Donna Summer, RIP; My Favorite Hits Of Hers

Categories: Music

220px-Nobel_Peace_Price_Concert_2009_Donna_Summer3.jpg
The queen of disco is gone, but her music will live on.

Here are my fave Donna Summer songs to boogie to through eternity:


*"No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)"

A slow-percolating, then explosive duet with Barbra Streisand. Could you imagine just being a fly on the wall in that recording studio?


*"The Last Dance"
Studio 54 would close its doors to this tune every night. It was a bittersweet, lovely, thumping ode to the glories of romance and disco-ing.


*"The Four Seasons of Love"

This was more of a concept album than a song--it was a four-part medley--and was pure genius in all of its shimmering tones and lilting segues. Winter is the best.


*"Bad Girls"

It had a mildly judgmental attitude toward the working girls, but still, it got everyone assuming hooker poses and strutting around the dance floor as if looking for tricks. A real winner.


*"Heaven Knows"

A sexy, danceable duet full of longing and good beats.

But I also adored "Love To Love You Baby," "I Remember Yesterday," "Hot Stuff," "State Of Independence," "Finger on the Trigger," "This Time I Know It's For Real"....

*


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40 comments
latenitebump
latenitebump

r.i.p. miss summer!the queen of disco! the sex goddess as the press would dub her.and thank you giorgio moroder, pete bellotte, neil bogart, frankie crocker (wbls), and dj larry levan for making this extraordinary and talented singer: a star and legend!donna summer dominated the seventies single handedly!

my favorites (all by her)1. try me2. could it be magic3. now, i need you4. the deep

Mookindahouse
Mookindahouse

favorite songs of Ms. Summer: "I Feel Love", "Spring Affair", "Last Dance"

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Donna Summer was the Rihanna (or the Beyonce) of the Disco era.

Melinda9
Melinda9

She had a beautiful voice. My favorite song of hers is On the Radio - 'they never said your name, but I knew just who they meant.'

Brian Apple
Brian Apple

How can you leave out I Feel Love?  I Feel Love is ground-breaking, even today.

billyjoe
billyjoe

According to David Bowie, then in the middle of recording of his Berlin Trilogy with Brian Eno, the impact of Donna Summers' "I Feel Love" on the genre's direction was recognized early on:"One day in Berlin ... Eno came running in and said, 'I have heard the sound of the future.' ... he puts on 'I Feel Love', by Donna Summer ... He said, 'This is it, look no further. This single is going to change the sound of club music for the next fifteen years.' "

Rickshur (aka Rick X)
Rickshur (aka Rick X)

I think the poor girl was in a bind. She was attacked by many fundamentalists for her erotic songs. She didn't want to be labeled a sinner by the church-goers with whom she got her start, so she probably felt that all would be forgiven if she towed the line on the anti-gay dogma. She tried to wish away those nasty confrontations that she had in concert by refusing to acknowledge that they happened. At the same time, she distanced herself from Anita Bryant's crowd little by little. I think Michael feels that she deserves a pass, and I tend to agree. God bless and keep you, Donna. I know that Paul Jabara (Last Dance) expressed his unflagging love for you before he died of AIDS. That's good enough for me.

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

Actually, I'm starting to better understand the phrase "rending one's garments" better...I first understood it when Sylvester died...now this.

Marva
Marva

"I Feel love" was so sexy and fast and danceable. And "Love to Love You babY" was basically one long orgasm et to music. It was shocking at the time and everyone loved it!

Jessie
Jessie

I was a dj back in the 70's and all I can say is....well, you had to be there to really understand how huge Donna Summer was. Nightlife aka gay life quite simply revolved around each Donna Summer release, and they came fast and furious. I remember the debut of "Last Dance" at the Thank God It's Friday party at Studio 54 as one of the most glamorous nights of my life. Her death deeply saddens me. That said, Miss Summer was not the sharpest knife in the drawer, made some disastrous career moves, and, in an effort to save herself (which she did) probably said some stupid things. Things that were no-doubt spoon-fed to her by some of the nutty Christians that were surrounding her at that time. She did speak out against those statements, denying them and condemning them. If anyone remembers those days well, there was a somewhat vicious you're-either-for-us-or-against-us Stalinist demeanor in the gay press. If you so much as veered ever so slightly off of the party line, you were vilified. If someone said anything that didn't read, word for word, from an ACT UP press release, you weren't corrected; you were condemned. Very little wiggle room and certainly an entity beyond the grasp of a woman struggling with a variety of her own problems. To her credit and with tremendous appreciation, she subsequently went on to raise big bucks for AIDS charities for years. All is forgiven, Donna. Your music changed the world. You had to be there and I'm glad I was.

gay lefty in SF, CA
gay lefty in SF, CA

I hear you. I moved to San Francisco and voted for Harvey Milk in my first election. Donna Summer and Sylvester where the soundtrack for that very hopeful and historic period. 

gay lefty in SF, CA
gay lefty in SF, CA

You got it. Way ahead of its time. Loved your other post. We were so full of hope and all the possibilities of a great future by the year 2000. We were GAY and unrepentant... and we had a lot of fun. Then Reagan and AIDS put a dark cloud over our lives. AIDS obliterated the older generation and deeply impacted mine. Somehow, we pulled our LGBT community together and healed. We must stop the right wing this November from taking us back to the horrible closeted days.

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

"I FEEL LOVE"

a hypnotic dance tune!!  With descending chords....when the world was "right".

