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Kylie's 11 album, out July


EricMontreal22

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Thanks! I think Canada actually got the International version....

Yep Help was SAW. French and Saunders of course did some wonderful SAW parodies anyway (there's a great Sonia one), but that was done for charity (Comic Relief maybe?) Lananeeneenoonoo, as they called themselves, shoulda done an album :D

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Was Donna'a "This Time I Know It's For Real" supposed to be a Bananarama song? That's the story I've heard...

As for Donna's SAW album, "Love's About To Change My Heart" should have been a bigger hit than it was...

I know Donna was supposed to do a second album with them, but reportedly, there was some type of falling out. I've heard Lonnie Gordon's "Happen' All Over Again" was originally meant for Donna's second SAW album...

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BTW Sonia's Never Stop Me From Loving You was actually a number one, one of the last SAW had.

The chorus of This Time I Know was written for Bananarama. The verses were all different and DOnna actually did the lyrics for them (hence the writing credit--if you know Donna too the mixed metaphors and visuals in the verses are *classic* examples, for good and bad, of her writing style). Donna did resent the second single being I Don't Wanna Get Hurt--which is why she's not in the video--she's gone on record saying she liked the song fine as an album song but felt it was written for Kylie or someone and that the lyrics were too young for her (she's probably right on both accounts...)

Love's About to Change is awesome, especially the much improved single remix (which is on Donna Summer Gold)--it's an example of Mike Stock doing a great SAW style take on the classic Donna disco song--slow intro, etc. The release was delayed, and I think that killed its momentum--the album had already gone platinum in the UK and there was no real interest in another single. It shoulda been the second single. (Incidentally the track If It Makes You Feel Good had been done by two previous SAW artists, including the huge non talent Mandy Smith--most famous for "dating" a 47 year old Rolling Stone, Bill Wyman, when he was 47)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMmMuM-j3Rw

There was never a falling out. Donna loved working at PWL (partly because, as she admitted, they'd lay one vocal down and then she could go off shopping lol), and Stock and Waterman both have said she was the best voice they worked with. It actually was Donna's husband's idea to work there--he heard Rick Astley on the radio and said Donna should work with them.

Anyway, Donna had absolutely shitty management at the time (as she has for big chunks of her career)--she wasn't even signed to a US label when the album came out (when it was a huge UK hit Atlantic bought it for US release, and This Time was one of the rare top 10 SAW singles in the US). PWL thought they would have a followup for sure, but Donna's management actually never contacted her with their requests (this has been confirmed by both Waterman and Donna) and after a shelved album with David Foster she released the worst album of her career with the lame New Jack Soul wannabe Mistaken Identity (as a massive Donna fan even I have trouble finding much to like on that record).

The irony is SAW had written three absolutely great songs for Donna, they wanted to take what her first album was but push it even more in a club direction (which was smart I think), and for the project wrote Happenin' All Over Again, If I Have to Stand Alone, and How Could He Do This to Me? for the followup. They also have the very trendy for 1991 house sound. They then needed a singer who could belt the songs out and found one in Lonnie Gordon who did a good job, I have to admit. Happenin All Over (after several rereleases) did very well, even a minor US hit but Lonnie's album was an example of how PWL were losing their touch at the time--it's a very strong album, prob the last strong album SAW did, but the followup single, a midtempo number, didn't chart and then the album wasn't even released in the UK--only in Japan (it was reissued this year with bonus tracks, and I admit when listening it I feel a bit sad that Donna didn't do it instead, LOL).

As a postscript, in the mid 90s during one of a myriad of times Donna was recording stuff that never actually got released because of label issues, Donna returned to PWL to lay down some tracks (including the studio version of My Life which you can hear live on her Live and More Encore CD). She went there thinking she would reunite with her friend Mike Stock and could write some songs with him--she had been completely clueless that Stock had had such a big falling out with Waterman and long left...

Mike Stock had one last big album with PWL before he left--ironically it was a hit in the US and Canada, and a flop in the UK! That was BoyKrazy (it's actually a fun album all the way through) who had one huge smash here.

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I LOVE that first BoyKrazy song (although the video makes me dizzy...and I want to rip that headband off, it's so Blossom). I guess I can see why it was a success in the US, not the UK -- the beat sounds much more flippant than a lot of UK hits from this era, as many of them are, not stodgy, but strangely sincere and not overly toyed with.

Thanks for all the background on Donna Summer. I can see why you enjoy the Change song so much. It's beautiful. I wonder if it was too confusing for people at the time, there are a lot of tempo changes.

What do you think was her best and her worst management?

