Tuesday, 21 August 2012

SONG FOR TODAY: Suicide - Ghost Rider


A band I first discovered on a CD entitled 'Clean Sweep', given away with the NME back in 1998 and featuring Suicide performing a version of their track 'Rocket USA' with the mighty Spiritualized. 'Ghost Rider' is one of those tunes that I've heard a number of times before, but only recently was I made aware that it was a Suicide song. Certainly a band I need to investigate further... 

"Suicide are an American electronic protopunk musical duo, intermittently active since 1970 and composed of vocalist Alan Vega and Martin Rev on synthesizers and drum machines. Never widely popular amongst the general public, Suicide are highly influential: critic Wilson Neate writes that Suicide "would prove as influential as The Clash. Listening to their self-titled 1977 debut from the vantage point of late 2002, it's all so obvious: The synthpop, techno, and industrial dance sounds of the '80s and '90s, and now the new New Wave of electroclash, all gesture back to that foundational album." Suicide took their name from the title of a Ghost Rider comic book titled Satan Suicide, a favorite of Alan Vega. Rev's simple keyboard riffs, (initially played on a battered Farfisa organ combined with effects units, before changing to a synthesizer), were accompanied by primitive drum machines, providing a pulsing, minimalistic, electronic backdrop for Vega's murmuring and nervy vocals. They were the first band to use the term punk to describe themselves, which they had adopted from an article by Lester Bangs. Some of their earliest posters use the terms "punk music" and "punk music mass".

Their first album, Suicide (1977), is regarded a classic. One critic writes: "'Che", "Ghost Rider"—these eerie, sturdy, proto-punk anthems rank among the most visionary, melodic experiments the rock realm has yet produced." Suicide's albums of the late 1970s and early 1980s are regarded as some of the most influential recordings of their time and helped shape the direction of indie rock, industrial music and dance music..."







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