‘Donna Summer’ (1982)
Donna Summer released her tenth, self-titled studio album in July 1982. It marked a bold departure from what had gone before. By the early 80’s, Disco was on the way out and pop/dance music was on the way in, so how could Donna maintain her stature as the Queen of Disco in a new decade that presented new challenges? Donna had made her name with the help of producer Giorgio Moroder in the 70’s, but for this next project, she sought help from Quincy Jones, Rod Temperton and even Bruce Springsteen to come up with an album that would surprise many of her own fans but also win over many more.
Donna branched out into gospel, soul and funk with this collection of songs with the help of then unknown hitmakers David Foster, Brenda Russell and composer Vangelis, who had just scored an Oscar for his score to the film ‘Chariots Of Fire’.
The lead single, “Love Is In Control (Finger On The Trigger)” was released four weeks before the album and would put Donna back in the US top ten for the first time in two years. The track was also a top ten success in a dozen other territories and peaked at No.18 in the UK, Donna’s best chart placing since “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” in 1979. Ultimately four singles would be lifted from the album over the next eight months, chiefly of note is the epic “State Of Independence”. Written by Yes singer Jon Anderson and Vangelis, “State Of Independence” would raise the bar that much higher in what Donna was capable of and daring to achieve. The song remains one of her greatest and most acclaimed.
The “Donna Summer” album would eventually achieve Gold status in America for sales of 500,000 copies. A peak chart position of No.20 was seven places lower than its predecesor “The Wanderer” had reached but the album’s international appeal was much more of a success on this occasion with a high of No.13 recorded in the UK, Donna’s best performing studio album since “I Remember Yesterday”, over five years earlier. Top ten chart placings were recorded across mainland Europe, again reflecting a more positive appreciation for Donna’s 80’s ‘reinvention’.
In 2022, “Donna Summer” will be re-issued to celebrate the 40th anniversary of this pivotal entry in her discography in expanded form. The album will be available on CD and vinyl with additional mixes, single edits and B sides, bringing together for the first time, the complete output of this exciting phase in Donna’s career, which by the end of the decade would see her reinvent herself once again and grasp a new musical genre with gusto and aplomb.
“Love Is In Control (Finger On The Trigger)” US No.10, UK No.18
“State Of Independence” US No.41, UK No.14
“The Woman In Me” US No.33, UK No.62