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Retrospective: The Best of Suzanne Vega

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Album Review

Retrospective: The Best of Suzanne Vega is essentially A&M's updated version of their 1999 issue, The Best of Suzanne Vega: Tried and True, adding "Tired of Sleeping" from Vega's Days of Open Hand, "Calypso" and "Solitude Standing" from Solitude Standing, "(I'll Never Be) Your Maggie May" and "Penitent" from the 2001 recording Songs in Red and Gray, and "Woman on the Tier (I'll See You Through)" from the Dead Man Walking soundtrack. Unfortunately, A&M chose to drop "Book and Cover" from the track listing, which was only previously available on The Best of Suzanne Vega: Tried and True, but the overall collection feels a little bit more hearty with a total of 21 tracks instead of 17.

Customer Reviews

not to miss

I've been a Suzanne Vega Fan since Solitude Standing came up back in the day, but if you've not been exposed to her much this is the way to do it. Suzanne is a poet. Her lyrics are intelligent and have beauty in themselves and the music is simple but beautiful.

Carefully Polished Songs

Suzanne is a rare and unique talent; the reviewer who trashed her songs has nothing to offer. While I would take exception to some of the arrangements, to criticize the value of the songs, and without any basis, either integral or comparative, is a sad comment on the reviewer, not the artist. "Tom's Diner" is as visual as a song can get. "Tired of Sleeping." "(I'll Never Be) Your Maggie May," "Gypsy" and "Small Blue Thing" are personal accounts that introduce one to her soul. "The Queen and the Soldier" is a telling account of how those in power feel entitled to send others off to die for their whimsey and works as convincingly as say Steve Earle's "Rich Man's War."

A voice that rises above most others and a message worth hearing

Suzanne Vega has never written songs to the masses, and there are probably a lot of 17 year olds or hip-hop fans that will write the reviews like the one below ("this is really bad." How thought provoking! Thanks!) She has always been an artist who stands on the fringes and maybe a little out of center of the market, but that is what makes her music so unique and a great drink of water for a thirsty audience. Her songs have hooks (In Liverpool, Left of Center, Luka) but there are other voices she shares that capture you, pull you in and slow the world down around you (Queen & Soldier, Caramel, Marlene, Small Blue Thing). I am a fan of all types of music, and I love fast, upbeat tunes. However, Suzanne Vega remains one of my favorites because she stands out and shares a voice and story that few others can even hope for.


Born: July 11, 1959 in Santa Monica, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Suzanne Vega was the first major figure in the bumper crop of female singer/songwriters who rose to prominence during the late '80s and '90s. Her hushed, restrained folk-pop and highly literate lyrics (inspired chiefly by Leonard Cohen, as well as Lou Reed and Bob Dylan) laid the initial musical groundwork for what later became the trademark sound of Lilith Fair (a tour on which she was a regular). Moreover, her left-field hit single "Luka" helped convince record companies that folk-styled singer/songwriters...
Full Bio