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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 7 January 2003
I agree wholeheartedly with the previous reviews....
I just wanted to re-emphasize a couple of points: Like a previous reviewer mentioned; Anyone who has ever said DISCO music is crap, or childish, or rubbish, or whatever, etc., etc., etc., has never heard any tracks from this album...and if they ever did, had no idea they were actually listening to so-called "DISCO" music.
If you never buy any other Donna Summer album (or any other disco album for that matter) but still want to have an idea of what all the fuss on DISCO was about back in her hay days, this is the album to get....original sequence or not. Having said that about the sequence...this album still has to be treated (and listened to) like you read a book, meaning you must start with track 1, and listen unbroken to the end of the whole album - because it is essentially a story set to music - IT COULD REALISTICALLY ACTUALLY BE CONVERTED TO A STAGE MUSICAL - AN OPERA! (which is why I reckon it had to be a double album) as a standard 2-sided single album would not have been enough time to do the story justice!
The music was way, way ahead of its time, and still is...because I listen to this album today and wish music being made today still sounded this gorgeous --- think of it as delicious ice cream for your ears!!!
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on 27 November 2001
This really is not only the best disco album ever made but also one of the best (double!) albums of the 1970s. Across its original four sides the inventiveness, rhythm and melody never flag and Summer's voice floats effortlessly above the Moroder/Bellotte disco machine.
As for the original album's side two (Now I Need You / Working The Midnight Shift / Queen For A Day) synth-whizz Giorgio Moroder never created anything finer. It makes today's dance music (bloated on easy-to-programme samplers, synths and sequencers) sound childish by comparison.
I have both original UK and US pressings of this album and I can assure any propective buyers that this CD release is absolutely identical in running order (and musical segues) to the original album. I recall that the original 1977 German double album was misleadingly labeled so perhaps they are confusing it with that edition?
(Universal Records - if you're reading: this classic CD was mastered back in the late 1980s and could certainly benefit from some new high-definition remastering!)
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on 17 April 2012
When I was a young lad, Donna Summer's Greatest hits was one of the first albums I ever bought. A friend of mine had Once Upon a Time and on first listen I loved it. However, being only funded by pocket money I couldn't afford to buy it.
I only listened to it that once but it stayed with me. Having bought this cd just recently I am so glad that it still had the same effect. From its opening bars, right through to the end you have an uplifting, genuine disco classic. Stand out tracks are 'faster and faster to nowhere', 'I need you', 'working the midnight shift', 'queen for a day' and the amazing, fantastic and earth-shattering 'Rumor has it'.
If only they still made dance music like this.
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on 2 August 2013
This is Donna Summers epic story of a young girls search for a fairy tale romance, set in modern day America. This album was recorded at the height of disco and Donna was The Queen. If you want world class seventies disco, buy this, it really is a classic and worth every penny. She is such a loss to music
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Once upon a time is a brilliant album. This is my all time favourite album from Donna Summer and her producer Giorgio Moroder. The whole project is fantastic.

This was the sixth album by Donna Summer and it was her first double album. It was also the first time that an album by her had been issued world wide on the same label Casablanca Records. (Previous albums had to be licensed out to record companies in different countries to aid distribution)

The album tells a modern day Cinderella styled story through Disco music. The original vinyl album was a double disc with the four sides being dubbed "Act One," "Act Two" "Act Three" and "Act Four". The inner sleeve was printed in the style of a libretto. The rest of the presentation of the gatefold sleeves had a fairytale tinged theme. The CD version has all of the original artwork including the picture of Summer in a white dress against a background of a beautiful star filled night sky.

