Saturday, September 17, 2016

Song #280: "MacArthur Park"--Donna Summer (1978)

What "Love To Love You Baby", "I Feel Love" and "Last Dance" could not do, one of the strangest songs penned in the rock era did for the late, great Donna Summer.

Summer took today's song, written by Jimmy Webb and originally sung by, of all people, Richard Harris, ten years earlier, placed a disco spin on it, and created a symphony of sound that, for my money, completely galvanized Summer as the queen of disco, and one of the strongest forces in pop music in the late 1970's.

Remember, the mega-hits "Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls" were still several months away from going #1, both during that unforgettable Summer of 1979. Frankly, taking this song and doing what she did with it took some serious guts.

Radio got a nearly four-minute version, today I'm posting the six and one-half minute version, but if you'd like, there's a 17-minute version available on YouTube that is a mix of one side of the album, and includes another hit, "Heaven Knows".

Quick Did You Know: a 1969 version of the song was recorded by country legend the late Waylon Jennings. Imagine the balladeer of "The Dukes Of Hazzard" opining how his cake was left out in the rain.....

Listening to this song takes you back to big hair, flashy suits, the disco ball, and don't forget the Disco Break, which aired every weekday morning on Channel 8 during their 7:25am news break during "Good Morning America", which taught Richmonders a new dance move every morning to add to their collection once the weekend finally came around! I wonder whatever happened to Nancy London.....

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