Formed all the way in 1970, Suicide is the ultimate American duo consisting of Martin Rev and Alan Vega. They were an experimental electronic instrumentalist with synthesizers and drums. They are also among the very first to use the phrase “punk music” in advertisements for concerts.
The duo also had Paul Liebegott as their primary guitarist during the underground era of the Suicide. Later on, in 1971, Liebegott left the pair, and then Vega and Rev handled the music. Their music proved the blueprint for synth-pop and post-punk music.
Suicide was not widely recognized by the general public but was recognized as one of the most influential acts of the era. Their sound was very fascinating and their early works won them various opening slots for the likes of the New York Dolls.
Suicide’s early sound was the sound of horror and disturbances. Alan Vega also revealed that the band’s name was inspired by the Ghost Rider Comic issue title ‘Satan Suicide.’ He commented, “We were talking about society’s suicide, especially American society, New York City was collapsing. The Vietnam War was going on. The name Suicide said it all to us.”
The duo never broke into the mainstream and was just in the underground level for all its entirety. But today the duo is regarded as the pioneers of synth-punk of the 70s. The discography of Suicide consisted of really disturbing songs, and the song “Frankie Teardrop” is regarded as a very horrifying-sounding song.
With this, let’s take a look at the albums of Suicide.
Here are Suicide’s albums from Best to Worst.
1. Suicide (1977)
This debut album is the definition of the synth-punk genre. The album represents the rawness of the pair and has reputation for being very scary. The release of this synth-punk horror-style work of art made people very skeptical.
Suicide’s notorious song, “Frankie Teardrop” is also on this album and is one of the most terrifying songs in music history. The song follows the story of a man named Frankie who kills his wife, child, and himself due to poverty. It was inspired by a real-life news story that Alan had read.
This album is the one that sends us through a canal of horrifying and terrifying sounds. Other songs in the album like, ‘Ghost Rider’, ‘Johnny’, and ‘Cheree’ are also unique on their own with terror in them. This album is there to give very unsettling feelings to its listeners.
2. Suicide: Alan Vega/Martin Rev (1980)
The second album by Suicide is by far the most loved album by the duo. The duo has strayed away from their original goth-type, synth music but the roots are there. This album had some of their popular songs and catchiest songs. The album gave them a more dance music-oriented sound.
The album has a variety of songs, ‘Sweetheart’ being a beautiful love song. Other songs such as ‘Be Bop Kid’, and ‘Diamond Fur Coat, Champagne’ are also very important songs in the album. It had one of the best sexy songs ‘Shadazz’ on the album for everyone to bang onto.
3. A Way of Life (1988)
A Way of Life is the third studio album by Suicide and sees Suicide commercializing their music. The terrifying sound of the previous albums has mostly become more dreamy. A Way of Life doesn’t sacrifice its quality in terms of tone and looks for more commercial recognization.
This dream pop tone adoption by Suicide has to be one of the best decisions of them because the son ‘Surrender’ is one of the most popular songs of them. It revolves around sentimental beauty.
This album represented the 80s sound. The time back then was crazy for synth-pop music and the duo tried their best to mimic that way of music in this album. This represented some change in the way they sound in the coming days.
4. American Supreme (2002)
American Supreme is the final and fifth album of Suicide. As the name suggests, the album is all about the socio-political topic of the United States. This was a disappointing album as it was full of unrecognizable tracks. The album feels more like an experiment, as there are various samples of hip-hop-inspired songs on the album.
Also, the album is very long with not that many good songs to listen to. Songs like, ‘Death Machine’ are nothing, and feels like the existence of that song is just to be there on the album and nothing more.
American Supreme was released after 10 years and made everyone feel like the wait was not worth it. It was a confusing piece of work by them.
5. Why Be Blue (1992)
While there are no worst albums by them really, the last one on the list is Why Be Blue which was the fourth studio album of the duo. This was the poorest produced album by the duo. This album lacked most of the features of Suicide and even the compositions of the music are off.
Songs like ‘Play the Dream’ is very terrible. Basically, the whole album is very unmemorable. The album is full of obvious flaws and offers nothing in return really. The whole album is a mess, is kind of unlistenable, and is straight-up chaotic.