It was in 1979 that the late Donna Summer had a Top 40 hit with “Fujiyama Mama”. . . No, wait a minute! That was Wanda Jackson. Donna Summer had a hit with “Hot Love.” I get confused because both women were pleasure-seeking pop stars who eventually turned to Jesus Christ, albeit in Donna’s case it was only her public image that was pleasure-seeking (and sex-lovin’). From the porno song “Love to Love You Baby” to The Wanderer album (1980) with its “I Believe in Jesus” cut–this constituted Disco Gal’s journey. Summer did a duet with Streisand called “No More Tears.” With The Wanderer, it was No More Hedonism.
Technically not a Christian album, The Wanderer nonetheless offers “I Believe in Jesus” amid the optimistic “Looking Up” and songs about failed love (“Breakdown”). It has its spiritual dimension, in addition to being very entertaining. For all the no-account lyrics, almost every tune on it is catchy–and blessed with Summer’s powerful but unmannered vocals. Her voice is The Instrument here, that’s for sure.
I don’t know how meritorious Donna’s following albums were, but there have certainly been some strong individual songs, such as “Unconditional Love,” except for the line “Give me your unconditional love / The kind of love I deserve.” The kind of love I DESERVE?