The Donna Summer Tribute Site

Summer Fever Pick for May 2017:

Another Place And Time (1989)

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A vocal that radiates... (Billboard, 1989)

For those of us in the 35 to "stubbornly hanging on to 39 whether you believe it or not" age range, albums like Bad Girls, Live & More and Once Upon A Time are the albums we identify Donna with the most because they are a part of our youth and because they represent a time in Donna's career when she was literally everywhere. In the late seventies you literally couldn't turn on the radio, watch television or read a magazine without running into some kind of mention of Donna somewhere. (Ahhhhh - those were the good old days! ) But then in the 80s things cooled down a bit. Part of that was due to the "death" of disco, part of that was due to Donna's growing family, part of that was the natural ebb and flow of any artist's career,  - there were many reasons. 

By the time 1989 rolled around, there were more than a few people who had counted Donna out. They thought there was no way she would ever attain the commercial success that she'd had previously. And then Donna hooked up with the production team of Stock, Aitken & Waterman - the guys behind artists like Rick Astley, Banarama and Kylie Minogue.  And something wonderful happened. Donna was EVERYWHERE again. A whole new group of younger fans got to experience Summer Fever first hand, and a whole bunch of older people learned that you can NEVER count Donna out.

The album that brought Donna back to the masses was Another Place And Time, and it has sort of a strange history. You see when the album was commissioned, Donna was signed to Geffen Records. But they released her from her contract shortly before the record was to be released. However, Donna still had an international distribution deal, so Another Place And Time came out in Europe and was a big success. Soon after, import albums turned up here in the US where they were snapped up by hungry fans. So with an obvious hit on her hands, Donna had to scramble to find a new label that could get Another Place And Time out in the US as quickly as possible. That label turned out to be Atlantic Records, and while they did get the album out fairly quickly, many import copies had already been sold which may have cut into the success of the US release. Over the years, fans have speculated about how much more successful the album could have been if there hadn't been the delayed US release. That's a question we'll never be able to answer for sure, but one thing is certain: many younger fans discovered Donna because of this album, and to this day many claim it as one of their favorites. So this month I invite you to re-experience the magic of Another Place And Time.

 

Other Art:

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A Few Quotes:

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It's called Another Place And Time because it was recorded in another place, known as London. We had a song by that name on the album and it just fit with the idea of the album

- Donna Summer, APAT Press Kit 1989

ONCE UPON A TIME: We've never had so many inquiries and phone calls about any other project than we have over the last four months about "Another Place And Time" (WEA UK) by Donna Summer. The album was produced by none other than Stock Aitken & Waterman and is one of Summer's most satisfying and consistent in a very  long time.

- Billboard, April 1, 1989

A great portion of this album is dance-oriented because I wanted to build back that base.

- Donna Summer, Billboard July 29, 1989

My music tends to have broad demographics so I wanted to be able to convey different personalities in the songs on this album - everything doesn't have to be dramatic.

- Donna Summer, Billboard July 29, 1989

BONUS AUDIO CLIP: Donna talking about the Another Place And Time album cover on Arsenio Hall, 1989
On  Stock, Aitken & Waterman (SAW):

I was in Europe in 1987 and my husband Bruce said to me you should work with these guys. I didn't really know who they were at the time, and then I heard Rick Astley, who was great, and I loved his production. So we met up in London and we hit it off immediately.

- Donna Summer, APAT Press Kit 1989

When Donna's record company asked if we'd like to do it, it was like a dream come true. Just to heat that voice coming back at you through the monitors in the studio was absolutely fantastic. She was brilliant to work with. No more than two takes on any vocal.

- Pete Waterman, APAT Press Kit 1989

On SAW:

They have a vision and their vision cannot be completed if it's dissipated by a lot of other people's ideas. But they have a good sense of who I am, they have a good sense of the market, they know what my career has been, and so I feel very secure with them.

- Donna Summer, APAT Press Kit 1989

On SAW:

It's like a factory over there. They work, they're not playing, they really mean business, so I have to take my hat off to them. They're very very creative and very on the case. They have Motown Records as their model, only with some better ethics, perhaps, for the artists. Anyone that wants to be on their record label or to be produced by them has to go in as a helper in the office so that they get to see what it takes to be a star, and that it isn't all themselves and all their own ego and that it takes a lot of people working towards one dream.

