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Suzanne Vega's surprising success

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Suzanne Vega has a hit single, but not in the way she or her record company planned. This spring her current album, Days of Open Hand, rose no higher than No. 50 on the Billboard album chart. But in England, Vega has a top 5 pop hit: a techno-remix of the droll, stream-of-consciousness a cappella song ”Tom’s Diner” from her previous effort, 1987’s Solitude Standing. The revised single, on which a danceable electronic instrumental track was added by a British remix team called D.N.A., was initially done without the consent of Vega or her label, A&M. Both eventually okayed its release partly in the hope that the track (to be released in the U.S. on Sept. 25) would heat up the lukewarm sales of Hand. Says Vega’s manager, Ron Fierstein, ”I hope ‘Tom’s Diner’ broadens people’s image of her. She has a good sense of humor-she’s not dour and serious all the time.”

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