Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Twiggy does disco.. (with a little help from Donna)



This is just too fabulous.. Via the discomusic.com forums and the excellent Donna Summer Tribute site, comes news that supermodel Twiggy's 1979 disco album (entitled "Heaven In My Eyes") will soon be released. Shelved for nearly thirty years, word about this project has circulated among Donna die-hards, though until now, I had absolutely no clue about the existence of this project. If the fact that Twiggy did a disco album weren't notable enough, the fact that the record was produced by none other than Donna Summer herself along with Moroder associate/sound engineer, Jürgen Koppers (with contributions from Pete Bellotte, and Donna's husband, Bruce Sudano of Brooklyn Dreams), makes it that much more interesting.

Whether the one released track ("My Baby Understands" off "Bad Girls") from the Summer/Koppers partnership will reflect the sound on here is a little unclear, since apparently much of the work they produced together has gone unreleased thus far. Aside from the Twiggy album, another one of Summer/Koppers unreleased projects was a 1978 album (or at least most of one) called "Watchin' Daddy Dance" for Sunshine, a group made up of Donna Summer's sisters.. Hopefully Jürgen Koppers' own production efforts for the likes of Linda Clifford, Pattie Brooks and the group Persia to name a few, will provide a better glimpse into the possible sound of this record.

So far, the general release has been set for November 7th, via Sepia Records of the UK. From the looks of the label's website and the titles they specialize in, it looks like this might be their most contemporary release to date..Through Twiggy's official site, there's already a special microsite set up to promote it's release.. Although the general release is set for November, if you order through the official website, apparently those will ship on September 24th.. Elsewhere, CD Universe is so far the only retailer offering it for pre-order.

Unfortunately though, aside from the track list (the eight original album tracks plus some 2007 remixes) and cover art (I'm not so hot on that 'Confessions on a Dancefloor' lettering), there are no sound samples or details about the album on the official site yet.. The only details that have come out so far are from one of Twiggy's webmasters, who posted the following on the Donna Summer fan forum:

It's been great reading everyone's feedback on the forthcoming Twiggy release produced by Donna and Juergen Koppers. Also its great to feel the general enthusiasm in the messages. I thought maybe I'd provide a few more factual details about the recording.

Back in 1979 Twiggy had just moved to LA after living in London for the majority of the 1970s. Now in LA Twiggy became friendly with Donna and Bruce Sudano and now relinquished of her UK recording contract with Phonogram they decided to collaborate on a possible new album.

The sessions took place in autumn 1979 at Rusk Studios, Hollywood. Donna co-produced the tracks with Juergen Koppers. Donna and Juergen enlisted some of the finest session musicians to play on the tracks - most of whom played on Donna's tracks. This included Keith Forsey and Harold Faltermeyer. The sessions were engineered by Elton Ahi. Also if you listen closely on the opening track 'You've Been Lying' you'll hear that the backing vocals are provided by none other than Michael Bolton! Apparently Bolton was a popular session singer back in the late 70s.

The sessions produced eight new songs. Twiggy brought a few country songs to the session - 'Dorothy' and 'Carries On' (she had already had two hit albums in the UK with country material) the rest of the material was more up tempo disco orientated tracks. Bruce Sudano penned two songs specially for Twiggy - these are 'Lover Boy' - a real rock track with heavy guitar riffs and a soft ballad 'Sugar Daddy'.

The final and probably the stand out track of the set is 'My Baby Don't Call Me Baby' written by Pete Bellotte and Thor Baldursson for Twiggy. Donna probably would have done a super job if she had recorded the track as a solo. Twiggy duets with un an unknown male vocalist at the end of the track - it is presumed the singer is Bruce Sudano.

The title track 'Heaven In My Eyes' is a quite explicit song about promiscuity - in the style of 'Bad Girls' which was a clear depature from anything Twiggy had recorded before or really since!

Sadly the album was never released as Twiggy returned to the UK to work on a film of 'Pygmalion' before returning to the US to star in 'My One And Only' on Broadway.

The album is then accompanied by four 2007 dance remixes of the uptempo tracks. The remixes have been produced by the OUTpsiDER - a popular Australian DJ who had a radio hit with a 2004 remix of Petula Clark's 'Downtown' that was used in a New York advertising campaign.

We really hope Donna's fans enjoy this release, the songs are fantastic and thank you for all the positive feedback and support for this album.

Tim

Given the time when it was recorded, I can only speculate that this record might have been one of the many casualties of the whole disco crash. Hopefully they'll include some detailed liner notes with the CD to tell the story behind the album and give it a little context.

Although I probably shouldn't get too excited about a release which doesn't even have any sound samples up yet, I'm hopeful that even if the album itself isn't that good, with the choice players and personnel involved, hopefully there'd be at least something worthwhile on it.. Hell, even I thought the much maligned Elton John album Pete Bellotte produced had a bright moment or two (just my opinion, mind you), so I've got my fingers crossed for this one..

