After enjoying immense stardom during the disco era in the 1970s, Summer had experimented with different styles of music during the 1980s and had released several albums with Geffen Records with varied results; Geffen had refused to release much of her material including her biggest post-1970s success, the 1983 album She Works Hard for the Money, which had only been released by virtue of being given to another label - Mercury Records - to satisfy a legal dispute between Summer and her 1970s label Casablanca Records. Summer's final Geffen release was her 1987 album All Systems Go.
Summer actually recorded Another Place and Time, for Geffen, the pairing of the singer with the Stock Aitken Waterman team being the idea of label owner David Geffen. Since 1984, Stock Aiken Watermen had dominated the UK charts with acts like Bananarama, Dead or Alive, Hazell Dean, Kylie Minogue and Rick Astley scoring countless hits worldwide. "S/A/W" were famous for their unique "hit factory" sound, which was basically their own brand of 1980s synthpop/dance. S/A/W described the album as a labour of love, and went on to say it was their favorite album. The S/A/W team wrote all ten of the tracks for their collaboration with Summer, with the singer having co-writing credit on three tracks.
Upon hearing the completed album in early 1989, David Geffen and his executive board opted to drop Summer from the label roster without issuing the album. However Warner Bros. Records, Summer's label of release in the UK and Europe since 1980, elected to issue the Another Place and Time album in those territories with the track "This Time I Know It's for Real" becoming a hit in the UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden; "This Time I Know It's for Real" had an especially strong impact in the UK with a spring 1989 peak of #3 affording Summer her best UK chart showing since 1977 when "Love's Unkind" peaked at #3 (Summer's only higher UK charting single is "I Feel Love" also from 1977). The album also went on to reach #17 in the UK Albums Chart. In the US, with the single losing chart momentum and sales because of imports; it was expeditious, that a label be found for the North American market. In April 1989 Atlantic Records, Warner Bros. affiliate in the WEA conglomerate, acquired the Another Place and Time album for release in the US where boosted by the Top Ten showing of "This Time I Know I Know It's for Real", which reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Conversely, the parent album peaked at #53 on the Billboard 200 album chart, eventually selling approximately 255,000 copies in the United States.