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Suzanne Vega (the A-Side)

Mastertapes, Series 1 Episode 3 of 14

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 06 November 2012

The second programme of this new series in which John Wilson talks to leading performers and songwriters about the album that made them or changed them. Recorded in front of a live audience at the BBC's iconic Maida Vale Studios, each edition includes two episodes. In Episode 1 (The A side), John asks the artist about the album in question, and then, in the B-side, the audience puts the questions. Both editions feature exclusive live performances.

Programme 2, A-side "Solitude Standing". Singer and songwriter Suzanne Vega discusses the influences behind her platinum-selling second album, released 25 years ago, which included hits like "Luka" and the title track.

She explains that it was her manager who saw the potential of "Luka" and convinced her that a song with a social message could be a hit.

She recalls how the tune for "Tom's Diner" came to her while she was walking down Broadway after having been to the real Tom's restaurant.

And she discusses the way in which images and words were part of her life from a very early age and have influenced her work.

In the next programme (The B-side) it'll be the turn of the audience to ask Suzanne the questions.

Producer: Emma Kingsley.

  • The B-Side

    Suzanne Vega answers audience questions about Solitude Standing, released 25 years ago.

  • More about Suzanne Vega

    Suzanne Vega
    Watch videos and read reviews of Suzanne Vega's recent albums on the BBC's Music pages.


Live tracks

Paul Weller at Maida Vale Studios

Watch and listen to exclusive live performances from the Mastertapes recordings.


  1. Image for Mastertapes


    John Wilson interviews leading musicians about the creation of an album they feel is one of their…

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