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'Love to Love You Donna Summer' doc makes it's debut at Berlinale film festival, then on it's way to HBO in May

The long awaited documentary on Donna Summer, produced by her daughter Brooklyn Sudano, will be making it's debut at the Berlinale Film Festival this coming weekend (February 16 - 26). After that, it's off to Austin for SXSW Flm Festival in March, 2023, and then it will make its way to HBO / HBOMax in May, 2023.

The late singer's daughter (and other members of her family) have been working on the project since the beginning of the pandemic. The doc will include never-before-seen home videos, photographs, personal wirtings, artwork, unreleased film footage, and unreleased recordings. Oscar winning film director Roger Ross Williams and Sudano serve as the co-directors.

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by Anonymousreply 184May 27, 2023 4:18 PM

Very interesting. Seems that the oft-debated issue of what Donna said about gays will be discussed in depth - her family seems to be acknowledging that she did, indeed, say something.

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by Anonymousreply 1February 21, 2023 3:01 PM

This documentary sounds a hell of a lot better than the Broadway musical "Summer" from five years ago.

by Anonymousreply 2February 21, 2023 4:04 PM

R2 Except the documentary is produced by her daughter, just like that awful play was.

I don't expect anything too hard-hitting. Hopefully, it includes some great performance footage, though.

by Anonymousreply 3February 21, 2023 4:43 PM

[quote] This documentary sounds a hell of a lot better than the Broadway musical "Summer" from five years ago.

"Summer" was very entertaining, as jukebox musicals go.

by Anonymousreply 4February 21, 2023 4:52 PM


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by Anonymousreply 5February 21, 2023 4:54 PM

R4 It could have been great, but it was a missed opportunity. For starters, having females play all the male roles was just distracting. Secondly, the staging was ridiculous. In the production I saw, Summer is sitting on a couch which turns into a car that she pretends to drive while she sings "On the Radio." It was laughable.

by Anonymousreply 6February 21, 2023 4:55 PM

[quote]She became a born-again Christian, and shared her newfound faith with concert audiences. That went over like a lead balloon.

[quote]One of her musicians says of the audience response, “People wanted to dance and party” rather than hear about Summer’s religious reawakening.

[quote]That fraught dance with faith led to the biggest controversy of Summer’s career, which in many respects still colors perceptions of the singer to this day. At one concert gig, she made a stray comment to the effect that “God didn’t make Adam and Steve, he made Adam and Eve,” possibly in an ill-conceived attempt at humor. The remark offended Donna’s legion of LGBT fans, who naturally perceived it as anti-gay. She was also quoted – or rather wrongly quoted, the filmmakers insist – as having said AIDS was God’s judgment on gays.

by Anonymousreply 7February 21, 2023 6:39 PM

Many audiences get upset when the performer goes 'off script'. In the 80s, Summer talked about her Christianity - an important part of her life - and her audience got upset. For the past 30 years, Streisand has talked about her liberal political beliefs -and the audience gets upset. I recall going to ONJ concerts in the late 90s and early 00s and she used to talk about her health issues, and what she did to overcome them (not sure if the audience was upset or not). It seems more and more performers are doing something similar these days.

by Anonymousreply 8February 21, 2023 10:27 PM

I LOVED the Bway musical mainly because I was such a huge Donna Summer fan

by Anonymousreply 9February 21, 2023 10:32 PM

The thing I felt about Donna snd her faith was that she seemed completely joyless in her born-again craze. Fir five years or so, utterly joyless. Which always made me wonder just how she could say becoming born again brought her so much joy but yet there was zero evidence of it. I'm not just talking her music, which was pretty mediocre aside from a few singles between 80 and 85, but her personality. Yeah, you can find photos of her smiling from that period but she always seemed so damned miserable. That lifted a bit when the born again crazy shit started taking a back seat (but never back seat enough) in the late 80s and she started having fun again but when she first converted? Seemed more like brainwashing than belief.

by Anonymousreply 10February 21, 2023 11:50 PM

True r10.

by Anonymousreply 11February 22, 2023 12:46 AM

She had such an incredible run in the second half of the 70s, all of her Casablanca albums were flawless. Not a single dud or filler song on any of them, the album tracks were just as good as the singles. Her 80s stuff was hit and miss, and she didn't record much in the 90s at all.

by Anonymousreply 12February 22, 2023 12:48 AM

R10 I disagree.

I would blame that change in her solely on her relationship with David Geffen / Geffen Records. He had no idea how to manage her career, even though he paid millions to her to join his new label. He didn't release two albums at the time, he made her work with Q Jones (who she knew was not right for her music, as a producer), he discarded songs she wrote, she ended her ties with Moroder / Bellote (the two producers she adored) all because of Geffen, then he did not promote her album "Cats Without Claws" in 1984, or "All Systems Go" in 1987. . It seemed like he was purposely sabotaging her career and wanting her to quit (so he didn't have to pay off the remainder of her multi-million dollar contract) , since he realized he was in over his head - he just didn't know which direction he wanted to go with his newly formed Geffen Records (and he was doing the same with Elton John). In the end, he went with rock music rather than pop - dance which he signed both Summer and Elton John up for in 1980.

On top of all that, she was still engaged in a lawsuit with Casablanca Records, and had to give one of the albums Geffen dropped to them - and it was a hit. Same in 1988 with "Another Place and Time". So in the 80s, she had two hit albums with hit singles off of them, released by labels she was not even under contract with at the time - as she explained in her memoir, they were 'two lame ducks'.

So yes, that would make me miserable throughout the 80s, and I wouldn't be smiling too much under all that stress. And she had a new marriage (m. 1980) and two babies at home - Brooklyn (b. 1982) and Amanda (b. 1983). I think her faith is what saved her, not hurt her.

by Anonymousreply 13February 22, 2023 2:30 AM

I’m stuck on the fact that the article says her youngest child was fathered by her first husband.

by Anonymousreply 14February 22, 2023 2:42 AM

Donna also had her idiot husband as her manager, who didn't know fuck-all about managing anyone. She should've gone with a top-notch, big agency in LA. They all would've signed her in a minute and her career would've been taken care of by competent professionals.

I agree that Geffen was a disaster, for the most part. He just didn't know what to do with her.

by Anonymousreply 15February 22, 2023 2:44 AM

Why are you stuck on that ? She was married to a German guy when she was living in Germany, and had a baby with him (Mimi) in 1974. She divorced a few years later when she wanted to move back to America and he wanted to stay in Germany / Austria where his acting career was going well, and she Anglicized his last name from 'Sommer' to 'Summer'. The rest is history.

by Anonymousreply 16February 22, 2023 2:45 AM

Donna's eldest daughter Mimi Sommer with her children. You would never guess those kids had a black grandmother.

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by Anonymousreply 17February 22, 2023 2:48 AM

R15 After he disastrous relationship with the Susan Munao Management Company in the 70s (she was Neil Bogart's wife) and the lawsuits against them for withholding royalties due her for records sold and songwriting credits (she won in the 1980s), she didn't trust any more 'outside management'. That's why she stuck with her husband, Bruce.

