1979 could have been called “The Year of Donna Summer.” In the last year of the 70s, Summer became the first female artist in the history of to have three number 1 singles in a calendar year: “Hot Stuff,” “Bad Girls” and “No More Tears (Enough is Enough),” a duet with Barbra Streisand. She would have had four, but alas, “Dim All the Lights” stalled at No. 2. But despite reaching the top of the charts consistently with disco records, Summer decided that she wanted to try a new sound. Her record label, Casablanca, reportedly disagreed. This led to an acrimonious split, and lawsuits ensued between the singer and label. She left Casablanca and went to David Geffen’s newly formed Geffen Records, becoming that label’s first signee. Now. Donna Summer’s catalogue for Geffen and, later, Atlantic Records is being newly reissued in expanded editions from Driven by the Music on December 1 in the U.K., and one week later stateside.
Although Donna wanted to try out a new sound, she stuck with the producers who had brought her so much success in the past: Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. The Wanderer was released in 1980 as Geffen Records’ first LP. Unsurprisingly, the diva’s instincts proved correct. It continued Summer’s streak of success going Gold in the US and spawned a No. 3 hit with the title song. “Cold Love” and “Who Do You Think You’re Fooling?” made it to the top 40. For this reissue, the album has been expanded with single edits of the latter two songs.
In 1981, Donna returned to the studio to begin work on the follow-up album, I’m A Rainbow. Before the album could be completed, however, it was cancelled by David Geffen due to his feeling that the material was not strong enough. It would remain on the shelf until 1996 when it was eventually released by – Casablanca! It has been expanded for this campaign to two discs, with the original album on the first disc and other tracks recorded around the same period (previously released in various places over the years) on the second.
For Summer’s next effort, Geffen brought in Quincy Jones to produce. The result was the self-titled Donna Summer released in 1982 after a six-month recording period. Although Jones and Summer apparently didn’t get along during the making of the album, it was still a success and achieved Gold status in the U.S., yielding the top 10 single “Love is In Control (Finger On the Trigger).” Driven by the Music has added seven bonus tracks to the album: the B-side “Sometimes Like Butterflies,” three versions of “Love Is In Control” and three versions of “State of Independence” (No. 41 Pop).
Summer and Geffen were then informed by Polygram (Casablanca’s parent label) that she still owed them an album to complete her previous contract. She Works Hard for the Money, with its indelible title track, was released in 1983 on Mercury and the title track went to No. 3. Geffen was reportedly not happy with the album’s success but wanted to capitalize on it, so he enlisted Money’s producer, Michael Omartian, to helm Summer’s next album for Geffen: Cats Without Claws. Unfortunately for Summer and Geffen, the album did not match Money’s success and failed to go gold in the U.S., her first album in the U.S. to fail to make that certification. It also did not garner a top 10 single, with its highest chart entry being a cover of The Drifters’ “There Goes My Baby” stalling at No. 21. It was not all bad news though: Summer earned a Grammy for Best Inspirational Performance for “Forgive Me” from the album. The new edition has been expanded with five songs: two versions of “Eyes,” an extended version of “Supernatural Love,” an extended version of “I’m Free” and the B-side “Face the Music.”
That's not all! Hit the jump for details on the rest of the editions in this series, plus complete track listings with discography and pre-order links for all titles!
All Systems Go was released three years later in 1987. Harold Faltermeyer (who had written the score to Beverly Hills Cop, including the hit “Axel F”) was on board as producer. Summer and Faltermeyer had previously collaborated on the aborted I’m A Rainbow and the two had been looking to work together again. The objective of the album was to move Donna in a more overtly R&B direction, but audiences did not latch on to the record, and it too failed to go Gold. The single “Dinner With Gershwin” peaked at No. 48 in the U.S., but did rise to No. 13 in the United Kingdom. Seven bonus tracks have been added for the new edition: three versions of “Dinner with Gershwin,” two versions of “All Systems Go”, an edit of “Only the Fool Survives” and the B-side “Tearin’ Down the Walls.”
With her next album, Summer’s tenure at Geffen came to an end. The producing team of Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman (collectively known as “SAW”) were the pioneering hi-NRG producers had who scored a No. 1 hit with Bananarama’s “Venus” in 1986; David Geffen brought them in to oversee Summer’s Another Place and Time. Even though “SAW” thought the album, produced in their signature style, contained some of their best work, Geffen did not agree and decided once more not to release a Donna Summer album. Undeterred, she brought the record to Warner Bros., who had been distributing her albums in Europe since 1982, and it was released there in 1989. “This Time I Know It’s For Real” climbed the charts in several countries and Warner’s sister company, Atlantic Records, signed Summer in the U.S. and released the album stateside. “This Time” peaked at No. 7 in the U.S. and became her last top 40 American pop hit. For this new edition, the album has been expanded to three discs with the original album on Disc 1 and a whopping 25 remixes and instrumentals on Discs 2 and 3!
