Donna Summer (album)

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Donna Summer
Studio album by Donna Summer
ReleasedJuly 19, 1982
GenreSoul, funk, dance, rock
ProducerQuincy Jones
Donna Summer chronology
I'm a Rainbow
Donna Summer
She Works Hard for the Money
Singles from Donna Summer
  1. "Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)"
    Released: June 1982
  2. "State of Independence"
    Released: September 1982
  3. "The Woman in Me"
    Released: December 1982
  4. "Protection"
    Released: December 1982
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Robert ChristgauC[2]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[3]

Donna Summer is the self-titled tenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Donna Summer, released on July 19, 1982. It featured the Top 10, Grammy-nominated "Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)" single.

Back story[edit]

Having left Casablanca Records, with whom she had had some of the biggest selling and most popular hits of the disco era in the 1970s, Summer had signed to Geffen Records in 1980 and had continued working with Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, with whom she had written the vast majority of her hits. However, label owner David Geffen had been disappointed with the chart performance of The Wanderer, Summer's debut album for Geffen and rather than release the followup; I'm a Rainbow which Summer had recorded with Moroder/Bellotte, Geffen had Summer record a new album with Quincy Jones from whom a production credit – given Jones' track record particularly his work with Michael Jackson – Geffen felt would guarantee a commercial smash. The resultant Donna Summer album was the first time the singer had worked with a producer other than Moroder and Bellotte since 1974 save for the one-off track "Down Deep Inside (Theme from "The Deep")" which was produced by John Barry for the film The Deep, and the No More Tears (Enough is Enough) duet with Streisand which was co-produced by Gary Klein of The Entertainment Company.

The album[edit]

Since the disco era, Summer's work had covered a variety of musical genres and this album was no exception. It had quite a strong soul influence, and featured a couple of gospel-styled tracks, namely "(If It) Hurts Just a Little" and a version of Jon and Vangelis' "State of Independence", which featured an all-star choir. Rock music was also found in the form of the Bruce Springsteen-penned "Protection"; the track had been planned as a Donna Summer/Bruce Springsteen duet but that concept was abandoned as unworkable. The album concluded with Summer's take on the Billy Strayhorn torch standard "Lush Life". The song "Mystery of Love" used the opening material from Bach's "The Well-Tempered Clavier", Book 1: Prelude and Fugue No. 2 in C minor for the keyboard part in the introduction and verse.

Several very popular songwriters were used on this album. As well as the aforementioned Springsteen, Vangelis and Anderson, Quincy Jones himself contributed to the writing, as did other names such as Rod Temperton, Merria Ross, John Lang, Richard Page, Bill Meyers, Michael Clark, John Bettis, David Foster, Steve Lukather, Michael Sembello, Dan Sembello and David Batteau. This made it the largest number of songwriters ever to contribute to a Donna Summer album.

A period of six months elapsed between the first session for the Donna Summer album and the completion of the tracks. Summer has since stated that this was one of the hardest albums ever to record – some of the songs were quite challenging, plus she was pregnant with her daughter Amanda Grace at the time. It has also been reported that she found producer Quincy Jones to be rather boisterous and controlling and soon after the album's release she opened up to the Los Angeles Times: "Sometimes I feel it's a Quincy Jones album that I sang on".


The Donna Summer album was released July 19, 1982 with the advance single: "Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)" having been issued six weeks previous. "Love Is in Control..." would peak at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1982 when the Donna Summer album would reach #20 in Billboard; the album's subsequent single releases: "State of Independence" and "The Woman in Me", which respectively peaked on the Hot 100 at #41 and #33, failed to increase the album's chart impact.

Ultimately the Donna Summer album would fall short of its goal to restore its singer to the level of stardom she'd enjoyed in the 1970s: "Love Is in Control..." would have the lowest Hot 100 peak of a lead single from an album of new material by Donna Summer since 1977 and the #20 peak of the Donna Summer album evidenced a further drop in popularity from the singer's debut album of the 1980s: The Wanderer, whose #13 peak had disappointed David Geffen to the point where he'd suppressed the follow-up album Summer had prepared with Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte instigating the Quincy Jones-produced Donna Summer album project (see I'm a Rainbow).

"Love Is in Control..." did represent a considerable comeback for Summer on the R&B charts with a #4 peak affording the singer her fifth Top 5 R&B hit. Summer also reached the UK Top 20 with both "Love Is in Control..." and "State of Independence" with these tracks both reaching the Top Ten in the Netherlands – at respectively #6 and #1 – where "The Woman in Me" reached #7.

The aforementioned advance single "Love is In Control..." featured a non-album track on its B-side: "Sometimes Like Butterflies", a song that Summer penned with Bruce Roberts. This song would later be covered by Dusty Springfield, and Summer's original version was included on the CD, A Different Love by Canadian singer, Mark Tara, as a benefit for CANFAR (Canadians For AIDS Research). Quincy Jones is credited as producer for this song as well, although the minimalistic approach to this song was very different from the tracks included on the Donna Summer album.

