Real name: Roderik
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Hobbies: piano, music in general, history, writing
email : email@example.com
Donna Summer fan since:
How did you become a Donna Summer fan? When MacArthur Park was a hit, but it became an addiction after Bad Girls one year later.
His favorite Donna song? MacArthur Park has to be my favorite Donna song, but Love To Love You Baby and Lush Life follow.
Personal notes : Usually, while mixing, my aim is not to modernize her songs by giving it a modern beat. I merely want to combine various song parts of different versions into one coherent mix, preferably under 10 minutes. I know I really have succeeded when I prefer my own mixes over Donna’s originals.
is great to mix because her voice is so beautiful yet so strong that it still
stands out even after many overdubs.
Text = Songs in my collection
Text = Songs not in my collection
Text = Songs posted as the song of the week
Abba - Dancing Queen (Long Rkb Remix 2) 5:57
Remixes commentary by RKB
In chronological order (sort of) updated january 2005
remix ever on a computer. This one and Work That Magic are very special
to me for that reason. I have remixes on tape from my childhood of this track
that also contain the 007-theme, but while working on it years later, I kept
being amazed at what you can do with this track. Needless to say that I’ve
always loved the original to bits, so I was motivated to keep some of the
original structure intact at first (the original 12 inch remix just overdid the
reshuffling a bit), but later I realized that I like the verse parts better than
the chorus parts. It shows in the mix. The semi-instrumental part where Donna
sings just “This Time…” is
definitely the best part, so that qualified it as the ending loop. Wanting to
stretch that loop for as long as possible, I had to be inventive, and added her
ending note on IWGWY, then a new track. Because it sounded so good, I searched
for another note that could contribute. I found one subdue end note on All
Through The Nights which, after modulation, was suitable, and resulted in
something which, to me, exceeds the
original by far. Nice thing is that now it contains vocals from 3 decades (‘79,
I would do things better, knowing what I know now, and I might do that sometime
in the future, but somehow I think that this mix, with it’s flaws, can never
second mix I ever made on a computer, and still one of my best, I think. It’s
just hard to screw up on such a great song like this one, and while mixing it
(again, an attempt to combine all nice pieces of various versions) I kept
discovering great little sounds in the song which I could sample. Some of these
samples just came out of “little mistakes” that I made while mixing: I often
find that it pays to make those little mistakes because you discover great new
really liked the remixes of the song, so the original sound remained the base
for me. I extrapolated some of the sounds that were almost lost in the fade-out
of the original and put them in the middle to create an extra instrumental
chorus, which works fine. The ‘next 2 U”-sample is one of the main
ingredients for this mix, and I like the similarity with the same line in Dinner
With Gershwin. I’m thinking of doing a touch-up of this remix,
unfortunately I lost the master. But at the time I made it I was still so
ignorant of a lot of the possibilities, so it may be worth the effort.
song should have been a monster hit, even if it was a sound stolen from London
is just a remake of what I made with the tape recorder when I was 14, and it
speaks for itself. Great track.
Works Hard For The Money
re-edit, nothing much. It’s not one of my favs. The only thing I did was add
an extra rap of the word “HARD” sung buy
the backup singers, for which I had to change keys once. This whole
version is from my original 12inch of the song; you can still hear it in the
fact that my pickup plays the track a little bit too fast, something which I
still have to correct.
track that has always been in my Donna top 10, or at least in the top 15. I
first did a re-edit of the 12 inch version and the lp version (rkb 1st
remix), and then discovered voice sampling, so I redid it. Voice samples mostly
come from the Mistaken Identity album (whether you like the album or not:
Donna really shows off all her vocal stuff on that one!), namely Cry Of A
Waking Heart and Friends Unknown. I also sampled a few lines from the
song itself (“the line “voices in my head” stood out for me because it
sounded so paranoid and because of the Police-track with almost the same name).
There’s a piano chord sample of MAP at the end which gives this 80s
computerized track an acoustic feel. This song should have been huge in 1984.
re-edit not aimed at anything but providing myself with a version that contains
all available vocals. The Superstar-part is too loud, though, have to fix that
some time. Okay song, just too well known, too often sung.
great song! After more than 20 years, I’m still so impressed with the original
that I did not dare yet to do anything like remixing the track, so this re-edit
just serves as something for my own compilations. The ending loop was added
later because I wanted to save the last great vocal lines from the fade-out. I
just drool over the thought of outtakes of this song, after a few were let out
on the Dance Collection cd.
it in 2003 with use of the Bad Girls remaster, and again in 2004, adding
a constructed instrumental
fade-out. I got a new remix program that gives great results with karaoke
effects, so now it ends at almost 6 minutes, with just the girls singing to the
music, and Donna doing much deserved shopping.
(rkb’s cats stare mix)
an older mix, and still a favorite of mine, because the blending of the 12 inch
version and the LP version that for me finally makes this song complete. The
transponed synthesizer lines at the beginning also worked out well. The little
pieces of other CWC tracks in the middle were added later when I wanted to make
this song a bit more experimental. It has one little MAP-sample.
used to be my fav CWC track, possibly still is, depending on what day it is...
first version I did was a re-edit, but the sounds of Donna’s version and
Giorgio’s piano ballad didn’t match well enough, so I decided to redo it.
