- Suzanne Vega
Infobox musical artist
Name = Suzanne Vega
Img_capt = Suzanne Vega in 2006
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Suzanne Nadine Vega
Born = Birth date and age|1959|7|11 in
Santa Monica, California, USA
New York City, New York, USA
Instrument = vocals,
Alternative rock Singer-songwriter
Singer, songwriter, record producer
Years_active = 1982 - present
Label = A&M, Blue Note
URL = [http://www.suzannevega.com SuzanneVega.com]
Suzanne Nadine Vega (born
11 July 1959in Santa Monica, California) is an American songwriterand singerknown for her highly literate lyricsand eclectic folk-inspired music. Record companies saw little prospect of commercial success in the beginning; Vega's demo tape was rejected by every major record company—twice by A&M. In 1984 she was finally signed by A&M, and she is now a Grammy nominated artist. Two songs of Vega's (from her second album – " Solitude Standing" 1987) that were very popular are "Luka" and " Tom's Diner." The latter has been interpolated into many recordings by various artists.
Vega's mother, Pat Vega, is a computer
systems analystof German-Swedish heritage. Her father, Richard Peck, is of Scottish-English-Irish extraction and works in graphics. Her stepfather, Ed Vega, was a writer and teacher from Puerto Rico. [http://www.suzannevega.com/about/1987/creem.htm dead link|date=August 2008]
When Vega was two and a half, the family moved to
New York City. She grew up in Spanish Harlemand the Upper West Side.cite web| url=http://www.suzannevega.com/suzanne/biography/detailed.aspx | title=Suzanne Vega: A Life in Music | publisher=Official Community of Suzanne Vega| accessdate=2008-05-26] At the age of nine she began to write poems; she wrote her first song at age fourteen. Later she attended New York's prestigious High School of Performing Arts, now on Amsterdam Avenue between 65th & 66th Street in Manhattan. (This school was seen in the filmmusical "Fame"). There she studied modern danceand graduated in 1977.
While majoring in
English literatureat Barnard College[cite web| url= http://www.suzannevega.com/suzanne/biography/brief.aspx | title=Biography | work=Official Community of Suzanne Vega| accessdate=2008-05-26] , she performed in small venues in Greenwich Village, where she was a regular contributor to Jack Hardy's Monday night songwriters group at the Cornelia Street Cafe. In 1984, she received a major label recording contract.
album, "Suzanne Vega", was released in 1985 and was well received by critics in the U.S.; it reached platinum status in the United Kingdom. Produced by Lenny Kaye, Steve Addabbo and Steven Miller, the songs feature Vega's acoustic guitarin straightforward arrangements. Vega's writing often featured vignettes of characters and even inanimate objects, such as in "Small Blue Thing". A video was released for the album's song "Marlene on the Wall", which went into MTVand VH1's rotations. During this period Vega also wrote lyrics for two songs on " Songs from Liquid Days" by composer Philip Glass.
Her next effort, "
Solitude Standing" (1987), garnered critical and commercial success including two hit singles: " Tom's Diner", and "Luka", which was an international success. "Luka" is written about, and from the point of view, of a battered child—at the time an uncommon subject for a pop hit. While continuing a focus on Vega's acoustic guitar, the music is more strongly pop-oriented and features fuller, more sensual arrangements. The a cappella"Tom's Diner" was later a hit again, remixed by two British dance producers under the name DNA, in 1990.
Vega's song "Tom's Diner" was used as the reference track in an early trial of the
MP3compression system, earning her the distinction of being "The Mother of the MP3". It was chosen because her a capella vocal with relatively little reverberation was used as the model for Karlheinz Brandenburg's compression algorithm.cite web|url=http://www.suzannevega.com/suzanne/funfacts/music.aspx |title=Fun Facts Music|publisher=Official Community of Suzanne Vega |accessdate=2008-08-22] Brandenburg heard Tom's Diner in a radio playing the song. He was excited and at first convinced it would be "nearly impossible to compress this warm a capella voice."
