Donna Summer: Love To Love You Donna

Posted October 23, 2013 by in Disco



3/ 5


Genre: , ,
Genre: Synthpop, electropop, disco
Producer: Various
Label: Verve
Format: Digital download, compact disc, vinyl
Time: 60:14
Release Date: 22 October 2013
Spin This: "Finger on the Trigger (Love Is In Control," "Hot Stuff," "Working the Midnight Shift"


"Love Is In Control" is a major improvement over the original; Masters at Work, Frankie Knuckles and Holy Ghost! show off decent interpretations


As to be expected from mix discs on legends, much of the tracks are mere shadows of the originals. Some shadows are too dark to enjoy (Afrojack's "I Feel Love," Jacques Greene's "On the Radio," Laidback Luke's "MacArthur Park")

Overdue tribute mixtape actually honors Donna Summer and her timeless dance music

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Overdue tribute mixtape actually honors Donna Summer and her timeless dance music

In the world of mixtapes and remix compilations, one should only look at it as an alternative universe to what we already own. It usually is never meant to replace the originals, although some try their hardest. But knowing that much of Donna Summer’s unreleased material is already out of the vault and her unfortunate passing in 2012 still haunting our memories, the idea to assemble an all-star collective of deejays for a past due honorarium may be the perfect balm for healing the wound. Warmly titled, Love To Love You Donna gives birth to new mixes of Donna’s best hits, while also uncorking an unreleased track from longtime Donna producer Giorgio Moroder (“La Dolce Vita”). At best, the disc serves as a modern “greatest hits” set, but focuses heavily on the next generation of electronica curators.

Summer was never confined to a certain style of music or a specific type of dance music, so hearing her hits tweaked into robotic jams doesn’t sound so far off. But that’s what you’re going to get for the most part with Love to Love You Donna. “Love to Love You Baby” places her infamous orgasms in a Skrillex galaxy, while the six-minute Duke Dumont mix of “Dim all the Lights” loops one or two lines from the original (“Dance your heart away”) like a nostalgic glimmer in the heat of a ‘90’s electro-house dreamworld. Gigamesh’s “Bad Girls” takes out most of the juicy disco fun from the unforgettable 1979 version and replaces it with Italo-disco rumbles. Disco legend Frankie Knuckles joins with Eric Kupper to craft an excellent revision of “Hot Stuff,” which places Summer in a sobering Röyksopp synth environment. As always, soulful house-garage team Masters at Work (Louie Vega, Kenny Gonzalez) can always be trusted in placing live instruments and Philly soul elements into their creations, which they achieve with the stunning recreation of “Last Dance.” Hot Chip’s safe, but flattering take on “Sunset People” serves as the perfect prelude to the Holy Ghost! mix of “Working the Midnight Shift,” which transforms the often-overlooked track from the Once Upon a Time album into one heck of a delicious Eighties synthpop mix meant for Madonna. But of all the album’s brilliant standouts, Chromeo’s reworking of “Love is In Control (Finger on the Trigger)” improves on the 1982 original, escalating away from the familiar MJ similarities and settling for a much more rewarding ‘80’s synthpop layout that sits better on her pipes.

“I Feel Love” shows up twice on the set. Afrojack’s six-minute expansion of “I Feel Love” doesn’t offer much, just exploring every corner of Giorgio Moroder’s EDM epiphany. Thankfully, the compilation sports a better mix of “I Feel Love” later on. Packaged with paranoiac pings, the Benga mix artistically finds a way to box Summer’s sexy vocals into a hallow echo chamber, as if she’s a ghost from the other side beckoning yet another “last dance” invitation to the dance floor.

But not everything on the disc spins with enthusiastic fervor. The Laidback Luke mix of “Macarthur Park” and Jacques Greene’s “On the Radio” shutters the melodies to a whisper while portraying self-indulgence of a deejay’s ego. But when you add it all up, Love To Love You Donna works. Most of the deejays and remixers honor Summer’s legacy with mixes fit for a queen (in a 21st century age). And that’s saying a lot, especially for a list of songs that are so iconic that even her most devout fans would shudder over the idea of tweaking them. Those who will are probably too ignorant of the evolution of modern dance music anyway.



About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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