like myself have always enjoyed their unique sound, this is a blessing.
I also happen to have a solo effort by Alan Vega, might as well throw that one out there as well.....from 1985, it's entitled
 "Just a Million Dreams".....not too bad, I consider it sort of "Suicide-lite", but the duo of Vega and Rev played off each
other so well, that this comes out as, honestly, fairly mediocre.
Tell me what you think. Perhaps you remember that television performance? Most likely you've heard "Rocket USA" as it appears on many 1970's new wave comps, but they were really so much more than just that one landmark track.....some really fine stuff  here, especially some sometimes staggeringly good stuff on the live sets.

SUICIDE-01 Ghost Rider/02 Rocket USA/03 Cheree/04 Johnny/05 Girl/06 Frankie Teardrop/07 Che/08 Cheree (remix)/09 I Remember/10 Keep Your Dreams
SUICIDE (SECOND ALBUM)-01 Diamonds, Fur Coats, Champagne/02 Mr Ray/03 Sweetheart/04 Fast Money Music/05 Harlem/06 Touch Me/07 Be Bop Kid/08 Las Vegas Man/09 Shadazz/10 Dance/11 Super Subway Comedian/12 Dream Baby Dream/13 Radiation
THE FIRST REHEARSAL TAPES-01 Speedqueen/02 Creature Feature/03 Tough Guy/04 A-Man/05 Sneakin' Around/06 Too Fine For You/07 See You Around/08 Be My Dream/09 Spacae Blue Bamboo/10 Spaceship/11 Into My Eyes/12 C'mon Babe/13 New City/14 Do It Nice
LIVE 1977-78 DISC 1-01 CBGB Sept 29 1977 (96 Tears Intro / Ghostrider / Rocket USA / Cheree / Jonny / Frankie Teardrop)/ 02
CBGB Dec 3 1977 (Ghostrider / Jesus Vega / Frankie Teardrop / Put A Little Love In Your Heart)/03 The Palladium NYC Jan 7 (Rocket USA / Cheree / Dance / Frankie Teardrop)
LIVE 1977-78 DISC 2-01 Maxs Jan 13 (Ghostrider / Rocket USA / Cheree / Dance / 96 Tears / Frankie Teardrop)/02 CBGB Feb 3 (Harlem / Ghostrider / Keep Your Dreams / Dance / Frankie Teardrop)/03 Brussels June 16 1978 (Frankie Teardrop)
LIVE 1977-78 DISC 3-01 Paris Olympia June 18 1978 (Ghostrider / Rocket USA / Cheree Dance / Frankie Teardrop / Backstage)/02
Hamburg Audiomax June 28 1978 (Rocket USA / Cheree / Harlem)
LIVE 1977-78 DISC 4-01 Berlin Kant Kino/Neue Welt June 30 1978 Set 1 (Ghostrider / Rocket USA / Cheree / Harlem / 96 Tears)/02 Berlin Kant Kino/Neue Welt June 30 1978 Set 2 (Ghostrider / Rocket USA / 96 Tears dance / Harlem)
LIVE 1977-78 DISC 5-01 London MusicMachine July 24 1978 (Rocket USA / Dance / Harlem Cheree / Mr Ray)/02 Our Price Radio Ad /03 Erics Liverpool July 29 1978 (Rocket USA / Cheree / Ghostrider / 96 Tears)/04 Erics pt 2 July 29 1978 (Cum Ahead/Frankie Teardrop)
LIVE 1977-78 DISC 6-Maxs August 25 1978 (Ghostrider / Rocket Miss USA / Cheree / Mr Ray / Jonny / Harlem)
ALAN VEGA-JUST A MILLION DREAMS-01 On the Run/02 Shooting For You/ 03 Hot Fox/04 Too Late/05 Wild Heart/06 Creation/07 Cry Fire/08 Ra Ra Baby

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