Again, I solely blame Geffen for her career downward spiral in the 80s. Thank God Streisand was smart enough not to sign up with him in 1982 when her contract was up with Columbia (and he promised her the moon and the stars).

by Anonymousreply 18February 22, 2023 2:49 AM

Mimi and her two daughters.

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by Anonymousreply 19February 22, 2023 2:50 AM

r18 it was a little bit of both. Donna's born-again Christian shit made her music suffer because as Giorgio Moroder put it "she didn't want to sing the sexy stuff anymore."

by Anonymousreply 20February 22, 2023 2:51 AM

R20 She always said she didn't want to sing 'the sexy stuff' anymore because she didn't want to be locked into 'The Queen of Disco'. She tried new stuff such as 'new wave' with 'The Wanderer' and wanted to move forward in the 80s, not revisit the past with "Love to Love You" and "I Feel Love" in concerts or in the recording studios. She wanted to show the world she was so much more than a thumping disco beat...and she did. She knew dance music was still popular, but not disco.

by Anonymousreply 21February 22, 2023 2:56 AM

Giorgio Moroder explains:

[quote]For two years before she died (in 2012, from lung cancer), Donna Summer lived here, too, a couple of floors down. She and Moroder had grown apart after she’d switched labels. “David Geffen pushed her to make music that wasn’t right for her. It was a big mistake in my opinion,” says Moroder, who produced two slightly commercially disappointing Geffen albums for Summer before Quincy Jones took control on 1982’s Donna Summer.

[quote]Divergent personal beliefs turned that professional fissure into a fault. “Donna became quite religious,” says Moroder, as he strides past a wall of gold and platinum records. “She made me record a dance song about Jesus, dear God. And she really did not like gays — her attitude was sometimes difficult in the ’80s.” (Summer has denied ever making anti-gay statements.) “We were never ‘estranged,’ but for a long time we did not have the relationship we once did.”

[quote]Towards the end of Summer’s life, Moroder says that they would talk and text often after she moved into the building. “I saw her more in those two years than I had in the previous 20. It was lovely.”

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by Anonymousreply 22February 22, 2023 2:56 AM

Didn’t she win a Grammy for that Jesus song Moroder mentions? She did for one of her Jesus songs

by Anonymousreply 23February 22, 2023 2:59 AM

Let's not forget, Moroder lost his cash cow once Summer had to drop him at Geffen. He was not having hits climb to the top 10 on a regular basis like he did in the 70s, with Summer.

And yes, she won a Grammy for best 'inspirational song' for a song called 'Forgive Me', produced by fellow Christian Michael O'Martian from the album 'She Works Hard for the Money'. Under Moroder, she recorded "I Believe In Jesus" for 'The Wanderer' which was more of a dance tune - I don't think it was nominated for a Grammy.

by Anonymousreply 24February 22, 2023 3:02 AM

Its not it’s

by Anonymousreply 25February 22, 2023 3:05 AM

Donna's audience wanted to dance and party, they were the last people who wanted to hear about Jesus. She really should've kept her beliefs more quiet.

by Anonymousreply 26February 22, 2023 3:10 AM

[quote] Didn’t she win a Grammy for that Jesus song Moroder mentions? She did for one of her Jesus songs

She won TWO Grammys for the "Jesus" stuff.

by Anonymousreply 27February 22, 2023 3:14 AM

[quote] Let's not forget, Moroder lost his cash cow once Summer had to drop him at Geffen. He was not having hits climb to the top 10 on a regular basis like he did in the 70s, with Summer.

He produced huge hits after Donna:

"Flashdance (What A Feeling)" Irene Cara

"Take My Breath Away" Berlin

"Danger Zone" Kenny Loggins

Nothing like what he and Summer did together but he was no slouch.

by Anonymousreply 28February 22, 2023 3:19 AM

[quote] And yes, she won a Grammy for best 'inspirational song' for a song called 'Forgive Me', produced by fellow Christian Michael O'Martian from the album 'She Works Hard for the Money'. Under Moroder, she recorded "I Believe In Jesus" for 'The Wanderer' which was more of a dance tune - I don't think it was nominated for a Grammy.

"Forgive Me" is on 'Cats Without Claws.' She won a Grammy for that one and "He's A Rebel" from 'She Works Hard For The Money.'

by Anonymousreply 29February 22, 2023 3:22 AM

I agree with r10, she became so joyless and humorless after becoming Born Again.

Bad Girls is an album that pulsates with joy, sex, excitement, and life. I think The Wanderer is a good album but it's pretty dour and joyless. It's the absolute antithesis of Bad Girls and it only came out a year later. The transition was jarring.

On the recent Stock Aitken and Waterman documentary, they said that when working with Donna, she wanted only songs with positivity and no negativity. When Demon Music Group wanted to reissue her catalogue, they had to change their name to Driven by the Music because Donna didn't want her music released by a label with the word "Demon" in its name. She passed on hit songs throughout the '80s for similar reasons (passing on I've Had the Time of My Life because Dirty Dancing had the word "dirty" in the title).

Regarding her sexier songs like Love to Love You Baby and I Feel Love, she did start singing them again eventually. I think Donna realized where her bread and butter came from. But she always kept her gay fans at arm's length. She was not like Madonna, who stood up for gay rights. Her defensiveness always came out in the form of "I had gay friends", "I'm not in a position to judge". I think having a largely gay male fan base was a struggle for her.

by Anonymousreply 30February 22, 2023 3:36 AM

I guess dying at 63 was all part of god's plans.

by Anonymousreply 31February 22, 2023 3:46 AM

A disco queen who's homophobic? God wanted her to go broke it seems.

by Anonymousreply 32February 22, 2023 3:51 AM

[quote]Why are you stuck on that ?

R16, R14 was stuck on the fact that the article says her YOUNGEST child (born when she was married to Bruce Sudano) was fathered by her FIRST husband.

by Anonymousreply 33February 22, 2023 11:34 AM

Brooklyn is stunning.

by Anonymousreply 34February 22, 2023 11:48 AM

[quote] [R16], [R14] was stuck on the fact that the article says her YOUNGEST child (born when she was married to Bruce Sudano) was fathered by her FIRST husband.

Not only that. It identifies her eldest daughter by name, Mimi, and refers to her as her youngest daughter.

Also, this 1977 cover story in "Ebony" included the then-widespread rumor that Donna was a transvestite. She had to show her daughter just to prove she was not a man. She already had low self-image, did not see herself as "pretty" and had to defend herself against a claim that was baseless but she assumed was levelled against her because she was "ugly" and looked like a man. Donna was the victim of sexual assault as a child and as a young adult. Her family was ashamed of her highly-sexualized image. Her fame did not bring her joy. I don't recall any period in her early career where she seemed joyful and if she did it was just the drugs. She dealt with a lot of emotional pain and trauma. She is the textbook case of someone who becomes a born again Christian.

Whatever her personal feelings, she never spoke openly in any way that could be considered anti-gay.

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by Anonymousreply 35February 22, 2023 2:57 PM

[quote]When Demon Music Group wanted to reissue her catalogue, they had to change their name to Driven by the Music because Donna didn't want her music released by a label with the word "Demon" in its name.

