13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The Most Comprehensive Collection,
This review is from: Gold (Audio CD)
Donna Summer collections run into quite a number these days so choosing one really depends upon your tastes. Gold is the most comprehensive and wide ranging, giving a very good overview of her career. Barring a couple of early omissions it really is the most definitve of all the collections.
Summer's career began by accident when a DJ, wanting to take a break on a long late night shift decided to put on the full version of "Love To Love You Baby" and was innundated with requests. The nearly 17 minute symphonic piece of disco soft porn was never conceived as a single but it was pared down and produced Donna Summer's first hit (albeit banned for being too steamy in the UK) and it began a run of hits which crowned Donna Summer the queen of disco.
The collection adds a good number of these from the majestic "I Feel Love" through to the bizzare disco cover of "MacArthur Park" plus some of the earlier less well known but equally valuable pieces such as "Spring Affair" and "Could It Be Magic". This is a period of massive success for her and it is the part of her career which suffers from the most omissions. There are 4 big hits missing here of which "Down Deep Inside (Theme From The Deep)" is quite notable as it is a very close cousin to "I Feel Love" and has plenty of producer Giorgio Moroder's wonderful electronics. Quibbles aside the early material is well represented. The version of "MacArthur Park" is a promo version not previously easy to find.
The second disc moves on to what could easily be titled, "what Donna Summer did once they said disco was dead". Here are the fruits of the next 20 years. Beginning with the rocky minor hit "The Wanderer" and heading through the Quincy Jones produced "Donna Summer" album, which included "State Of Independence" she survived the disco hating masses burning her records only to have her original gay following do the same after her ill advised pronouncements on AIDS a few years later. Yet despite all the controversy she produced a series of decent records which may not have hit the heights of her 70's material but at least proved her staying power. A collaboration with the Stock, Aitkin, and Waterman conglomorate in the late 80's briefly sent her back into the upper reaches of the charts.
From "She Works Hard For The Money" through to 1994's "Melody Of Love" there are some good songs to be found. The later material is not greatly represented but there is enough evidence here to argue that Donna Summer can turn her hand to newer permutations of dance music. Doubters need go no further than 2004's "You're So Beautiful" for the evidence.
This is a broad selection of music and not one for those who simply want to revisit her disco golden age, as there are better demonstations of that elsewhere. What this gives is an excellently mastered and diverse, comprehensive overview of an artist who survived better than you might ever have realised.