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Donna Summer's Once Upon a Time
by Alex Jeffery
Published by Bloomsbury
7.5"x5", 144p, paperback
Contradicting assumptions that disco albums are shallow and packed with filler, Donna Summer’s double album Once Upon A Time stands out as a piece that delivers on its promise of an immaculately crafted journey from start to finish. A new interpretation of the Cinderella story, it is set in the then contemporary world of New York disco and takes the listener on a journey from urban isolation and deep despair to joy and vindication, all filtered through the mind of its naïve and fantasy-prone protagonist.
As well as charting the production of the album within the legendary Munich Machine in Germany, this book digs deep into the album’s rich themes and subtexts. Approaching the book from inventive angles, the four essays within the book act as a prism connecting the reader to the classical aspirations of Eurodisco, the history of the black fairy tale and a queer knowledge that reads Summer’s Cinderella tale in some surprising ways.
#157 in the 33 1/3 Series.
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