#9: Suicide – Dream Baby Dream (1979)
Fifty favourite records. Default expressions, the “You Are Here” a space brightly illuminated, appended with a giant pointed arrow. And yes – this is where we are, each recording not tainted by the obvious components of inclusion, but rather propelled forward, as if by celebration; I know this record, you know this record, we’re talking intimate acquaintance and yet the mechanics of this relationship dispel any over-familiarity.
1. Today’s track has been around in various guises since at least the late seventies, and yet it still sounds like it was recorded yesterday. There’s a fresh, elegant quality about this, a precise and measured momentum. Technically simple – nothing more than a gentle cascade of unwavering synch chords underpinning lullaby lyrics – Alan Vega and Martin Rev nonetheless create a beautiful aural sculpture. Something mesmerizing, far more nuanced than the base ingredients would suggest.
2. James Murphy has absolutely nothing to do with this record. This is not exactly a controversial statement, but we’re discussing a very specific NYC sound, here; we could follow this with ‘Yr City’s a Sucker’ or ‘Daft Punk Is Playing…’ and you’d require a magnifying glass to detect the seams. Hideously influential as Suicide are – there are so many origins of later synth pop in their first two albums in particular, not to mention motifs carried forward by darker and more abrasive acts – the credit so deserved has all too often eluded them. But in my world they’re bigger than Elvis – that’s Presley. And Costello.
Suicide / Dream Baby Dream