What is the background of when she recorded "State of Independence"? That's my favorite, or one of my favorite, Donna songs, along with On the Radio, Heaven Knows, and Bad Girls.

What did you think of Finger on the Trigger, and Sunset People?

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Ha I'll try not to rant so much this time. (BTW for once SAW didn't do the rip off, but were instead ripped off very soon after That's What Love Can Do--the German production house Berman Bros had a similar song called Breaking All The Rules for American group She Moves--Berman Bros later had some dance hits with Real McCoy and Amber)

As for Donna, undoubtedly her best representation was under Casablanca Records, when she was one of the top selling female artists. Casablanca was basically created for disco, and took off with the genre when themajor labels still had no clue what it was about or how to market it. They also spent TONS of money on marketing, photos, etc (Donna had a plane with her painted on it at one point). I believe Susan Mineo was her actual manager. The way they marketed her was brilliant--as well Giorgio Moroder (and his team) were very wise at both cranking out the hits, but having a progression in sound with each album--her flowery Euro Disco sound ended in the campy Disco Cinderalla concept double album Once Upon a Time that gave no big single hits but is a fan fave, was huge in clubs, and went double Gold. They realized they couldn't go further in that direction and that that kinda disco was on its way out, and incorporated the harder rock texture to her next double album, Bad Girls. So, while apparently she felt overwhelmed, had a small drug problem, etc, at the time and was overworked--so it wasn't the best time for her personally--as far as her career goes it was never equalled.

Then of course in 1980 she was the first to sign to David Geffen's label (he courted her with a then record sum). So she lost her management, and Geffen had no fricking idea what he wanted. She first did The Wanderer album with Moroder (which got her best reviews--Rolling Stone called it the album of the year and took her sound, smartly because of how the American market was going, away from disco into new wave, and was a minor hit though not the huge hit Bad Girls Was). Then Geffen infamously had her record a dancier double album with Moroder, I'm a Rainbow, and then had it shelved (it eventually was released in demo form in the 90s and has tons of potential) and basically told her under her contract she could only work with who he wanted.

This is when he put her with Quincy Jones (saying she needed to reach more of a "black audience") who was apparently really nasty to Donna (for the first time ever she had to do endless takes on songs--she was used to doing one or two, and she was severely pregnant at the time). That album, Donna Summer, actually is quite good (I always kinda forget about it), and was a minor hit as well. But it doesn't sound much like a Donna album (she wasn't allowed to do any major writing on it, and her only real choice was doing the cover of Lush Life at the end). Ironic that under Moroder, who many felt was a sort of all controlling "computer", she had tons of freedom to write and choose her material, and under Jones, who had a jazz background, she was given none. (My fave songs on it, Mystery of Love and Love's Just a Breath Away were both meant to be singles but due to bizarre legal dealings with their writers weren't allowed to be).

Anyway, State of Independance and Finger on the Trigger are from that album (Trigger was the lead single, Indepnedance the second). I think Trigger is a fine song (Sheena Easton later covered it on her shameless cash grab for the pink pound album of dance covers from 10 or so years back). But it's so over produced (again ironic that Quincy overproduced Donna more than Moroder--known for over producing ever did) that it sounds like Donna is a guest vocalist--half the song is just that HUGE chorus singing!

I like State of Independance a lot more, especially in its full album mix. It's a gorgeous song and I prefer it to the Vangelis original--her vocals are great (the music video is hysterical as they try to hide how pregnant she is). It also used an all star choir (including Michael Jackson), apparently Donna's idea (all involved were friends of hers) and there was some animosity when Quincy reused the idea for We Are the World and didn't invite Donna.

I adore Sunset People. It's classic Moroder in his sorta cold, electornic style (actually all of Side Four of Bad Girls uses his electornic style and is one big medley ending in Sunset People which sums up the theme of the album perfectly--my fave though is the first track in the medley, Our Love). The detached vocals of Donna add to the coldness of the lyric, and I love the gimmick Moroder does in the second half where the synths sound like cars zooming closer and then further away, from speaker to speaker. (Harold Faltermeyer co wrote and arranged the song, he co produced too actually but uncredited as he did the whole album, and he later produced a version for EG Daily on her 1986 underated album Wild Child).

Here's Our Love which coulda been a single I think (the repeated drum bit actually was reused, and they've admitted this, by New Order for their famous drum bit in Blue Monday).