"Tom's Diner" takes place in Tom's Restaurant at 112th Street and Broadway in New York City. Exterior shots of the same restaurant appear in the television
sitcom" Seinfeld" as the eatery where Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer hang out. On 3rd December 2007 a song sampling "Tom's Diner" was released by late rapper Tupac Shakur entitled "Dopefiend's Diner". There have been multiple songs released featuring "Tom's Diner"; a complete list can be found. Nick at Nitedid a re-make of the song in the mid-90s for a commercial advertising " I Dream of Jeannie", in which the chorus is set to the theme from the show.
"Luka" was covered by
The Lemonheadson their 1989 album Lick, shortly before the band was signed to Atlantic Records, and was a minor college-airplay hit.On a 1987 Swedish television special, Vega said this about the song "Luka":
A few years ago, I used to see this group of children playing in front of my building, and there was one of them, whose name was Luka, who seemed a little bit distinctive from the other children. I always remembered his name, and I always remembered his face, and I didn't know much about him, but he just seemed set apart from these other children that I would see playing. And his character is what I based the song Luka on. In the song, the boy Luka is an abused child—in real life I don't think he was. I think he was just different. [cite web|url=http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=3528 |title=Luka by Suzanne Vega Songfacts |accessdate=2008-08-22]
Also, in an
ASCAPinterview, she responded to a question about "Luka":
Interviewer: When you can touch so many people with songs like "Luka," it must be pretty rewarding."'
Vega: Yeah. It’s an amazing feeling. Especially since that particular song is a very special song. It’s a song about child abuse, so therefore it does touch a lot of people in a different way than if it were, say, a
love songor some other kind of song. [cite web|url=http://www.ascap.com/poprock/memberprofiles/suzannevega.html |title=ASCAP |accessdate=2008-08-22]
Vega's third album, "
Days of Open Hand" (1990) signified a change in style: the music became more experimental, and the lyrics expressed greater emotion.
Her fifth album, "
Nine Objects of Desire", was released in 1996. The music varies between a frugal, simple style and the industrial production of "99.9F°". This album contains "Caramel", featured in the movie " The Truth About Cats & Dogs" and, later, the trailer for the movie "Closer". A song not included on that album, "Woman on the Tier," was featured on the soundtrackof the movie " Dead Man Walking".
In 1997 she took a singing part on the concept album "Heaven and Hell", a musical interpretation of the
Seven deadly sinsby her colleague Joe Jackson, with whom she had already collaborated in 1986 on "Left of center" from the " Pretty in Pink" soundtrack (with Suzanne Vega singing and Joe Jackson playing piano). September 2001saw the release of a new album, " Songs In Red and Gray". Three songs deal with Vega's divorcefrom first husband, Mitchell Froom.
At the memorial concert for her brother
Tim Vegain December 2002, she began as the long-term subject of a direct cinema documentary, "Some Journey", by director Christopher Seufertof Mooncusser Films.
2003, the twenty-one song greatest hits compilation "Retrospective: The Best of Suzanne Vega" was released. (The UK version of "Retrospective" included an eight-song bonus CD as well as a DVDcontaining twelve songs.) In the same year she was invited by Grammy Award-winning jazz guitarist, Bill Frisell, to play at the Century of Songconcerts at the famed RuhrTriennalein Germany.
2003, she hosted the American Public Mediaradio series "American Mavericks", about 20th century American composers, which received the prestigious Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting.
3 August 2006, Vega became the first major recording artist to perform live in the Internet-based virtual world, " Second Life". The event was hosted by John Hockenberryof public radio's [http://www.infinitemind.com/ The Infinite Mind] .
