Saturday, August 13, 2016

Songoftheday 8/13/16 - What would I have to do to get you to notice me too, do I stand in line one of a million admiring eyes...


"This Time I Know It's For Real" - Donna Summer
from the album Another Place and Time (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #7 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day comes from the "queen of disco", Donna Summer, who had outlasted the genre to do pretty respectably in the early 80s with hits like "Love Is In Control" and "She Works Hard For The Money". But after her switch to Geffen Record was complete in the mid-decade, she had found a different soundscape on pop radio, and her adult-pop cover of the 60s classic "There Goes My Baby" stopped short of the top 20. Her next album, All Systems Go, failed to even land a top-40 pop hit in America, though the song "Dinner With Gershwin" did moderately well in Britain, landing at #13, and #10 on the U.S. R&B chart. Perhaps her British success inspired label head David Geffen to have the biggest production team in that country, Stock Aitken Waterman, produce Donna's next album. The result was the gloriously fun Another Place and Time, a front-to-back classic of dance-pop that Geffen criminally disapproved of so much they dropped her from the label (ahem, idiots). However, with a separate deal internationally, Warner Brothers put out the set, and the success of the first single, "This Time I Know It's For Real" (only the #1 ", caused related label Atlantic to bring it to the States. Written by SAW with Donna, the uplifting love song was quirky yet adult, with subtle nods to a woman that has seen a lot finally finding "the one"...


"This Time I Know It's For Real" became Donna's fourteenth and final top-10 (as well as top-40) pop hit in the U.S. in June of 1989. The song also went all the way to #2 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart for a month (by far her biggest hit on that format). The 12" extended remix surprisingly didn't top the club chart, stopping at #5, while missing the R&B list altogether. Internationally, as I mentioned the single was a success in the UK at first at #3, and was also a top ten smash in Norway (#3), Ireland (#4), the Netherlands (#6), France (#6), Canada (#7), and Italy (#8), and peaked at #15 in Germany.

While in England she scored another top-ten hit with "I Don't Wanna Get Hurt" at #7, they waited to put out the third single next in the U.S., with the building epic anthem of "Love's About To Change My Heart". But while the "Last Dance" template was a bigger dance hit at #3, it stopped at #85 in the U.S. pop Hot 100.

Even though the producers were willing, Summer didn't return for a second go, and instead started the 90's with a return to R&B (and a blonde wig) with her Mistaken Identity album. However, after years of rumors about her allegiance to the gay community that had been loyal fans (and I'm not here to litigate that right now), the toll had been taken, and the first track "When Love Cries" sputtered out at #77 on the pop list and #18 on the R&B chart. Donna did get a boost a few years later by returning to her dance club roots, with the house jam "Melody Of Love (Wanna Be Loved)" returning her to #1 on the dance chart, one of seven chart-toppers on that list in the 90s and the "naughties", ending with "To Paris With Love" in 2010. One of those, a rework of the "pop-opera" nugget "Con Ti Partiro (I Will Go With You)", gave the music star her final pop charting hit at #79 in 1999. She carried on for a while, releasing her top-20 album Crayons in 2008, but after battling lung cancer, passed away in 2012. Summer was posthumously inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a way overdue and bittersweet addition to the pantheon of pop music icons.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)




Here's the extended remix that made the top-5 on the dance chart...


In 2004, British "Eurodance" singer Kelly Llorenna went to #14 in the UK with a cover of the song...


Two years later, Australian "girl-group" Young Divas went all the way to #2 in that country (and top ten on their year-end list) with another remake...


Finally, here's Donna doing an impromptu appearance on the Letterman show and still killing it (I like the organic feeling of this, damn you Paul Shaffer!)...


Up tomorrow: The dubious duo gives you their digits.


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