Suzanne Vega Had Some Things To Say About Britney Spears Covering “Tom’s Diner”
Last year, Britney Spears provided vocals on Giorgio Moroder‘s cover of the 1990 DNA remix version of Suzanne Vega‘s “Tom’s Diner,” and it turns out Vega was pretty impressed.
In an interview with Rolling Stone to promote new album Lover, Beloved, singer-songwriter Vega, also known for her Grammy-nominated hit “Luka,” explains, “I have to say, I was surprised. It came right on the heels of Fall Out Boy [who sampled the song on “Centuries”]. I thought, ‘That’s great that Britney Spears wants to do this.’ I was impressed because it was her idea and … it’s showing maturity in her career choices.”
Vega’s 1987 video for her original a cappella rendition of “Tom’s Diner”
“Tom’s Diner,” along with “Luka,” originally appeared on Vega’s Platinum-certified 1987 LP Solitude Standing. British duo DNA remixed the a cappella version of the song in 1990, and their rendition took Vega straight to the top of the charts throughout Europe. In the States, “Tom’s Diner” reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
DNA’s 1990 remix of “Tom’s Diner”
Enter legendary disco producer Giorgio Moroder, who covered “Tom’s Diner” a quarter of a century later for his 2015 release, Deja Vu, with Spears on board for vocals.
“I’m a big Donna Summer fan, and I was expecting a real transformation,” Vega says. “I was thrilled [Britney] did it, and I hope she does it in her live show.”
Giorgio and Britney’s 2015 cover of “Tom’s Diner”
It seems “Tom’s Diner,” inspired by Tom’s Restaurant in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City, will continue to be an enduring standard for many years to come. Chalk it up to the lyrics (sigh — remember actual, good lyrics?) actually being about something.
Catch the various versions of the song in the video clips above.