17 September 2006, she performed in Central Park, as part of a benefit concert for The Save Darfur Coalition. [ [http://www.ajws.org/index.cfm?section_id=8 American Jewish World Service ] dead link|date=October 2008] During the concert she highlighted her support for Amnesty International, of which she has been a member for nearly a decade. [http://www.suzannevega.com/bySuzanne/childhoodStolen.htm dead link|date=August 2008]
October 2006Vega took part in the Academia Film Olomouc (AFO) in Olomouc, the Czech Republic, the oldest festival of documentary films in Europe, in which she appeared as a main guest. She was invited there as the subject of the documentary film by director Christopher Seufert, that had a test screening at the festival. At the end of the festival she performed her classical songs, and added one brand new piece called "New York Is a Woman".
Vega is also one of the interviewed persons in the book "Everything Is Just a Bet" which was published in Czech in October 2006. The book contains twelve interview transcriptions from the talk show called "Stage Talks" that regularly runs in the Svandovo Theatre in
Prague. Vega introduced the book to the audience of the Svandovo Theatre, and together with some other Czech celebrities gave a signing session.
She signed with
Blue Note Recordsin the spring of 2006, and released " Beauty & Crime" on 17 July 2007. The album was produced by Jimmy Hogarth, which won a Grammy for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. [http://www.suzannevega.com/cgi-bin/discus/show.cgi?4160/5619 dead link|date=August 2008] She was dropped by Blue Note after two years.Fact|date=June 2008
In 2007, Suzanne Vega, following the lead of numerous other mainstream artists released her track "Pornographer's Dream" as
podsafe. The song spent two weeks at #1 during 2007 and finished as the #11cite web|last=Doelle|first=Chris|url=http://www.podmusiccountdown.com/archives/2008/01/pmc_top10_01040.html|title=PMC Top10 - 010408 - Top Hits of 2007!!!|publisher=" PMC Top10"|date=2008-01-05|accessdate=2007-04-01] hit of the year on the PMC Top10's annual countdown.
17 March 1995Vega married Mitchell Froom, a musicianand a record producer. They have a daughter, Ruby Froom (born 8 July 1994). The band Soul Coughing's " Ruby Vroom" album was named after her, with Vega's approval, though she requested a slight change. Vega and Froom divorced in 1998.
11 February 2006, Vega married Paul Mills, a lawyerand a poet. They originally met each other at Folk City on West 4th Street in 1981. In their own words, Mr. Mills proposed to Ms. Vega in May 1983, and she accepted his proposal on Christmas Day 2005. [http://www.suzannevega.com/cgi-bin/discus/show.cgi?tpc=12&post=4291 dead link|date=August 2008]
In popular culture
In a deleted sequence from
Quentin Tarantino's 1994 hit, Pulp Fiction, in a conversation between Vincent ( John Travolta) and Mia ( Uma Thurman) upon first meeting each other, Mia holds a camcorder up and interviews Vincent, asking him all sorts of random, off-beat questions. Later on in the scene, Vincent (Travolta), in response to one of Mia's whacky questions, responds that he is the cousin of Suzanne Vega. Mia (Thurman) then, excitedly asks Vincent if "Suzanne Vega, the folk singer Suzanne Vega is your cousin?....No Way!". Vincent responds with "Actually she's my cousin Suzanne and if she became a folk singer I wouldn't know."
