Tuesday, August 16, 2016

"Love Has a Mind of Its Own" by Donna Summer

Song#:  1750
Date:  01/14/1984
Debut:  86
Peak:  70
Weeks:  4
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  Summer grabbed her third Top 10 hit of the decade with the title track to her album She Works Hard for the Money. The single was enough to get the album to #9 and get certified gold. However, Summer was having difficulty following up that #3 smash. The LP's second single, "Unconditional Love," stopped at #43 (#9 R&B) and this next song did even worse. It spend a month near the bottom of the Pop chart while only getting to #35 at R&B. Regardless, the album and its title track single were highly successful and continued to dig Summer out of the disco backlash hole.

ReduxReview:  Although she has done them, Summer is not known as a ballad singer. All of her Top 10 hits have been upbeat songs. She had a difficult enough time trying to break out of the disco label, so trying to expand into pop/AC ballad territory was going to be an even tougher sell and indeed it proved to be. I think there were two things wrong here. First, the timing. Breaking a ballad might have been good to do following "She Works Hard," which established her on MTV and in the good graces of those who dumped her when disco crumbled. As a third single, chances of failure increased. Second, the ballad is just not that strong. She needed a sure-fire big ballad that would cross over to AC and it probably either needed to be solo or a duet with a star artist. This just wasn't going to do the trick. Getting a hit ballad would have served her well, but unfortunately this was not the one.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Although he is not credited on this single's sleeve, singer Matthew Ward serves as Summer's duet partner on this song. Ward and two of his siblings formed 2nd Chapter of Acts in the early 70s. With a more contemporary sound, the trio helped develop a genre called Jesus music, which would eventually evolve into Contemporary Christian. They had good success in the 70s and 80s releasing a string of albums that culminated in their Dove Award winning 1986 album Hymns. Along the way, they would also provide backing vocals for other artists. During the early 80s, Summer became a born-again Christian and that most likely led to her association with Ward and his appearance on this song. 2nd Chapter of Acts split in 1988 with Ward embarking on a solo career.


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