Friday, April 25, 2014

bad girls

Donna Summer was crowned the Queen of Disco when she strutted to the center of the charts with the hot stuff of this classic concupiscence.  While a couple of her singles ('Love to Love You, Baby' and  'I Feel Love') had been pop hits; she had consistently made waves on the dance chart.  In 1978, she began a string of smash hits with 'Last Dance', 'MacArthur Park', and 'Heaven Knows'.    She also developed an addiction to prescription medication and suffered a nervous breakdown.  Her recovery was tied in with a return to her faith.  It was around this time that Summer appeared in a televised 'Music for UNICEF: A Gift of Song' which raised money for the world's hungry children.  

When she began working on her next album, she came up with a concept about prostitution that sought to bring awareness to the issues surrounding working girls, based on a song she had written a couple of years before.  It became a double album with each side focusing on a different dance hybrid:  side one incorporating rock and new wave, side two featured disco sound, side three had ballads and country, and side four focused on a more experimental electronic dance music.  

'Bad Girls'  features Donna Summer on lead and background vocals, composition, and production;   Giorgio Moroder on bass, synthesizer, guitar, composition, and production;   Pete Bellotte on bass, composition, and production;  Harold Faltermeyer on bass, drums, keyboards, and synclavier, composition, and production;  Bruce Sudano on synthesizer and composition;  Joe Esposito on background vocals and composition;   Keith Forsey on background vocals, drums, percussion, and composition;   Jeff "Skunk" Baxter on guitar (solo on "Hot Stuff");   Bob Conti on percussion and composition;  Edward "Eddie" Hokenson on composition;   Jai Winding on piano;  Jay Graydon and Paul Jackson, Jr. on guitar;   Al Perkins on pull and steel guitar;  Sid Sharp on strings; Scott Edwards and Bob Glaub on bass;   Gary Grant, Jerry Hey, and Steve Madaio on trumpet;   Gary Herbig on saxophone;   Dick Hyde and Bill Reichenbach on trombone;  Stephanie Straill, and Julia and Maxine Willard on backing vocals;  Jimmy Bralower on drum programming;    and Jason Corsaro on engineering.  

The album went to number twenty-four in the Netherlands;  twenty-three in the UK;  seven in Germany;   six in Australia;  three in Norway, New Zealand, and Sweden;   and number one in Canada and the US.  The album went triple platinum in the US and sold over five million copies worldwide.  It was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

