What other tune better baited disco devotees with the promise of pure nocturnal desire than Donna Summer's
throbbing orgasmic anthem "Love to Love You Baby"? Trained as an opera
singer but born again as a daringly sensual diva, Summer hit her stride
after partnering with producer Giorgio Moroder and creating a steady succession of radio staples that nurtured her career from the mid-'70s through the early '80s.
The combination of her sultry style and Moroder's atmospheric
arrangements oozed sex and seduction on hits that extended well beyond
the dance floor, like "I Feel Love," "Bad Girl," "On the Radio," "MacArthur Park,"
and her tour de force, "Last Dance." To her credit, Summer's albums
reflected a thoughtful, sophisticated stance that helped her win
converts across the board. From the rock-steady pulse of "Hot Stuff" and
the heady R&B imbued in her album The Wanderer to an unlikely duet with Barbra Streisand
titled "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)," her outreach distanced her
from the competition. Summer redefined herself yet again with the
R&B strut of "She Works Hard for the Money," a feminist anthem that
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brought her back to the airwaves once more. Forever iconic, more than 30
years on, Summer is still a star for all seasons.
Donna Summer, 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 18, at Hard Rock Live, 5747
Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $50 to $90. Call 800-745-3000, or click here.