Tuesday, August 1, 2017

"Supernatural Love" by Donna Summer

Song#:  2118
Date:  11/10/1984
Debut:  84
Peak:  75
Weeks:  5
Genre:  R&B, Synthpop

Pop Bits:  After her remake of "There Goes My Baby" failed to ignite much interest, this opening track from her album Cats Without Claws was issued as a follow-up. The synthpop tune had difficulty right out of the gate and finished in the bottom quarter of the Pop chart. It didn't do much better at R&B and Dance where the track stalled at #51 and #39, respectively. In turn, the album didn't sell and it flopped at a dismal #40, which was highly disappointing following her returning to the Top 10 with her previous album, the gold-selling She Works Hard for the Money.

ReduxReview:  While the opening of this song sounds promising, it doesn't really go anywhere. The chorus is not strong enough to really make the song stand out. Summer and her husband, Bruce Sudano, were good songwriters, but they didn't have much to offer on this album. They were lacking a solid hit. They probably should have secured one from someone else, but I have a feeling that Summer wanted to do things her own way and filled the album with her own material (save for the remake, which perhaps the label requested since there were no sure-fire hits on the LP). It's not a bad song, it is just a bit bland and not very memorable. Summer really needed some guidance here, but she either was not getting it or was resisting it (I'd believe more the latter due to ongoing issues with the label).

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  This song was written by Summer along with producer Michael Omartian and Summer's husband Bruce Sudano. Sudano first started his songwriting career while in college. He honed his craft via Tommy James, who had taken Sudano under his wing. Together, they co-wrote the song "Ball of Fire," which became a #19 hit in 1969 for Tommy James & the Shondells. During this time, Sudano was in his own band called Alive and Kicking. James got the band signed to the label he was on, Roulette. James then gave a song to the band titled "Tighter, Tighter." The single was released in 1970 and it ended up being a #7 hit for the band. Two further singles failed to produce any results and pressure to follow up the hit took a toll on the band and they broke up. Sudano would end up with another Top 10 hit when he joined the band Brooklyn Dreams. The 1979 #4 gold record "Heaven Knows" would feature the band backing disco superstar (and future Sudano wife) Donna Summer. Sudano would release a solo album in 1981 titled Fugitive Kind, but it failed to do any business. However, that album included his version "Starting Over Again," which Sudano co-wrote with Summer. That song was a #1 country hit in 1980 for Dolly Parton.


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