Suicide: Alan Vega and Martin Rev

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Suicide: Alan Vega and Martin Rev
Studio album by Suicide
Released May 1980
Recorded January 1980
Studio Power Station Studios, New York City[1]
Length 40:33
Label Ze
Producer Ric Ocasek
Suicide chronology
21½ Minutes in Berlin/23 Minutes in Brussels
(1978)21½ Minutes in Berlin/23 Minutes in Brussels1978
Suicide: Alan Vega and Martin Rev
Half Alive
(1981)Half Alive1981
CD reissue cover

Suicide: Alan Vega and Martin Rev is the second studio album by the American band Suicide. The album was produced by Ric Ocasek of The Cars for Ze Records in 1980. Recorded in January 1980, Ocasek gave keyboardist Martin Rev new equipment to perform on while Alan Vega distanced himself from the album musically to concentrate on the vocals. Michael Zilkha of Ze pushed to give the album a more dance music oriented sound, hoping that disco musician Giorgio Moroder would produce the album.

The album was released in May 1980 and was listed on the NME's top albums of the year. Alan Vega felt that "nothing big for [the group] happened" after its initial release. Both Vega and Rev released solo albums following the album's release.


Michael Zilkha of Ze Records initially wanted Giorgio Moroder (pictured) to produce the album.

After a tour opening for the group The Cars, Alan Vega received a call from Michael Zilkha of Ze Records asking if he could sign Suicide to his label.[2] Zilkha gave producer Ric Ocasek a copy of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" single stating that that song is what Suicide should sound like.[3] Suicide: Alan Vega and Martin Rev was produced without pay by Ocasek at the Power Station studios. Power Station was a very expensive studio at that time and was used by acts such as Chic and Bruce Springsteen.[3] The album was recorded in January 1980.[1] Ocasek had provided the group with new equipment when in the studio, many of which keyboardist Martin Rev had not played before production had started.[4] Bruce Springsteen was recording an album next door to Suicide and visited them during the production of the album.[5][6]

Alan Vega was less involved with this album musically in comparison to their previous album stating that the music was more of a collaboration of Ocasek and Rev while Vega "concentrated on the vocals".[5] The songs "Harlem" and "Touch Me" were written and being performed after the production of the release of the duo's first album.[4]


Michael Zilkha of Ze Records originally hoped to get Giorgio Moroder to produce the album and have it be more dance oriented.[7] Allmusic described the sound of Suicide: Alan Vega and Martin Rev as "less confrontational and more contemporary" than the duo's previous album.[8] Martin Rev stated that the lyrics of "Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne" were about the "decadent side of the nightlife scene".[7] Rev later felt that the album did not reflect what the group was about.[9]

Rev described the album cover as having a disco music style.[7] Rev felt that Zilkha was moving Ze Records into a dance music style and tried to tone down the amount of blood and gore on the album cover as much as possible.[7]


Prior to the album's release, Suicide released a non-album single titled "Dream Baby Dream" in November 1979.[6] The album was released in May 1980 under the title Suicide: Alan Vega and Martin Rev.[8][10] Alan Vega stated that there were problems with the distribution of the album.[9]

Cars vocalist Ric Ocasek produced the album for no pay.

The album was re-issued by Mute Records on compact disc on January 18, 2000.[11] The release was titled The Second Album which featured three extra songs: "Super Subway Comedian", "Dream Baby Dream", and "Radiation".[8] The second disc consisted of live material recorded at New York City in the Museum for Living Artists in 1975.[12]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[13]
Pitchfork 8.7/10[14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[15]
Select 5/5[16]
Spin Alternative Record Guide 9/10[17]

In 1980, the album was listed in the NME's best of the year listing.[10] AllMusic gave the album rating of a four and a half stars out of five, stating the album is "Perhaps it's not as renegade as Suicide [1977], but it's an arguably better, more realized work, and just as essential".[8] Select gave the Blast First re-issue titled The Second Album a five out of five rating, stating that Suicide's "unjustly less celebrated second LP [...] is more polished and sound remarkably like contemporary electronica" and referred to the album as "a timeless recording".[16]

British music magazine Fact placed it at number 79 on their list of the top 100 albums of the 1980s, referring to it as an "astonishing album, which simply refuses to age".[18]


Alan Vega felt that "nothing big for us happened" after the second album was released in comparison to the first album.[9] Suicide: Alan Vega and Martin Rev was a big influence on electronic music in the United Kingdom. Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream stated he "loved the album right from the start" feeling that it predated house music.[10] Steven Severin of Siouxsie and the Banshees stated that "everything about [the album] is would be up there with my top ten favourite albums. it's that good."[9]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Martin Rev and Alan Vega.[1][12]


  • Ric Ocasek – producer
  • Larry Alexander – engineer
  • Tony Wright – cover art



  1. ^ a b c d Suicide. Suicide. ZE Records, 1980.
  2. ^ Nobahkt, 2004. p.134
  3. ^ a b Nobahkt, 2004. p.135
  4. ^ a b Nobahkt, 2004. p.136
  5. ^ a b Nobahkt, 2004. p.137
  6. ^ a b Nobahkt, 2004. p.138
  7. ^ a b c d Nobahkt, 2004. p.142
  8. ^ a b c d Kellman, Andy. "Suicide [Second Album]". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c d Nobahkt, 2004. p.141
  10. ^ a b c Nobahkt, 2004. p.140
  11. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Suicide [Second Album]". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Suicide. The Second Album + The First Rehearsal Tapes. Mute Records, 2000.
  13. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Suicide: Alan Vega/Martin Rev – Suicide". AllMusic. Retrieved July 24, 2016. 
  14. ^ Masters, Marc (June 27, 2016). "Suicide: Suicide / Alan Vega Martin Rev". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 27, 2016. 
  15. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony; Henke, James; George-Warren, Holly, eds. (1992). "Suicide". The Rolling Stone Album Guide (3rd ed.). Random House. ISBN 0-679-73729-4. 
  16. ^ a b Johnston, Ian (August 1999). "Suicide: The Second Album". Select (110): 89. ISSN 0959-8367. 
  17. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide (1st ed.). Vintage Books. pp. 383–384. ISBN 0-679-75574-8. 
  18. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of the 1980s". Fact. June 24, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2013. 


See also[edit]

External links[edit]