Yesterday, I featured a disco band doing a romantic ballad. Today I’m going to feature a disco singer doing what she did best.
Not only is this an easy choice for “summer” week in terms of song title, Summer is in her very name!
Ladies and gentlemen, the Queen of the Disco (and perhaps my first crush ever), Donna Summer.
(Note: the crush on Donna Summer didn’t start with this album. When this one was released, I barely knew who Donna Summer was. 😉 The crush didn’t reveal itself until Bad Girls was released three years later.)
LaDonna Gaines, renamed Donna Summer for the stage, had gained a measure of fame when her first U.S. release, “Love To Love You Baby” hit #2 on the pop chart in 1975. Famous (or infamous) for Summer’s moans and groans throughout the song (particularly in its sixteen minute-plus album length version), it made her a sensation, if not necessarily a respected artist. By the time Four Seasons Of Love, her fourth album (but third released in the U.S.) was released in 1976, Summer had become a consistent presence on the Dance/Disco charts. With her production partnership of Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, Summer’s career began to grow in stature, so that by the end of the 70s, she had become the “Queen of Disco.”
Today’s Morning Groove was included on the Four Seasons Of Love LP, a concept album with songs recounting a love affair through the four seasons. The first half of the album contained the dance cuts, while the second half slowed the tempo down just a bit. “Spring Affair” and “Summer Fever” made a good combination for dancing on the first half, and while “Spring Affair” is one of my favorite Donna Summer tracks, it is “Summer Fever” that gets the nod today.
Like Chic’s “A Warm Summer Night” from yesterday, the song doesn’t veer too far from its base, but it does have a few more lyrics to enjoy. Summer grew to dislike the image that she was being made to portray during this time, as she felt she was being exploited and marketed as a musical sex kitten. And while she enjoyed success with songs like “Love To Love You Baby” and “Summer Fever” and others, it did not mesh well with her personality. Summer persevered after the disco era ended, and even garnered a few more hits. By the time of her passing in 2012, she had become the respected artist she had always longed to be, outliving her “First Lady Of Love” days.
Enjoy “Summer Fever” for your Morning Groove. Given the temperatures lately around Maryland, I think summer fever has kicked in big-time. As always, thanks for reading and listening.