New York City in 1977 was a terrifying and electrifying place. Bloodthirsty street gangs, blackouts, poverty, government corruption, and drug decadence were king of the streets. What is now the epitome of American commercialism known as Times Square in NYC, was then a grid of darkly snaking backstreets overrun with smut, prostitution, jerk-off booths and titty bars. The heartbeat of the real tortured New Yorker was real, alive, and was scared to death. The avenues and boulevards belonged to the party kids, the serial killers, the revolutionaries, the yuppies, the sluts, the rockers, the pimps, and the gangsters. There was disco. There was punk rock. There was hip-hop, and THEN there was Suicide.

Suicide was the sound of the city in 1977; they were soundtrack to the REAL blood that walked the streets. Hardly the vibe of Studio 54, this was the sound being heard at a 3rd floor loft in the bad part of town. Their first album was a musical storybook of the fears, loves, desires, and excesses of the people of the city. It was the walkie-talkie crackle of an overworked and underpaid cop walking his beat, the short skirts of the girls on a sweltering July afternoon, the smell of piss and shit on the L train, the booming sexual lust of a young couple making out in Tompkins Square Park, the fresh graffiti on the walls of a Brooklyn factory, the baggies of Coke and Dust in the pockets of the club kids, the gasoline-painted streets that surrounded bodegas and dive bars, the dirty drink from a downtown glass, the relentless grinding trucker gears on the BQE, and it was the sound of a their love affair with darkness and of the human spirit.

Suicide were new artists in an old world. Alan Vega and Martin Rev had no idea that what they had created would soar beyond this old world to create a new musical galaxy and set a bar that would be sought after for decades to come. Although they are left out of many accounts of punk rock’s vast history, Suicide did the most punk act possible by coming hard to the fight as musical reformists who defied normalcy and public expectation in regards to rock n’ roll. They made terrifying music for a terrifying time. They made music for the career criminals and for the dreamers. They made music for the kids who wanted straight talk. Suicide came to tell us that we were all dead and we had to live with it. Life was hard and real and you had to find your own beauty within the gloom, piss, and sweat of the day to day. Suicide’s first self-titled album is beyond important. Steal this record.

Suicide - Ghost Rider

01 Ghost Rider