Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
I'm a Rainbow
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop, R&B
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How could Geffen have been so blind to not release this?!!
29-year old wallflower | West Lafayette, IN | 07/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not gonna lie about saying that Donna Summer is among my many favorite artists. Yes, her fanbase is mostly with the gay community, but so what? The music she makes is so darn infectious & beat-heavy, even your Grandma can feel the urge to get down. But unlike most artists who specialize in this kind of material, Donna has had more facets than met the eye. When she recorded I'M A RAINBOW in 1981, she had already changed her image with the more rock-influenced THE WANDERER (1980). The fact that she had also become a born-again Christian proved that her music could only get more interesting. But when I'M A RAINBOW was delivered to Geffen, they hated it & shelved the proposed double album. It would be the last time Donna worked with Giorgio Moroder, who, with Donna, had created the biggest anthems of the disco era. The album became one of the most famous unreleased records in music history, but in 1996, Mercury (Donna's label at the time) was generous enough to finally give the album the release it deserved. It's safe to say that for a fan of Donna's more dance-oriented material, I'M A RAINBOW turned me from casual to avid fan.Probably the reason why Geffen decided not to release the album was that, stylistically, it was all over the map. Disco had been declared dead (in name only, at least), but dance music was still in style. Aside from that, I'M A RAINBOW had experiments in rock, pop, R&B and Broadway that explored new depths into Donna's talents. For the traditional dance music fans, there was "Melanie", "Highway Runner" (reminiscent of Giorgio Moroder's 1980s work), "Back Where You Belong", "True Love Survives" (the lyrics are the most exotic Donna has ever sung) & "Leave Me Alone" (which could have fit in on THE WANDERER).Because Donna is such a whiz with dance tunes, whenever she releases a ballad as a single, it flops. That proves to be unfair as songs like the dramatic opener "I Believe [In You]" (a duet with Brooklyn Dreams member Joe Esposito), "You To Me", "Sweet Emotion", the title track (my personal favorite out of all the songs) & the sweeping closer "I Need Time" (which again proves Donna could sing more demanding lyrics when given the chance).However, the most eye-popping experiments on I'M A RAINBOW are the synth-heavy rocker "Highway Runner", "Runner With The Pack" (Donna just kills on these two songs), EVITA's "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" (this is probably where Madonna got her vocal lessons on this song), the haunting "To Turn The Stone" (again a lyrical masterpiece & later recorded by Frida of ABBA) & the funk-driven tribute to her daughter "Brooklyn". These songs, had they been released as singles, I'm sure would have dazzled Donna's fans as to the true range of her talents.Unfortunately, that was not to be (some songs like "Romeo" would get released in other forms, like on the FLASHDANCE soundtrack). When Geffen said no to I'M A RAINBOW, they paired Donna Summer with Quincy Jones for the self-titled 1982 album that was based on much more traditional R&B sounds. It kept her commercial stock high, no doubt about that, but the result was just a little too mechanical. Since then, Donna hasn't recorded with Giorgio Moroder in over 2 decades & it would be so great to have them pair up again. Donna's upcoming ANGEL album on Epic Records is due out early next year, so afterwards maybe the two can gave each other a call. Another masterpiece like I'M A RAINBOW could just come about. Until then, Donna's fans can rejoice in the lost masterpiece that is I'M A RAINBOW, enjoying the risk-taking music that's on it, as well as wrack their brains as to why such a great piece of work could be turned down as "uncommercial"."
MANY SHADES OF SUMMER...
Armando M. Mesa | Chandler, AZ | 03/09/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Was the anticipation many fans had over this mysteriously vaulted (shelved) project worth the wait ? Sort of...Tracks written and produced by Summer,Bellotte, and Moroder, such as I Believe In You, You To Me, Sweet Emotion, and Back Where You Belong could've been easily written and produced by Quincy Jones. These ballads have a very similar Patti Austin/James Ingram flavor (circa The Dude era). Also, they would have fit in nicely with Summer's 1982 collaboration with Jones on her self-titled project.True Love Survives is a genuine Summer/Bellotte production slightly reminiscent of Heaven Knows from 1978; It's a classic disco-dance number for I'm A Rainbow.Leave Me Alone simply belts out traces of The Wanderer and Hot Stuff with the opening semi-Oriental sounding keyboard and guitar riffs.She even quotes in Leave Me Alone, "So, you think you're hot stuff !"--Maybe she was referencing, in a tongue-in-cheek way, to the actual Hot Stuff song.Melanie and Romeo are interchangeable new wave synth/dance tracks. One could have faded into the other and the listener would have never known which was which. People Talk is either a Flashdance sounding tune or a pre- She Works Hard for the Money outtake. These songs are too "formulaicly" polished; Yet they work. They're too commercially sounding; Yet, they deliver without sounding monotonous.The mysterious To Turn The Stone reveals a simple Celtic/bagpipe synth sound ( this song was later covered by ABBA's Frida in 1982 with a more convincing and natural Celtic arrangement). Stone is faintly reminiscent of another Giorgio Moroder tune that would be written a few years later for the Top Gun soundtrack in both sound and similar lyric style; Take My Breath Away.The crux of the album many waited for containing title track and Don't Cry for Me Argentina both deeply demonstrate Summer's emotional "acting" vocal abilities (very suitable for Broadway). The track Brooklyn (Donna's daughter, not the city) pays her daughter a tribute much like Mimi's song did back in '78. Except Brooklyn is a laid back funky R & B dance tune whereas Mimi's Song was a more sentimental orchestrated ballad.The sultry ballad I Need Time winds things down and brings Donna's long-locked vaulted (shelved) project to a smooth conclusion.Speaking of conclusion(s), was the wait and hype surrounding this enigmatic opus worth it for fans ? Yes and no... Yes,Donna again proved that her incredible vocal range could lend itself flawlessly to cover all the different styles of music on I'm A Rainbow (many vocal colors or shades).The album beautifully concludes and bids a gracious farewell to a part of her musical career phase of the disco, dance, and new wave pop rock genres in top form.I'm A Rainbow still has a certain freshness to it.The synthesizers and other instruments sounded up to date; Gone are the moog synth and wah-wah guitar for the traditionally overripe disco sound. Also, there is nothing raw or out of place in this project. Usually, when artists put out a "vault mystery" years later, critics and fans say, "YECHHH !No wonder it was never properly released."---Anyone remember the Black Album by Prince ? Yechh. But not Rainbow;It is truly the exception !However, those fans who expected a revelation or breaking into new territory of musical style would be disappointed; This was not the ticket. Rather, it was a closure of refinement for her disco/new wave era in top form ! Indeed, Donna was ahead of her time with much sophistication on I'm A Rainbow..."
Dino | London, UK | 08/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a brilliant album this is. Standouts include Brooklyn, People talk, I believe in you (duet with Joe Esposito of Brooklyn Dreams), Romeo, Leave me alone, and the title track."