Donna Summer – Bad Girls

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I’ve got nearly all Donna Summer’s albums, scored over a long period of time by patient thrifting. 1979’s “Bad Girls” had been proving rather elusive, until I finally found a copy in Oxfam earlier this week, for £1.99, which I thought was exceptional value for a double album in superb condition.

It’s not until you actually have the thing in your hands and you study the sleeve imagery properly that you realize what a bizarre move it must’ve been for a star of Donna’s stature to present herself as a such brazen, tawdry street whore.

I know it’s all meant to relate to the lyrics of the title track (“Bad Girls, Talkin’ about the sad girls, see them out in the street walkin’, picking up all kinds of strangers if the price is right, you can’t score if your pocket’s tight” etc) but Donna sure doesn’t look like a ‘sad girl’ here. She looks like she’s having a ball, really relishing the role.

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I’d assumed that Donna must’ve been convinced to do this by her manager or something, it’s such a male fantasy idea, and then I notice in the small print: ‘cover concept by Donna Summer‘. Go figure.

And who are those guys posing as her clients in the gatefold? The sailor with the moustache looks suspiciously like producer Giorgio Moroder…

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Published in: on November 26, 2009 at 10:24 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. A classic for sure – and like you I think I probably have over the years managed to collect most the decent ones – never can have too much Donna on the racks !!

  2. The models in the gatefold are the R&B group Brooklyn Dreams, with whom she recorded “Heaven Knows.” One of the members is her surviving husband, Bruce Sudano.

    • I love the interwebs. I was listening in Seattle to an online radio station based in Santa Barbara when “Bad Girls” began to play, naturally piqued my curiosity and I wound up here. This is the kind of detail only an appreciative fan of music would bother digging up and sharing with us. Thank you for that insight about her husband in the photo! I miss her terribly but, again, thank goodness for online tuneage.


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