- Donna Summer, APAT Press Kit 1989

On SAW::

DMR: …I've heard many humorous stories about what it's like to work with them, from ridiculous things like Rick Astley having to make tea in the studio to God knows what. You've been there. Are they as eccentric as they've been made out to be or are these stories untrue?

DONNA: "(laughing) No they're really true! At least with the kids that they're working with and the artists they've brought up (from nowhere), though they didn't with me. But, seriously, at the same time they encourage these kids' own talent. I mean, Rick Astley did write four of the songs on his own album and is a very talented guy in his own right… much more talented than people have any clue about…."

DMR: What was it like to work and write songs with them?

DONNA: "They really work! Basically it was very easy to write and work with them. I have never been with any group of producers who work as hard as these people do. Never!"

DONNA: "I certainly would work with them again; it's simply that I can't go to England at this point in time (and) they rarely, if ever, work over here. Working with them is so easy… they just put (the music) there and you say 'Okay I like this track and this track' Then I'd go home and start writing. Every day that I was over there we'd all get together to write and record… Every day! 'This Time I Know It's For Real' was written and recorded, almost exactly as you hear it, on the very first day we got together. We never had any disagreements at all… I went in and sang each song the way I wanted to sing it and they (recorded and produced the tracks)  the way they wanted and that was it. They made it very easy for me."

- Dance Music Report April 26- May 9, 1990 

BONUS AUDIO CLIP: Donna talking about SAW in a 1989 UK interview.
BONUS AUDIO CLIP: Donna talking about SAW in another 1989 UK interview.
BONUS AUDIO CLIP: Donna talking about SAW on Live At 5 in 1989.
On Geffen Records: 

It was not a match made in heaven. I noticed that aside from their work in the hard rock category, they didn't really have much success in other areas. I felt betrayed about the whole situation, especially since I wanted to leave several years ago and they made me wait out my contract. It seemed no matter what I did musically, they couldn't get behind what I was doing…even Dinner With Gershwin.

 - Donna Summer, Billboard July 29, 1989

BONUS AUDIO CLIP: Donna talking about her "comeback" and her relationship with Geffen Records on Live at 5 in 1989.
On signing with Atlantic:

Everyone was bidding on it. I had a call from every single major label in the United States. Basically, it was a problem of logistics. We'd gotten reports of I don't know how many thousands of import copies being leaked into this country and we were losing not only money but other opportunities as well (note: specifically domestic radio momentum) and so we had to go with whatever label could release the album the fastest. That was Atlantic, but we could just as easily signed with CBS, Arista or anyone. Besides, Atlantic has a great dance department…

- Donna Summer, Dance Music Report April 26 - May 9, 1990

On Atlantic Records: 

From the first meeting, I felt it was like being with a record company in the old sense. A lot of the staff has been there for a long time so there's a stability - plus Ahmet [Ertegun] has been a music man all his life, worked with greats like Aretha Franklin and Bette Midler, and established careers.

- Donna Summer, Billboard July 29, 1989

DONNA SUMMER: This Time I Know It's For Real

Major entry last week makes quite the leap, proving that Summer could be early this year. Even a familiar SAW production can’t keep this singer's distinctive delivery from winning this time on her label debut.

- Billboard April 29, 1989

BONUS AUDIO CLIP: Donna talking about This Time I Know It's For Real on MTV Europe, 1989.
This Time I Know It's For Real, the first single from Miss Summer's new album , is a sterling moment on the record - perfect light summer listening that strikes the ideal balance between Miss Summer's potent singing and the producers' knack for magnetic rhythms. 

- Chuck Campbell Cox News Service, June 11, 1989

DONNA SUMMER: Love's About To Change My Heart

Song recalls Summer's hits of the past. Pulsating dance rhythm, inspiring lyric, and a vocal that radiates.

- Billboard, August 29, 1989

I thought that [Breakaway] was a great song. I love that song, (but) Atlantic actually wanted a different track (I Don't Wanna Get Hurt or When Love Takes Over You) and maybe that made a difference.

