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I'm a Rainbow [CASSETTE]

Donna Summer Audio Cassette
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Donna Summer
December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012)

Born LaDonna Adrian Gaines in Boston, Massachusetts in 1948, Donna Summer, was an American singer/songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the 1970s.
With a mezzo-soprano vocal range, she was a five-time Grammy Award winner and the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach number one on the US ... Read more in Amazon's Donna Summer Store

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette (20 Aug 1996)
  • Label: Uni/Polygram Pop/Jazz
  • ASIN: B000001ENL
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

1. I Believe (In You) - Joe Esposito, Donna Summer
2. True Love Survives
3. You to Me
4. Sweet Emotion
5. Leave Me Alone
6. Melanie
7. Back Where You Belong
8. People Talk
9. To Turn the Stone
10. Brooklyn
11. I'm a Rainbow
12. Walk on (Keep on Movin')
13. Don't Cry for Me Argentina
14. Runner With the Pack
15. Highway Runner
16. Romeo
17. End of the Week
18. I Need Time

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I recall when I first saw on the cover of Billboard Magazine sometime in late 1995 while in college that Donna Summer's "shelved" double LP was going to be released on Polygram Records. It was a thrill to think that I was finally going to hear a CD quality version of this fabled and lost music. Well I loved what I heard. The CD of course has a Giorgio Moroder, Pete Bellotte, and Harold Faltermeyer sound. Songs such as Romeo, Runner with the Pack, and People Talk all possess the electronic sound that made her CD's great and cutting edge. The ballads such as To Turn the Stone (simply sublime and spine-tingling) I'm A Rainbow, Don't Cry For Me Argentina, You To Me, Sweet Emotion and I Need Time give the listener a window into Donna's introspective side. I Believe in You a duet with Joe "Bean" Esposito of Brooklyn Dreams is uplifting and their voices blend so well as they did on the song Heaven Knows.

