Tuesday, October 11, 2016

40 Year Itch : Donna, Al and Bill

Donna Summer : Spring Affair ( single edit)

On October 11, 1976 Donna Summer released her fourth studio album, Four Seasons of Love. It's a concept album co-written with Giorgio Moroder. There's an eight minute disco song for each season, highlighted by the opening track "Spring Affair". I like A Love Trilogy better .One of the most enjoyable things about writing this blog is discovering just how innovative the Summer/Moroder/ Paul Bellotte team really were. I was 12 years old and couldn't have cared less about disco at the time. But Brian Eno and David Bowie were certainly paying attention.

Al Green : Smile a Little Bit More

For his biggest fans it was enough just to have Al Green overcome the "scalding grits episode"and to sing another set of songs written with Willie Mitchell. But this is formula, pure and simple. A low point from which Green would rebound with 1977's Belle Album.

Bill Withers : Close to Me

Wait! Bill Withers recorded an album called Naked and Warm? Yeah and let's all just be thankful nobody got too literal about the album cover. This is what we call a transitional album. Withers is leaving behind the acoustic guitar for the "quiet storm", jazz-inflected sound that would eventually result with such hits as "Lovely Day" and "Just the Two of Us". There's some nice funk in the opening track "Close to Me".

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