Song of the Day, August 12: Love Is In Control (Finger On the Trigger) by Donna Summer

SummerLoveIsInToday’s song is a turning point hit for Donna Summer. As disco faded, the superstar singer signed with Geffen records and continued her hit making with a slightly slicker pop sound, still working with Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. For her second Geffen album, Summer crafted the double-disc I’m A Rainbow with her longtime musical partners. David Geffen, notorious in the early 80s for pressuring his artists to follow his vision, shelved the project and set up new sessions with legendary producer Quincy Jones.

Summer has noted that the recording of Donna Summer was difficult; she was frustrated with Geffen and pregnant. Jones worked his magic however, helping her move into a more updated urban dance sound. The lead single was Love Is In Control, co-written by Jones, Merria Ross, and Rod Temperton, the secret weapon who wrote hits for Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall. A smart, energetic song, it’s a perfect vehicle for Summer’s talent. She turns in a great vocal, and the crack band Jones assembled move things along without overwhelming her distinctive charm.

The result was a crossover smash in the summer of 1982: #10 pop, #4 R&B, #3 Dance. It also set the stage for the next phase of Summer’s career. For the next decade she worked with hot producers, merging her vocal power with their hitmaking styles, continuing a career that could have died with disco.

Enjoy this fun 80s hit today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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