Reissue of hard to find first album with the bonus track 'I Remember' plus a bonus disc featuring a live set recorded at CBGB's in 1977 and their controversial '23 Minutes Over Brussels' performance. Double Slimline jewel ... more »case.« less
Reissue of hard to find first album with the bonus track 'I Remember' plus a bonus disc featuring a live set recorded at CBGB's in 1977 and their controversial '23 Minutes Over Brussels' performance. Double Slimline jewel case.
Not techno, not "punk", just incredible
dronecaster | 07/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It really bothers me to see all these reviews that try to pigeonhole this album into some kind of concept of "punk rock" or "electronica" to make it more palatable to Joe Consumer. Both of these genre titles dumb down what this album really is. It is not untalented three-chord rebellious silliness, and it is not take-designer-drugs-and-dry-hump all night nonsense. It is a couple of very creative folk who were stuck in 1971 and decided to make something very different. There is no "drum machine" -- there is rhythm culled from the rhythm "machine" part of some old, decrepit organ; it has more in common with the madness of Sly and the Family Stone's "Fresh" than some boring New Romantic album. Alan Vega was known for wearing a leather jacket and hitting walls with chains in 1971 and scaring audiences that expected yet more hippie feel-good rock -- years before the Sex Pistols' poseur rehashed 1950's hits -- and Martin Rev -- I won't be arrogant enough to claim to know the model of organ he played -- he didn't by any means play "state of the art" equipment nor a Farfisa, but rather the kind of organ you'd probably find for $20 in a thrift store these days. There are no synthesizers on this record. Synthesizers by definition are instruments which attempt to re-create the sound of other instruments by synthesis; what you hear on this record is not some wanker trying to re-create a lush orchestral arrangement. The lyrics are often parodies of contemporary rock -- to be blind to that is to confine this record to the cut-out bins of history. So please, no more bland "if you love the Sex Pistols, this is great!" or "this is a lot like Joy Division" reviews written by people who bought this because they read a SPIN magazine article citing this as "influential" -- you're all full of something that stinks and comes out of male cattle. Rot."
Stark electronic punk
dronecaster | Baton Rouge, LA USA | 06/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Punk rock is a very visceral form of music to start with; one listen to the Sex Pistols' catalog (or at least their debut album)will leave no one doubting that. But the idea of a punk recording adopting influences from the German rather than British or American rock scenes struck most people then as unusual. Moreover, the idea of a punk recording consisting of no more than of what were then state-of-the-art electronics (today they're 'vintage') and extreme vocals was even more unusual. After honing their skills for six years prior, the duo of Alan Vega and Martin Rev who make up Suicide released this, their debut album in 1977, probably one of the most forward-thinking pop recordings of its day. Having very little experience with groups like Wire and Joy Division (both significant in their own right), I find it hard to accept that either act could have created something more chilling than this. Perhaps Suicide are the beginning of what's now refered to as "post-punk", a style of punk which relied heavily on synthesizers, drum machines, and so on. Suicide's second and third releases convey a similar energy and drive, but this self-titled work remains the purest expression of their modus operandi, a harsh, almost dirty, bed of synth arpeggios which provide the foundation for Vega's vocal meanderings, most powerfully expressed on 'Frankie Teardrop' and the alternate take of 'Harlem' from the CBGB live performance on the bonus disc. Think of it, if you will, as the kind of music either Terry Riley or Klaus Schulze would have made if they were punk musicians, or if Kraftwerk had stronger theatrical tendencies. Beautiful, occasionally distrubing and always mesmerizing, Suicide's debut is certainly one of the great electronic albums of the '70s, and maybe of all time."
Avant-punk masteriece, no doubt about it
Dave Lang | Coburg, VIC Australia | 08/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What an incredible piece of work this is: absolutely unique, unprecendented and terrifying, without any pretensions or sense of compromise. For a band merely consisting of a singer and a guy with a beat-up old keyboard plugged into a few distortion pedals, Suicide in 1977 truly made one of rock'n'roll's all-time essential albums.Released at the height of the NYC punk explosion of the late '70s (though the band - Alan Vega and Martin Rev - pre-dated it by a good 5 years), "Suicide" made many stroke their heads in confusion, though won over just as many with its bizarre, minimalist take on punk rock'n'roll, seemingly a mixture of whiter-than-white Velvets/Stooges rock churn, Taylor/Monk avant-garde jazz and the two-note repetitive glory of LaMonte Young and Terry Riley.Much to its credit, "Suicide" is more than just noise and screaming; what stands out here are the SONGS. "Ghost Rider" is the ultimate slab of white-line-fever trance-rock; "Cheree" is almost like a punker update on '50s doo-wop weepies; "Johnny" is pure electro-Elvis; and the epic "Frankie Teardrop" is a chilling ride through a hopeless life I hope not to experience. What made Suicide so special was their ability to melt technology with a totally HUMAN aesthetic, allowing even boring "rock purists" to enjoy their keyboard-driven sounds.To cut a long story short, this excellent reissue (nice info-filled booklet and all) features two essential bonuses: six songs recorded live at CBGBs ca. 1977, and the infamous "23 Minutes Over Brussells" show from '78, a riot-inducing spectacular of frightening proportions.Suicide strangely developed a strong following amongst foppish UK lightweights like Depeche Mode, OMD and Human League, though to get a more accurate picture of where they were coming from, let's put it this way: if you're at all partial to the likes of worthy racketeers like the Stooges, Throbbing Gristle, Neu!, Albert Ayler or Lou Reed ca. "Metal Machine Music", then Suicide's first album is just about the most sensible purchase you could possibly make."
Kevin H. Carney | Long Island | 06/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For a band that really had no other electro-punk influences to draw from at the time of it's release, this album proves that they were WAY ahead of their time. Always minimalistic and staggering in its approach, the album's power derives mainly from trance-inducing and repetitive keyboards from Marty Rev and unpredictable, howling vocals from Alan Vega. Not bad sounds coming from what mainly started with a broken down Farfisa organ and cheap-o drum machine. And tracks like "Ghost Rider" and "Frankie Teardrop" have proved to be timeless and greatly influencial even by today's standards. The live tracks taken from different shows of the era only prove how often controversial and violent this kind of music was taking it's only influences from the doomed and claustrophobic climate of the late 1970's in NYC. HIGHLY recommended and a leader of the genre."
Example: Mark Twain | 07/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album paints a picture of a world on edge with the same beautiful hues Lynch used in Eraserhead - a world oscillating wildly, always in motion. War vets, fifties styled crooning, mad mad motorcycle chases - this album will leave no one unsatisfied. GHOST RIDER is quite possibly the most beautiful song ever written by leather clad America.
Fans should also check out the Silver Apples, Cromagnon, Throbbing Gristle, United States of America, Wolf Eyes, and Neu!"