Days of Open Handmade #2 in Norway albums chart
Nine Objects of Desiremade #20 in Finland, #23 in Switzerland, #39 in Sweden
Beauty & Crimemade #9 in Estonia, #13 in Finland, #37 in Czech Republic, #49 in Poland, #74 in Italy
*"", 1998 - UK #46, AUS #96, GER #58
*"", 2003 - UK #27
*"Marlene On The Wall", 1985 - UK #83
*"Small Blue Thing", 1985 - UK #66
*"Knight Moves", 1985
*"Marlene On The Wall" second release, 1986 - UK #21, AUS #39, Ireland #9
*"Left Of Center", 1986 - UK #32, AUS #35
*"Gypsy", 1986 - UK #77
*"Luka", 1987 - UK #23, US #3, AT #9, AUS #21, FR #24, SWE #2, NZ #8, Ireland #11, Canada #5
Tom's Diner", 1987 - UK #58
*"Solitude Standing", 1987 - UK #79, US #94, AUS #91, NZ #45
*"Book Of Dreams", 1990 - UK #66
*"Tired of Sleeping", 1990
*"Men in a War", 1990
*"Tom's Diner (DNA remix)", 1990 - UK #2, US #5, AT #1, AUS #8, FR #16, GER #1, SWI #1, NZ #8, Austria #1, Ireland #2
*"Rusted Pipe (DNA remix)", promotional, 1991
*"In Liverpool", 1992 - UK #52
*"99.9F°", 1992 - UK #46
*"Blood Makes Noise", 1992 - UK #60, AUS #61, NZ #42, Canada #27
*"When Heroes Go Down", 1993 - UK #58
*"No Cheap Thrill", 1996 - UK #40
*"Birth-day", promotional, 1997
*"World before Columbus", 1997
*"Headshots", promotional, 1997
*"Book & a Cover", 1998
*"Rosemary / Remember me", 1999
*"Widow's Walk", promotional, 2001
*"Last Year's Troubles", promotional, 2001
*"Penitent", promotional, 2001
*"(I'll Never Be) Your Maggie May", promotional, 2002
*"Frank & Ava", promotional, 2007
*"Ludlow Street", promotional, 2007
*"Unbound", promotional, 2007
*"Pornographer's Dream", podsafe, 2007 - PMC #1
*, 1988 (one of
Various Artists), performs the title track
* [http://www.suzannevega.com SuzanneVega.com] – Official Suzanne Vega Website
*imdb name|id=0891916|name=Suzanne Vega
* [http://www.SuzanneVegaFilm.com Suzanne Vega documentary clips]
* [http://www.vega.net Vega.net] – Collection of fan sites
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Look at other dictionaries:
Suzanne Vega — im Mai 2006 … Deutsch Wikipedia
Suzanne Vega — en 2006 Nom Suzanne Nadine Vega Naissance 11 … Wikipédia en Français
Suzanne Vega — Suzanne Vega, foto sacada el 2006 Datos generales Nombre real Suzanne Nadine Peck … Wikipedia Español
Suzanne Vega — Сюзанна (Сюзан) Надин Вега (Вига) англ. Suzanne Nadine Vega американская певица, автор песен и музыки Дат … Википедия
Suzanne Vega (альбом) — Suzanne Vega Студийный альбом Сюзанна Вега Дата выпуска май 1985 Записан … Википедия
Suzanne Vega (album) — Infobox Album Name = Suzanne Vega Type = Studio album Artist = Suzanne Vega Released = May 1985 Recorded = January March 1985 Genre = Rock Label = A M Records Length = 35:37 Producer = Steve Addabbo, Lenny Kaye and Steven Miller Reviews =… … Wikipedia
Luka (Suzanne Vega) — Luka (chanson) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Luka (homonymie). Luka Single par Suzanne Vega extrait de l’album Solitude Standing Sortie 1987 … Wikipédia en Français
Vega (surname) — Vega (Pronounced Vey Ga ) is a Spanish surname than means dweller in the meadow , or one who lives on the plain . Other versions of the surname Vega are Vegas or Vegaz.People with the surname Vega* Amelia Vega, Miss Universe 2003 from the… … Wikipedia
Vega — puede referirse a: Contenido 1 Geografía 2 Lugares 2.1 en Colombia 2.2 en España 2.3 en Noruega … Wikipedia Español
Vega — bezeichnet: einen Stern im Sternbild Leier, siehe Wega einen Bodentyp, siehe Vega (Bodentyp) Vega de Granada, Landschaft bei, heute auch Verwaltungsbezirk um Granada, Spanien Vega Archipel, eine norwegische Inselgruppe, die seit 2004 zum UNESCO… … Deutsch Wikipedia