Alan Vega and Martin Rev, aka dark lo-fi electro-duo Suicide, were amazing in their heyday, especially when you consider they formed in 1971, pre-dating and influencing a shit-load of post-punk, noise, no wave, synth-pop, and industrial acts that followed. (If you don’t have their self-titled 1977 or 1980 albums, pick them up or, for now, watch these live clips and listen to “Frankie Teardrop“). All this because Suicide vocalist Vega is turning 70 this year, and the UK label Blast First (petite) is putting together a year-long, limited-edition series of 10″ EPs and downloads with artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, Sunn 0))), Grinderman, Spiritualized, Liars, and fellow early downtown scenesters Lydia Lunch (who was hanging with Suicide as the 17-year-old leader of Teenage Jesus & the Jerks) and “Prince Vince” Gallo, etc. Here’s how the singles series is described:
The groundbreaking singles-series will feature an established recording artist paying tribute to Alan by covering one of his songs, plus a previously unreleased Suicide/Vega rarity from the archives and, showing that Vega’s work continues to inspire, a cover version by a young and upcoming band.
We have the details for the participating bands and for the first three singles.
Major artists included are:
Bruce Springsteen, Primal Scream, Peaches, Grinderman (feat. Nick Cave), Spiritualised, The Horrors, Sunn 0))+Pansonic, Julian Cope, Lydia Lunch, Vincent Gallo, LIARS, & The Klaxons.
Upcoming bands are:
Beat The Devil/Shilpa Ray, No Bra, HTRK, X-Vectors, Nik Void (ex Kaito) , Effi Briest, S.C.U.M, Stephen Burroughs (ex Head Of David).
The first three singles:
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – DREAM BABY DREAM 6:55
SUICIDE – MIDNIGHT SPECIAL LIVE 3:51
BEAT THE DEVIL / SHILPA RAY – MR RAY 5:30
COVER IMAGE : EDWARD MAPPLETHORPE
TWO EDITIONS OF 4000 EACH BLACK & CLEAR VINYL
THE HORRORS – SHADAZZ 4:18
SUICIDE – RADIATION 5:06
NIK VOID – ROCKET USA 3:58
COVER IMAGE : ALEX ROSE
EDITION OF 3000
PEACHES -JONNY 2:01
SUICIDE – JONNY LIVE 1978 3:07
S.C.U.M. – WILD IN BLUE 5:23
COVER IMAGE : CARY KWOK
EDITION OF 2000
Before that gets started, this month (“in stores 16th June 2008,” reportedly) there’s that 6-CD Live 1977/78 Box Set (note the cover image above). it’s limited to 3,000 copies and includes 13 complete Suicide sets in NYC as well as from their first European tour supporting the Clash and Elvis Costello. The recordings all from Howard Thompson’s archives. He’s the one who signed Suicide to the UK label Bronze. You can get the full track list here. I haven’t heard it yet, but I have been thumbing through Thurston Moore and Byron Coley’s pretty awesome pictorial No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980. Suicide, but especially Lunch, DNA, Mars, the Contortions, and the less known non-No New York players of that later crew are represented mightily. There’s also a helpful family tree. It’s out late June on Abrams Image.