Closing out this extensive reissue campaign and Summer’s Atlantic discography is 1991’s Mistaken Identity. Keith Diamond, who had worked with Billy Ocean on several of his hits, was on board to produce the album with a more urban sound. Unfortunately, it did not become a hit and failed to crack the Billboard Top 200, although “When Love Cries” hit No. 18 on the R&B charts. Three tracks have been added to this new expanded edition: two versions of “When Love Cries” and a remix of “Work That Magic.”
Donna Summer only released two further studio albums before sadly passing away in 2012: 1994’s Christmas Spirit on Mercury and 2008’s Crayons on Burgundy, a Sony label. Although she will always be best known for her massive talent and her era-defining disco hits of the 1970s, Donna Summer explored different directions in her music in subsequent decades and created music that’s well worth exploring. The new reissue campaign from Driven By the Music should prove an ideal introduction to these endeavors. All albums feature new liner notes by Justin Kantor and Christian John Wikane incorporating new interviews with Bruce Sudano, Brenda Russell, Greg Phillinganes, Harold Faltermeyer, James Ingram, Joe "Bean" Esposito, Kim Carnes and Sylvester Levay, as well as extracts from Wikane's archival interviews with the late Summer.
The albums will be available on CD individually, collectively as a CD box set or as a vinyl box set with a download card. All versions may be pre-ordered below!
The Wanderer: Expanded Edition (originally released as Geffen GHS 2000 (U.S.), 1980 - reissued Driven by the Music (U.K.), 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- The Wanderer
- Looking Up
- Grand Illusion
- Running for Cover
- Cold Love
- Who Do You Think You're Foolin'
- Stop Me
- I Believe in Jesus
- Who Do You Think You're Foolin' (Stereo Edit) (single A-side - Geffen 49664, 1980)
- Cold Love (Edit) (single A-side - Geffen 49634, 1980)
Donna Summer: Expanded Edition (originally released as Geffen GHS 2005 (U.S.), 1982 - reissued Driven by the Music (U.K.), 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- Love is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)
- Mystery of Love
- The Woman in Me
- State of Independence
- Livin' in America
- (If It) Hurts Just a Little
- Love is Just a Breath Away
- Lush Life
- Sometimes Like Butterflies (B-side to "Love is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)" - Geffen 29982, 1982)
- Love is in Control (Finger on the Trigger) (7" Version) (single A-side - Geffen 29982, 1982)
- Love is in Control (Finger on the Trigger) (Dance Remix) (12" A-side - Geffen 29938, 1982)
- Love is in Control (Finger on the Trigger) (Instrumental feat. Ernie Watts on Sax Solo) (12" B-side - Geffen 29938, 1982)
- State of Independence (7" Version) (single A-side - Geffen 29895, 1982)
- State of Independence (N.R.G. Mix) (12" B-side - Warner Bros. U 2857 TX (U.K.), 1990)
- State of Independence (New Radio Millennium Mix) (CD single A-side - Manifesto FESCD 7 (U.K.), 1996)
Cats Without Claws: Expanded Edition (originally released as Geffen GHS 24040, 1984 - reissued Driven by the Music (U.K.), 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- Supernatural Love
- It's Not the Way
- There Goes My Baby
- Cats Without Claws
- Oh Billy, Please
- Maybe It's Over
- I'm Free
- Forgive Me
- Face the Music (B-side to "Supernatural Love" - Geffen 29142, 1984)
- Eyes (Jellybean 7" Remix Edit) (single A-side - Warner Bros. U 9103 (U.K.), 1985)
- Supernatural Love (Extended Dance Mix) (12" A-side - Geffen 20273, 1984)
- Eyes (Extended Mix) (12" A-side - Warner Bros. U 9103 T (U.K.), 1985)
- I'm Free (Extended Mix) (12" B-side - Warner Bros. U 9103 T (U.K.), 1985)
All Systems Go: Expanded Edition (originally released as Geffen GHS 24102, 1987 - reissued Driven by the Music (U.K.), 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- All Systems Go
- Bad Reputation
- Love Shock
- Only the Fool Survives (Duet with Mickey Thomas)
- Dinner with Gershwin
- Voices Cryin' Out
- Thinkin' 'Bout My Baby
- Tearin' Down the Walls (12" B-side to "Dinner with Gershwin" - Warner Bros. U 8237 T (U.K.), 1987)
- All Systems Go (Edit) (single A-side - Warner Bros. U 8122 (U.K.), 1987)
- All Systems Go (Extended Remix) (12" promo A-side - Geffen PRO-A-3036, 1987)
- Dinner with Gershwin (Edit) (single A-side - Geffen 28418, 1987)
