All posts tagged: Donna Summer

starson45

You’re Dead To Us…Medleys

In which we look at once common curiosities of pop culture that don’t exist anymore, be it because of changing tastes, the fragmentation of culture, or merely the fickle nature of fads.  In the late ’70s in the Netherlands, most disco music came in bootlegged medleys on 45, in which popular dance songs were strung together with a cohesive beat, or the music of one band, say, the Beatles, was remixed with a generic 1-2 drum beat and some synthetic hand claps. Dutch music publisher Willem Van Kooten got wind of this trend when he heard a mix that included a danced-up version of “Venus,” of which he owned the copyright. He decided to record a legit dancebeat-assisted disco medley, using “Venus” as well as some Beatles songs as recorded by studio musicians who he thought sounded like John Lennon and Paul McCartney. (They didn’t.) Because of copyright reasons with the Beatles’ songs, Van Kooten and Stars on 45 had to list the name of every song in the medley in the song’s title: “Intro”/“Venus”/“Sugar, …

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Download Now: Lauren Anatolia “Four Words”

Just about every make and model of record comes across the POPDOSE desk on any given day. Indie rock, ironic pop, singer/songwriter/barista, dubstep, emo, screamo, steampunk, aggro folk, R&B, EDM, BNL, faux gangsta, lite reggae, Bieberish — you name it, we get it. So when Lauren Anatolia sent in her debut track, “Four Words,” it was a bit of a first. DIY Disco. A full on, diva dancefloor filler complete with all the butt shimmying audio pyrotechnics one would expect at Studio 54 in NYC or The Abbey in WeHo. Anatolia turned not to Stock, Aitken and Waterman or Xenomania, but instead her roommate, Chilean-born UCLA student Rudi Meibergen. Thomas Glyn-Cothi mastered the track adding a Cinnabon’s worth of audio sweetness to the mix. Anatolia isn’t ready to be handed the keys to MacArthur Park just yet, but this song is a solid start and POPDOSE loves to toast such fearless ambition. Check out the track here in all of its glittery glory: Lauren Anatolia – Four Words Anatolia’s Shakira-esque voice and musical craft were honed on …

Rush

Rush, Donna Summer, Heart, P.E. & More: Meet The Rock Hall Class of 2013

Imagine a year when the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame nominees are announced and everyone shut up? Well, that’ll never happen, but most people seem fairly cool with this year’s inducted artists, who were announced by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers at a press conference yesterday. Let’s take a quick look at this year’s nominees-who will officially be inducted next spring. Albert King: One of two posthumous honorees (he died in ’92,) blues guitarist King didn’t have […]

Jheri Curl Fridays 05: “Unconditional Love”

The years immediately following the “Death of Disco” weren’t the easiest for Donna Summer, who had been the most successful artist to emerge from the genre. She began the Eighties on a hot streak, with the greatest hits compilation On the Radio becoming her third consecutive album to top the charts (and also her third straight DOUBLE album to top the charts). However, it was her last album on Casablanca (the label that had helped guide her to success) and she emerged at the end of 1980 on a new label (the fledgling Geffen Records) and a new sound, embracing elements of new wave and rock. The resulting album, The Wanderer, was not as successful as previous efforts-probably partially due to the change in sound, partially due to the new label and partially due to the disco backlash. Unfortunately, Summer would never fully regain her footing.

Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’80s, Part 86

Here are even more songs by artists whose names begin with the letter S, as we continue looking at singles that charted below #40 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the 1980s. Barbra Streisand “Promises” — 1981, #48 (download) “Memory” — 1982, #52 (download) “Left in the Dark” — 1984, #50 (download) “Make No Mistake He’s Mine” — 1984, #51 (download) “Emotion” — 1985, #79 (download) “Somewhere” — 1985, #43 (download) If you’ve been reading this series for a while you’d definitely think I’d be ripping into Babs about now. I really tried to, but everything I was writing seemed forced which made me realize that I don’t really have that many issues with her. I will never ever voluntarily pick up a Streisand record and I’m cursing myself for listening to all of these on my iPod as they are now most likely going to show up in shuffles more often, but it is what it is. I give her credit for trying to stay relevant with the times. She could record anything and …