The music group bought her catalogue in 2014, two years after she died. Her husband and her children agreed to sell it to them for remastering and reissuing, as they inherited her full catalog and wanted to make money off of it with the on-going posthumous interest in Summer. Since Casablanca had already remastered and reissued her 1970s albums in the late 90s / early 2000s, all which was left to remaster / reissue were her Geffen releases from the 80s and the two Atlantic releases (1989, 1991), which were mostly out of print in 2014. All of them were released in November, 2014.

So unless Donna Summer came back from the dead and stipulated that she wanted them to change their name, this is pure BS.

by Anonymousreply 36February 22, 2023 3:45 PM

She blamed 9/11 for her lung cancer. She was living near the WTC at the time, and thought her cancer was brought on by all the toxic particles in the air. She didn't smoke.

by Anonymousreply 37February 22, 2023 3:55 PM

I remember after she died, they discussed her lung cancer and her cause of death on 'The Doctors'. They had an oncologist as a guest, who specialized in lung cancer. He wasn't 100% convinced that the air particles from 9-11 was the cause of her cancer. He was polite enough to say 'it could be', but never said 'it definitely is'. He believed there were other contributing factors we weren't privvy to.

by Anonymousreply 38February 22, 2023 4:16 PM

No one would know the definite cause of lung cancer except for smokers.

Perhaps she had a smoker in her family.

by Anonymousreply 39February 22, 2023 4:19 PM

R37 She wasn't being honest about being a non-smoker. I've seen pictures of her hanging out at Studio 54 in the 1970s, cigarette in hand. Now, she may have only smoked for a short time or intermittently, but she definitely smoked.

by Anonymousreply 40February 22, 2023 4:20 PM

[quote] She blamed 9/11 for her lung cancer. She was living near the WTC at the time, and thought her cancer was brought on by all the toxic particles in the air. She didn't smoke.

She did smoke.

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by Anonymousreply 41February 22, 2023 4:21 PM

[bold] its it's

OP was obviously home-schooled.

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by Anonymousreply 42February 22, 2023 5:02 PM

I think what's missing from the discussion about 70s era Donna and her subsequent born again status is that the sort of mainstream black community of that era did judge her for the sexual sounds and songs in Love to Love You Baby, etc.

Ebony could be very conservative in its ways - in a similar way that the old Mattachine Society was in its activism - e.g. every possible role model should be an exemplary human.

Donna was probably judged and pulled in several different directions - plus, as someone mentioned upthread, she was an abuse survivor. Doesn't quite track with what we remember as peak Donna.

by Anonymousreply 43February 22, 2023 6:02 PM

She was also brought up in the Church, which is where she got her start at singing (similar to Whitney). Her family strictly abided by the church rulings, which made it very hard for her to leave high school (right before graduation) and move to NY, which then led to her moving to Germany that summer (1965).

by Anonymousreply 44February 22, 2023 8:27 PM

There's also video footage of her smoking. Fast-forward to 1:50.

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by Anonymousreply 45February 22, 2023 9:47 PM

It’s possible that smoking when younger weakened her lungs and then years later when hit with the smoke of 9/11, it led to the cancer

by Anonymousreply 46February 22, 2023 9:50 PM
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by Anonymousreply 47February 22, 2023 10:03 PM

R42, my iPhone autocorrect changes its to it’s.

Always best to proofread before hitting Post.

by Anonymousreply 48February 23, 2023 5:20 AM

R45 "I don't wanna be smoking," she says in the clip.

Too late, girl! We caught you!

by Anonymousreply 49February 23, 2023 11:25 AM

In a recent podcast interview (I can't find it now, I listened to it a few days ago) her husband Bruce Sudano (1980-2012) discussed Summer's time at Geffen. He really had nothing but great things to say about David Geffen, and put the blame of her career melt-down in the 80s on the label.

Sudano explained Geffen was excited to get Summer on his new label (for a record-breaking amount of money) - he was able to sign up 70s heavy-weights Elton John and John Lennon after she signed, and got his label off to a great start in 1980. He was disappointed that 'The Wanderer' didn't top the charts , but Sudano explained the 'phenomenon' of 1979's 'Bad Girls' doesn't usually repeat itself for an artist, which Geffen was aware. Geffen thought the answer was for her to work with Quincy Jones for the second release (which is why he ditched the pop / disco album 'I'm A Rainbow' without even listening to it). Geffen wanted to give SUmmer a more 'R&B' sound, which he did - but it also wasn't the hit he was expecting.

By 1983 - 84, Geffen stepped away from the 'every day' management of his company and his artists, leaving all those responsibilities to 'a younger team' without experience. This team were now responsible for releasing singles, albums, promo work, etc. and finding new talent. They paid no attention to the older artists like Summer and Elton - and brushed them to the side. Summer and Sudano wanted to sit-down with Geffen at that point, but he was nowhere to be found - he really had absolutely nothing to do with his record label anymore and was involved with other media / entertainment. Any complaints or concerns were handled by this revolving door of personnell within the company (I'm wondering if they were muscle-hunks from the gay bars that Geffen had given these positions to back then). They could tell this group was looking for younger talent, and Summer - now in her late 30s - didn't fit the image they wanted.

In 1988, Summer presented "Another Place and Time" to the label, and they wouldn't release it. They told Summer she could leave the label without fulfilling her remainder on the contract, and she could take 'APAT' with her - they didn't want it. So she signed with Atlantic and they released it.

When the album and the single became a hit in the summer of 1989, they got a call from David Geffen wanting to know why she left the label and why his label didn't release this. They finally met up in person, and had a very long conversation with him - how his young team had treated her, and how they mismanaged her career since he left five years earlier. Sudano said Geffen insisted he knew nothing of what was going on, and trusted this young team with managing his label. He was sad that Summer left the label, and wished the two of them well. Sudano said to this day, he and Geffen remain on friendly terms - and he and Summer never blamed him personally for the mismanaging of Summer.

If I come across this podcast, I will post it here. (I believe it was done in Italy).

by Anonymousreply 50April 14, 2023 3:56 PM

Hey R50,

I think this is the podcast you’re referring to.

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by Anonymousreply 51April 14, 2023 4:24 PM

I think it was a different one, but this sounds similar. I'm pretty positive the one I heard was with an Italian DJ.

by Anonymousreply 52April 14, 2023 4:25 PM

I thought Donna was one of the most beautiful women in the world when I was growing up. Breaks my heart to know she had such a low opinion of herself. She was obviously a troubled soul.

by Anonymousreply 53April 14, 2023 5:34 PM

You can check out early Donna Summer recordings -search for Donna Gaines. I am friends with an American who was a session singer in Germany in early 70's. My friend was in one of those ensemble choir type 'pop' groups very prominent in the era. Donna was also part of the group. She says early on, Donna 'stood out' and everyone in the German music biz knew she was headed for the big time. Her anti-gay statements are likely more true than not and make me sad.

by Anonymousreply 54April 14, 2023 6:25 PM

Lady of the Night was one of Donna's first singles - I think it was only released in Europe. She wrote the song. It's not too bad.

