The Donna Summer Tribute Site

Summer Fever Pick for April 2016:

A Love Trilogy  (1976)

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Some of the most engaging music... 

An artist's most challenging album is usually their sophomore album. They have to capture the successful elements of the first album and at the same time they have to show enough growth to prove that they can be around for the long haul. So with that in mind, I'd say A Love Trilogy is a successful second album. (Ok, I know - it's really Donna's third album, but it was her second US album.) Love Trilogy picks up on the disco beat and sensuous themes that made Love To Love You a success. It even uses a 17 minute track as the A side - like the previous album did. 

But rather than duplicate Love To Love You, Donna and company improved upon it. A Love Trilogy is far more cohesive in terms of musical style and even subject matter. In my opinion it represents the first baby steps toward the concept albums that the Summer Moroder Bellotte team later became famous for. When Love To Love You came out, it would have been easy to write Donna off as a one hit wonder. But I think A Love Trilogy showed that Donna was going to be around for awhile. (And with Could It Be Magic, it showed that she can make a cover song totally her own!) So this month I invite you to relive A Love Trilogy.

 

Other Art:

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A Few Quotes:

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Donna Summer's disco- disc, A Love Trilogy (Casablanca/5004), goes several steps beyond the "mindless" quality critics customarily attack. The album is almost a "concept" LP, with some of the most engaging music rendered by one of the most engaging singers in the business.

- Chris Huizenga After Dark, 1976

A Love Trilogy is not a great album, but it does represent a step forward for Summer as an artist. Her performances show that there is more to her than was apparent at first hearing.

- Goldmine, May 1, 1992

To be totally honest, I love every and each second of this album. It's a masterpiece to me. Every song has its atmosphere. Everything on it sends me to another world. I really love it.

- Sandro (Forever Donna webmaster) ) on the Forever Donna message board, September 30, 2004

The breathy, spoken-word Prelude To Love is basically a reprise of Love To Love You, Baby, but it's a much better cut – more torrid, more believable, not drawn out too long. It segues into a superb remake of Barry Manilow's 1975 hit Could It Be Magic. The tune was a personal favorite of Summer's at the time and she asked Moroder to let her record it.

- Goldmine, May 1, 1992

Manilow's composition benefits from an inspired uptempo arrangement by Thor Baldursson, and Summer's vocal puts it across far better than Manilow's ever could; her singing grows bolder and more fiery as the song progresses. An excellent disco performance, Summer's Could It Be Magic has come to be regarded as one of the classic disco remakes of the 70s. It would later be featured in the movie Looking For Mr. Goodbar.

- Goldmine, May 1, 1992

A Love Trilogy also included Come With Me, a genuinely exciting disco song with a strong R&B flavor. An arresting arrangement, gorgeous vocals, and an irresistible counter chorus combined for a very commercial track, which made it puzzling as to why it was not released as a single.

- Josiah Howard, Donna Summer: Her Life And Music (Tiny Ripple, 2003)

…Come To Me [sic] [is a] steamy samba which Summer sings in a husky voice. Her delivery conveys lust most convincingly, and as on Prelude To Love, it demonstrates that she is more capable of selling an erotic song than Love To Love You would suggest.

- Goldmine, May 1, 1992

The Tracks:

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Click the Audio Icon for a streaming MP3 clip

1. Try Me, I Know We Can Make It  (G. Moroder/ P. Bellotte/ D. Summer)
2. Prelude To Love (G. Moroder/ P. Bellotte/ D. Summer)
3. Could It Be Magic (B. Manilow/ A. Anderson)
4. Wasted (G. Moroder/ P. Bellotte)
5. Come With Me (G. Moroder/ P. Bellotte)
BONUS AUDIO:  Donna talking about Could It Be Magic on American Bandstand, 1976
BONUS AUDIO:  Donna talking about Try Me, I Know We Can Make It on American Bandstand, 1976

 

Video:

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Courtesy of the guys at YouTube:

 

 

Other Stuff:

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A Love Trilogy was certified Gold in 1976.
Although Try Me is one continuous track, it is listed on the LP as 4 songs:

Try Me
I Know

We Can Make It
Try Me I Know We Can Make It

Could It Be Magic is a cover of a Barry Manilow song that peaked at #6 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1975.
Although Donna has sung all the songs from A Love Trilogy in concerts in the 70s, Could It Be Magic was the only one that still turned up in shows semi-regularly. (Although in recent years she has sometimes added Try Me to a medley that also includes I Feel Love and Love To Love You.) She even joined Barry Manilow onstage to sing it with him at his 1998 GMHC benefit concert at Carnegie Hall and again in 2004 at one of Barry's Vegas concerts. 
Over the years, Donna has changed the words to Could It Be Magic a little bit. On the album, if you listen closely she sings a line that goes "Oh sweet Peter...." At the time she was dating a guy named Peter. Then in a 1977 concert that was televised in Italy, she sings the line as "Oh sweet Christian...." You guessed it, she was dating a guy named Christian at the time. These days, she sings "Oh sweet dreamer..." maybe because "Oh sweet Bruce" doesn't have enough syllables to fit the meter of the song.  ;-)

Purchase Info:

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A Love Trilogy can be found at Amazon, Amazon UK and other on and offline vendors. You can also get it as part of the Chronicles box set, also available at  Amazon, Amazon UK and other places. 

 

     

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