Future Retro: Home of the Quick Serve

Obsessive fans know the sheer agony of waiting years, even decades, for their favorite oldies (ahem, classic) artist to finally release a new album of substandard material on a record label no one has ever heard of. Amazingly, some of these ancient relics manage to claw their way back from the brink of blinding obscurity. Anything to escape the horrors and degradation of the hotel casino circuit. Here are a few examples from the recent millennium. The B-52’s — Funplex Rock Lobster! Yes, it’s been approximately 8,000 years since Miss Fred Schneider screeched those immortal words and summed up the state of an entire inebriated generation. The nation’s collective lobster was indeed rockin’! Fred, Kate Pierson, Cindy Wilson, Ricky Wilson & Keith Strickland came streaming out of Athens, GA with sky high hairdos, thrift store fashion sense and a jubilant, camp attitude that no other group could match. Despite being labeled (and often dismissed) as a mere gimmick or cult band, they continued to spin off numerous iconic albums and singles. The B’s eventually reached …

Mix Six: “Vertical Tasting, 1959-2009”

DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE Living where I do (the San Francisco Bay Area), the Napa Valley is quite close to my abode.  If you’ve ever been to a winery (or participated in a wine tasting), sometimes they do vertical tastings of wines from various years to highlight how different one vintage is from another.  Since it’s a new year, and I wanted to stay away from a “Best of 2008” mix, I thought I would do a vertical tasting/listening of songs that were released in years ending in the number nine. As I surveyed the musical landscape from 1959 to the present, I was struck by the way in which a musical style essentially peaks around this time of a decade and then lingers a bit into the new decade only to be eclipsed by another style.  And even though the songs in this mix aren’t necessarily the most popular or most representative of what was going on in popular music, they were popular enough that they reflect the zeitgeist of that particular year. …

Into the Ear of Madness: Week 14 — Goodbye To Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of…

Over the next year Terje Fjelde has agreed to listen to nothing but David Foster on his iPod. He’s loaded the thing with over 1,200 songs produced, arranged, composed, and/or played by David Foster. A deal with the devil? He keeps wondering. It’s time for another Theme Week! I’ll leave it up to you to figure out what’s the theme, though. It should be pretty obvious. I heard Donna Summer’s “Livin’ In America” (1982), produced by Quincy Jones, for the first time when I watched a documentary about Quincy released around the same time as his album Back On The Block in 1989. He had invited a bunch of hot rappers such as Ice T, Melle Mel, Big Daddy Kane and Kool Moe Dee to join him along with a stellar cast of musicians but, me being a very pale and very Scandinavian teenager, I just didn’t get the rap and hip hop thing at all in 1989. Well, I still don’t for the most part, but that’s another story. Anyway, I was for all …

Lost in the ’70s: Donna Summer, “Sunset People”

In 1979, Donna Summer could do no wrong — she was, in fact, riding high with three Top Ten hits in a row. So no one blinked when Summer and collaborators Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte decided her next album would be her third double-LP release in a row, an opus packed with 15 extended songs. Once Bad Girls was unleashed, Summer immediately notched two Number One hits in a row with the more-rock-than-disco “Hot Stuff” and the record’s title track. “Dim All the Lights” very nearly followed those singles to the top, stalling at number two for two weeks. After dominating radio all year with Bad Girls, Summer had yet another number one in ’79 with a one-off duet with Barbra Streisand, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough).” Summer fever was high. So high that even album tracks from Bad Girls were being pulled for radio and club play. “Sunset People” (download) was the last song on the album, a closing ode to Los Angeles nightlife (giving shout-outs to the Rainbow Bar & Grill, …

Mix Six: “It’s Disco, Bitches!”

DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE As Prince said, “I think I wanna dance!” Sometimes in the weekly Mix Six shuffle it’s easy to forget the lasting impact of disco on the culture at large. Go to any wedding reception where there’s a DJ who can read the crowd, and soon enough you’ll be hearing some of the tunes featured here. Disco was certainly loved — but also hated — when it originally surfaced in the popular culture of the ’70s. Many were praying that disco would ultimately implode and go away … forever! Wrong! Hahaha. “Jupiter,” Earth, Wind & Fire The horns, the harmony, and the badass funk of it all. There’s just something about these EWF albums of the mid- to late ’70s that’s pure funk gold. Can I get a “Hell, yeah?”

Mix Six: “Up From the Underground”

Hey, Popsters! You’re back for more weekly mixing fun, eh? Good. I’m glad you’re here, and I hope this week’s mix starts to spark some discussion about when a particular genre of music surfaced from the underground and became mainstreamed. You’ll probably quibble with my choices, but that’s okay, because it’s tough to find one song that basically says, “This is the definitive point where, say, hard rock, grunge, ’90s bubblegum pop, new wave, or disco started.” So what I’ve assembled for your enjoyment is a collection of songs that, for me, signaled that a musical genre had come up from the underground to become part of the mainstream.