I Remember Yesterday

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I Remember Yesterday
Studio album by Donna Summer
Released May 13, 1977
Recorded Musicland Studios, Munich and Arco Studios, Munich 1976–1977
Genre Pop, disco, R&B
Length 35:19
Label Casablanca
Producer Giorgio Moroder, Pete Bellotte
Donna Summer chronology
Four Seasons of Love
(1976)
I Remember Yesterday
(1977)
Once Upon a Time
(1977)
Singles from I Remember Yesterday
  1. "Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)"
    Released: May 1977
  2. "I Feel Love"
    Released: July 2, 1977
  3. "I Remember Yesterday"
    Released: September 1977
  4. "Love's Unkind"
    Released: November 1977
  5. "Back in Love Again"
    Released: January 1978

I Remember Yesterday is the fifth studio album by American singer Donna Summer. May 13, 1977, seven months after the release of her previous album and peaked at number eighteen on the US Billboard 200,[1] number eleven on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart[1] and number three on the UK Albums Chart.[2] The entire album charted as one entry at number one on the Hot Dance/Disco chart.[3] Like her previous three albums, it was a concept album,[citation needed] this time seeing Summer combining the recent disco sound with various sounds of the past.--> I Remember Yesterday includes the singles "Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)", "I Feel Love", the title track, "Love's Unkind" and "Back in Love Again". "I Feel Love" and "Love's Unkind" proved to be the album's most popular and enduring hits, the former of which came to be one of Summer's signature songs.

With the exception of the ballad "Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)", all the songs were written in collaboration by Summer, Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. The album was recorded in Munich at Musicland Studios and Arco Studios with Summer's long-term collaborators and production team headed by producers Moroder and Bellotte. Arrangements were handled by Thor Baldursson. The artwork was designed by Gribbitt! with photography by Victor Skrebneski.

Music[edit]

Side One of the LP saw Summer "remembering yesterday" by combining the electronic disco sound with sounds of the 1920s ("I Remember Yesterday"), 1950s ("Love's Unkind") and 1960s ("Back in Love Again"). Side Two consisted of two pop/disco tracks, a ballad and finished with a disco song supposedly representing "the future" that would become one of the most famous songs of that genre - "I Feel Love".

As with Summer's last few albums, different record labels distributed her work in different nations. Some of the labels chose to release the ballad "Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)" as the first single, with "I Feel Love" as the B-side. However, the impact of the song was so huge that it was soon released internationally as an A-side. Previous disco tracks had usually been backed by an acoustic orchestra, and it has been reported that this was the first ever track to use an entirely synthesized backing track,[citation needed] which would later help develop genres of music such as dance and techno. Summer's repetitive vocals over the backing track helped make the song a massive hit. It finally gave her a follow-up in the US to her initial hit ("Love to Love You Baby"), and made number six on the Hot 100 singles chart. It was also a huge hit in Europe, and became a number one hit in the UK. "I Feel Love" firmly put Donna Summer in her place as the leading female artist of disco music.

Image[edit]

Summer's sexually-oriented image seemed less prominent on this album, perhaps due to the slight departure from the regular disco sound and the fusion of this sound with the older sounding songs. In fact the lyrics to "Love's Unkind" in particular were very non-sexual compared to many of the love-themed songs Summer had recorded (the songs tells the story of a schoolgirl with a crush on one of her classmates). A couple of the "newer" styled songs on Side Two were slightly more of a sexual nature - namely "Take Me" and "I Feel Love". Around the same time as the album's release, Summer would further her reputation as a serious and credible artist when she was asked to record the theme song for the film The Deep by famous British composer John Barry. The song, "Down Deep Inside" was also released as a single and became another hit for Summer (Top five in the UK).

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[4]
Robert Christgau B− [5]

No doubt helped by the phenomenal success of "I Feel Love", the I Remember Yesterday album became her biggest so far. It went Top 20 in the US being certified Platinum by the RIAA and made number three in the UK (to this day her highest placing for an album in that country). It produced several more hit singles in Europe, notably the title track (a UK Top 20 hit) and "Love's Unkind", which became a number three hit in the UK, making it one of her biggest and mostly remembered hits there. "Back in Love Again" was also a European single and became a Top 40 in the UK as well.

Album cover[edit]

The album back cover features a provocative image of Summer posing in a long skirt, in a spread-eagle squat, with hands crossed at her crotch. The image was used for the single release of "Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)" b/w "I Feel Love", and later as the image for the "I Feel Love" single when it became a smash hit.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte; except where indicated. 

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "I Remember Yesterday"     4:45
2. "Love's Unkind"     4:29
3. "Back in Love Again"     3:54
4. "I Remember Yesterday (Reprise)"     3:02
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "Black Lady"     3:47
6. "Take Me"     5:03
7. "Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)"   Tony Macaulay 4:25
8. "I Feel Love"     5:54

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
1977 United Kingdom 3
Norway 5
Sweden 13

Single[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1977 "Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 -
"I Feel Love" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 6
United Kingdom 1
Norway 8
Sweden 5
"I Remember Yesterday" United Kingdom 14
"Love's Unkind" United Kingdom 3
1978 "Back in Love Again" United Kingdom 29

Certifications[edit]

Country Provider Certifications
United States RIAA Platinum[6]
United Kingdom BPI Gold[7]
Preceded by
"Devil's Gun" / "We Got Our Own Thing" / "Sure Can't Go to the Moon" by C.J. & Company
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single (all cuts)
July 2, 1977 - July 16, 1977 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
"Accidental Lover" / I Found Love (Now That I Found You) by Love & Kisses

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Donna Summer > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  2. ^ "UK Charts > Donna Summer". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 249. 
  4. ^ Wynn, Ron. "I Remember Yesterday > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert. "I Remember Yesterday > Review". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  6. ^ Gold & Platinum: Searchable Database. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved on 2010-07-22.
  7. ^ Gold & Platinum: Searchable Database. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved on 2010-07-22.