Turn That Noise Down - Suzanne Vega

Suzanne Vega Solitude Standing

So many well-known albums turn 30 this year and Steve Taylor-Bryant and Susan Omand travel back to 1987 to revisit some of the sounds of their youth that made parents shout "Turn that noise down!" This week, Steve Taylor-Bryant remembers Suzanne Vega's Solitude Standing, released in April 1987...

There is something beautiful about going back and listening to things you enjoyed in yesteryear. It's like discovering a jewel in the dirty filth that is your subconscious, something valuable you wish you'd kept with you through the years in case it could have changed the course of your life in some way. This happened to me today.

I hadn't listened to Suzanne Vega since 1987, I was a spotty oik then still in school, very stuck in my musical tastes. I'd heard Tom's Diner and just didn't appreciate the beauty in performance poetry, and I completely missed the darkness in the lyrics of Luka, a song that today as a 41 year old man reduced me to a weeping wreck of tears and shaking. I missed the descriptive narrative of the story in Iron Bound/Fancy Poultry. I'd never heard In The Eye, a song with such hatred and yet almost succulent in its delivery. I'd disregarded Night Vision which is acoustic and brass brilliance. There had been no place for Solitude Standing, the albums title track and possibly my biggest regret in music. How had I not listened to this incredible story? Calypso was a lesson in how playing many things quietly can make a big noise and Language is just lyrically superior to most songs written today. It appears I'd listened to Gypsy a lot over the years on a mixtape I had but it had been labelled Enya so my apologies to Suzanne Vega. Then we reach the end of the album with Wooden Horse (Casper Hauser's Song) and Tom's Diner (Reprise). Wooden Horse is one the most fantastic songs I've heard this year. Trust me to discover an epic song thirty years too late. And the Tom's Diner Reprise is what standing in an old toy makers shop or clock repair shop should sound like, childhood memories of Christmas as a young child in Germany come rushing over me, allowing just a glimpse of a happier, more innocent time.

So they we have it, 30 years ago I should have bought this album and played it everyday. No, you're crying! I have allergies...


Image - Amazon.