French electronic duo Cassius sampled "(If It) Hurts Just a Little" on their 1999 single "Cassius 99 Remix".

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)"Quincy Jones, Merria Ross, Rod Temperton4:18
2."Mystery of Love"John Lang, Bill Meyers, Richard Page4:25
3."The Woman in Me"John Bettis, Michael Clark3:55
4."State of Independence"Jon Anderson, Vangelis5:50
Side two
5."Livin' in America"David Foster, Jones, Steve Lukather, Donna Summer, Temperton4:41
6."Protection"Bruce Springsteen3:35
7."(If It) Hurts Just a Little"David Batteau, Dan Sembello, Michael Sembello3:52
8."Love Is Just a Breath Away"Foster, Summer, Temperton3:55
9."Lush Life"Billy Strayhorn6:26


  • David Alexander – photography
  • Bill Barnum – supervisor
  • H. B. Barnum – director
  • Dara Lynn Bernard – chorus
  • Roy Bittan – piano
  • Michael Boddicker – programming, vocoder, vocoder programming, polymoog
  • Larry Bunker, Leon "Ndugu" Chancler, John Robinson, Jeff Porcaro – drums
  • Bill Champlin – background vocals
  • Dennis Cosby – conductor
  • Steve Crimmel – assistant engineer
  • Christopher Cross – chorus
  • Patrick Gene Crotty, Jr. – chorus
  • Paulinho Da Costa – percussion
  • Michael Davis – chorus
  • Don Dorsey – programming, synclavier, synclavier programming
  • Matt Forger – assistant engineer, technical director
  • David Foster – synthesizer, arranger, rhythm arrangements, synthesizer arrangements
  • Steve George – background vocals
  • Gary Grant – horn
  • Debbie Green – chorus
  • Dave Grusin – synthesizer, Fender Rhodes, rhythm arrangements, synthesizer arrangements
  • Howard Hewett – background vocals
  • Jerry Hey – horn
  • James Ingram – background vocals, chorus, vocal arrangement, rhythm arrangements
  • Phillip Ingram – background vocals
  • Michael Jackson – chorus
  • Louis Johnson – bass guitar
  • Quincy Jones – synthesizer, programming, chorus, producer, vocal arrangement, rhythm arrangements
  • Jeff Lancaster – art direction, design
  • Peggy Lipton Jones – chorus
  • Kenny Loggins – chorus
  • Steve Lukather – guitar
  • Johnny Mandel – string arrangements
  • Harvey Mason – drums, drum arrangements
  • Heather Mason – chorus
  • Greg Mathieson – programming
  • Michael McDonald – chorus
  • Bill Meyers – synthesizer, rhythm arrangements
  • Michael Omartian – string arrangements
  • Richard Page – background vocals, vocal arrangement
  • David Paich – synthesizer, piano, keyboards, rhythm arrangements, synthesizer arrangements
  • Ken Perry – mastering
  • Greg Phillinganes – synthesizer, chorus, synclavier, rhythm arrangements, portasound
  • Steve Porcaro – synthesizer, programming, producer
  • Bill Reichenbach Jr. – horn
  • Brenda Russell – chorus
  • Cruz Baca Sembello – background vocals
  • Michael Sembello – guitar, background vocals, vocal arrangement, rhythm arrangements
  • Guy Spells – conductor
  • Bruce Springsteen – guitar, chorus
  • Donna Summer – vocals, background vocals, chorus
  • Bruce Swedien – engineer, mixing
  • Rod Temperton – vocal arrangement, rhythm arrangements, synthesizer arrangements
  • John VanNest – assistant engineer
  • Larraine Walton – chorus
  • Dionne Warwick – chorus
  • Ernie Watts – alto & baritone saxophone
  • Chris Whorf – art direction, design
  • Stevie Wonder – chorus
  • Faith D. Wong – chorus


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1982) Position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[5] 19
Japanease Albums (Oricon)[6] 20
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[7] 4
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[8] 37
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[9] 3
Spanish Albums (Promusicae)[10] 9
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[11] 2
UK Albums (OCC)[12] 13
US Billboard 200[13] 20


Year Single Chart Position
1982 "Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)" United Kingdom 18
US Billboard Hot 100 10
Netherlands 6
Norway 3
Sweden 13
"State of Independence" United Kingdom 14
USA Billboard Hot 100 41
Netherlands 1
"The Woman in Me" Netherlands 7
1983 United Kingdom 62
US Billboard Hot 100 33


  1. ^ Wynn, Ron. "Donna Summer > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved August 29, 2011.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Donna Summer > Review". Robert Christgau. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
  3. ^ Connelly, Christopher (September 16, 1982). "Donna Summer: Donna Summer : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 24, 2007. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  4. ^
  5. ^ " – Donna Summer – Donna Summer" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  6. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  7. ^ " – Donna Summer – Donna Summer" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  8. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  9. ^ " – Donna Summer – Donna Summer". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  10. ^ Fernando Salaverri (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  11. ^ " – Donna Summer – Donna Summer". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  12. ^ "Donna Summer | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  13. ^ "Donna Summer Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2016.