What a Once Upon a Time
Bradley Jacobson | 06/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Listening to Donna Summer's newest album Crayons got me so excited I decided it was time to bring out other classic Donna and just a few weeks ago I was at a used CD store when I stumbled across her 1977 set Once Upon A Time and luckily I bought that sucker up. After hearing it, I honestly can say I don't think anyone has ever given her enough credit.
What a complex little world Miss S lived in - "once upon a time there was a girl.." a girl and two boys actually who knew how to throw down grooves - be it pop standards, disco or electronica. Released in 1977 this was the first of four double albums released by Donna - all of which were huge hits which in itself is terribly unheard of.
Anyhoos, the whole concept and yes there is a concept here is that of a fairytale love - opening with the disco swinging title track we follow our heroine through her journey to find love only to see her stumble through life (the excellent and some what rock ish "Faster and Faster To Nowhere"), having to work the midnight shift, finding a love, losing the love and in the end having it all come around again.
It's completely brilliant and Donna's voice is of course amazing but it's the whole `fairy tale' concept that keeps this thing going through all these songs. Plus Donna with Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte came up with everything - there's voice overs, there's strings, horns, super cool electronics.
For some reason the album didn't lend itself to singles very well as the only two singles released were "I Love You" and "Rumour Has It" - both of which are at the tale end of the album (i.e. once true love has come) but that doesn't make this a loss at all - in fact it just makes it a stronger album.
Between Crayons and Once Upon A Time I am on a Summer kick. I just went back to Amazon and got A Love Trilogy and Four Seasons Of Love - two albums with I Remember Yesterday - were the albums that preceded Once Upon A Time... I'm going to have me a fairy tale life too.