Wait, what? Iconic anti-folk tune “Tom’s Diner” covered by pop diva Britney Spears? Yes, you read that correctly. “Tom’s Diner” is one of several new-again hits covered on legendary producer Giorgio Moroder’s appropriately named new album Deja Vu. It’s an album full of admittedly whacky and unexpected pair-ups of singers and songs to be covered, but Deja Vu is already getting some good reviews from people like Stereogum‘s Caitlin White.
“The wackiest and most genius might be Britney Spears covering Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner,” which has made it online a little earlier than expected. My hot take is that this cover is good! Maybe even great?”
Morodor was happy with the “Tom’s Diner” cover too.
“I heard the track and I only changed a little bit – she did a good job with it actually. I hope she finds the time to do the little bridge – it’s just eight bars. I’m going to meet her soon and tell her!”
Turned out that whatever he told her, it didn’t work. Britney never made it back into the studio and although all the rest of “Tom’s Diner” except those eight bars were covered by Britney Spears, Morodor himself covered the “little bridge.”
“Tom’s Diner” has been covered a few times since its first release as a single in 1984. Suzanne Vega didn’t think it would make it so big when she wrote it, and the haunting a cappella sound that captured the world’s imagination came about almost by mistake. Suzanne wanted a piano, didn’t have one or know how to play, so the accompaniment became her now-famous finger clicks.
In another take altogether, British dance music producers DNA hit the charts and covered the airwaves with their (very) 1990 version of the song and video.
“Tom’s Diner” got to be so popular that Vega produced Tom’s Album with “a collection of many different versions of the song “Tom’s Diner”. “They came from all over the world — Germany, Jamaica, USA. Some are funny. Some are brilliant. Some are very strange.”
But back to Britney. Consequence of Sound writer Michelle Geslani was pleasantly surprised and might even admit to being glad Britney covered “Tom’s Diner.”
“Many may be quick to doubt the ‘Toxic’ star’s ability to make the classic hit her own, or simply just tolerable, but Spears is literally in the zone here. Admittedly she isn’t the best vocalist in town, but when she has the right song, with the right production backing her (major h/t to the legendary Moroder), it’s almost as though she can take back the pop throne if she really wanted to. Spears does the original justice and actually makes me curious as to what she might be working on in the future. Imagine that? Looking forward to a Britney Spears album in 2015.”
If there’s another Tom’s Album, is Britney and Giorgio’s cover going to be categorized under funny, brilliant, or just strange?
[Image via Handout/Getty Images]