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And as another postscript, Geffen never did figure out how to really market Donna. He actually didn't have major success till he focused instead on cast albums and producing musicals (Cats, Dreamgirls) and on Heavy Metal--and Donna got further lost in the shuffle, despite how much he paid for her. And she still owed Polygram, who had bought Casablanca after it folded due to its owner, Neil Bogart's huge excess with drugs basically (there are amazing stories about life at work at the Casablanca studios in the late 70s--it sounds more like a party than anything else--a party of excess, apparently his story is being made into a movie).

Bogart died soon after that, but Donna still owed them an album it turned out, so she gave them She Works Hard for the Money. It's not a great album (it's almost all shamelessly Christian, it was her last album before she stopped being so Born Again, but every track except the great title song, and the gorgeous ballad I Do Believe is a coded Christian message--so overall it's actually my least fave Donna album next to Mistaken Identity), but the title song was such a hit, *and* gave Donna's fans what they wanted, basically an update on her classic disco sound, that I think Geffen must have been fuming.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuqhOMir5BA

(Of course that same year Giorgio Moroder wrote Flashdance- What a Feelin with her in mind but Geffen wouldn't lease her to the film's label to sing it! And he used an exact update on Donna's classic sound with him, including the technique they were the first to do, and had a near trademark on, of having the first minute or so be slow, before the beats kick in.)

Just for kicks, here's the original 12" of What a Feelin which has an extra verse in the opening that makes the lyrics make a *bit* more sense than in the radio edit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUs8B8RGE1Y

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That's fascinating stuff. I had no idea that the We are the World stuff started with State of Independence. Or that she was supposed to sing What a Feeling. I can see her doing a great job with that song, although I love Irene Cara's version (I guess in the long run Donna had the last laugh compared to Irene -- the last time I saw poor Irene looking a bit bloated and nervous, was on that Hit Me Baby One More Time show in summer 2005...although she won, so I guess that's...something).

I was reading about that Cats Without Claws album at Allmusic and how it is now seen as a flop but actually wasn't at the time. Two of the only Donna videos I've seen on VH1 Classic, when they used to show older videos, were from that album. There Goes My Baby (where she plays a 40s-era housewife whose husband is leaving for war -- it's not a bad video or song), and Supernatural something, which seemed to be set in a jungle shopping mall? I don't know. I didn't care for it.

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Yeah and Flashdance led to one of Moroder's best, post Donna albums, the What a Feelin album (which had a few minor hits--The Dream written for DC Cab, and one of my faves Why Me). It really sounds like the album Moroder woulda done for Donna in 1984 if she were younger (the lyrics largely are aimed more at Irene's age), and is a fave of mine. And yeah Irene apparently got really into cocaine which she only fell out of fairly recently. She did a lot to screw up her career too--apparently made a lot of enemies with her (drug fueled) attitude.

Cats Without Claws was done with the same producer as She Works Hard (Michael Omartian--who has done a lot of stuff but is connected with Christian music which is why she used him in the early 80s I think) but wasn't the hit that She Works Hard was--again musta made Geffen mad when he agreed to use the same producer lol. Anyway, it's by far the better album with a ton of potential singles. Her cover of There Goes My Baby is great I think, with one of her few decent videos (the soldier is played by her husband, Bruce who was pretty handsome back then). The second single (which also has Bruce) was a bad choice though, not a strong track--Supernatural Love. The video is something of a camp classic among Donna fans though--it shows a doomed romance form the cavemen times to the present day and just has so muich weirdness going on.

A fave from Cats Without Claws (make sure you click on the 480p version which sounds way better)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2KCEuF2GM4

Oh and while we're at it here's the song she wrote and recorded a demo of, that Quincy Jones refused to put on their album--Dusty Springfield later covered it--another fan fave. Another reason fans hate Quincy, lol.

Now don't get me started about her biggest 80s flop, 1987's underated All Systems Go which was a return with Faltermeyer (but not Moroder, sadly...)

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How come Donna's "Romeo" appeared on the Flashdance soundtrack? :unsure:

It was recorded (as you prob know) with Moroder for the shelved I'm a Rainbow album. Apparently Moroder owned a certain (small) percentage of that album and was allowed to use one or two tracks legally on his own projects. He was of course score composer and music supervisor for Flashdance (I think he produced about half the songs--like Lady Lady Lady, etc--I do wish they had a cd with his full, moody score--the soundtrack has one brief excerpt). Anyway, so he decided to use it. I think it's a really fun, if slight, song--there are some great clips of Donna performing it live around the time (though for legal reasons, sigh again, she wasn't allowed to be in the video...)

I should rename this thread the "Eric rants uselessly about music he likes" thread. :)

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That Oh Billy Please single cover is hilarious, they seem to be dressing/styling her a bit young, although she almost pulls it off.