- Dinner with Gershwin (Extended Version) (12" A-side - Geffen 20635, 1987)
- Dinner with Gershwin (Instrumental) (single B-side - Geffen 28418, 1987)
- Only the Fool Survives (Duet with Mickey Thomas) (Edit) (single A-side - Geffen 28165, 1987)
Another Place and Time: Deluxe Edition (Driven by the Music (U.K.), 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Disc 1: Original LP (released as Atlantic 81987, 1988)
- I Don't Wanna Get Hurt
- When Love Takes Over You
- This Time I Know It's for Real
- The Only One
- Another Place and Time
- Whatever Your Heart Desires
- If It Makes You Feel Good
- Love's About to Change My Heart
Discs 2-3: Bonus Remixes
- Breakaway (Power Radio Mix) (12" B-side - Atlantic 86255, 1989)
- Breakaway (Extended Power Mix) (12" A-side - Atlantic 86255, 1989)
- Breakaway (Harding/Curnow Extended Remix) (12" A-side - Warner Bros. U 3308 T (U.K.), 1989)
- Breakaway (Remix Edit) (single A-side - Warner Bros. U 3308 (U.K.), 1989)
- Breakaway (Instrumental Remix Edit)
- I Don't Wanna Get Hurt (12" Version) (12" A-side - Warner Bros. U 7567 T (U.K.), 1988)
- I Don't Wanna Get Hurt (Instrumental) (single B-side - Warner Bros. U 7567 (U.K.), 1989)
- I Don't Wanna Get Hurt (Remix) (single A-side - Warner Bros. U 7567 (U.K.), 1989)
- If It Makes You Feel Good (Pete Hammond Remix Instrumental)
- Sentimental (Instrumental)
- The Only One (Instrumental)
- This Time I Know It's for Real (Extended Remix) (12" A-side - Atlantic 86415, 1989)
- This Time I Know It's for Real (Instrumental) (12" B-side - Atlantic 86415, 1989)
- Whatever Your Heart Desires (Instrumental)
- When Love Takes Over You (Dave Ford 7") (single A-side - Warner Bros. U 7361 (U.K.), 1989)
- When Love Takes Over You (Dave Ford Extended Remix) (12" A-side - Warner Bros. U 7361 T (U.K.), 1989)
- When Love Takes Over You (Dave Ford Instrumental) (12" B-side - Warner Bros. U 7361 T (U.K.), 1989)
- Love's About to Change My Heart (Cliviles & Cole 12" Mix) (12" B-side - Atlantic 86309, 1989)
- Love's About to Change My Heart (Cliviles & Cole 7" Mix) (12" B-side - Atlantic 86309, 1989)
- Love's About to Change My Heart (Extended Remix) (12" A-side - Warner Bros. U 7494 T (U.K.), 1989)
- Love's About to Change My Heart (Instrumental) (12" B-side - Warner Bros. U 7494 T (U.K.), 1989)
- Love's About to Change My Heart (Love Dub)
- Love's About to Change My Heart (Loveland's Full-On 7" Radio Edit)
- Love's About to Change My Heart (Dub) (12" B-side - Atlantic 86309, 1989)
- Love's About to Change My Heart (PWL 7" Mix) (12" A-side - Atlantic 86309, 1989)
Mistaken Identity: Expanded Edition (originally released Atlantic 82285, 1991 - reissued Driven by the Music (U.K.), 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- Get Ethnic
- Body Talk
- Work That Magic
- When Love Cries
- Heaven's Just a Whisper Away
- Cry of a Waking Heart
- Friends Unknown
- Fred Astaire
- Say a Little Prayer
- Mistaken Identity
- What is It You Want
- Let There Be Peace
- When Love Cries (Single Version Remix) (12" A-side - Atlantic 85961, 1991)
- When Love Cries (Vocal Club Dub AKA Summertime Mix) (12" A-side - Atlantic 85961, 1991)
- Work That Magic (ISA Extended Remix) (12" A-side - Atlantic 85925, 1991)
I'm a Rainbow (cancelled album, 1981 - released Casablanca/Mercury/Chronicles 314 532 869-2, 1996 - reissued Driven by the Music (U.K.), 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- I Believe (in You) (Duet with Joe "Bean" Esposito)
- True Love Survives
- You to Me
- Sweet Emotion
- Leave Me Alone
- Back Where You Belong
- People Talk
- To Turn the Stone
- I'm a Rainbow (from The Donna Summer Anthology - Casablanca/Chronicles 314 518 144-2, 1993)
- Walk On (Keep On Movin')
- Don't Cry for Me Argentina (remixed version appears on The Donna Summer Anthology - Casablanca/Chronicles 314 518 144-2, 1993)
- A Runner with the Pack
- Highway Runner (from Fast Times At Ridgemont High: Music from the Motion Picture - Full Moon/Asylum 60158, 1982)
- Romeo (from Flashdance: Music from the Motion Picture - Casablanca 811 492-1 M1, 1983)
- End of the Week
- I Need Time
The CD Collection (contains all above albums)
The Vinyl Collection (contains all above albums in original album sequences only)
Love clicking on this site and Pow, Donna in her glory! Thank you. I hoped the vaults would open since she passed, and I can't wait for the movie.
