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Tom’s Diner” is an a cappella pop song written in 1981 by American singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega. It was first released as a track on the January 1984 issue of Fast Folk Musical Magazine[1]. The first time it was featured on any of her own studio albums was as the first track of her own Solitude Standing album in 1987. It was not until the a cappella track was used as the basis for a popular remix by the British group DNA, in 1990 that the song became a popular hit.

Background

In 1990, two secretive British record producers remixed “Tom’s Diner” without Suzanne Vega’s permission, grafting her vocals onto an infectious dance beat from Soul II Soul, and turning her simple ad-libbed outro — “Doo doo doo doo, doo da-doo doo” — into the song’s driving hook. They took the name “DNA”, later calling themselves The DNA Disciples to distinguish themselves from no wave band DNA, and released their work on a limited basis for distribution to clubs as “Oh Suzanne”, by “DNA featuring Suzanne Vega”. Vega’s record company of the time, A&M, decided to buy the single and release it themselves rather than taking DNA to court for copyright infringement after consultation with Vega, who liked the interpretation, and DNA, who conducted the whole deal through intermediaries in order to hide their true identities. The remix became a much larger hit than Vega had with the song originally, peaking at #2 on the UK singles chart and #5 on the US Billboard Hot 100,

Suzanne Vega Tom’s Diner

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