I've heard Dusty's version of that Butterflies song, it's very beautiful.

It sounds like Donna had a horrible time with so many problems during the 80s, at least professionally. Almost like some sort of payback for her managing to be one of the only disco artists to thrive after disco "died." It's a shame. I wish she could have the kind of big comeback Cher did.

What do you think of that song she did with Musical Youth? I remember the video where she was their teacher. I have to admit I really don't like them.

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That Oh Billy Please single cover is hilarious, they seem to be dressing/styling her a bit young, although she almost pulls it off.

Oh I was intending on mentioning how laughable the front and back cover of Cats is--the runners, etc. She was mid 30s I think by then. Her All Systems Go cover is better but an obvious rip off of Janet's Control cover.

It sounds like Donna had a horrible time with so many problems during the 80s, at least professionally. Almost like some sort of payback for her managing to be one of the only disco artists to thrive after disco "died." It's a shame. I wish she could have the kind of big comeback Cher did.

What do you think of that song she did with Musical Youth? I remember the video where she was their teacher. I have to admit I really don't like them.

I hate it. It's from She Works Hard and is one of the tracks on there I always ignore. The video's KINDA cute in a corny way, but the song does nothing for me. I'm not a big fan of that sorta raggae-lite anyway (though Donna pulled it off much better with the title song she did with Ziggy Marland on Crayons, which gave it a dance beat).

Yeah signing to Geffen who told her to break up with Moroder, and didn't know what to do with her, was the start of it all, really. I think the probs in the 80s are partly what got her to semi retire in the 90s, aside form the odd one off club hit (like the lovely Melody of Love done with C+C Music Factory right before Cole died of AIDS). She had had enough, ahd a huge family, was making lots on royalties, and was happy to stay at her farm and do the ocasional small tour.

When Sony signed her back in 1999 things seemed to be ideal. They did the big Live and More Encore VH1 concert and album which for a while was one of VH1's most played specials. The two dance singles she recorded for it (one with Hex Hector, one with Thunderpuss--both of course THE top club remixers and producers of the time) were massive in clubs and even had some crossover success, and Cher had JUST hit with Believe which seemed like an ideal window for Donna. She even did one of the songs, and had an interview on Oprah.

She recorded a dance album, Angel with such people as Tony Moran, Linda Perry, and Metro (Metro of course were the producer/writer group that did most of Cher's Believe album and its followup, and for a while had a stirng of hits with divas doing updated disco/pop stuff--I Will Love Again for Lara Fabian, When the Heartache is Over for Tina Turner, etc as well as the arly hit singles for Enrique Iglesias which also had a disco feel). Anyway it seemed like the perfect moment for Donna, and Metro in particular seemed a perfect fit. Then Sony restructured and her album was pulled (which I think makes it Donna's fourth album to never be released? She once said the feeling of co writing and working on an album and having it not released was like a miscarriage). Us fans were pretty devestated, lol.

She did learn her lesson from I'm a Rainbow and now owns all her recordings--so she owns the Angel album and has said she'd like to release it online to fans, but something seems to be holding it up. And her label, Burgundy (a tiny subleabel of, ironically Sony) who had their biggest hit with her last album which charted at 17, as I said, just folded this Dec when she was about to do a new album. So I can see why she's discouraged.

I still love those two 1999 dance singles, they're kinda dated now (funny how music from then sounds almost more dated than the disco) and cheezy, but still... One reason is they came out when I was 18 and just becoming obsessed with her--and both were heavily played at the gay bars I went to, just when I became legal (and came out).

Here's her dance cover of Conte Partiro done with Hex Hector (with Leo from AMC in the video! ;) ) Love the weird dancing...

And here she is on the Queen Latifah Show (I didn't know she ever had one) looking kinda awful, in an awful outfit and wig, but singing the followup (and even bigger club hit) Love is the Healer, produced with Thunderpuss. (and an odd interview lol)

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Thanks for posting all this. That must be a record for unreleased albums? It's odd that someone with such a proven track record of hits keeps having labels who won't release her stuff.

That interview was a bit odd...usually when someone wears sunglasses that means they don't feel like talking to you. Or she may have been put off by Queen's outfit, which seems to resemble a beige grape. I don't know what was going on there.

I think her show ran for two years. She was a good host, from what I remember.

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Donna is one of those aging celebs who now wears sunglasses indoors in interviews (like Jack Nicholson lol). Thank God she didn't when I saw her in concert.

Latifah would make a natural, good host I'd think. I guess no stations here picked it up (or if it was exclusive to the WB that would make sense--we had no WB, just a UPN).

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