However, there always seemd to be so many unanswered questions as to why David Geffen shelved the project. Over the years there has been speculation. In one interview, Pete Bellotte reported after playing the record for David Geffen back in 1981, the response seemed positive but in truth he hated the double LP. Well recently more about why the project was cancelled has been revealed. In a recent and amazing interview with Harold Faltermeyer in the October 2012 issue of Daeida Magazine, Harold says that during the recording of this double album Donna seemed changed and her music became bland. She uncharacteristically was not showing up for recording sessions and when she did she would sing for a while and then have to leave and not come back for a couple of days. Harold also said in the interview that Giorgio Moroder had sent him to N.Y.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Donna classic was unreleased for 15 years 6 April 2002
Format:Audio CD
Donna was teamed for the last time with producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte in 1981 to create this jewel and it features some of her best work from timely ballads like 'True love survives' (which she does in bass which has always been my favourite incarnation of her wonderfully versatile voice) to the seductive 'Runner with the Pack'. The standout tunes for me were the joyous 'Walk on', 'People Talk','To Turn the Stone' and the lush, mesmerising title track. There is one song though which I wasn't so keen on which is 'Brooklyn', a sentimental (but still quite funky) tribute to her baby daughter (although I've grown to quite like it now). Donna also does a grand and slightly different cover of 'Don't cry for me Argentina'. It seems odd that the album was never released at the time, the album was shelved and Donna was teamed with Quincy Jones to make the far less effective 'Donna Summer' LP of 1982. 'I'm a Rainbow' finally saw the light of day in 1996 and a good thing to as it has proved to be my favourite of all her albums so far.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MANY SHADES OF SUMMER... 8 Mar 2000
By Armando M. Mesa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Was the anticipation many fans had over this mysteriously vaulted (shelved) project worth the wait ? Sort of...
Tracks written and produced by Summer,Bellotte, and Moroder, such as I Believe In You, You To Me, Sweet Emotion, and Back Where You Belong could've been easily written and produced by Quincy Jones. These ballads have a very similar Patti Austin/James Ingram flavor (circa The Dude era). Also, they would have fit in nicely with Summer's 1982 collaboration with Jones on her self-titled project.
True Love Survives is a genuine Summer/Bellotte production slightly reminiscent of Heaven Knows from 1978; It's a classic disco-dance number for I'm A Rainbow.
Leave Me Alone simply belts out traces of The Wanderer and Hot Stuff with the opening semi-Oriental sounding keyboard and guitar riffs.She even quotes in Leave Me Alone, "So, you think you're hot stuff !"--Maybe she was referencing, in a tongue-in-cheek way, to the actual Hot Stuff song.
Melanie and Romeo are interchangeable new wave synth/dance tracks. One could have faded into the other and the listener would have never known which was which. People Talk is either a Flashdance sounding tune or a pre- She Works Hard for the Money outtake. These songs are too "formulaicly" polished; Yet they work. They're too commercially sounding; Yet, they deliver without sounding monotonous.
The mysterious To Turn The Stone reveals a simple Celtic/bagpipe synth sound ( this song was later covered by ABBA's Frida in 1982 with a more convincing and natural Celtic arrangement). Stone is faintly reminiscent of another Giorgio Moroder tune that would be written a few years later for the Top Gun soundtrack in both sound and similar lyric style; Take My Breath Away.
The crux of the album many waited for containing title track and Don't Cry for Me Argentina both deeply demonstrate Summer's emotional "acting" vocal abilities (very suitable for Broadway).
The track Brooklyn (Donna's daughter, not the city) pays her daughter a tribute much like Mimi's song did back in '78. Except Brooklyn is a laid back funky R & B dance tune whereas Mimi's Song was a more sentimental orchestrated ballad.
The sultry ballad I Need Time winds things down and brings Donna's long-locked vaulted (shelved) project to a smooth conclusion.
Speaking of conclusion(s), was the wait and hype surrounding this enigmatic opus worth it for fans ? Yes and no... Yes,Donna again proved that her incredible vocal range could lend itself flawlessly to cover all the different styles of music on I'm A Rainbow (many vocal colors or shades).The album beautifully concludes and bids a gracious farewell to a part of her musical career phase of the disco, dance, and new wave pop rock genres in top form.I'm A Rainbow still has a certain freshness to it.The synthesizers and other instruments sounded up to date; Gone are the moog synth and wah-wah guitar for the traditionally overripe disco sound. Also, there is nothing raw or out of place in this project. Usually, when artists put out a "vault mystery" years later, critics and fans say, "YECHHH !No wonder it was never properly released."---Anyone remember the Black Album by Prince ? Yechh. But not Rainbow;It is truly the exception !
However, those fans who expected a revelation or breaking into new territory of musical style would be disappointed; This was not the ticket. Rather, it was a closure of refinement for her disco/new wave era in top form !
Indeed, Donna was ahead of her time with much sophistication on I'm A Rainbow...
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How could Geffen have been so blind to not release this?!! 6 July 2002
By 33-year old wallflower - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'm not gonna lie about saying that Donna Summer is among my many favorite artists. Yes, her fanbase is mostly with the gay community, but so what? The music she makes is so darn infectious & beat-heavy, even your Grandma can feel the urge to get down. But unlike most artists who specialize in this kind of material, Donna has had more facets than met the eye.
When she recorded I'M A RAINBOW in 1981, she had already changed her image with the more rock-influenced THE WANDERER (1980). The fact that she had also become a born-again Christian proved that her music could only get more interesting. But when I'M A RAINBOW was delivered to Geffen, they hated it & shelved the proposed double album. It would be the last time Donna worked with Giorgio Moroder, who, with Donna, had created the biggest anthems of the disco era. The album became one of the most famous unreleased records in music history, but in 1996, Mercury (Donna's label at the time) was generous enough to finally give the album the release it deserved. It's safe to say that for a fan of Donna's more dance-oriented material, I'M A RAINBOW turned me from casual to avid fan.
Probably the reason why Geffen decided not to release the album was that, stylistically, it was all over the map. Disco had been declared dead (in name only, at least), but dance music was still in style. Aside from that, I'M A RAINBOW had experiments in rock, pop, R&B and Broadway that explored new depths into Donna's talents. For the traditional dance music fans, there was "Melanie", "Highway Runner" (reminiscent of Giorgio Moroder's 1980s work), "Back Where You Belong", "True Love Survives" (the lyrics are the most exotic Donna has ever sung) & "Leave Me Alone" (which could have fit in on THE WANDERER).
Because Donna is such a whiz with dance tunes, whenever she releases a ballad as a single, it flops. That proves to be unfair as songs like the dramatic opener "I Believe [In You]" (a duet with Brooklyn Dreams member Joe Esposito), "You To Me", "Sweet Emotion", the title track (my personal favorite out of all the songs) & the sweeping closer "I Need Time" (which again proves Donna could sing more demanding lyrics when given the chance).
However, the most eye-popping experiments on I'M A RAINBOW are the synth-heavy rocker "Highway Runner", "Runner With The Pack" (Donna just kills on these two songs), EVITA's "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" (this is probably where Madonna got her vocal lessons on this song), the haunting "To Turn The Stone" (again a lyrical masterpiece & later recorded by Frida of ABBA) & the funk-driven tribute to her daughter "Brooklyn". These songs, had they been released as singles, I'm sure would have dazzled Donna's fans as to the true range of her talents.
Unfortunately, that was not to be (some songs like "Romeo" would get released in other forms, like on the FLASHDANCE soundtrack). When Geffen said no to I'M A RAINBOW, they paired Donna Summer with Quincy Jones for the self-titled 1982 album that was based on much more traditional R&B sounds. It kept her commercial stock high, no doubt about that, but the result was just a little too mechanical. Since then, Donna hasn't recorded with Giorgio Moroder in over 2 decades & it would be so great to have them pair up again. Donna's upcoming ANGEL album on Epic Records is due out early next year, so afterwards maybe the two can gave each other a call. Another masterpiece like I'M A RAINBOW could just come about. Until then, Donna's fans can rejoice in the lost masterpiece that is I'M A RAINBOW, enjoying the risk-taking music that's on it, as well as wrack their brains as to why such a great piece of work could be turned down as "uncommercial".
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Could Have Been, Circa 1981 25 July 2005
By KRA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
For those of you who do not know the story behind this album

