Love to Love Donna Summer

In lieu of tonight’s premiere of the documentary Love to Love You, Donna on HBO Max, as well as the recent anniversary of Donna Summer’s passing (May 17, 2012), I’ve spent a lot of time recently revisiting her catalog via my old and new vinyl albums and twelve-inch singles. Summer’s musical journey was and is still a very integral part of the soundtrack of my life, which encompasses my youth and adulthood. Listening to “I Feel Love,” “MacArthur Park Suite,” “Journey to the Centre of Your Heart” and the euphoria of the non-stop electronica of “Our Love,” “Lucky” and “Sunset People” not only transports me back in time, but also to another plane of consciousness.   

Although Donna Summer is no longer with us in the physical realm, her musical legacy will not soon be forgotten. I look forward to the new documentary co-directed by Roger Ross Williams (Music by Prudence, God Loves Uganda) and Summer’s daughter Brooklyn Sudano. The buzz surrounding Love to Love You, Donna has concurrently filled me with curiosity and anticipation.

Happy New Year?

Another year is upon us, but do we dare hope for the best? I feel doubtful at best as the last four years have been far beyond major disappointments. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I was surprisingly and sadistically proven wrong.

So, let’s take a deep breath, cross our fingers, close our eyes and jump into 2022. Happy New Year?!

The Tribal Rites of New Year’s Eve

Over the decades, New Year’s Eve has steadily devolved into a ceremonial ritual for the inconsiderately narcissistic. Celebrating the arrival of a new year has become nothing more than a feverishly desperate need to be seen, to be noticed and most of all, a primal urge to stave off loneliness. Getting drunk, hooking up and being seen on television and/or social media is now the new standard for ringing in New Year’s Day.

This year is certainly no exception, but the end of 2021 also comes attached with the dangerous spike of a deadly virus’ latest variation. I can’t help but wonder how many people attending tonight’s super-spreader events will begin the new year with regret and remorse.

So, for auld lang syne, Happy New Year to all and to all a good night.

Adele: ’30’

With all the buzz and hype already surrounding the latest album by Adele, I’m going to cut right to the chase by saying I’m having a hard time connecting with her fourth album, 30. Yes, I know it’s breaking records and is well on its way to becoming the biggest selling album of 2021, but none of that matters to me. All that matters is the music she’s presented here, which I’m sorrow to say is not as powerful as Adele’s previous output.

The album’s lead single “Easy On Me” is the highlight here, but nothing else on 30 is as compelling. Album closer “Love Is a Game” is the next best track, but the rest is just mediocre at best. Sadly, I’m beginning to come to terms with the fact that Adele may be one of those artists that reached her peak at the early stage of her career. If I had to sum up 30 in one word it would be: disappointing.

The Go-Go’s: RRHOF Class of 2021

Trick or treat? It may be Halloween, but it’s no trick that The Go-Go’s were officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night, marking a milestone not only in the band’s career, but also in the museum’s history as well. The Go-Go’s are the first and only female rock band to be inducted into the historic RRHOF, marking yet another first of many firsts in the fearless fivesome’s four decades of music and mischief.

The Go-Go’s remain the first and only all-female rock band to score a multi-platinum debut album written and performed by women to land atop the Billboard 200 album chart. Like Drew Barrymore stated in her induction speech at last night’s ceremony, The Go-Go’s were also my first favorite rock band/group, as well as my very first rock concert and also the unknowing recipients of my first adolescent rock star crush.

The Go-Go’s music has remained a constant in my adult life as the band’s unforgettable discography has been permanently etched into my psyche with irresistible and life altering earworms including: “Fading Fast,” “Get Up and Go,” “Turn to You” and “Apology” from the band’s albums Beauty and the Beat, Vacation, Talk Show and God Bless the Go-Go’s.

So, it is with great pride and sentimentality I say congratulations to Belinda Carlisle, Kathy Valentine, Gina Schock, Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin. Thank you for the music, the cherished memories and most of all for the endless hours of unbeknownst discussion fodder you’ve provided to me and my fellow Go-Go’s cohort (you know who you are, VG!) over the past four decades.

May your beauty and beats last an eternity.

10 Best James Bond Movie Themes

The name is Bond…James Bond. Ian Fleming’s iconic persona James Bond has no doubt left a permanent mark in cinematic history with 25 films spanning 7 decades, but the James Bond series has also produced some legendary movie themes as well. As we prepare for the premiere of the 25th 007 film, No Time to Die, here are my top ten favorite Bond themes:

10. “Die Another Day” was performed by Madonna for the 2002 Bond film. The Golden Globe and Grammy Award-nominated title song was composed by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzaï. The song is also infamous for being described as the worst Bond theme of all time by Elton John.

9. “The Living Daylights” was performed by Norwegian pop group A-ha for the 1987 film, which saw Timothy Dalton debut as new Bond in the first of two films. The title track was composed by the group’s Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and John Barry. This was Barry’s final score for a Bond film.

8. “All Time High” by Rita Coolidge was written by John Barry and Tim Rice for the 1983 Bond film, Octopussy and is one of the few Bond themes that doesn’t include the film’s title.

7. “Nobody Does It Better” written by Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager and sung by Carly Simon from 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me. The movie theme was a major worldwide hit and spent three weeks at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100, earning a Grammy nomination and selling over a million copies.

6. “For Your Eyes Only” was performed by Sheena Easton, who also featured in the 1981 film’s title sequence, the first and only time a musical artist was included in a Bond film’s opening titles. The film’s title song was co-written by Bill Conti and Michael Leeson, which made Australian newcomer Easton a household name on the pop music scene.

5. “The World is Not Enough” by American rock band Garbage, served as the title song for the nineteenth James Bond film in 1999. The top ten title track was co-produced by Garbage and written by David Arnold with Don Black. The lyrics, sung by Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson, detail the film’s storyline of seduction and global domination.

4. “GoldenEye” performed by Tina Turner, was the title song for the 1995 blockbuster, which was the first of four Bond films starring Pierce Brosnan as the ultimate spy. The movie’s ostentatious theme was composed by Bono and the Edge from U2.

3. “A View to a Kill” performed by Duran Duran was the theme to the 1985 movie, which was Roger Moore’s final Bond film. The title song became a number one hit for Simon Le Bon and company, which was co-written by Duran Duran and John Barry.

2. “Skyfall” was the title theme for the twenty-third James Bond film of the same name. The title song was performed by Adele and was nominated for and won an Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards ceremony in 2013 for Best Original Song. The title song was written by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth.

1. “Live and Let Die” was the title track performed by Paul McCartney and Wings for the 1973 film of the same name. Live and Let Die introduced the world to Roger Moore with his silver screen debut as the series’ renowned character. “Live and Let Die” reached number one on the pop charts and was the most successful Bond theme at the time of its release.