Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Donna Summer: On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volume I & II [Casablanca, 1979]
The title tells us Summer wants to be a pop queen rather than a dance queen, and the music tells us she's got a right: almost in a class with '60s Motown. I mean, this woman will never compete for Lady Soul, but she enjoys singing as much as Diana Ross ever has, and if her timbre isn't as magical her robust technique makes up for it. Despite the repeat of the title tune (the first time is dandy), the overlap with Bad Girls (another must-own), and the inevitable "MacArthur Park" (almost tolerable in this non-suite version), her best-of proves that whatever the virtues of her disco extensions, she makes like a rock and roller at AM size. A