Fending off the gloom

The weather is turning in our corner of Wisconsin. It snowed lightly this morning. A cold rain followed this afternoon. It’s dark out by 5 p.m.

The antidote, of course, is some sunny pop goodness.

One tune in particular has been rattling around in my head since I ripped it from the vinyl about a month ago.

You may know Donna Summer’s 1977 album “I Remember Yesterday” as the one that delivered “I Feel Love,” her groundbreaking techno-dance hit.

However, you may not know that “I Remember Yesterday” is a concept album. It showcased Summer’s versatility on tunes inspired by 30 years of popular music.

On Side 1, Summer opens with the ’40s-flavored title track, then the ’50s-flavored “Love’s Unkind” and the ’60s-flavored “Back In Love Again,” then a reprise of the title track.

On Side 2, she moves into what then was the present with some contemporary ’70s pop and funk, then beyond with “I Feel Love.” That sounded futuristic in 1977, if only because no one had ever heard synth dance beats quite like that before.

But we all know “I Feel Love.” I’m digging those tunes from Side 1.

Summer channels Diana Ross and the Supremes on “Back In Love Again,” — think “Baby Love.” However, the tune sticking in my head is “Love’s Unkind,” the tale of an unrequited crush. It could have come out of the Brill Building in the late ’50s.

Both tunes charted in the UK in 1977, with “Back In Love Again” reaching No. 29 and “Love’s Unkind” reaching No. 3. Here’s why.

donnasummerirememberyesterdaylp

“Love’s Unkind” and “Back In Love Again,” Donna Summer, from “I Remember Yesterday,” 1977. It’s out of print, even the early ’90s CD releases.

2 Comments

Filed under November 2008, Sounds

2 responses to “Fending off the gloom

  1. Steve

    Two great cuts that I had never heard before your post. Thanks!

  2. Phil

    Fantastic! I’d never realised the 50s feel to Love’s Unkind – but you’re right, all that school crush stuff and Phil Spectorish treatment.

    Weren’t these ever chart hits in the States? Love’s Unkind is from exactly this time of year in 1977, I remember it from my first year at college and I actually prefer it to I Feel Love.

    Phil

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