February 4, 2008

Monday Confession: Suzanne Vega

Happy Monday, all.

One of my favorite CDs of the 1990s was 99.9 F° by Suzanne Vega. And I don't mean it in the way that means I sometimes took it out and played it on Saturdays while I did laundry or occasionally listened to it in my car and so now I have fond memories and consider it a favorite. No. Not like that.

What I mean is that for a period of about two years, I listened to that CD at least once a week. And then one day I never listened to it again. I would bet that less than five of my closest friends ever knew I even did this. This situation would be considered a true "guilty pleasure" because I enjoyed her music but would feel ashamed if my "cool" friends found out about it. (I don't care what people think about my music taste now. It's a big whateva these days.)

I would probably never name 99.9 F° on a "Favorite Albums of the 90s" list but if I had to make a list based on total minutes listened, this one would show up near the top. I don't know why I liked it so much! Still. To this day. And it's not like she isn't cool. She is way cool. But cool enough for a man in his late 20s to obsessively listen to one of her lesser albums for years? No. No. No.

I used to be able to sing along to almost every track and recollect that my favorite songs were:

Blood Makes Noise - "So just forget it doc. I think it's really cool that you're concerned but we'll have to try again after the silence has returned."

When Heroes Go Down - "When heroes go down, they go down fast so don't expect any time to equivocate the past."

99.9 F - "It could be normal but it isn't quite. Could make you want to stay awake at night."

The best part? The CD came out in 1992 but I didn't "get into" it until probably 1996-98. Lay-hame.

But I just found out recently that she released a new album last year after an 11 year break and my heart leapt. I'll have to check it out.

What are some of the CDs you listened to ALL the time that maybe your friends never knew about ... your true guilty pleasures?


The Grunt said...

It depends. There was a time when I was trying to present myself as a sophisticated listener and then would turn around in secret and listen to Def Leppard.

For awhile it was Kate Bush's "The Kick Inside". I definitely did not want my guy friends finding out about that one.

Right now it would have to be trying to hide my taste in hardcore metal. I don't like the crowd it attracts, but I just dig the way it kicks my butt when I listen to it. This isn't helping me become mature.

Michael said...

For my 17th birthday I received the soundtrack to "Mary Poppins." I listened to that CD a lot, I loved it. I still have it and still enjoy it. You know? It really is a mystery how I ended up straight.

April Fossen said...

O-Town. I listen to it while I work out. Still.

P & L said...

I used to tell people that it was Lisa Loeb 'Stay' but I really only had the single and what i was really listening to was 'The Bodyguard' Soundtrack. I can sing every word. And even now when a song shows up I feel like I'm tolling around in my Jeep Wrangler singing at the top of my lungs. And I am happy.

This is P not L.

petie said...

I love, love, love The Scorpions even still. . .and thank goodness for ipods because now we don't have to get out our CDs and be obvious about stuff like this -- I listen to it all of the time. And I dare you to not feel your heart pump a little bit when Ashlee Simpson's L-O-V-E comes on the ipod at the gym.

Matt Mattson said...

I had two: Milli Vanilli's Girl You know It's True
Vanilla Ice's To The Extreme

I can still listen to the former, but only some of the latter.

Wow! What a relief!

Yuval said...


Always glad to find another Suzanne Vega fan... A few things you may like to know about SV:
1. Her latest album, Beauty&Crime, is in fact her 7th album, and was preceded by the wonderful Songs in Red and Gray (2001). Highly recommended.
2. If you want to keep track of SV you can join Undertow, the online community of dedicated fans. I really enjoy the discussions there... It's the grown-up version of a fan club.
3. Suzanne started a blog, where she gives us fans her take on touring and performing, sprinkled with anecdotes.