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Suicide – Suicide (1977)

October 17, 2017

[Album 573/1001]

I can’t tell if this is among the best or the worst albums of the 1001 list thus far.

And that makes me very excited.

A graph, or three, to explain.

.                                      Slide1

1. As first proposed last year, I believe that most of the albums I’ve heard/will hear (and I estimate there will be about 680 of them by the end) are in that “OK” to “Really Good” range.

To borrow a Michael Bluth quote, I have no problem with that.

.

Slide2

2. For better or worse, another 270 of the albums will be in that next range, meaning 95% of the 1001 list will be somewhere between “Not Really My Cuppa” and “Stellar.”

And some recent new-to-me records certainly belong in that narrow “Really Good” to “Stellar” window (such as Night Life & Live at the Regal).

.

Slide3

3. Of the 1001, there will be 4 albums that are untouchably amazing or unbearably awful.

I don’t believe SSuicide1977uicide quite fits either of those descriptions.

However, for the first time in recent memory, I think I’ve stumbled across an album that is at least approaching one of the extremes.

I’m not sure that one could ‘like’ this album;  it feels like an album that, one way or another, listeners will leave with much stronger feelings than that.

But do I “despise” it?

Or is this a “magical” record?

Listening to the side 2 opener, Frankie Teardrop, might be the optimal litmus test.

Are the 10 minutes and 26 seconds of bleak storytelling & sporadic howling barely listenable?

Or are they brilliant?

For me, it’s too soon to tell.

Yet I’m convinced that whatever Suicide’s 1977 debut album is, there’s nothing halfway about it.

…..

Verbalize the Positive

Thanks to my friend James Tallon (again) for lending me another intriguing LP & for not charging late fees!

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From → 1970s

23 Comments
  1. 95% within two standard deviations from the mean. Takes me right back to second year statistics.
    I’m not really very familiar with Suicide either – but know enough to echo your ‘polarising’ hypothesis. I do know that with ‘difficult’ album, some have become favourites over the years. An example is ‘Bitches Brew’ (which I imagine is on the list), another ‘Metal Machine Music’ (which I imagine is not).

    • You were correct with both imagined scenarios Bruce!
      Lou Reed’s Berlin is on the list however, I gather it’s not exactly listener-friendly on the first spin either.
      I remember liking how densely layered Bitches Brew was – and I’m now recalling liking how you suggested if I started listening now, I should be ready to review within a couple years!

      • 🙂
        Berlin is a bleak and sometimes scarifying album about despair and human suffering. Have fun with the graphs for that one!

  2. I’ve always been to scared to hear this one.

  3. Hey! I’ve just got to say now, I totally love this album! I’ve got to ask if you just listened to the album? Or did you get to listened to the bonus disc of the reissue too? It’s got a live set with riot breaking out, it’s total pure chaos!
    BTW Here’s a little post I wrote last year about them and the singer when he passed away which you might like? or maybe not? It’s kind-of how I got into them etc. themhttps://a1000mistakes.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/remembering-alan-vega-cover-versions-suicides-ghost-rider-by-rollins-band-dream-baby-dream-by-bruce-springsteen-sweetheart-by-htrk/

    • I borrowed the LP from a friend – I believe it was a 180g reissue, but no bonus disc.
      I’d be interested in hearing live recordings though, it sounds like they were intense to see in person!

  4. I haven’t yet heard the whole LP. From the album, I love the song Che which was used in promo for the Ryan Gosling film The Place Beyond the Pines. Maybe that’s when it works best, as trailer music!

  5. I’m not really too familiar with much of Suicide’s stuff, but I’ve always been awfy fond of what I’ve heard and getting this album on vinyl has been high on my list a while.

    • I borrowed it on vinyl – and may eventually invest myself! There’s a neat 8×10″ shot of the band thrown in, as well as an interesting insert written by Thurston Moore about how he discovered the band. They sound like they put on quite a show!

      • I may have a look for it when I’m out with the kiddo today.

  6. School is now in session for Ol Dekes!

  7. I just think this is a work of uncomfortable genius as far as I’m concerned.

    • Based on the insert liner notes (by Thurston Moore, describing seeing them for the first time live) – it sounds like uncomfortable is an understatement for their stage show!

  8. Ahh, I love this album!! Took me several listens to even begin to tolerate it but, these days, I’d put it as a “magical”, and even go so far to say that ‘Frankie Teardrop’ is an all-time favourite song…

  9. A record that brings an extreme reaction methinks . Can’t wait to review it

  10. Never heard it, but your post makes me want to. Well, that and the charts. And you had me at quoting Michael Bluth.

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