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Donna Summer has died.


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#1 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 09:07 AM

B B just gave me the awful news. A whole era is now over...RIP Pop Queen, Miss Summer!









#2 Bonnette

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:11 AM

Though not a big disco fan, I appreciated it on its own terms and loved Donna Summer for many reasons. I didn't realize she had been so ill. As you say, Cristian, it's the end of an era...after Donna, there are the remaining Bee Gees (Robin in very poor health), and then...Posted Image

#3 Birdsall

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:24 AM

So weird to be at the age where so many famous people we knew as kids are dying! I was a kid when Donna Summer was big, and it feels like yesterday!

#4 Bonnette

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:39 AM

So weird to be at the age where so many famous people we knew as kids are dying!

And how! Wrinkles and all, in my mind's eye I'm still 18 - on a bad day, no more than 32. Now I can relate to my father's angst when Bing Crosby died.

#5 miliosr

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 03:16 PM

The records she made during the mid-to-late 70s have held up very well. It's a pity she wasn't inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame prior to her death.

This has been a bad few weeks for music lovers with the deaths of Levon Helm of The Band, Adam Yauch of The Beastie Boys, Chuck Brown (father of Go-Go music in Washington DC) and now Donna Summer.

#6 dirac

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 03:20 PM

It's a bad year for pop divas.

Thank you for posting this sad news, cubanmiamiboy. My local R&B station was playing Summer’s hits in her honor today. A wonderful singer whose impact on dance music/synth pop is still felt today. And "Hot Stuff," to name only one, is a great bit of rock by any standard.

As for disco, there’s good disco and bad disco. She made some great and innovative disco in partnership with Giorgio Moroder before the genre’s boom entered its decadent phase. She continued to make good music afterward and I think her career was derailed more by personal problems than anything else. RIP.

I don't know what the Hall of Fame was waiting for. She should have been inducted ages ago.

And she sang the hell out of "MacArthur Park." RIP.

#7 miliosr

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 04:49 PM

I don't know what the Hall of Fame was waiting for. She should have been inducted ages ago.

Alas, I think there's still a strong anti-disco bias amongst the voters. After all, it took the Bee Gees more than a dozen tries to get in and their career encompassed much more than disco.

If ABBA, the Bee Gees, Neil Diamond, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five and Madonna can make it in, then Donna Summer deserves to too.

#8 dirac

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 05:12 PM

Not to mention marginal punk bands like The Pretenders, a good enough group for a while but not exactly the stuff of legend. I'm sure you're right about the anti-disco bias.....

#9 miliosr

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 05:19 AM

The New York Times obit:

http://www.nytimes.c...l?_r=1&ref=arts

All in all, a very balanced discussion of her accomplishments and her less-than-wonderful moments. (Whether or not she ever said that "AIDS [was] divine punishment for an immoral lifestyle," much testimony exists from concert reviewers of the early-80s quoting her as saying, "God made Adam and Eve -- not Adam and Steve.")

Not to mention marginal punk bands like The Pretenders, a good enough group for a while but not exactly the stuff of legend. I'm sure you're right about the anti-disco bias.....

I wouldn't have minded if Chrissie Hynde had made it in solo. But it was pure fiction to induct the Pretenders as a group, as the actual group died along with James Honeyman-Scott (in 1982) and Pete Farndon (in 1983). After that, it was really just Chrissie Hynde and her sidemen.

#10 Birdsall

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 06:07 AM

Miliosr,

I think she realized how many of her fans were gay when her career stalled. But I did read an article where she claimed that all her comments were taken out of context and misinterpreted as the article you link us to says.I think gays who worshipped her felt betrayed, and she became persona non grata, and they were the ones who bought her albums. Who knows what the truth is. I think we can still enjoy someone's art despite her politics, as you seem to say also.

I love Wagner's music, and some people refuse to listen to him, b/c the Nazis used his music, and there were anti-Semitic things he said in his writings. I think we can love the artist and disagree with the person's actual politics and even consider him a crappy person (he wasn't nice to his first wife from what I have read).

#11 miliosr

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 10:54 AM

Miliosr,

I think she realized how many of her fans were gay when her career stalled. But I did read an article where she claimed that all her comments were taken out of context and misinterpreted as the article you link us to says.I think gays who worshipped her felt betrayed, and she became persona non grata, and they were the ones who bought her albums. Who knows what the truth is. I think we can still enjoy someone's art despite her politics, as you seem to say also.

I love Wagner's music, and some people refuse to listen to him, b/c the Nazis used his music, and there were anti-Semitic things he said in his writings. I think we can love the artist and disagree with the person's actual politics and even consider him a crappy person (he wasn't nice to his first wife from what I have read).

I would agree with you that, ultimately, the ups-and-downs of an artist's life fade away, and all we're left with to evaluate is their work. Evaluating an artist's body of work should be just that -- an evaluation of the work. That being said, I do think that it's appropriate for a news story about an artist's death to discuss all aspects of their life. In Donna Summer's case, I don't believe reporters and reviewers of the time misquoted her regarding gays and AIDS. Due to great stress in her life at that time, she turned in a big way to a particular strain of religion and she said some unfortunate things. She certainly changed her tune later on and, in my opinion, that was the end of it. But I do think she said those things and it was right for the Times to mention that.

#12 Birdsall

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:37 AM


Miliosr,

I think she realized how many of her fans were gay when her career stalled. But I did read an article where she claimed that all her comments were taken out of context and misinterpreted as the article you link us to says.I think gays who worshipped her felt betrayed, and she became persona non grata, and they were the ones who bought her albums. Who knows what the truth is. I think we can still enjoy someone's art despite her politics, as you seem to say also.

I love Wagner's music, and some people refuse to listen to him, b/c the Nazis used his music, and there were anti-Semitic things he said in his writings. I think we can love the artist and disagree with the person's actual politics and even consider him a crappy person (he wasn't nice to his first wife from what I have read).

I would agree with you that, ultimately, the ups-and-downs of an artist's life fade away, and all we're left with to evaluate is their work. Evaluating an artist's body of work should be just that -- an evaluation of the work. That being said, I do think that it's appropriate for a news story about an artist's death to discuss all aspects of their life. In Donna Summer's case, I don't believe reporters and reviewers of the time misquoted her regarding gays and AIDS. Due to great stress in her life at that time, she turned in a big way to a particular strain of religion and she said some unfortunate things. She certainly changed her tune later on and, in my opinion, that was the end of it. But I do think she said those things and it was right for the Times to mention that.


Oh, I agree. I don't think anyone's bio should be washed clean of anything negative. For the most part the article is positive about her but didn't want to ignore the controversy either.

#13 miliosr

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:34 PM

An excellent article about the impact Summer had on popular music far beyond the confines of disco:

http://www.wired.com...na-summer-obit/

Brian Eno isn't the first person you would associate with Summer but he has cited her as an influence for decades.

(Author Peter Shapiro also makes a great point about why Summer excelled in disco.)


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