(lets just say what "Smile" was to the Beach Boys, this album was to Donna Summer), this was a double album produced with Donna's long time stable mates (Giorgio Moroder, and Pete Bellotte) and was intended to be more "dance" than the Wanderer album, yet still have a post-Disco rock edge to it.

For whatever reason, David Geffen decided not to release it (postponed was the offical press release), and instead the far more R & B flavored album, "Donna Summer" far too over produced by Quincy Jones, was recorded and released about 1 year later.

It was too bad that this album was never released back in the fall of'81, for although Rainbow is not as tight or focused as her 2 other double studio albums (Once Upon a Time, and the blockbuster album Bad Girls), there was plenty on this disk to have ridden the Pop & Dance Charts to the top. "Leave Me Alone" was due to be the first release and one listen will transport you back to the early 80's, just imagine this relationship anthem blasting from what would have been then an all too trendy Walkman. The euro-disco of Melanie, and the very 80's New Wave/Disco/Pop of; Romeo, Highway Runner, and A Runner With The Pack, all scream out 80's single material.

This release was also balanced with ballads; To Turn The Stone, I Need Time, and I'm A Rainbow, amoung the best. Don't Cry For Me Argentina would become a concert favorite despite this album being shelved, and the original studio track here comes the closest to capturing her live reading of the song.

I have often said that if David Geffen felt this album needed some more R & B flavor, he should have had Quincy produce a few tracks, then taken 4 of the original tracks out and replaced them with 4 Quincy Jones produced tracks. THAT could have been an awesome (5 star) album.

To me the Donna Summer album was a HUGE miss-step (I'll have a review posted shortly).

Hey David, the 80's just called, they want their album back!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Showing the many colors of Summer! 7 Aug 2005
By Nse Ette - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
`I'm a rainbow' was the follow up album to Donna Summer's experimental and critically acclaimed album `The wanderer'. It was produced by her longtime collaborators Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellote, and was to be released in 1981.

However, her then label boss David Geffen did not like it and got Donna to work with Quincy Jones on the superb R&B oriented `Donna Summer' album released in 1982.

Over the years, a few `Rainbow' tracks slipped out here and there; `Highway runner' in the movie `Fast times at Ridgemont high', `Don't cry for me Argentina' in her concerts, and `Romeo' in the movie `Flashdance' as well as a rocky, upbeat performance of it in concert.

`I'm a rainbow' sat in the fabled vaults until 1996 when it was released to the teeming fans. Was it worth the wait?

It's easy to spot where the whole `Flashdance' sound, as well as some 80s dance/rock hybrids got their inspiration from on listening to this CD.

The sound basically comprised lots of synthesizers, electronic effects and guitars, with Donna's vocals pushed to the fore. Experiments in pop, dance, R&B, , ballads, rock and Broadway. It does have a slightly unfinished/unpolished feel which to me adds to its allure.

`I believe in you' is an upbeat pop/R&B duet with Joe Esposito. Catchy dance tune.

`True love survives' is the only track with hints of her Casablanca disco days. A charming tender number in the vein of `Heaven knows'.

Then a couple of ballads; `You to me' and `Sweet emotion', both beautiful songs where Donna gets to stretch her chops between lower and upper registers. Great!

