Monday, July 2, 2012

Donna Summer discography

The discography of American pop singer Donna Summer includes 20 singles which have reached the Top 40 of the United States Billboard Hot 100 chart. 14 of those reached the top ten, and four of them reached number-one.

Label associations

"Love to Love You Baby" was her first single in the US; it was recorded on Oasis Records, which would join with Casablanca Records to release it in the US. Casablanca would assume responsibility for recording and distributing Summer's albums during the 1970s and also become one of the premier labels of that decade. Later, in 1977, PolyGram Records acquired a 50% ownership of Casablanca from owner Neil Bogart. Bogart was considered a good music executive in the industry, and had a "whatever it takes" approach to selling product. However, Casablanca routinely spent enormous sums of money, unbeknownst at the time to half-owner PolyGram, which was headquartered in Europe. In 1980, Summer informed Casablanca that she wanted to release other genres of music; but she and Casablanca could not find common ground on this issue. That same year Summer signed with the newly-formed Geffen Records for North America and Warner Bros. Records for the rest of the world.
Also in 1980, PolyGram began noticing the huge amount of revenue that was being spent at Casablanca, money spent as fast as it came in. In addition, Casablanca had allowed Summer to depart; she being one of the label's few acts that, if handled properly, could evolve into a successful post-disco artist in the new decade. Aside from Summer's releases, Casablanca had not been scoring as many hits as it had in the past and was now in debt. PolyGram purchased the remaining 50% of Casablanca and then it promptly fired Bogart. Casablanca continued to struggle for hits in the early 1980s, but only found sporadic success. Meanwhile, Summer had released her first two albums on Geffen Records, The Wanderer (1980) and Donna Summer (1982), scoring one top ten hit on each. She was subsequently notified by PolyGram Records that she owed them another album, per the settlement of a lawsuit against Casablanca brought by Donna Summer, settled by PolyGram (unknowingly bought into Casablanca lawsuit of mismanagement). She delivered the album "She Works Hard for the Money" (1983) which PolyGram chose to release on its Mercury Records imprint as opposed to Casablanca, Summer's former label. The Mercury album became Summer's most successful album of the entire 1980s, and the title song was her most successful single of the decade. After this release Summer went back to recording for Geffen Records up until her final Geffen release in 1987 (she subsequently signed with Atlantic Records). PolyGram, which had been pouring money into Casablanca for years in an effort to save it, had decided to shut down the fading label in 1984.
In 1990, Geffen Records was sold to MCA Records, which was owned by alcoholic beverage-maker Seagram; although Summer was no longer an artist on Geffen Records.
In 1998, PolyGram and its imprints were purchased by Seagram, which merged the company with its MCA Records label and imprints to create the gigantic Universal Music Group. This had the result of Summer's MCA, Oasis, Casablanca, Geffen, and Mercury releases now being owned by one conglomerate, Universal Music. This catalogue of Summer's material stretches from 1971 to 1987 for Universal Music Group.
Post 1987, Donna Summer owns the masters to her recordings released by Geffen/Warner Bros, Atlantic Records, Epic Records and Burgundy Records releases. The Geffen/Warner Bros. and Atlantic material were reissued on Mercury Records in 1996. These releases are currently out of print by the time of her death. Also, in 1996 Mercury issued for the first time the unreleased "I'm A Rainbow" rejected by Geffen in 1981.

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