Tuesday, March 25, 2008

As usual, Marcello makes me giddy with shared recognition, i.e. he loves this song that no one else much does. Donna Summer's "This Time I Know It's For Real," her last Billboard Top Ten hit, may be the titan's greatest vocal performance. Fans will likely cite "Love To Love You, Baby," "Dim All The Lights" (with its sustained note before the disco chorus), "No More Tears (Enough is Enough)," or any number of Morodor-Bellotte collaborations, but these are sonic settings in which Summer was most comfortable. In the hands of Stock-Atiken-Waterman, the late eighties British songwriting/producing trio whose sound was as boilerplate as a deposition, Summer refuses to yield to a context created and defined by white, nubile youth-flesh. She sounds reborn, burnished by experience but ready for new ones; she's fucking buoyant, like a divorced woman reaching orgasm with a man who finally understands her. The rinkydink arrangements SAW tossed at indentured servants like Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue suit Summer; it's not often that we much like who our friends date.

I need to point out that the non-hit followup "I Don't Wanna Get Hurt" is almost as wonderful; it may be the only recorded instance* of SAW being influenced by genuine admirers Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe.

* That I know of. SAW scored 4,000 chart hits between 1985 and 1990.

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