It appears they are still using the "I'm A Rainbow" artwork prepared in 1996 for the CD release. I guess that original artwork really is lost after all. Damn! Ah well, this is great news, hopefully the sound here is given the treatment it deserves!
Dean Harris says
The original "I'm a Rainbow" artwork was not lost. It was subsequently used for the 1982 Quincy Jones produced "Donna Summer" album. Take a closer look and you'll notice a rainbow-feel to the photos. In other words, the album was shelved, but the artwork was "recycled" for the "replacement" LP.
I was really, really hoping for some unreleased material on these reissues. Either way, I'm glad to see her work get the respect it deserves. Perhaps there's a killer box set in the works. The Wanderer is hands-down one of the best albums of the 80s regardless of genre or band, male, or female classification, and Cats Without Claws deserved a much better fate than it was dealt. Perhaps a different lead-off single would have been the trick. The album I really have no interest in at all from this reissue project is Another Place & Time. I, for one, find SAW remixes to be tediously similar (you can almost take any vocal and tack it onto any backing track and hardly tell the difference) and entire albums they've produced to be childish after a few tracks. This was an odd aspect for a Summer album, since she was always one of the rare artists whose LP tracks were as good as or sometimes better than the hits. Another Place & Time put Summer back where she belonged chart-wise, but the album for me is by far her worst. Three discs of SAW edits, remixes, and instrumentals seem quite excessive.
For what it's worth, the remixes from Another Place & Time are actually really awesome, esp. Clivilles and Cole
Looks like this will be a good way to restore at least part of my Donna Summer collection which seems to have (mostly) disappeared in my last move. The only CDs I can find now are Bad Girls, Wanderer, Live & More Encore, Crayons, and her Christmas CD. Any of you have suggestions on the best way to restore the rest of the Casablanca discography? (And yeah, I know... finding ANY of Donna's stuff can be difficult these days!) Thanx in advance...
Get the Japanese reissues. They are excellent. Beautiful sound.
i thought there were whole new songs that were never put on another place & time that we never heard
riccardo miracapillo says
happy for all but pissed 'bout 'I'm a Rainbow '....the only difference from the '96 issue is that this 'new' release is split in 2 cd's !! so bad as well....why not release with original track list ( with original versions of 'People talk' & ' True love survive' ) ??? and also the original lp cover or photos done in 81 ? Cant understand ...
There are no original photos or art work from 1981, the album was cancelled. There were only a few tracks that were not in demo phase at the time it was cancelled. The project or album never had a name until it's 1996 release....It stands to reason there would be no cover or photo's done for an album that was not finished.
Andrew McMeekin says
No-one KNOWS for definite whether a 'sleeve' or any photo's were taken.
In fact Harold Faltermeyer said that he didn't even know of it's eventual [One Disc !] release until someone sent him a link to it being on sale at amazon !
He stated as far as he was concerned 'I'm A Rainbow' was NEVER Finished.
'People Talk' will also Never be released in this alleged 'Rap Interlude' version as it concerns talk of the 'gossip' about the state of her marriage.
If anything that track has probably long since been burnt or erased ?
The reason none of any of the well known 'demos' NOT being released is that was [allegedly] Donna's wishes.
But that doesn't include the un-released album Sony sat on or her own recordings for her Ordinary Girl 'Musical'.
Which is NOT [again] what the Producers of 'Jersey Boys' are basing their 'Untitled Donna Summer Musical' on at all.
This set of re-issues is not the last BUY THIS AGAIN attempt from her Estate/Driven By The Music or Profits, you decide ?
I wonder what happened to the 7" Remix single of Supernatural Love...