Thursday, March 06, 2008

Donna Summer - Love To Love You Baby

Donna Summer - Love To Love You Baby

Donna Summer, "Love To Love You Baby" (YSI link)

Donna Summer, "Pandora's Box"
(YSI link)

It's been tough time at Pound for Pound HQ lately, a tough 5 months to be honest. It kinda seemed like it couldn't get any worse, until I accidentally hit the wrong link in a Friendster Update email recently. Suddenly, I was staring at a picture of my ex and her new boyfriend. Ugh. But, amazingly, I'm not hiding under the bed crying or listening to the entire Smiths discography (ok, I am, but I do that weekly anyway) I feel ok, fine even and I'm excited about this. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and that light is disco.

It only makes sense then to post some tracks from the the "Queen of Disco," Ms. Donna Summer. She's responsible for some of the genre's biggest hits and still active years after disco had faded away. Born Ladonna Gaines, she would start out in Europe doing various gigs, including singing backup and performing in musicals. She would meet producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte around 1974, a meeting that would change the world forever. They would go on to make some of the greatest music ever, from concept albums to legendary singles.

These tracks come from her second LP with Moroder and Bellotte, Love To Love You Baby. The title track is a stone-cold masterpiece, her first big American track, reaching #2 on the Billboard charts and #1 on the dance chart. It was originally released in Europe as "Love To Love You," where it became a small hit. Casablanca president Neil Bogart loved it even more, thankfully, and asked Moroder to turn out an extended mix. This is what you get above, a nearly 17-minute tour de force renamed "Love To You Love You Baby" that will melt your face. What can you not like? The funky, organ-led instrumental, the strings and flute appearances, the whispery vocals or the orgasmic moans? The answer is nothing, you'll love it all. This one stays on simmer the whole time, never boils over, a nice, steady temperature that should keep your attention and people dancing the whole time. Those orgasm screams incidentally got the song banned by some radio stations when it was released and called "graphic" by music writers, which makes sense since most of the people involved in the music industry had never heard one.

The rest of the LP is quite good, not the shimmery disco inferno you might expect. In fact, many of the songs sit right on that border between the soul and disco perfectly, live strings and piano numbers that highlight Summer's amazing vocals perfectly. My favorite track on the album is "Pandora's Box," a gorgeous song about a lying ex. It's sort of a uptempo ballad, one in which Summer kills it. You get a real sense of her vocal talents, which get drowned out by the moans in "Love To Love You Baby." The music has a nice bounce to it thanks to the piano and big bassline. Man, this music sounds so good, you need this in your life now.

I want to dedicate this post to MC a.k.a. RV, who I wish nothing but the best for.