Album Reviews


Donna Summer

Bad Girls  Hear it Now

RS: 5of 5 Stars Average User Rating: 4.5of 5 Stars


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In 1977, Donna Summer -- the first no-bullshit soul singer to have an icy, businesslike edge to her voice -- delivered "I Feel Love," one of the greatest, unalloyed disco songs ever. Two years later, Summer transcended her disco origins and stormed the old rock-pop traditions with Bad Girls. The album was more concise and scorching than Summer's earlier work -- particularly the title jam and the Rolling Stones-worthy "Hot Stuff." The general impression at the time was that Summer was assuming a place within the line of red-hot rock-soul belters, but the truth was much more important: Along with her brilliant producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, she was creating a new idea of international pop. Madonna's career without Summer and "Bad Girls"? Unthinkable.

Bad Girls is the first major album to use synthesizer-based disco studio techniques in the service of pop-rock songs. Much of it is played on live instruments; the guitar solo in "Hot Stuff" is as universal as, say, the Lindsey Buckingham riff on Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way." But on uncannily biting and hook-y tunes such as "Can't Get to Sleep at Night," Summer and Moroder showed how dance music could kick like the meanest real-time rock & roll. For years after, an entire commercial strain of rock and pop would obsess about technology in ways that would revolutionize the sound of music, for both good (Duran Duran) and ill (Kajagoogoo).

This reissue contains a companion disc that collects Summer's previous and subsequent hits: the minimalist masterwork "I Feel Love" and the sweet, soaring "On the Radio." Like Bad Girls itself, it's just about unimproveable.

(RS 929, August 21, 2003)

(Posted: Aug 4, 2003)


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Review 1 of 1

druss01 writes:

5of 5 Stars

Awesome mix of Rock, Soul and Electronica!

Jun 3, 2008 12:54:45

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