PREVIOUS RELATED ENTRIES:
DISCO DELIVERY #40: MUNICH MACHINE - A WHITER SHADE OF PALE (1978, CASABLANCA) (SUNDAY APRIL 29, 2007)
NEW DEAL FOR DONNA (THURSDAY AUGUST 3, 2006)
DISCO DELIVERY #14: SUZI LANE - OOH LA LA (1979, ELEKTRA) (SATURDAY APRIL 8, 2006)
DISCO DELIVERY #5: GIORGIO MORODER - FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1977, OASIS/CASABLANCA) (FRIDAY FEBRUARY 3, 2006)
DONNA SUMMER - I GOT YOUR LOVE (MONDAY JANUARY 16, 2006)

PURCHASE:
TWIGGY - HEAVEN IN MY EYES - DISCOTHEQUE CD
OFFICIAL WEBSITE | CD UNIVERSE

LINKS:
TWIGGY - "HEAVEN IN MY EYES" THE OFFICIAL SITE
THE DONNA SUMMER TRIBUTE SITE
ENDLESS SUMMER FORUM - TWIGGY (AND DONNA)
TWIGGY @ ALL MUSIC GUIDE
TWIGGY @ DISCOGS
TWIGGY @ IMDB
TWIGGY @ WIKIPEDIA
JÜRGEN KOPPERS @ DISCOGS

CATEGORIES: REISSUES & RELEASES, DISCO NEWS

13 comments:

DungeonDJ said...

Thanks for the info Tommy. I just pre-ordered my copy. I'm going to speculate that the album is very good and, for a numer of reasons. Pete Bellotte & Donna Summer production team for one, 1979 was a year where the Disco sound had fully matured, (e.g., I don't have any bad Disco songs on all my 79/80 albums), Twiggy's first Disco album should've brought a conscientious "first effort" performance and the overall effect that the seasoned session musicians (wow, that's a tongue twister) would bring with them. The only drawback, with me anyway, is the fact that it was never released. I don't usually purchase unreleased material since, there's nothing to connect it to, from a retrospective standpoint anyway. None-the-less, I remember Twiggy as a High Fashion model from way back when and, that's just enough of a connection to justify my purchase. Thanks again for the heads-up.

osses said...

Wow,quite great news.I wonder only what the sound will be?hope it will be quite "Moroderish"...Its almost impossible that its happening:)after 30 years...we will see

EricMontreal22 said...

Wonderful. I wonder if this gives hope for the album Donna produced for her sister's group Sunshine (alhough they dont' have the name appeal Twiggy does). It *actually* sounds like this album might be pretty decent!

Robert said...

I ordered my copy direct from the website, too. Can't wait to hear it. I'm actually a fan of Twiggy's singing. I transfered her early '70s album "Please Get My Name Right" to CD, and my favorite song on that is a story song, "Cooking School". I'm betting this disco effort is a lot of fun.

M.E. Grant said...

If you post Ethel Merman's disco album I'll just die.

osses said...

Ethel Merman was the ladie!I only know two her songs...Anyone has her album?

Tommy said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. It's good to see the positive response to this! Just placed my order..

Hey DungeonDJ - No problem! I'm hoping the album will live up to the names are associated with it..

Hey Osses - Yeah it's quite exciting and unexpected! I hope there will be a little Moroder influence, too. Although I quite enjoy what I've heard of Jürgen Koppers' own productions, too. If it resembles any of the things he did for Pattie Brooks or Linda Clifford, I'd be happy..

Hey Eric - Yeah, it makes me wonder about that unreleased Sunshine project, too - whether it was completed or not. Perhaps if this is well received and if her upcoming album does well (and I'm sure the buzz will be quite substantial anyway - see Chaka Khan's latest), hopefully some of that will see the light as well..

Hey Robert - I've never actually heard any of Twiggy's music before. After hearing about this, I looked up some of her music, and the largely good reviews have been encouraging. Given that she's still doing it, she certainly can't be too bad..

Hey M.E. Grant - I'm ready to buy it as we speak ;) ..

Moogaboo said...

This is exciting! I, too, never even knew of this album, although now I understand what Twiggy was doing on the Donna TV special back in '79, doing backing vocals for "BAd Girls"!

The only dark spot: this Outspider person's remixes are AWFUL. I used to think Petula's "Downtown" was indestructable yet he somehow was able to completely ruin it. And I'm not saying that in a "classics should never go disco" way, either -- his production sounded cheap and shoddy, and not the least bit enjoyable.

soulbrotha said...

What I'm not understanding is: if Tim says that the album was never released, then how does he know that "the songs are fantastic"? Is there a bootleg floating around?

Tommy said...

Hey Moogaboo! Thanks for the comment! :) Yeah, I'm not too enthusiastic about the remixes, either.. I suppose the "Downtown" remix sounded allright in the commercial, I'm not sure that it's something I'd go back to..

Hey Soulbrotha! Tim, from what I gather, is one of Twiggy's webmasters. I'm guessing he's probably handling the website orders and, it seems, singlehandedly promoting the disc through it, so he likely just has the inside track on it and has heard it before the release..

Grant said...

There are some song samples up now. Check out:
http://www.sepiarecords.com/sepia8002.html

I'm still making up my mind.

Terry Miller said...

tommy I love that you get this info before anyone else!

I also love elton's victim of love and play it out whenenver i get the chance. when i met him last year, i told him i loved it. he gave me the most horror stricken look.....

xo t.

Tommy said...

Hey Grant! Thanks for the update! I just listened to the sampled. Not exactly thrilled, but they sound somewhat promising.. I ordered from Twiggy's official website back in September, thinking those order would be shipped early, but so far nothing. I'm going to have to do some inquiring..

Terry, that's freakin' hilarious! LOL!! Yeah I have to admit, even if it isn't the greatest record, I find it pretty enjoyable too. I would have died to see the expression on his face! :D

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