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Donna Summer: A career in ropey cover versions


Here at MP! we were saddened to hear of the tragic death of bona fide disco legend Donna Summer. She hadn’t technically had a hit since 1989 so we don’t blame our younger readers if their initial reaction was ‘who?’ However, you probably know more of her songs than you think you do, as her classic hits have been frequently pilfered by younger pop stars, with variable results. So while other websites present heartfelt tributes to the great lady, we give you five questionable cover versions of great Donna Summer songs.

Kelly Llorenna – ‘This Time I Know It’s For Real’

Handbag dance screamer and notable sunbed enthusiast Kelly Llorenna had a string of hits in the early 00s with donked up versions of 80s classics, including this hilariously shameless stab at Donna’s 1989 smash ‘This Time I Know It’s For Real’. We have a hunch that this video may have been filmed with a gay audience in mind.

Martine McCutcheon – ‘On the Radio’

After Eastenders but before Love Actually, cockney warbler Martine McCutcheon enjoyed a brief tenure as a bona fide pop star. Her last top ten hit was a faithful cover of Donna’s ‘On The Radio’. The video is so early 00s it both warms our heart and makes us feel very, very old.

Pussycat Dolls – ‘Hot Stuff (I Want You Back)’

Nicole Scherzinger and her backing dancers were the perfect choice to put a modern spin on Donna’s saucy hen party classic. Despite the fact that they released about 17 singles from their debut album, this strangely never got a proper release in the UK – though they still filmed a live video for it in Manchester, or as Melody pronounces it “Maaaaaanchastaaaaaaaaaair!”

The Vengaboys & Perez Hilton – ‘Rocket To Uranus’

Oh dear. Perhaps the ultimate indignity, in 2010 the Vengaboys reformed and teamed up with Perez Hilton to attempt a chart comeback with this subtle and tasteful affair, built around the pulsating backing track of Donna’s futuristic 1977 chart-topper ‘I Feel Love’. Trust us, the original is better. Much, much better.

Take That – ‘Could It Be Magic’

Back when they were still dancing around in head-to-toe denim like extras from a regional production of Grease!, Take That’s cover of ‘Could It Be Magic’ gave them their very first top 5 hit in 1992. In Donna’s version of the Barry Manilow-penned classic, there’s a break after the first chorus while she has a loud, protracted on-record orgasm. Thankfully, Gary Barlow’s take on that particular part of the song must have ended up on the cutting room floor…

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Written by Oliver Meakings

No dull pop stars allowed.

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