Recorded at the influential Greenwich Village club The Speakeasy, this live set from Suzanne Vega is a rare snapshot of an artist just coming into her own. Captured in April 1985 during the same week her self-titled debut album was released, it has the feeling of a hometown record release party as Vega, accompanied only by her guitar, runs through a sharply-honed set list of early material like "Some Journey," "Marlene on the Wall," and "The Queen and the Soldier." At a time when mainstream music was often a highly processed product, both her subtle delivery and thoughtful acoustic songwriting set her apart as she opens this show with the a cappella "Tom's Diner," a signature track that wouldn't appear on record until her 1987 breakthrough Solitude Standing. Originally heard as a radio broadcast, Live at the Speakeasy is intimate and engaging, much like that artist herself.
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AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger