Donna Summer This Time I Know It's For Real

NEWS: 30 Years of ‘This Time I Know It’s For Real’

Thirty years ago: Why we are still going crazy for Donna Summer’s “This Time I Know It’s For Real”.

by Christopher Smith

By February 1989, hitmakers Stock Aitken Waterman had pretty much done it all. Launched their biggest and most enduring artist Kylie, elevated Bananarama to a new high and seen a tea boy from the North of England become the biggest selling artist of his generation. But how about working with a genuine icon of the dance floor?

Whether there were any misgivings about working with the Queen of Disco or if even a star of such a high stature would want to work in a small recording studio south of the River Thames is anyone’s guess, but to capture the imagination and interest of Donna Summer could be seen a punching above their weight. Nevertheless, it happened and what emerged was one of the greatest SAW tunes of all time, one that even won over the most damning of critics.

“This Time I Know It’s For Real” is simply a masterpiece and a song that re-launched Donna not just in the UK, but globally and especially in the US where she scored her first top ten hit since “She Works Hard For The Money” in 1983. The song could of been recorded by anyone with such a familiar cocktail of euro-beat pop, keyboarding and drum programming, but no one could of raised the standing of the song with such strong, soaring vocals as Donna, particularly after the final two choruses. It made quite an impression on me as a young teenager at the time and listening to it thirty years on, it forms a major part of the soundtrack of my life.

It wasn’t just in The States the song found enormous success, in the UK, hardly surprisingly, it entered the top 40 at No.31 and four weeks later was holding fast at No.3, becoming one of the biggest sellers of the year, one in which SAW/PWL would amass a record SEVEN number one hits, occupying sixteen of the fifty two weeks that year at the top spot! “This Time I Know It’s For Real” hit the top ten across the globe, from Canada to Australia and all over Europe and beyond, selling over two million copies in the process.

It was the precursor to Donna’s long awaited studio album “Another Place And Time“, written and recorded with Stock Aitken Waterman and released the following month. Other singles would be lifted from this majesty of pop perfection, but “This Time” was the lead, the first and in many eyes, the greatest. The greatest from them and from her. Time has not worn or tarnished its appeal and today, thirty years on, it still sounds as fresh and as precise just as it did when we all trotted off the local record shop, handed over a few coins and savoured the delights of a proper 7″ vinyl single, unsheathed and rotating on the deck, crackles and all but very much the most joyous three minutes, thirty eight seconds yet spent.

Donna may be walking a tightrope way up high, but we salute her and one of her most outstanding anthems of an oustanding and distinguished career. You’d be amazed how much I love her so!

For all things Stock Aitken Waterman, check out their official FACEBOOK page and the Ultimate SAW fans FACEBOOK group

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
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