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by Anonymousreply 55April 14, 2023 7:46 PM

Donna Summer's entire 70s catalog is incredible. The album tracks are just as good as the singles - there's not one dud song/filler song on any of her 70s albums. She kind of lost her way in the 80s. Even though she still had some great songs in the 80s, her material was really hit and miss.

I'm looking forward to the documentary, I've read that they're not whitewashing the gay stuff, whether or not Donna was anti-gay or not. At least that question will be settled once and for all.

by Anonymousreply 56April 14, 2023 7:51 PM

"Lady of the Night" album was released on CD in the US back in the mid-90s. It's a great album, worth getting if you're a Summer fan. I bought mine in a brick-and-mortar store way back when it was released, I'm not sure who's selling it now.

by Anonymousreply 57April 14, 2023 8:34 PM

I really can't wait for this documentary.

by Anonymousreply 58April 14, 2023 10:53 PM

It's true that Donna Summer had a poor self-image. She was a very attractive woman who thought she was ugly. I saw an interview she did (I think it was VH1) back in the 90s or 2000s where she called herself "an ugly girl from Boston."

by Anonymousreply 59April 14, 2023 10:58 PM

Donna Summer had plastic surgery. I'm not sure when but I think it was around the time of the Live and More Encore era. When I saw the Con Te Partiro video her nose looked different.

by Anonymousreply 60April 15, 2023 1:20 AM

I hope her duaghter, and others involved, do appearances on talk shows - such as THE VIEW, Jimmy Fallon, etc. I would love for the hosts who knew her music could ask indepth questions;

by Anonymousreply 61April 15, 2023 5:17 PM

Hater ack cunt, call it like it is.

by Anonymousreply 62April 15, 2023 6:27 PM

[QUOTE] I would love for the hosts who knew her music could ask indepth questions;

Unfortunately, those are the exact shows with the type of moron hosts who would ask about one thing ad nauseum, "How did she make all those orgasm sounds on 'Love to Love You, Baby"?

by Anonymousreply 63April 16, 2023 6:12 PM

Here's the trailer

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by Anonymousreply 64April 28, 2023 5:12 PM

The documentary will begin airing on HBO / streaming on HBO MAX on May 20, 2023. Set your DVRs...

by Anonymousreply 65April 28, 2023 7:01 PM

R65, HBO Max is a streamer. There are no DVRs.

by Anonymousreply 66April 28, 2023 7:42 PM

R61, Jimmy Fallon doesn’t even know what day of the week it is.

by Anonymousreply 67April 28, 2023 7:44 PM

R66 It will be on HBO as well - you can record on your DVR from there.

by Anonymousreply 68April 28, 2023 9:56 PM

Is Donna Summer the opposite of Dana Wynter?

by Anonymousreply 69April 28, 2023 11:27 PM

This is stunning.

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by Anonymousreply 70May 7, 2023 6:35 PM

My god she had three stunning children.

by Anonymousreply 71May 7, 2023 8:16 PM

R70 That voice. That control. She made it seem so effortless.

by Anonymousreply 72May 8, 2023 1:19 AM

Thank you, R70. Loved hearing her sing Last Dance on the Tonight Show. Many of my fellow eldergays here will remember hearing the first few notes of that song in the bars of our youth and realizing that last call had likely just been called and—more to the point—there was not a second to waste if you hadn’t yet found someone to trick with for the night. (My god, I haven’t uttered THAT word in decades!)

by Anonymousreply 73May 8, 2023 3:03 AM

She worked hard for the money, so hard for it honey, she worked hard for the money

by Anonymousreply 74May 8, 2023 4:40 AM

Perhaps I'm misremembering.....but wasn't she in a (celebrity) couples' prayer-group with Charlene Tilton, Lisa Whelchel & Debby Boone?? No disrespect, but the idea of it still makes me giggle.

by Anonymousreply 75May 8, 2023 4:46 AM

Was she lip-synching on the clip @R70? Does anyone know? I think she might be.

by Anonymousreply 76May 8, 2023 3:17 PM

R76 That was a live performance. Artists singing live today can't hold a candle to her.

by Anonymousreply 77May 8, 2023 4:01 PM

R77, how do you know? Just curious.

by Anonymousreply 78May 8, 2023 9:20 PM

I couldn't find any proof online, but I seem to remember that Carson didn't allow it, r76.

by Anonymousreply 79May 8, 2023 9:30 PM

She was singing live. Some of the notes, pitch and phrasing (especially in “Last Dance”) were different.

by Anonymousreply 80May 8, 2023 9:35 PM

Hmmm...interesting! How do you explain the backup singers then? Were they off-camera? The two different microphones for the two different performances? I'm sincerely asking, because I'd like to believe she was singing live, but it doesn't seem like it to me.

by Anonymousreply 81May 8, 2023 9:36 PM

She's definitely singing live, but everything else - the background singers, the instruments - was probably prerecorded. So maybe she was singing live to taped accompaniment.

by Anonymousreply 82May 8, 2023 9:47 PM

R78 You can tell it's live. Watch it again. It's clear she's not singing to a pre-recorded track.

by Anonymousreply 83May 8, 2023 9:47 PM

Background singers were often off-camera. It has to do union rules. They got less if they did not appear on-camera. It’s the show’s decision, not the performer’s.

by Anonymousreply 84May 8, 2023 10:31 PM

What is with this obsession with proving whether Donna was singing live in that clip? Is that Jabba posting that? Sweetie, this ain't no Janet-level of lip-syncing.

The documentary sounds like it's going to be quite sad. There is a really good article from The Guardian which talks about the documentary in detail. I don't want to link it because of spoilers.

But I will say, according to the article, the film does address the AIDS comment.

by Anonymousreply 85May 9, 2023 1:18 AM

She loathed the gays. What more do we need to know?

by Anonymousreply 86May 9, 2023 3:45 AM

It airs tomorrow night.

by Anonymousreply 87May 19, 2023 11:08 PM

48 minutes of Love To Love You Baby. Great to play while you're on a long drive.

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by Anonymousreply 88May 20, 2023 8:38 AM

Here's the 1979 Bad Girls tour with good audio. Wish her estate would release this kind of stuff.

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by Anonymousreply 89May 20, 2023 11:49 AM

The Midnight Special has been releasing some great shit on their youtube channel (with actual live singing & playing).

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by Anonymousreply 90May 20, 2023 11:52 AM

According to Bruce Sudano, Donna was never anti-gay. In fact, so many of her friends were gay and she would go with them to gay clubs.

She did, however, once say “God made Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve” during an unscripted moment at a concert.

He says, because she didn’t respond to the controversy immediately, the rumors just got bigger and bigger—they accused her of saying stuff like “AIDS is God’s punishment” and such. He vehemently denies she ever said anything like that. They finally gave a press conference denying she said it.

