Four Seasons of Love is the fourth album released by singer Donna Summer. Released on October 11th, 1976, this concept album became her third consecutive successful album to be certified gold in the US. It peaked at #29 on the Billboard 200.
This was the third concept album Summer had made, though unlike the previous two which had contained one long track on side one and a small selection of slightly shorter ones on side two, Four Seasons Of Love was more equally balanced. The album told the story of a love affair by relating it to the four seasons. Side One contained "Spring Affair" and "Summer Fever", both disco tracks, and Side Two contained "Autumn Changes" (a slightly slower disco number) and "Winter Melody" (which had an even slower beat), plus a reprise of "Spring Affair". This concept was reflected in the four photos of Summer, one for each season of the year, in a pull-out 1977 calendar included with the original LP album. The photo on the cover was, fittingly, the Summer photograph. Summer's "first lady of love" image came across strongly on this album, though her trademark moans and groans were slightly less evident than on previous work. Pics included "Winter" in a fur with a tear on her cheek; "Spring" in a Scarlet O'Hara style hoop skirt on a swing; and "Autumn" re-enacting Marilyn Monroe's infamous scene from The Seven Year Itch with the billowing white dress over the subway grate - an allusion to her song "Love to Love You Baby", which she has been quoted as using Monroe for inspiration on her recording of it.
As with the previous two albums, Four Seasons of Love was distributed by different record labels in different countries, including Casablanca Records in the U.S. Edited versions of "Spring Affair" and "Winter Melody" were released in various places, but neither had a big impact on any charts (although the latter made the Top 30 on the UK singles chart). The album was also released as a Club Special Edition / Club Sonderauflage in West Germany on the Atlantic Records Label.
LaDonna Adrian Gaines (December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012), known by the stage name Donna Summer, was an American singer and songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the late 1970s. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Summer was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach number one on the United States Billboard chart, and she also charted four number-one singles in the United States within a 13-month period.
Born into a devoutly Christian middle class African American family in Boston, Massachusetts, Summer first became involved with singing through church choir groups before joining a number of bands influenced by the Motown Sound. Influenced by the counterculture of the 1960s, she became the front singer of a psychedelic rock band named Crow and moved to New York City. Joining a touring version of the musical Hair, she spent several years living in West Germany, where she married Helmut Sommer, whose surname she adopted as her stage name.
Returning to the United States, Summer co-wrote the song "Love to Love You Baby" with Pete Bellotte; music producer Giorgio Moroder convinced her to sing it herself, and it was released to mass commercial success in 1975, particularly on the disco scene. Over the following years, Summer followed this success with a string of other disco hits, such as "I Feel Love", "MacArthur Park", "Hot Stuff" and "No More Tears (Enough is Enough)". Becoming known as the "Queen of Disco", she regularly appeared at the Studio 54 club in New York City, while her music gained a particularly large following within the gay community. Struggling with depression, she subsequently became a born-again Christian.
Diagnosed with lung cancer, Summer died in May 2012, at her home on Manasota Key in Englewood, Florida, after a battle with the disease. She was posthumously described as the "undisputed queen of the Seventies disco boom" who reached the status of "one of the world's leading female singers." Her work with Moroder on the song "I Feel Love" has also been described as "really the start of electronic dance" music, by Moroder himself.
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