In Memory Donna Summer

She was the Queen of 70s Disco. She really was the soundtrack to our 1970s disco lives throughout the trendy 1970s.

She was born LaDonna Adrian Gaines in 1948 in Boston, where at the age of ten, she was a regular performer at her local church.She later joined musical show, like Godspell and Showboat. Later she moved to Europe and became a member of the Viennese Folk Opera.

In 1971 and 1972 she released a few singles into the European markets. Her break came when she was singing on backing vocals with Three Dog Night where she met Giorigo Moroder an Italian record producer and composer.

With Groovy records she released her very first album under the name Donna Summer called Lady Of The Night which was a hit in Belgium.


But it was 1975 when she would with Moroder produce one of the groundbreaking records in the 1970s Donna had in her head the lyrics "love to love you baby", and Moroder produced a song and asked Donna to record the lyrics. She sat in the dark and sang this sexually provocative record. Her version was so great that Moroder managed to get it released as a single, but he was also instructed to make a seventeen minute version of it too for the clubs and bars.

The song was a major hit and was even banned in a few countries because of the "sounds", but it became  a massive European and worldwide hit despite a few moans.


Donna  Summer was now a world wide star and everybody waited to see what she produced next.

Well, it was the following year 1976 when her next single hit the UK charts, not a massive hit really. But Could It Be Magic which was a cover of the Barry Manilow song.

Try Me I Know We Can Make It, Wasted, Come With Me and Spring Affair were big hits in the U.S., but did not even chart in the UK.

1977 saw Donna smash the UK charts again  with a top thirty single called Winter Melody form the album Four Seasons Of Love.


     

But the big No.1 was I Feel Love from the concept album I Remember Yesterday. The song was an all electric orchestra produced and mixed by Moroder. The song has a haunting melody and on the album represents future music, as the album looked at styles of music through time.


   
Donna followed this up with a top ten single film theme with Down Deep Inside composed by John Barry. The more disco follow up was I Remember Yesterday.



The No. 3 placed single to follow was Love's Unkind  again from the album I Remember Yesterday which represented 1950s music, but with a 1970s disco working on it. The song is all about sweetheart crushes and a triangle of love.


  
From the album One More Time came the next hit single called I Love You. 


Now it is 1978 and Donna has NOT slowed down. Her single Rumour Has It again from the album Once Upon A Time. It just crept into the Top Twenty in the UK. Back In Love Again only just crept in to the top thirty as the follow up single.

Unbelievably the next single was only going to reach a high of number 51 in the UK, but is probably one of her best songs. Last Dance. It came from a film that Donna actually starred in called Thank God It's Friday.This song won a golden globe and an Academy Award to. In fact Donna had five Grammy awards and was nominated for seventeen in total.


Her last single hit of 1978 was a rework of the song from Camelot by Richard Harris called MacArthur Park. The song was written by Richard Webb and about a break up he was going through. Donna's version makes the original look a little silly.


The last year of the 1970s gave Donna even more big disco hits. Her popularity was extremely stable  with hit singles like Heaven Knows, Hot Stuff, Bad Girls, Dim All The Lights. But her last hit single in the 1970s  with a duet with Barbra Striesand called No More Tears ( Enough Is Enough) a huge global hit for the powerful singing ladies. The song came from the album Wet, and poor Donna had been out partying the night before and was very ill during the recording. Despite that it became a classic.







Comments

  1. LaDonna - you were one of the huge voices of the 70's - you will never be forgotten. What a talent and what a voice. She was amazing and her hits will always be remembered.
    Love you so much Donna Summer

    ReplyDelete

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