It always worried her that people still believed she said such terrible things about gays. Apparently, it remained a worry for her on her death bed.

by Anonymousreply 91May 20, 2023 12:22 PM

R91 But saying "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" isn't exactly a statement embracing the gay community, is it?

by Anonymousreply 92May 20, 2023 1:31 PM

R92, yes, but it was in context of the gay marriage debate. Back then, gay marriage wasn’t popular with anyone. She said it about just the marriage part—it wasn’t about her not liking gays.

by Anonymousreply 93May 20, 2023 7:06 PM

R93 If she made that statement, there's really no context that could justify it. It's clearly an anti-gay statement. That's very disappointing.

by Anonymousreply 94May 21, 2023 12:45 AM

Is the sound going out on certain songs on HBO tonight or is it just mine?

by Anonymousreply 95May 21, 2023 1:21 AM

Did any of you bitches watch this?

by Anonymousreply 96May 21, 2023 3:41 AM

she said horrible shit bak in the day bout gays....fuk her and her kid.

by Anonymousreply 97May 21, 2023 4:41 AM

That was a total snooze-fest.

She was a great singer and an important artist in her day, but damn, her life was boring as hell.

by Anonymousreply 98May 21, 2023 4:49 AM

All of her daughters were attractive. Mimi's dad was a cute blond German twink.

But Brooklyn and Amanda are model-gorgeous in their 40s.

by Anonymousreply 99May 21, 2023 5:10 AM

When she became Born Again, there was a clip of her in concert talking about how she found Jesus and her religious beliefs. One of the commentators said it was a mistake to be so public about it, because Donna Summer's audience was the last audience who wanted to hear that shit. They were there to party and have fun.

It's too bad she didn't have better management. A competent, professional management team would have known how to handle her public persona, and the anti-gay rumors would've been addressed and dealt with immediately.

by Anonymousreply 100May 21, 2023 5:14 AM

[quote]It's too bad she didn't have better management.

Watching the doc, I had the same thought. A PR team would have quashed the anti-gay rumors. But they were allowed to linger and spread and grow.

But I can also understand why she retreated from all outside management. Casablanca and Geffen really screwed her. Bogart underpaid her and rush-released Enough Is Enough when she asked him to wait a few more weeks for her self-written single Dim All the Lights to have a shot at #1. It stalled at #2.

by Anonymousreply 101May 21, 2023 5:36 AM

I just saw it, loved it, tested up at the end.

I was about 7 or so during her Disco heyday & loved her music & especially her voice. Dad forbid LTLYB being played, even though the moaning went over my head & I only really liked the end of the song anyway with the background vocals, I always imagined a Vegas number with showgirls singing behind Donna.

I turned on her in the mid-80s when I heard the anti-gay statements. I’d heard so many crazy ones in addition to what was common “knowledge.” Jimmi Somerville wanted to cover I Feel Love & was apparently rebuffed by Donna, who said she didn’t want gay people singing her music.

I bought the Communards/Jimmi’s Greatest Hits, & the song is there, a duet with Marc Almond no less.

Donna made her big PR speech denouncing the New York mag article on my bday in 1992 & I vividly remember spending that rainy day reading my fave Ruth Randell book, drinking gelatin to firm my nails, & dealing with an ant infestation, only to turn on the news & caught her press conference. It felt like a birthday miracle!

by Anonymousreply 102May 21, 2023 6:14 AM

Teared up^

by Anonymousreply 103May 21, 2023 7:07 AM

I wasn't born during Summer's heyday. And I don't know any of her hits other than the famous disco songs you here at karaoke.

But I have often said - and this doc seemed to confirm it - that I Feel Love is the best dance/electronic song ever made. Bar none.

The doc itself was rather underwhelming. She seemed very determined and insanely talented. But not all that interesting. At least as far as pop stars go.

by Anonymousreply 104May 21, 2023 7:41 AM

I can still remember buying the "Live and More" double album in 1978 at K-mart.

I was in heaven because I finally had the long version of "Mac Arthur Park"!!!!

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by Anonymousreply 105May 21, 2023 2:44 PM

I Feel Love still sounds like it could've been recorded yesterday, incredible song and so influential.

by Anonymousreply 106May 21, 2023 2:46 PM

She often changed lyrics because of her religious beliefs. She changed "Dim all the lights sweet darling, for tonight it's all the way" to "tonight is on its way" which makes zero sense.

by Anonymousreply 107May 21, 2023 2:54 PM

R107 I always heard it as "tonight it's all the way."

by Anonymousreply 108May 21, 2023 3:03 PM

R108, proof

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by Anonymousreply 109May 21, 2023 3:17 PM

R109 But the original recording was "tonight it's all the way."

It's odd that she changed the lyrics, because according to her, she originally wrote the song for Rod Stewart, but then decided to record it herself. So she wrote the damn "tonight it's all the way" lyrics in the first place.

by Anonymousreply 110May 21, 2023 3:27 PM

R109, that's the point. She obviously felt her religion wouldn't allow the lyrics to be what the original was so she substituted lyrics which made no sense.

by Anonymousreply 111May 21, 2023 3:53 PM

This aired on HBO last night and is streaming on MAX starting today. It's worth watching - it's very in-depth and very good. It's not sugar coated fluff - this is the real deal for her.

by Anonymousreply 112May 21, 2023 4:02 PM

[quote] yes, but it was in context of the gay marriage debate. Back then, gay marriage wasn’t popular with anyone. She said it about just the marriage part—it wasn’t about her not liking gays.

This was back in 1983 so not sure the gay marriage context argument makes sense?

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by Anonymousreply 113May 21, 2023 9:44 PM

So what exactly did she say about AIDS ? In interviews, she makes the excuse that she didn't know people were dying. She thought it was like herpes. So she obviously made some comment even if her family is denying it.

by Anonymousreply 114May 21, 2023 10:12 PM

She -and her family - claim that she never made any comments about AIDS.

Her family now admits in the documentary that she said “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”during one of her concerts - still pretty damning words from a exalted gay icon.

by Anonymousreply 115May 21, 2023 10:25 PM

r115 They said she was being tongue in cheek and making a joke, she wasn't being hateful.

by Anonymousreply 116May 21, 2023 10:51 PM

I watched the documentary. It was tricky. On the one hand I think they did a good job of showing her as she was, but I also think because the family was involved, the doc made certain to show her in the “right” in all of her dramas.

I wonder if her family wasn’t involved if the doc would have the same POV

by Anonymousreply 117May 21, 2023 11:06 PM

I didn't know her marriage to Bruce Sudano was so rocky. They got into screaming arguments where they threw things at each other and she called the cops on him at least once.

by Anonymousreply 118May 21, 2023 11:09 PM

The Summer! Musical on Bway also said the only thing she ever said was the Adam and Steve quote and it was in jest. She was sorry she said it because it morphed into something bigger, with people making up anti-gay stuff that she supposed said.

by Anonymousreply 119May 21, 2023 11:21 PM

Pretty good documentary (not great), but she seemed like a profoundly unhappy person - and also completely humorless and not terribly bright. . I agree with the above posters who said a documentary can only be so good if the subject matter is pretty boring herself. There was no spark there.

by Anonymousreply 120May 22, 2023 12:00 AM

I just finished it. She was a troubled woman, almost too theatrical and artsy for her time. But that clear, perfectly-toned voice was her true talent. The adult daughters seem lost trying to get a grip on their mother’s legacy. And that gay thing she supposedly said was horribly handled. She waited too many years to have a press conference to finally address it. I’ve been a life long fan and never thought she was homophobic. In the end a conflicted, hugely talented introvert/extrovert who never knew how to shape and mold her own career.

by Anonymousreply 121May 22, 2023 12:03 AM

Her 70s catalog is impeccable - the album tracks on her Casablanca albums are just as good as the singles. She kind of lost her way in the 80s, her songs were hit and miss much of the time. She pretty much retired by the 90s, not much new music after that.

by Anonymousreply 122May 22, 2023 12:10 AM

Donna Summer had the same problem as Whitney Houston - a suffocating, extremely religious family who treated her very critically much of the time but were always lining up for handout$$.

