Suzanne Vega

"When Suzanne came to the label, she was immediately intriguing – a great person, and very creative. At the time, international sales were very important, and she was an immediate success in London. 'Luka' was already a hit, and 'Tom's Diner' was a tremendous record. The big decision was, a couple of disco guys had remade the track, and some people questioned whether we should put that version out. I said, 'Of course we should put it out – it's a another hit!' It was good for her as an artist, and a lot of fun to see her have that big success."

"If Suzanne Vega had a hit record in London, we sent her over there. She still has an audience in England to this day. She can work for a living somewhere and not have to go to the company for money or make a record. She can just go and perform."--Jerry Moss

 

"If you just come running out and hitting someone over the head with a message, that's not my kind of songwriting really. To me you don't learn anything from it, really. A lot of the things that I write about are hidden things...and that's why I feel it is necessary to write in that way."--Suzanne Vega (Reuters)

Charlie Minor, A&M Records Senior Vice President of Promotion told Billboard, "['Luka'] is the freshest new piece of music on the street, and it's such a change from the urban/dance situations. Suzanne is an artist, and I really have to pat radio on the back for being awake and aware."

The self-titled debut album sold over 200,000 copies in the US and over 500,000 copies outside the US. It went double platinum in the U.K. and was on the American Billboard Chart for 27 weeks.

Solitude Standing was released in May 1987.

A&M's Latin Division asked if Suzanne would record "Luka" in Spanish. Suzanne reworked the lyric with her stepfather to ensure the meaning was true and that it would be well-received in different Latin markets. After hearing the Spanish version of "Luka," Herb Alpert asked if she wanted to record the whole album in Spanish.

Days of Open Hand sold only about 350,000 copies.

 

RetroSpective: the Best Of press release

Sources
  1. Suzanne Vega. Billboard, June 27, 1987.
  2. Viva Vega! Billboard, August 29, 1987.
  3. Vega Stirs Up Social Conscience. Prodigy Services Company, December 28, 1992.
  4. Rising Possibilities. www.vega.net, July 12, 2000.
  5. A&M Records' Greatest Hits. Matt Diehl. Rolling Stone, September 7, 2012.
Birth
Recording Years / Label
1985-1998 -  A&M Records
Instruments
guitar, vocals