Summer addressed her image of an erotic seductress at the time:  "I think I'm undersexed, actually I am sensual and very physical. I'm very erotic. But my sexuality exists on a sort of a fantasy level...Well, I'll say I have an incredible ability to fantasize- I really do. I don't have to have things tangible to be able to see them, and therefore I enjoy so many things, because they're in my mind. I believe that most people don't realize or utilize enough of their potential for fantasizing. I think people go out looking to make their fantasies real- they can't just enjoy them for what they are. But in trying to make them real, they overextend themselves, and as a result it all becomes a nightmare for them, not a joy. There are just certain fantasies that cannot be acted out with another human being. I am talking about fantasies for the sake of fantasies- things that you could never, ever do in your lifetime...It's a strange thing about me, like a tic or something, but I don't like to have people touching me at all. I find it an imposition on my person when people put their hands on me... I just don't feel secure around women. I guess it comes from the time when I started in show business, when I was around eighteen years old. I was dancing and singing, and it put me around older women a lot- not girls, but women, around thirty, thirty-five. When I was younger, I was very physical, always moving. I was very, very thin and moved around with sort of a snakelike movement. It was obviously very alluring for women. At one point I started worrying, 'Am I putting this vibe out to women?" I talked to an analyst about it and realized that it wasn't me. It was them and what they envisioned me to be. It was my mystique...I'm always slightly depressive. My whole life is work, and it's always been work. Even when I'm home relaxing, I'm playing the piano or singing. I've always got to be doing something creative or constructive. I hate the feeling of doing nothing. I was on tour for eight months last year and for about four months this year. I started getting so speedy that I couldn't sleep at all anymore. I was in a state of permanent insomnia. I would go from filming to recording, to this, then that, then something else...I think it comes from the fear of dying, in the sense that I feel that God gave me a reason to be here. I'm very religious in the sense that I think there is life after death and that everyone has a karmic debt to pay back; and whatever that is, I want to pay it back before I go. I want to do things for other people- and I'm getting to be in a position where I can achieve things for others. I believe that money talks. Everything else is okay but money speaks, and if I can save X amount of dollars to build a community center, for example, I am really doing something...Every time I come off the road, I'm so exhausted for the first week that I swear I'm never going on the road again as long as I live. I don't want it anymore, I've had it, my life has been too erratic, I want to live a sensitive and sensible life, I want to be with my family... Then, about a week and a half later, I'm bored to death, and I'm off again. It's a masochistic business. It's in your blood. It's like people who have sea fever. They're driven to go to sea all the time. They always say that they're going to go dry and go back on land, but once the sea calls them again, they're off. They love it and they hate it. Love and hate are what this entertainment business is all about. People hate you today, and then they love you tomorrow They let you down, and then they build you back up. You're in, and then you're out again. There's this constant struggle for admiration, love, and respect that is a strange kind of love-hatred and a constant attempt at trying to prove yourself...I don't know. Generally, I think it comes from a sense of my desperately needing to be understood and desiring to effect change through something that I have to say. I question myself all the time. Why am I doing this? I could just get married and be rich ... Yet I could never settle for that. It's not even the money. At some point it's just a madness. I don't know why I have such a drastic need to be understood, but I do...The only specific thing that I think people need to understand is that I need to be free. I think the thing that bothers me the most about this thing called success- it is a thing, a monster- is that it changes your life-style so drastically. There is no longer any privacy in your life, and you have no choice...Really, I'm a very regular normal person, and I want to relate to my audience, to the public, to let them know that I love them or I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing. At the same time, I want their love and respect and understanding. They're my fans, and they want X, but they have to know that there are millions of people chewing away at this one person, saying, 'I want this and I want this and I want that.' And it's impossible to accommodate all of these people. When I say "I can't" to people, I want them to understand that I can't and not to feel put down by it. It's the one thing that disturbs me: that people feel they deserve more, and that I can't give it. I even would if I could, but I can't...And then they say 'Well, we buy your records.' Yes, I sang a song, you bought my record, I got the money. That's the bottom line, and that's not 'cold.' I sold a record, but I didn't sell my soul."

The titular song hit fourteen in Australia and the UK;  thirteen in Sweden;  ten in the Netherlands;  nine in Germany;  eight in Norway;  six in New Zealand;  and number one in Canada and the US.  It was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

'Hot Stuff'' was a worldwide smash, going to number twenty-one in the Netherlands;  eleven in the UK;  seven in New Zealand;  five in Germany;  two in Norway and Sweden;  and number one in Australia, Canada, and the US.  It won a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance

'Dim All the Lights' made it to number twenty-nine in the UK;  twenty-eight in the Netherlands;  twenty-five in Germany; fourteen in New Zealand;  thirteen in Canada; and number two in the US.  It was nominated for a Grammy for Best Disco Recording.

Walk Away

Sunset People

'Bad Girls' 

side one:  

00:00 Hot Stuff (Pete Bellotte, Harold Faltermeyer, Keith Forsey)
05:15 Bad Girls (Donna Summer, Joe "Bean" Esposito, Edward "Eddie" Hokenson, Bruce Sudano)
10:12 Love Will Always Find You (Pete Bellotte, Giorgio Moroder)
14:11 Walk Away (Pete Bellotte, Harold Faltermeyer)

'Bad Girls' 

side two:

00:00 Dim All The Lights (Donna Summer)
04:37 Journey To The Centre Of Your Heart (Pete Bellotte, Giorgio Moroder)
09:20 One Night In A Life Time (Pete Bellotte, Harold Faltermeyer)
13:32 Can't Get To Sleep At Night (Bob Conti, Bruce Sudano)

'Bad Girls' 

side three:

00:00 On My Honor (Donna Summer, Harold Faltermeyer, Bruce Sudano)
03:36 There Will Always Be A You ( Donna Summer)
08:45 All Through The Night (Donna Summer, Bruce Roberts)
14:46 My baby Understands (Donna Summer)

'Bad Girls' 

side four:

0:00 Our Love (Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder)
4:45 Lucky (Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, Joe "Bean" Esposito, Edward "Eddie" Hokenson, Bruce Sudano)
9:33 Sunset People (Pete Bellotte, Harold Faltermeyer, Keith Forsey)

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