Madonna had the right idea by keeping her family at arm's length and forging her own path independent of them.

by Anonymousreply 123May 22, 2023 12:12 AM

She seems absolutely miserable in this concert clip

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by Anonymousreply 124May 22, 2023 12:22 AM

R95 The sound was terrible—I thought it was my TV, too!

by Anonymousreply 125May 22, 2023 12:30 AM

Onetta was real! 🤯

by Anonymousreply 126May 22, 2023 12:30 AM

R118 Yes, she and Sudano had trouble in their marriage around 1983-84, from what I remember her saying in interviews. On her 1983 'She Works Hard for the Money' album, she recorded the song 'I Do Believe I Fell In Love' while at the beginning of their marital problems (she had blamed PPD, after having two babies in two years time). On her 1984 'Cats Without Claws' album, she recorded the song 'Maybe It's Over' - as the two of them had separated for a time. She didn't record in 1985 or 1986, as the two of them were working on saving their marriage, which they did.

Keep in mind everyone (about the AIDS rumors) the New Yorker Magazine published a story about what she allegedly said about 'AIDS' being a Divine punishment from God back in the mid-80s. She sued them - and she won millions of dollars, as s jury sided with her. The reporter from the New Yorker had zero proof (or as they say today, 'No Receipts' ) for his reporting. He admitted it was all based on rumor.

by Anonymousreply 127May 22, 2023 12:30 AM

"Onetta was real!"

After 40 years you didn't know this?

She was in a restaurant in Beverly Hills and she saw the ladies room attendant asleep.

She said, "She works hard for the money."

Bing-bang-boom...a song is born.

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by Anonymousreply 128May 22, 2023 1:26 AM

The trailer was disappointing.

by Anonymousreply 129May 22, 2023 1:28 AM

Here she is, sounding great, with Seal and David Foster. Singing "Crazy" and "On the Radio." And "Last Dance."

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by Anonymousreply 130May 22, 2023 2:19 AM

R127 It was New York Magazine, not The New Yorker. Huge difference.

by Anonymousreply 131May 22, 2023 3:32 AM

R126 Onetta Johnson (not to be confused with Florence Johnston) was also featured on the back photo of the 'Hard for the Money' album cover sleeve. She's posed as the waitress on the left.

I found an obit for an Onetta Johnson (b. 1934 ) from June 30 2017. Could possibly be her.

by Anonymousreply 132May 22, 2023 4:20 AM

I believe Giorgio Moroder in that 2013 Spin interview.

[quote]“Donna became quite religious,” says Moroder, as he strides past a wall of gold and platinum records. “She made me record a dance song about Jesus, dear God. And she really did not like gays — her attitude was sometimes difficult in the ’80s.”

He had no reason to lie—her biggest hits were his residuals too.

by Anonymousreply 133May 22, 2023 6:25 AM

In the opening scenes of the doc, I felt good and was smiling when they were showing the archive footage of all the gay people dancing at Studio 54 and other discos. I thought, oh good, they’re acknowledging us.

But the whole documentary seems to be saying she didn’t know who she was or where she was, etc. that she was just playing a role and it’s not hard to believe she said what she said - since she was clueless as to who her fan base was, who put her at the top of the charts.

I could never discount her immense talent but I’ve never seen that “Adam and Steve” video before and it was painful to watch. Elton John claims she did a lot of work for his AIDS charity - but where was that footage? While it obviously pained her to be thought of that way, was that just about her or was she genuinely misunderstood?

There’s one way she could’ve resolved all of this: played a ton of benefits for AIDS charities, to raise awareness and demonstrate compassion like Elizabeth Taylor did, to participate in some activism as a visible supporter of the cause. People who weren’t there don’t know - these were DARK TIMES. From 1981 - 1994, if you were a gay man, death from HIV seemed probable, if not inevitable.

As far as I’m aware, Donna didn’t do any of those things, which given the need, pretty much speaks for itself.

by Anonymousreply 134May 22, 2023 6:55 AM

She was a session singer for producer Giorgio Moroder. That's all.

by Anonymousreply 135May 22, 2023 7:06 AM

Donna Summer a homophobe???

I don't know...she worked a lot with me...

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by Anonymousreply 136May 22, 2023 11:24 AM

I had never seen footage of Donna performing “Love to Love You, Baby” live before, or at least a version with all of the sexual moaning and gyration. Probably the frau that Donna became later in life would not have appreciated her girls using that footage in the documentary.

by Anonymousreply 137May 22, 2023 1:47 PM

Here's live footage on The Midnight Special. She moans & belts it out.

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by Anonymousreply 138May 22, 2023 2:41 PM

She also singing it live here (to a prerecorded track). She does a bit of live moaning. Lol. In gold platform boots.

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by Anonymousreply 139May 22, 2023 2:45 PM

She seemed completely unaware in her early career that her core fan base was gay men, which is kind of shocking.

by Anonymousreply 140May 22, 2023 2:47 PM

I was getting my haircut at a salon back in the late 1990s and she came in to get a manicure. I remember her being nice, but very loud. I could hear her voice from the other end of the salon.

by Anonymousreply 141May 22, 2023 3:26 PM

She turned down "It's Raining Men," which became a hit for the Weather Girls & Paul Schaefer.

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by Anonymousreply 142May 22, 2023 3:35 PM

Donna turned down a lot of songs in the 80s that went on to be big hits. One of them was I've Had the Time Of My Life from Dirty Dancing because she didn't like the title of the movie. Stupid stupid stupid. That song was a monster hit and would've made her a pile of $$$.

by Anonymousreply 143May 22, 2023 4:01 PM

[quote] She turned down "It's Raining Men," which became a hit for the Weather Girls & Paul Schaefer.

