Suzanne Vega, Solitude Standing (1987)
This was the first Suzanne Vega album I heard – and then the first I bought on vinyl. It’s something of a favourite – although I like all of her albums. This was the introduction though – with those two big songs; still the biggest two songs of her career, the sirens that waved people in. I like those songs and I like everything else on this album. Vega is one of my favourite songwriters of all time. I think she’s a class act. And the lazy idea that she is some poor-woman’s Joni Mitchell/rip-off is as insulting as just figuring Paul Kelly to be a one-note Bob Dylan/wannabe. It misses the mark. It’s a simple sum-up from people only prepared to listen to a bit of the work and not enough to judge. Vega’s songwriting is consistent (often mesmerising) – she’s a beautifully evocative lyricist, a conjurer, a storyteller. And though there are some 1980s recording techniques that people might not like (squeaky-clean guitars, the drums) I think this album stands up very well still; the material transcending the recording (and the recording not actually being too bad at any rate). I still listen to this a lot.
Sample Track: Iron Bound/Fancy Poultry
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown