Island Def Jam/UMe is set to release a new Donna Summer hits collection on April 20th called Summer: The Original Hits. The new disc is a companion to The Donna Summer Musical, an exciting new Broadway musical based on the undisputed Queen of Disco and The First Lady of Love. Previews for Summer: The Donna Summer Musical commenced on March 28th at the legendary Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City with the official opening on April 23rd. A digital only Deluxe Edition will include two bonus tracks not featured on the CD.
Donna Summer was born in Boston on New Year’s Eve, 1948. She embraced the core tenets of gospel as a young singer while cutting her teeth with a local rock band and in European musicals, developing an individual vocal élan that also married the best elements of Rock, R&B, and Disco. Her signature style is on full display on The Original Hits in such iconic tracks as forever-seductive “Love To Love You Baby,” the defiantly declarative “Bad Girls,” the MTV-era female-empowerment anthem “She Works Hard For The Money,” the fiery dance/rock mesh of “Hot Stuff,” and the urgent ballad-to-crescendo disco blend of “Last Dance.”
Giorgio Moroder, her frequent collaborator, legendary Italian electronic-music pioneer and producer who partnered with Pete Bellotte, instantly recognized Summer’s vocal prowess — and how to maximize her performance in the studio. When Moroder heard Richard Harris’s dramatic version of Jimmy Webb’s lost-love lament “MacArthur Park” on the radio while driving on the Hollywood Freeway, he knew who had to sing it for him in an innovative arrangement. “Even before I recorded it, I knew it would be perfect for her voice,” Moroder confirms.
Summer, the producer continued, had an uncanny knack for conveying unbridled emotion over studio-driven technology. “She humanized the machines,” Moroder says, citing the groundbreaking and highly influential “I Feel Love” as the key “legacy track” of their many years of fruitful collaboration. “That song is a combination of mechanical instruments and Donna’s beautiful, romantic voice. It was obviously great to work with a great artist like Donna.”
Summer’s influential work is given a fresh, respectful update with two rare remixes headed by renowned Grammy-nominated remix producer Ralphi Rosario: “MacArthur Park (Rosabel’s Radio Mix),” a No. 1 Dance hit in 2013, and “Hot Stuff,” a new rework in collaboration with Erick Ibiza, that debuts on this collection. Another rarity on the collection is Summer’s German-language rendition of “White Boys” that she recorded while in the German cast of Hair.
Even though Summer sadly passed away in 2012, her cultural impact and sonic legacy carries ever onward, and she garnered a well-deserved posthumous induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.
- I Feel Love
- Love To Love You Baby
- I Remember Yesterday
- On My Honor
- White Boys – From “Haare (Hair)”
- Faster And Faster To Nowhere
- MacArthur Park
- Heaven Knows – With Brooklyn Dreams
- No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) – Duet With Barbra Streisand
- Pandora’s Box
- On The Radio
- I Love You
- Bad Girls
- She Works Hard For The Money
- Dim All The Lights
- Unconditional Love
- Hot Stuff
- Last Dance
- MacArthur Park (Rosabel’s Radio Mix)**
- Hot Stuff (Ralph Rosario & Erick Ibiza 2018 Rework)**
** Exclusive bonus tracks to the Digital Deluxe Version
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.