29 January 2021

29 January 2021 - Suzanne Vega - Tom's Diner

This is perhaps the oddest history of a song I have ever posted here.

I first heard the song in 1987, as the opening track on Solitude Standing, Suzanne Vega's 2nd album.  It was a crisp and clear acapella song... so clear that it was used to test the MP3 file format for clarity.  Yes, the answer to the trivia question "what was the first MP3" is "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega.  I immediately loved it.

This live version captures the album version quite perfectly.

Fast forward to 1990.  Two British producers that called themselves DNA remixed the song with a thumping bass track.  They didn't ask anyone if they could do this.  They just did it. They went ahead and released the track to dance clubs in Europe.  Her record label - A&M - caught wind of this and did something remarkable.  With the approval of Suzanne Vega (who actually liked what DNA did with her song), A&M bought and released the remixed song.  

It would become Vega's second biggest pop hit of her career (after "Luka") and arguably her most recognizable.  

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