Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Donna Summer - The Wanderer
Side one opens with the title track. "The Wanderer", the lead single, found its way to number 48 in the UK, number 30 in the Netherlands, number 13 on the US Billboard R&B chart, number 9 in Sweden, number 6 in Australia, number 5 in New Zealand, number 4 in Canada, and number 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100. This song about a girl who likes to party all night (but does not experience any shame in that "morning walk of shame") has a bouncy beat with vocals delivered in a slinky, seductive style.
"Looking Up", the fourth single, failed to get notice on the charts. The song has a positive message about the benefits of an optimistic viewpoint.
The mid-tempo "Breakdown" tells the tale of a woman who is losing control in her life. It features a steady beat and strong synth riffs as well as traditional piano.
The B-side to the second single was "Grand Illusion". I like how the instrumental intro flows from speaker to speaker to set up a weird, sci-fi vibe. But I am not so much of a fan of Summer's usually angelic vocals being distorted in parts through some kind of electronic means; thankfully they are released a bit midway through the track.
"Running for Cover" was the B-side to the third single. This one has a clean, soft rock sound to it; she does very well with it.
Side two begins with "Cold Love", a track which earned Summer a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. As the second single, it was frozen at number 44 in the UK and number 33 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
"Who Do You Think You're Foolin'", the third single, failed to get past number 100 in Australia and number 40 on the US Billboard Hot 100. As with the previous track, one really has to be a student of the school of pop music (like I am) to remember this one after all these decades.
Things keep rocking with "Nightlife", a song about a woman who lives for wild and exciting evenings.
"Stop Me", the B-side to the first single, initially reminds me of David Bowie's "Young Americans"; both openings share a few similar attributes and sounds.
The album closer "I Believe in Jesus" garnered Summer a Grammy nomination for Best Inspirational Performance.
Back in high school, I only owned the 45 single for the title track. It wasn't until a number of years ago that I digitally purchased the entire album for my collection (when I was filling in on the recently departed singer's back catalog). This is one I definitely would have enjoyed completely back in the 80's.
For more from Donna Summer, click here.