- Donna Summer, Dance Music Report April 26- May 9, 1990

 

The Tracks:

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Click the audio icon for streaming MP3 clips

1. I Don't Want To Get Hurt (Stock/Aitken/Waterman)
2. When Love Takes Over You (Stock/Aitken/Waterman)
3. This Time I Know It's For Real (Stock/Aitken/Waterman/Summer)
4. The Only One (Stock/Aitken/Waterman)
5. In Another Place And Time (Stock/Aitken/Waterman)
6. Sentimental (Stock/Aitken/Waterman/Summer)
7. Whatever Your Heart Desires (Stock/Aitken/Waterman/Summer)
8. Breakaway (Stock/Aitken/Waterman)
9. If It Makes You Feel Good (Stock/Aitken/Waterman)
10. Love's About To Change My Heart (Stock/Aitken/Waterman)

 

Other Stuff:

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Geffen records dropped Donna after Another Place And Time was commissioned. When the album became a hit in Europe, she had to scramble to find a new label that could quickly get it out here in the US. Some fans feel that this was the best thing Geffen Records ever did for her career.  ;-)
This Time I know It's For Real went Gold in August of 1989. It was Donna's first top 20 hit in six years.
When This Time I Know It's For Real first came out, some radio deejays noticed something unusual. They found that if you played the 45 rpm single at 33 rpm, Donna sounded a lot like SAW artist Rick Astley. See if you agree with them:
Slowed down clip of This Time I Know It's For Real
Normal clip of Rick Astley's She Wants To Dance With Me

For the record - speeding up Rick Astley doesn't make him sound a thing like Donna!

This album contains two of the song titles I hate to type the most: This Time I Know It's For Real and Love's About To Change My Heart. They are so long that I can't type either one without messing up somewhere! (Thank God for spell check! LOL)
In 2014 the album was remastered and released as a deluxe edition both as a stand alone item and as part of a box set of the 80s material.  The deluxe edition included 3 cds - the original album and  2 discs of mixes.  The remixes are as follows:

Breakaway: Power Radio Mix, Extended Power Mix, Harding/Curnow Extended Mix, Remix edit,  album instrumental.

I Don't Wanna Get Hurt: 12" version, instrumental, remix

If It Makes You Feel Good:  Pete Hammond Remix Instrumental

Sentimental: Instrumental

The Only One: Instrumental

This Time I Know It's For Real: Extended Remix, instrumental

Whatever Your Heart Desires: Instrumental

When Love Takes Over You:  Dave Ford 7", Dave Ford Extended Remix, Dave Ford Instrumental

Love's About To Change My Heart:  Clivilles & Cole 12" Mix,  Clivilles & Cole 7" mix, Extended Remix, Instrumental, Love Dub,  Loveland's Full- On 7" Radio Edit,  PWL 12" Mix, PWL  7" Mix
In 2015 another box set came out with the UK 12" singles in vinyl.  This collection  used art from the Another Place And Time sessions and included the following discs: 

This Time I Know It's For Real extended version backed with Whatever Your Heart Desires and This Time I Know It's For Real instrumental

I Don't Wanna Get Hurt extended version backed with I Don't Wanna Get Hurt instrumental and Dinner With Gershwin

Love's About To Change My Heart extended remix backed with Love's About To Change My Heart instrumental and Jeremy

When Love Takes Over You extended remix backed with When Love Takes Over You instrumental and Bad Reputation

Breakaway remix full version backed with Breakaway remix edit and Love Is In Control

 

CD+G:

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I don't know how many of you know this, but back in the late 80s and early 90s, a number of Pop CDs were issued in a format known as CD+G - CD plus graphics.  It was sort sort of thing that they did with Karaoke CDs - only instead of showing lyrics on screen, the CD+Gs would show graphics.  At the time, you needed a special player to be able to see the graphics, but these days your very own computer can play them.  One of the CDs that was issued this was just happens to be Another Place And Time

Now the question is - how do you know if you have  a CD+G?  Well, if you still have the long box it came in, there is a gold band on the box that explains the CD+G format. What do you do if you do have one?  Well, head over to karaokebuilder.com and grab the free player so you can treat yourself to a little video presentation.  (Just a note - the graphics look like they came out of a late 80s computer, so they will seem a bit unsophisticated compared to what we are used to now.)  If you would like to read more about the CD+G format, check out this PDF file. (I know - PDFs are annoying, but sometimes they are an necessary evil.  You need the free Acrobat Reader to see it.)

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The CD+G long box

(click for a larger version)

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A screenshot  of one of the graphics

(click for a larger version)

 

Purchase Info:

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The original release of Another Place And Time is sadly out of print, but you can find used copies at Amazon, Amazon UK, Gemm, Musicstack and eBay.  The CD+G version is very difficult to find, but not completely impossible. Just keep trying your favorite used CD vendors.  The 2014 Deluxe edition is available at Amazon UK,  as is the 12" single box set.

     

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