`Leave me alone' is a high octane rock tune in a similar vein to `Hot stuff' and even cheekily references this in the ending minute where she says `So you think you're hot stuff'. Racing guitars and Donna's frenetic delivery make for a winner.

Next is `Melanie', an upbeat new wave/dance number where Donna harmonizes in the verses with some unknown singer and with high vocal reaches in the chorus.

`Back where you belong' is a midtempo pop/R&B number.

The next track is one of my favourites. `People talk' is a new wave/dance number with deep bass synths, horns, a racing beat, and lyrics about not caring what people say about our love. Fantastic song!

`To turn the stone' is a haunting ballad with a celtic feel, complete with bagpipes, and very poetic lyrics. This song was covered by Frida of ABBA for her debut album in 1982.

Next is `Brooklyn', the ode to Donna's daughter born early in 1981. Another highlight. A brassy, funky R&B number where Donna welcomes her newborn to the world.

Title track `I'm a rainbow' is a ballad penned by Donna's husband. In it she sings about having many different colors or sides, like a rainbow. A plea not to be pigeon holed.

`Walk on (keep on moving' is a reggae-ish new wave song encouraging one to move on even when things look down and tough. Very girl group sounding.

`Don't cry for me Argentina' is the popular Broadway tune where Donna belts out and all other versions of the song pale in comparison.

Next comes the pulsing new wave/dance of `A runner with the pack' featuring half spoken lyrics in a lower register set to a backdrop of sparse, razor sharp synths and a plodding beat.

`Highway runner' is a guitar/synth heavy dance number with the verses harmonized with some unknown person in a very husky register. Also features some sitar playing. Cool.

`Romeo' is another highlight. A very catchy energetic new wave/dance number with great sax riffs, and references to Chukka (Donna's husband's nickname) as her Romeo. Similar to `Melanie', `People talk' and `A runner with the pack'. She performed this in concert with a splendid piano intro in 1983. Awesome!

`End of the week' is the only song that sounds like anything off `The wanderer'. It's a pop/rock number about waiting for the end of the week to let your hair down.

Closing out the CD is the passionate delivery of `I need time' again with vocals ranging from lower to higher register. A powerful ballad and a great way to end the CD.

So, would this have been a hit if released in 1981? Without a doubt. Many songs cried `Hit'. `People talk', `Romeo' and `Leave me alone' for example, and I suspect it would have fared better than its substitute 'Donna Summer'.

Essential to any Summer collection.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid Summer Set! All the colors of the.... 13 Aug 2000
By Vincent M. Mastronardi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
"I'm A Rainbow" is one of Summer's brightest sets and is a
myriad of sounds and textures. The set not only showcases her voice
in many soundscapes such as R&B and pop but also highlights her
writing talents on many a track. The shameful story behind the set is
that it was offered to Warner Bros./Geffen records and was passed by
in favor of Donna working with Quincy Jones in order to make a full on
R&B set. "I'm A Rainbow" is many times better and is
truly a lost diamond found.
The CD sways from dance to R&B to
light pop and even rock. Donna does it all on this set and does it
perfectly and with the help of disco day producers Giorgio and Pete.
The album starts with the upbeat duet with Brooklyn Dream member Joe
Esposito called "I Believe (In You)". It's a shining dance
ballad with Caribbean beats and grooves. A great way to start out.
Following it are romantic ballads like "You To Me" and
"Sweet Emotion". "Leave Me Alone" is a smooth
smart rocker. "Melanie" is a cute dance cut that wanders
into new wave. Girl group chords struck in such songs as "Walk
On", the slightly offbeat but fun "Runner With The
Pack" and the weak and nearly tolerable "End Of The
Week" (think an annoying "Holiday"). Great big ballads
like "I'm A Rainbow" and Donna's really heartfelt
"Don't Cry For Me Argentina" are near the end. One of
Donna's all time best rockers is "Highway Runner" with snyth
grooves along with smoky vocals that just chill. "I Need
Time" is the dramatic ending that leaves you wanting more. Every
song is special in its own and all are highlights.
It's such a
shame that fans did not get this whole set in 1981. The songs are all
ahead of their time in many unique areas. She can do no wrong here.
A few good cuts had sneaked out here and there on soundtracks and
others on Hits albums, has them all. I think many might feel that
because it wasn't released by Geffen in 1981 and that it was thrown
together.... You'd think that the whole album is fuller but it's not.
It's just a forgotten masterpiece and a must have for lovers of Donna
and eighties music.
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