The songs are by Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. They tell the story of a lonely girl who dreams of what could be, but has nothing. She finally gets the man of her dreams in a rags to riches story.
The fairy tale story has a modern twist through orchestral and electronic synthesiser disco music.
This is a concept album. It is like a Disco Opera. There is a great deal of creative emotion with very original and artistic sound.
Moroder builds on the success of "I feel Love" earlier that year and one side of the original album has more than one song but they are all mixed into one another in a complete and pure electronic feast.
I had this album on its original release when I was a teenager and I have had this CD version since its release in the early 1990s. I love this album. I love the whole theme of a lonely dreamer of a girl who finally has her dreams come true. I love the interpretation through all of the intricate sounds and emotions,
Songs like "Now I need you" sound so rich and interesting and still has the same beauty today as it did back in the 70s. Other fabulous tracks are "Queen for a day", "fairy tale high", "Working the Midnight Shift", "I love you". "Happily ever after" and "Rumour has it" have strong production, exciting sound quality and originality.
There are a variety of music influences across the album, which adds to the rich texture of creativity, and there are surprises in the mix such as the notably abrupt switch from all electronic backing to acoustic instruments halfway through "Queen for a day".

Moroder had always been most successful when producing for Donna Summer because he used a more mainstream commercial production and although this album is less commercially mainstream than her earlier album "I remember yesterday" it does have tracks that instantly memorable.
For me this is the greatest Disco album of all for its concept, creativity strong songs and high production married to the fact that it was created during the most formative years of the genre of Disco. This is a great CD issue.
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on 6 December 2006
This remains Donna Summer's masterpiece & Giorgio Moroder's finest hour! Even 30 years later it still holds up, and it's a double album to boot! I remember them playing the whole first side at the discos [try doing THAT today]Anyone wondering just how popular she was need only listen once to this collection to understand why. Aretha may be the queen of soul, but Donnna ruled the dance floor. You go girl!
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This brilliant album of great songs is on a par with her other masterpiece, the more rock-influenced Bad Girls. This one is more electronic, a majestic blend of her voice, synthesizers and drum machines, all very intelligently interwoven (Giorgio Moroder & Pete Belotte's eurodisco production at its best). Every sigh, every note and every beat of the drum is in its right place, making this a perfect album in both concept and execution. Almost every second track is a classic: the hypnotic Fairytale High, the sad Working The Midnight Shift, the triumphant Queen For A Day, the longing of Now I Need You and the trance of Faster & Faster To Nowhere. I must agree with a previous reviewer, though, about the order of tracks. Previously on vinyl there was a killer sequence of Midnight Shift, Queen For A Day and Now I Need You segueing seamlessly into one another and it worked very well. Now these tracks are separated for no rhyme or reason. But that's a minor complaint about such a wonderful album that has aged so well.
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on 17 July 2011
Once Upon a Time was the sixth album by American singer Donna Summer. It tells a modern-day Cinderella-themed story through means of very innovative disco music. Throughout the album, the songs tell the story of a girl who goes from having nothing, to finally having the man she loves, at the time (1977) the music and story were brought into the modern day via the use of very innovative electronic pulsating disco sounds that are found constantly throughout the album. This album confirmed Summer's status as a leading female vocalist within the disco genre and to date.

The album is also widely acknowledged by fans and music critics as one of her best albums, due to its variety of styles musically, that went on to inspire many modern day artists. Wonderful.
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on 27 April 2001
This album is a superb collection of songs that tap the feet, move and seal Donna's title as the Queen of Disco. But the album offers more: tracks such as 'Man Like You', 'Sweet Romance' are as soulful as anything Aretha Franklin or any other female singer of this ilk has achieved. 'I Love You' is one of my favourite Disco songs ever and always reqested at discos. The music takes you into the stratosphere of love. 'Once Upon A Time', 'Fairy Tale High' and 'Happily Ever After' go hand in hand and are the stuff that dreams are made of. Music cannot get any sweeter than this and what is remarkable about this album is how it not only showcases Donna's amazing vocal ability and versatility as an Artist but also her astute commentary of modern living. 'Faster & Faster to Nowhere' sums up the essence of inner city life of today.
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on 15 May 2014
I bought this cd as the original tape which had decided to give up the ghost!

This CD arrived quickly and in good condition. Having listened to it on arrival, it brought back happy memories of the upbeat music of the disco era and to have a story incorporated within the music just makes it that bit different.
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