August 12, 2009 – 4:06 am

Finally reaching a wider audience is this excellent original demo tape that Suzanne Vega used to secure a record contract. Mind you it was initially rejected by every major label. Judge for yourself.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Demo Tape [no label, 1CD]

Recorded in New York City, USA, April, 1984. Reel marked Oct 14, 1984 DUB. Ex SBD stereo.

This is requested by a reader. We’ll leave it to davmar77 to say a few words. It’s from his source. Thanks Dave.

“Here’s a very interesting recording I just got hold of. This is the five-song demo tape made by Suzanne Vega in the spring of 1984. The quality is excellent and to my knowledge none of these tracks have ever been released. I did a lot of searching on this and here’s what I found.

Only 2 years later, in April 1984, Vega recorded a five-song demo tape that included a version of “Cracking.” To listen to it is to hear the end product of Vega’s relentless sanding and filing of the song. All superfluous flourishes and edges have been excised. The delivery is crisper. Her vocals are deeper in tone. Naturally, the improved sound quality and addition of bass, drums, and electric guitar add enormously to the polished finished product. But these alone cannot account for the transformation in the song. It has greater bite and sharpness to the drumming and guitar lines that hint at what she might have been trying to achieve in terms sound and production on her first album.

At first, record companies saw little prospect of commercial success. Suzanne’s demo tape was rejected by every major record company - and twice by the very label that eventually signed her: A&M Records. Her self-titled debut album was finally released in 1985.

I’ve done a very close comparison to the versions of these songs from her first release and they are totally different. I’m quite pleased to have gotten the OK to share these with everyone so go get ‘em! As always, all info is in the file. Enjoy, ”

- davmar77

Thanks also to Buttsey for the artwork.

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Straight Lines (5.8MB)
Track 02. Small Blue Thing (5.2MB)
Track 03. Marlene On The Wall (5.4MB)
Track 04. Cracking (4.0MB)
Track 05. Undertow (5.0MB)

Buy her self-titled debut album here.

  1. 4 Responses to “THE FIRST TIME”

  2. thanks very much. the behind blue eyes version by here was amazing.

    By brian on Aug 12, 2009

  3. Ah, the ’80s…ahh, high school…ahhh, Suzanne.


    By heli0tr0pe on Aug 14, 2009

  4. very very cool!!

    By Paul on Dec 11, 2013

  5. Many thanks for posting. :-)

    By Valentin on Mar 30, 2014

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