Thursday, May 17, 2012

Donna Summer

Having managed to pretty much ignore both Donna & disco generally during the Seventies, she caught my ears when she moved into a synth pop/new wavy style in the Eighties with "She Works Hard for the Money." There's a lot of moralizing - & honesty -  in born again Donna's songs from this period, which culminated in allegations that she said AIDS was punishment on gays from God (I heard that very opinion expressed by someone in my own family). It did great damage to her career. It seems to have been a misunderstanding or misattribution, put aside long ago. But being anointed as a "diva" by gay fans isn't necessarily the best thing that can happen to female singer's career, & Donna was initially uncomfortable with it (as was, I think, Madonna, insofar as it tended to freeze a singer's image). It's more accurate  & praiseworthy to say Donna was in the line of great soul singers, meaning the singer is rooted in gospel & blues. She also loved  girl groups & Brill Building pop. Another great performer unjustly rejected (in 2010) by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

It's hard to be yourself
When everyone else is around
There's always someone out there
Trying to pull you down
You're sitting on the fence crying out to the moon
The day goes by too fast and the night comes too soon

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