This album is solely responsible for my conversion from Glam to Disco. The first time I heard Spring Affair I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. Definitive Moroder prodution with thumping bass drum, throaty, and somehow naughty backing vocals from the exquisite Madeline Bell and Sue and Sunny. Makes you want to bounce off the walls. Summer Fever takes you to a different room in the same house, with seductive lighting and warm heady drinks. Autumn Changes is a particularly well observed track with a mid-tempo delivery and the hit single Winter Melody appears here in all it's glorious full-length. Even if you don't like "disco" the sheer exhuberance and poigniancy of this album makes it a must-have for every collection.
All of Donna Summers early albums (Love to love you baby, A love trilogy and four seasons) featured the "queen of disco" using her superb voice in a very soft and seductive way, something not so apparent on her later more well known productions. It was during this early period that she was writing and producing ground breaking disco music with Giorgio Moroder & Pete Bellotte and there wasnt a club in the late seventies that wasnt filling a dance floor with one of her tracks. As soon as you hear the opening chords that introduce "Spring Affair" you know you're in for something special and the mix that merges "Affair" into "Summer fever" is awesome (listen to the heartbeat bass. The album closes with the classic ballad "Winter melody" and you just want to go back to the beginning and start the CD all over again. Many people will look at the four track listing and question value for money given the vast numbers of tracks available on todays CD's however, all four on this album are absolute gems. Do yourself a favour and "Take a little Summer with you wherever you go" courtesy of the lady herself - An all time classic!!!!
This was the fourth album by Donna Summer. It is a great concept album. It was released in 1976. The album tells the story of a love affair by relating it to the four seasons. Track one "Spring Affair" starts the love affair when it's new. Then track two "Summer Fever" has the affair in full bloom. Track three "Autumn Changes" sees the affair falter and begin to die. Track four "Winter Melody had the affair cold and over. But then there is a reprise of "Spring Affair" with track five that offers a new cycle and a new affair. The lyrics and the arrangements reflect the mood of the seasons with the sharp sweet sweeping strings of the orchestra reflecting the newness of spring. There is the pulsing hot rhythm of summer and the swirling strings of troubled and changing winds of autumn with shifts in style. Winter has crispness with gentle synth sounds and cold sadness of chilly contemplation for what has been. There is plenty of use of the Moroder synthesiser sound in the production that provides a lush sound married with the swift Disco energy and many instruments of colourful sound. The original album had a pull out calendar for 1977 with four stylish photos of Donna representing the four seasons. The photo on the cover was, fittingly, the summer photograph. This had Donna relaxing on a partial moon. Autumn had an image of Donna as a Marilyn Monroe figure with white dress being blown up by the wind. T spring had Donna sitting on a swing of spring like flowers with a Scarlet O'Hara style hoop skirt. And winter had Donna in a fur with a tear on her cheek. An image of the calendar with all four images is represented in the artwork for this CD. Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte produced the album. The Munich Machine also backed the album. The Munich Machine was a group of session musicians that played on many Disco record in the second half of the 1970s. They provided backing vocals and instrumentation for people like Donna Summer, Boney M, Silver Convention and La Bionda.
The album is great fun with a polished production and a strong 70s atmosphere. There was just one hit single from this album with the track Winter Melody.
It's very hard to choose the best Donna Summer album for her 70's hey-day period. From "Love to love you" right up to the stomping "Bad Girls", they're all pretty brilliant. I have a particular fondness for this one though. Most of her 70's albums were concept, but this one a blatant theme of "seasons" and "Love", comparing a love affair with the changing seasons. Surprisingly the whole thing works...suberbly. Giorgio Moroder's insightful production creates a wonderous, interesting technicolour sound throughout, each season, not just another disco story, but a unique, thoughtful production that mirror each season. The opener "Spring Affair" subletly opens with electronic sweeping strands of sexy orgasmic stereo delights that tantalise and tease the ears before the drum beat kicks in and we're off! Roller-coaster style into the first season. Stops and starts, breaks and musical pauses as Ms Summer pulls of one of her greatest vocal interpretations, sounding like the Goddess of Spring invoking every lifeform on the planet to wake up and celebrate the end of winter by stripping off and getting down to frolicing in the woods with the one you love! A whistle-stop journey through the emotional delights of blistering hot summer rhythms to the laid back wistful yearning of winter memories and loss. Just as the winter winds and heart-wrenching chords end, the echoes and strains of that erotic sensual spring excitement can be heard bubbling and brewing in the background heralding the return of spring....Genius! The reprise has to be spring! "Winter Melody" was a minor hit in the UK, but every one of the four interpretations could have been hits, given the right publicity at the time. This is a gem of an album and could appeal to many a serious music fan who may never have considered buying a disco/Donna Summer album . From the cheeky cover and inner sleeve photos (Marilyn Monroe/Nursery Rhyme character) to the sensual segue of incidental metreological sounds that seperate each track, its a delight and conjures memories of long hot summers and cosy winters when music was thoughtful and exciting...buy it and be taken.
I first bought this as an album waaaaay back in the 70's and absolutely loved it. After hearing one of the songs on the radio I went onto Amazon to try and source the CD - success - ordered and delivered within days and now pretty much on constant play. This is one of her best, and there's nothing quite like music making you feel thirty years younger!
I found this album very cheap recently, and it's a little gem. It's the sort of thing that nobody would have the guts to do these days: four songs on the theme of a love affair through the seasons (meets in spring, shags in summer, splits in autumn, sulks in winter, then meets a new one in the following spring... you get the idea). No hits, which I suppose is why it's so obscure. But Moroder's production is at its most lush and sparkling, Donna sounds great and the artwork is a hoot: calendar shots of Donna including one of her as Marilyn in the Seven Year Itch. Well worth a go