So did Barbra and Diana. Could you have blamed them?

by Anonymousreply 144May 22, 2023 4:56 PM

IMO, "It's Raining Men" is a good song. I love it.

by Anonymousreply 145May 22, 2023 5:05 PM

A majority of the pop/disco icons most tasteless gays (face it, many on the DL - there’s regular posts about Karen Carpenter and Cher needing to be inducted in to the rock hall of fame…) are stupid people who are puppets for the creative teams behind them, used for their image or voice or whatnot. Donna Summer had a great voice and stage presence, but had the personal and artistic depth of a puddle. Any genius she had was the result of Girgio Moroder. You can’t even make a case for her crafting her own image - I have no problem believing she had no clue at all about her gay fanbase. She was not a smart woman.

by Anonymousreply 146May 22, 2023 5:22 PM

*most tasteless gays LOVE

by Anonymousreply 147May 22, 2023 5:22 PM

She did do AIDS benefits. One I recall was "An Evening with Donna Summer" at Carnegie Hall, benefitting Gay Men's Health Crisis, around 1991, I believe. The documentary needed to mention that, along with her performances at Pride events. And it would have helped had they explained why she made the Adam and Steve comment. (My understanding is it was an impromptu line she meant as a between-us joke during what was supposed to be a woman-only singalong to "Woman" and she didn't realize how her attempt to ask the men to shut up sounded. But that she only did that once. She wasn't Anita Bryant. And so now it swirls on, setting people off forty years later. So good documentary but it needed a more objective distance family members can't provide. If anything, I think the documentary muddied the waters even more.

by Anonymousreply 148May 22, 2023 5:46 PM

[quote]If anything, I think the documentary muddied the waters even more.

I agree.

by Anonymousreply 149May 22, 2023 6:15 PM

r146 is a moron

by Anonymousreply 150May 22, 2023 6:35 PM

If Moroder said she disliked gays, then I'd take his word as they had no beefs. She was what she was. You can't go back and rewrite history because you like her or like her music.

by Anonymousreply 151May 22, 2023 7:41 PM

Bob Conti who played percussion in her band from 1977-2010 made comments in the doc about Donna's born-again testimony during concerts: "Not everybody wanted to hear a sermon. Not everybody wanted to be preached to. People wanted to dance & party.". Her husband also made comment about her jumping into things with 110% & then wanting to share it with everyone. This is they clip used in the doc when discussing it. I believe Moroder too. Donna had issues with the gays after she became "born again". I still love her though. For a little white gay boy in the deep south, her voice transported me somewhere else. And it still does.

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by Anonymousreply 152May 22, 2023 7:56 PM

The whole “she said it but she just kidding!” seems like a CYA thing as they don’t know what footage still exists and who might come forward.

Georgio Morodervis in his 80s but still living, for starters.

I was skeptical before…but after watching the documentary I now believe she said it and she wasn’t being funny. 😖

by Anonymousreply 153May 22, 2023 8:05 PM

I Believe in Jesus from The Wanderer was a great song and not didactic.

by Anonymousreply 154May 22, 2023 10:34 PM

R133 Moroder had every reason to lie - Geffen fired him in 1981, and he never worked with Summer again. She continued to have top 40 hits without him.

by Anonymousreply 155May 23, 2023 1:22 AM

I honestly don’t care about all the hearsay regarding what Summer may have thought of gays. She had tons of gays all around her. There’s no way she could have gone through her career without gay men helping her and supporting her every step of the way.

I still love her music and will continue to

by Anonymousreply 156May 23, 2023 1:24 AM

[r156] I’m sure Ann Coulter has gay male friends who cut her hair and do her makeup for talk show appearances.

by Anonymousreply 157May 23, 2023 1:28 AM

[quote]IMO, "It's Raining Men" is a good song. I love it.

It's like "Yellow Submarine, or "Disco Duck", fun, but hardly good.

by Anonymousreply 158May 23, 2023 1:28 AM

It’s Raining Men wasn’t much of a popular hit

by Anonymousreply 159May 23, 2023 1:33 AM

R157 Ann even appeared on some gay reality show & IIRC attended some pride parades, pulling the “I love gays & gays love me; I just dislike gay marriage” shtick.

by Anonymousreply 160May 23, 2023 1:38 AM

It really was boring. I fell asleep.

by Anonymousreply 161May 23, 2023 1:40 AM

Donna recorded a great song for the Studio 54 movie (the one with Ryan Phillippe) in the late 90s called Love On and On, which was supposed to be the theme song. She saw a rough cut of the movie, hated it, and refused to let the song be used. A shame, because it's a great song that harkened back to her 70s sound and could've been a hit.

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by Anonymousreply 162May 23, 2023 1:43 AM

"It's Raining Men" was written by Jabara the week Streisand and Summer were in the recording studio in August, 1979 recording "No More Tears". He had said the knew NMT was going to be a hit, so he ran home to write another song for those two - and made sure it had a 'water theme' in it to fit on Streisand's "Wet" album.

Streisand and Summer were thrilled with the idea of recording another duet, but Summer didn't like the words 'Halleluiah" and "Amen" in the song, and asked Jabara to drop those words. Jabara wouldn't budge - he thought the song needed them. Summer dropped out, and Streisand wasn't interested in doing it as a solo.

He then asked Diana Ross to step in and do a duet with Streisand - and both divas were excited to work together. However, Berry Gordy had specific requests in order to allow Diana to do the duet (whereas Neil Bogart was very easy when negotiating for his artist Donna Summer) and the deal fell through. big sticking point was which label would release the 45, which would release the 12". (Columbia released the 45 for NMT, and Casablanca released the 12" - and the 12" outsold the 45").

The song was shelved until The Weather Girls found it a few years after.

by Anonymousreply 163May 23, 2023 1:52 AM

Whoa! R262, I've only ever known the versions of Love On and On from the I Will Go With You remix cds; I've never heard the version you linked. I HATED the version on the remixes and kept hearing there was a better mix that KTU in NYC played a few times and that the commercially released version was not the same at all. The remixes were so lifeless and didn't feel like a 70's disco song. That mix you linked was perfect. God, I wish that version had been the one put out back in 99. That was too good to be a remixed and watered down B-side.

by Anonymousreply 164May 23, 2023 1:55 AM

[quote]Streisand and Summer were thrilled with the idea of recording another duet, but Summer didn't like the words 'Halleluiah" and "Amen" in the song,

I like Donna Summer and have always been a fan, but she really was ridiculous with the religious shit.

by Anonymousreply 165May 23, 2023 1:59 AM

r164 the mix I linked was the best version, I agree it was too good to be a B side. That mix should've been commercially released. Too bad it wasn't.

Donna made some very odd career choices after her big peak.

by Anonymousreply 166May 23, 2023 2:04 AM

Donna was possibly kind of dumb. I watched a YouTube video about "Love to Love You" (the song) and it sounds like Moroder sold and released it without her knowledge. She seemed OK with that because it was a success. She co-wrote the damn song yet seemed oblivious re: the business side of it.

It's tiring to listen to born-again Christians and all their objections to lyrics, themes, etc. This is pop music, non Chick's Tracts.

They (born-agains) don't seem to realize they suck the life out of everything they try to control.

by Anonymousreply 167May 23, 2023 2:31 AM

Liz Smith wrote in her gossip column that Donna Summer was harassing Paul Jabara on his deathbed as he was dying of AIDS. She thought that she was owed some money for something they did together. Jabara had considered her a friend and was deeply hurt by her actions. This happened during the final weeks of his life. Liz Smith thought what Donna was doing was ugly and she called her out for it in the column.

by Anonymousreply 168May 23, 2023 3:13 AM

Watched it this weekend. Made me sad. She was a terrible mother. Very talented—both as singer and songwriter but pretty fucked up.