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

Sorry, I'm still wrapping my head around this one...you know, she came around at the perfect time....we (gays) were really starting to feel our "power/true liberation"  (AIDS wasn't in the equation, then)...you could be gay and not ashamed of it...out went the dank skid-row gay bars..in came the glittering gay discos  (in "fly-over" states!)...straight folks "begged" you to get them in!...she sang what we really felt (from "Bad Girls" to "Last Dance"...you could transition from one to the other in a minute)....the disco offered a thousand possibilities (real or imagined)...then came all the bad news (AIDS aka "gay cancer" [not her fault] then "Adam and Steve")..innocence lost.

Then I moved to NYC...

gay lefty in SF, CA
gay lefty in SF, CA

I remember hearing "Love To Love You Baby" on my college radio station at 3 a.m. in the morning - first time I heard an orgasm in a dance song. It was unknown and completely different. Disco was born; it was our Gay Prom. The music was HOT and new - just the beginning of a very fun ride . Out of the closet at 18, going to discos with glass windows. Donna Summer was the first diva of the "OUT" generation. Her voice was beautiful strong and unrepentant for joy in life - perfect for the times - We were marching ahead full steam before AIDS hit. Donna sang when singers had actual "songs" to sing. Today it all just a hook with auto tune - no emotional journey. Donna told stories in her songs and we danced, and danced, and dancedfavorite: I FEEL LOVE

Gcndc
Gcndc

My favorite is "Sunset People".  I love the beat and the story it tells.

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

Yes, she had her "missteps" but really, I can't "hate" her....I still swoon to "Last Dance"...it was the perfect song for closing time...when you knew the jig was up...again.  (sigh)

anonTWO
anonTWO

someone I worked with pointed out Summer's paved the way for dance artists like Madonna and Gaga."Love to Love You, Baby" WENT THERE, don't get more sexual than that for a top 40 dance tune!

Jonster
Jonster

Here's an eyewitness talking about exactly what Donna Summer said re gays and AIDS:  

"A gentleman with AIDS asked her if she would pray for him. She said she would be delighted. Then some wise-ass in the audience said something about, if she did, it would be hypocritical. She stopped and asked what he meant. There was some talking and I could not hear the next couple of exchanges. Then she said, "God so loved the world that he gave his only son". The world meant everyone. Then the guy went ballistic. I got confused during the debate, I wasn't sure if he was like Jerry Falwell and attacking her for praying for the guy, or if he was gay and anti-God. Anyway, she was either frustrated or confused herself, and became sarcastic. People were leaving during this time because it was out of hand. She then told the guy it was because of the reckless lifestyle, AIDS was in the gay community to begin with. The guys in the audience went berserk… That was the slam against gays."

Jonster
Jonster

Donna claimed she never said what was attributed to her re gays.  I never saw her in any parades or anything, but I loved her voice. 

Musto
Musto

PS: I saw Donna perform three o rso years ago in a  NYC club and she was in amazing voice and really delivered.

Ick
Ick

I loved Four Seasons of Love too! Giorgio Moroder was a genius.

Linda
Linda

Hey moron, it's a list of his favorites. You can't leave something out when you're talking about personal favorites. And it's certainly not groundbreaking "even today." God, you're dumb.

Jonster
Jonster

Aww, I know.  They were like a huge chunk of memories right there.

noodle
noodle

Jessie has a point, Donna was not the sharpest knife in the drawer.  I think this was true because Donna also felt that she got cancel from 9/11 but she was living on the upper east side at the time so I don't see how that could have been the cause of her cancer. As an Athiest I've always believed that religion is a crutch for the weak minded, with that said I understand that some people need to believe in order to survive and I don't begrudge anyone for needing to believe in a higher power.

I think it's best to remember the great music that came from Donna and her era, she gave us so much that I'm willing to give her a free pass when it came to saying stupid things.  She can do no wrong in my book so RIP my child. 

Jonster
Jonster

Wow!  Great post.  And it's so true.  In some cases, political correctness can lead to intellectual fascism.  TGIF at 54 with the debut of "Last Dance" is amazing. One of those iconic moments like France Joli introducing "Come to Me" on Fire Island at the Leo Party.   I was living in LA back when I first heard Donna Summer, going to the Odyssey owned by Eddie Nash, the creepy character from the Wonderland murders.  I think it was on Beverly Blvd.  Donna Summer had a voice.  First it was Whitney.  Now Donna.  Similar power.  Totally different stories. If these things happen in threes, I bet Mariah Carey's saying her rosary right now. 

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

"when the world was "right".

Donna & Sylvester....back to back!!  After "Love to Love You"...play... "Dance (Disco Heat)" and "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)"

latenitebump
latenitebump

actually, sylvia's pillowtalk! or jungle fever chakachas

Brian Apple
Brian Apple

Well, if you engage in promiscuity with strangers, you're likely to catch a lot of things.  Play with  fire, get burned.

rolph
rolph

She later did an interview where she apologized for her AIDS remarks and said she was simply uneducated and thought AIDS was semething on the level of herpes.

But her biggest contretemps was allegedly telling two guys in her audience, "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." She denied saying it and later sued a magazine for saying she was homophobic (and I think she won damages).

Timmee
Timmee

My classically trained, opera-diva voice teacher always said she had the greatest female voice in pop music ever. Saw her perform in LA back in the mid 90s. Blew the roof off the house. One of the best nights of my life. RIP, Donna.

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

 That album went on to be a drag queen staple!  

♫Right from the start...♫

Mookindahouse
Mookindahouse

 nope. one of her assistants collabo'd w/ The Advocate for a defamatory article in the late '80s. Donna was pissed, and not only fired the asst. but sued The Advocate and won some $$$$. Donna got her start performing in gay clubs, btw.

a similar incident I believe happened to Gloria Gaynor a few years ago.

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

Sorry folks, this one hit me deeper than I thought...it's not just Donna, its what she represented.

latenitebump
latenitebump

she didn't get her start singing in gay clubs!

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