Friday, November 14, 2014

"Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)" by Donna Summer

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1079
Date:  06/26/1982
Debut:  79
Peak:  10
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Pop, R&B, Dance

Pop Bits:  It was not the best time for Donna Summer. After the fall of disco, Summer signed with Geffen Records and rushed out her LP "The Wanderer." While the album went gold and featured the #3 title track, it couldn't match the success of her heyday. Work began soon after on a follow-up with her producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. It was to be a double LP and with three songs done and the rest in demo stage, label head David Geffen stopped by to check on progress. He wasn't happy with the results and decided to scrap the album and get rid of the producers. He then hired Quincy Jones to guide Summer's next LP. The sessions were not the most pleasant with Summer pregnant, the material challenging, and the Summer/Jones relationship not very harmonious. The self-titled album took six months to finish and this first single was issued. It reached #10 at pop and #4 at R&B, but it was not a runaway hit and the album, although getting to gold again, did not end up being the smash hit Geffen and Jones had plotted.

ReduxReview:  After the LP's release, Summer stated in an interview that she sometimes felt like she was just a singer on a Quincy Jones album. I can hear/feel that in this song. Just listen to the chorus. Which, if any of those voices, belongs to Summer? Although it is her single, she is practically invisible during most sections. It seems like Geffen and Jones had a specific agenda - create a mega-hit album at whatever cost. Unfortunately, when folks try to force something to work, it typically doesn't. And with Summer not fully on board, this project was practically doomed from the beginning. I like this song, but they could have gotten anyone to sing this. Summer's diva voice is basically wasted here.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Although the LP scrapped by Geffen was not entirely finished (most songs were still in demo form), several tunes appeared elsewhere later. The song "Romeo" appeared on the award-winning soundtrack to "Flashdance," while "Highway Runner" was on the soundtrack to "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Some songs ended up covered by other artists. Frida recorded a version of "To Turn to Stone" for her "Something's Going On" album (produced by Phil Collins). The shelved album would later be officially issued in 1996 as "I'm a Rainbow." Although the album did not chart or produce any singles, reviews were generally positive, as opposed to the negative reviews for the self-titled LP Geffen and Jones manufactured.


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