memories of the ’80s – Suzanne Vega

In the face of ’80s new wave romantics and punk rock, there was a room for a folky singer/songwriter named Suzanne Vega.

Born in California, Vega moved to New York City when she was two, and attended the Highschool of the Performing Arts, where she studied modern dance.

Graduating in the late 1970s, Vega started performing at Greenwich Village coffee houses, taking her poetry and writing songs. Some of her early work was recorded in the Fast Folk anthology albums and the exposure led to a recording contact in 1984.

Her first album, which was self-titled, earned critical acclaim as well as sales in 1985, hitting platinum status, especially thanks to the single Marlene on the Wall, with a video getting regular play on MTV and MuchMusic.

Vega collaborated with composer Phillip Glass and with her second album, Solitude Standing in 1987, her folk rock captured critics’ positive attention and her single Luka gained international airplay.

Her next single Tom’s Diner gained notoriety within the music industry, becoming infamous as a reference used during the trials for mp3 creation.

Luka was covered by The Lemonheads in 1989 and became a college radio hit with their rock interpretation.

For folk singer Suzanne Vega it wasn’t just about fame – she took her own path in the 1980s, and gained a strong audience with her acoustic guitar, distinct lyrics and folk influences.

Vega’s second album,

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About Waheeda Harris

A pop culture junkie with a penchant for exploring our planet.
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