I remember her being labeled a homophone in the early 90s, which was so nuts. Even in the documentary she gives credit to gays for making her successful. But she bought into the Christian hate bullshit.

Sad life for a very smart gal.

by Anonymousreply 169May 23, 2023 3:16 AM

[quote]Donna was possibly kind of dumb. I watched a YouTube video about "Love to Love You" (the song) and it sounds like Moroder sold and released it without her knowledge. She seemed OK with that because it was a success. She co-wrote the damn song yet seemed oblivious re: the business side of it.

In all fairness, not many ingénues in the entertainment industry are knowledgeable about the business they are entering in.

Summer was asked to record the vocals on the song, and she contributes some of the lyrics as well. She was under the impression that this would be a one-off; no one realized this was going to be a step into super-stardom when the song was released (and failed the first time).

With age and experience becomes wisdom - and Summer soon learned the business, and learned how much money she was owed. And she was smart enough to score a record-breaking deal with Geffen in 1980 (she was the highest paid female recording star when she signed with him in 1980 for $2M). Unfortunately, they didn't mention any of that.

by Anonymousreply 170May 23, 2023 12:58 PM

R169 She wasn't a homophone. While her last name has a different meaning than the season, it's spelled the same.

by Anonymousreply 171May 23, 2023 1:10 PM

[quote] Donna recorded a great song for the Studio 54 movie (the one with Ryan Phillippe) in the late 90s called Love On and On, which was supposed to be the theme song. She saw a rough cut of the movie, hated it, and refused to let the song be used. A shame, because it's a great song that harkened back to her 70s sound and could've been a hit.

And yet she was fine singing the theme song of that stupid movie with Sylvester Stallone trapped in the Hudson River car tunnels: Daylight

the sing: Whenever There's Love

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by Anonymousreply 172May 23, 2023 2:33 PM

R172 Because it didn't have any of that gay shit in it.

by Anonymousreply 173May 23, 2023 2:38 PM

I loved Donna Summer from 1975 to 1980. I was 13 in 1980. My friend and and I went to see Thank God it’s Friday—a dopey movie but not as not as bad as it’s made out to be. Though not a good actress, Donna was cute and earnest and charming in the movie. That being said, Donna never had much presence and charisma. Even when she was huge, she seemed marginal. I wanted to like her but after disco died, she was persona non grata to teenagers. I switched over to Pat Benatar and Chrissie Hynde.

I hated the Wanderer. I thought She Works Hard for the Money was tolerable but it was played incessantly, like I Wanna Dance With Somebody/Whitney a few years later, and I grew to despise it.

To me Donna never lived up to the early years. Dinner with Gershwin was OK…but I loved Another Time and Place and played the hell out of the tape. I still love the entire album.

I also loved Carry On, which she performed at an AIDS benefit I went to in the early 1990s and was one of those songs which captured the era of AIDS really getting you the fuck down but you kept going.

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by Anonymousreply 174May 24, 2023 3:09 AM

Donna started to sing love to love you baby again in concert during the later years of her career. I wish Brooklyn had said why she did. I didn’t know Mimi spent a big part of her childhood living with her grandparents.

Bruce didn’t seem that religious and said Donna could go to the extreme when she got into something. He said he thought it was good for her because it stabilized her. They glossed over that Bruce and Donnas relationship was volatile at the beginning.

Mimi got married when she was 21 and is still married and has 4 kids and was able to fill in some of the blanks about. Her daughters said she was very private as a parent and some of the things they found out about their mom they found out from reading newspaper articles. The two younger daughters were daddy’s girls and maybe connected with their dad better.

by Anonymousreply 175May 24, 2023 4:14 AM

This really deserves an "I watched the Donna Summer documentary, and I have more questions that answers!" thread, because I do!

As someone said above, it just muddies the anti-gay stuff. And it doesn't reveal what drove her. This person with such immense talent seemed to be a passive observer in her own career. But no passive observer works that hard.

I get the religious guilt thing. But when did that set in? This woman was a rebel who moved to Germany against her parents' wishes, married a white guy and had a child. At the tail end of her disco success, she was born again but why? And was it out of self-hatred that caused her to become puritanical and basically destroyed her career? That seems self-evident but was unexplored.

Did the woman have no female friends she shared her real feelings with? Basically only family and the men in her life are interviewed.

And why the lack of accountability about everything? She says Neil Bogart controlled her and screwed her over, the "First Lady of Love" thing was foisted on her, even the lung cancer was due to 9/11 dust and not her smoking (which there is evidence of).

She comes off as a cipher in her own life. The danger of having family produce this kind of thing, I guess.

by Anonymousreply 176May 24, 2023 4:37 AM

It's a shame they didn't go into her 90's music, as that's where some of the more interesting bits are. There's a song Paul Jabata wrote for her of which a few (early) demos exist, indicating she was trying to make it work. ("We Will Win") It's sung from the point of view of Summer realizing many of her friends have died from Aids and that we won't let this disease win. For whatever reason, it never got properly finished and, supposedly, "Let There Be Peace", an anti-war song, took it's spot on 1991's "Mistaken Identity". Then there's "Carry On", the song mentioned up thread a few posts, that many took to be something in a similar vein. Then there came "Someday", a dance floor-aimed cover of a song from Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame, in which the emphasis is to live and let live--which was that day's "Love is Love" . To my knowledge, no interviewer ever dug into these songs with her and, in my eyes, the documentary missed an opportunity to look into what drove her to record them.

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by Anonymousreply 177May 24, 2023 4:52 AM

She had no career savvy. She just fell into things ("TGIF", etc.). Then she fell out.

by Anonymousreply 178May 24, 2023 4:53 AM

A later demo of We're Gonna Win which morphs into the anti-war One World.

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by Anonymousreply 179May 24, 2023 4:54 AM

R176 I thought I’d heard her in other interviews (not shown in this doc) where she said she became born again right after the suicide attempt. I remember her talking about being very heavily into drugs & wanting to end her life during one of her binges. It kinda makes it make more sense, though not her extreme devotion/addiction to it (sublimation, maybe?)

by Anonymousreply 180May 24, 2023 7:10 AM

I always wondered why “Love's Unkind’ wasn’t released as a single in the US. It was in the UK, and hit #3.

It has some dumb lyrics, but damn that beat is fantastic.

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by Anonymousreply 181May 24, 2023 11:12 AM

Didn't she go all religious in the process of drying up? Celebrities tend to walk the line between faithful and zealotry after that they get "clean."

Like Marky Mark and his "God Bless you" bullshit he says every time he shakes someone's hand.

by Anonymousreply 182May 24, 2023 11:51 AM

Here's the "Adam and Steve" clip from the documentary.

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by Anonymousreply 183May 24, 2023 8:12 PM

Why Donna Summer kept cancer a secret: ‘God was going to heal her’

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by Anonymousreply 184May 27, 2023 4:18 PM
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