Then I wanted to add more, and using samples of her live ’99 intro seemed like
a good thing to do. I’m okay with “It’s really easy…” but the “Goddageddit”-part
I’m not too happy with now. I LOVE the sampling of the trumpets in the middle.
It was, again, one of those mistakes that stuck right in there. So it became the
I only play this version, and it’s hard to listen to another original version,
because I keep missing the extensions… I used to only moderately appreciate
this track, but now I like it a lot. The rhythm sound is very up-to-date, I
Of Independence (rkb remix)
old favorite. If I had known the official No Drum Mix at the time I made
it, it might have resulted in a better mix, but the result still pleases me now.
Highlights for me are the bang at the beginning, followed by the fade-in of the
original ’82 drums, and the extended instrumental and modulated break after
the sax solo. I tried to keep the structure of the original intact: why change
something that was already perfect 20 years ago?
spent so much time on a mix as on this one. Near the end I lost the original and
had to redo everything, so I can’t listen to this mix without remembering all
the struggles and frustrations I had to get through to make it. When actually
duetting, Donna could not help but kick Frida out of the mix volume-wise.
an early mix and knowing what I know now it would have been easy to make it, and
much better. Maybe one day I’ll remake it because I know what the structure of
the song will have to be like, exactly this one. Frida recorded her version with
Phil Collins one year after the original Donna version was put on the shelves,
and since Phil is another one of my heroes I own every note of , I made this
mix. At that time I could not make song keys AND tempos match the way I can
today, so that’s what made it so difficult. My main concern was to make Frida
sing accompanied by the Donna version instrumental track, and vice versa. I
think that worked well, despite all
the little faults. It still excites me to hear Donna sing to Phil’s drums!
Of Love (rkb concise mix)
one, and I think it’s brilliant, even though I one day will have to fix the
sloppy ending; I was in a hurry to finish it. The first and (up to now) only
time I used a different beat as the base of a track. It’s from a very catchy
song by a Dutch trumpet player called Saskia Laroo, and adding Donna’s
accappellas and, foremost, the MAP samples give the song a very modern
character, I think. It’s also an attempt to bring all of Donna’s vocals on
the various versions of the song together, and I thought I succeeded, until I
recently purchased another 12 inch with two unknown versions of the song L!
one of my absolute heroes, and I’ve got nearly every note he officially
brought out, just like I own every Donna note. Donna once said (I believe around
1983) that she would like to collaborate with The Police, so I decided to try
& make it as possible as can be with the demise of The Police. The result is
something that I come across frequently on the Internet, so
I hope Donna’s heard of it…
tune by Gershwin is not one I like a lot, but the combination of these great
voices just sends shivers down my spine even on this track. Sting sang a studio
version for the film of the same name, but since Donna did a live version for
her Live and More Encore-DVD, I ended up using Sting’s live version
that he sang at the Grammy’s. Most remarkable discovery was that I had the
same problem that Giorgio had in the early 70s when he tried to record Donna as
a back-up singer: her vocals are so powerful that they overpower all other
sounds! I really had to turn Sting’s volume up to make it equal. I pitched
Sting up ½ note, and I pitched Donna down also ½ note so that they would sing
in the same key.
the reasons this mix works well (why not admit it) is because of the lack of
drums and other instruments besides piano. Drums and tempos can be hell if you
want to make a mix. If you’re a pianist you’ll hear that one part in the
instrumental break could never be played by one pianist alone.
time all of my Donna mixes contained a sample of MacArthur Park, as a tribute to
her best song. By accident I succeeded in adding 2 piano chords from the
MAP-intro into the piano solo. Mixing in a logical applause was another issue,
because the audience at the Grammy’s were so much more subdue that Donna’s
audience that cheered often during the song.
the song makes sense because Sting sings in 1st person, and Donna in
3rd. At the end you hear Donna thanking the audience, and you’ll
just hear Sting say: “WOW! Not bad for 2, 3 o’clock in the morning!”
because I imagined them doing this song somewhere in a night club really late.
something that needed to be done when I downloaded the original bootleg version.
It’s not a great song (although Donna seems to like it) but it was not a lot
of hard work either. I like the extrapolating of the bare drum track at the
beginning, and also the adding of one drum beat twice in this mix. It makes the
song less drum machiney for me.
Love Cries (rkb’s all vocals mix)
title says it all: it definitely contains all her vocals that were spread out on
the various mixes of the song. The rarest one is one line from the very scarce
promo edit. I also tried to make this song, that is not one of my favs, more
appealing to myself. In order to do this I threw away most of the “hip hissss”
lines and stuck to the original sound. I found a cow bell sound in there which I
sampled a lot to add rhythm. Donna’s vocals are superb on this song!
a typical mix for me to make. I usually make a mix when I want to add up all
nice segments of various versions of a song into a whole that still makes sense
and is not over 10 minutes long.
Knows (rkb’s string mix, rkb’s strings un-duet,
first did the un-duet, to see if I could include Donna’s vocals on the
Brooklyn Dreams version without needless repetitions. With mixed results, but I
may find a better way in the future. Then at one point I found myself making a
longer re-edit, which worked better, but the whole project completely took off
in a worthwhile direction when I found out how I could manipulate the few
seconds of frantic orchestra at the beginning. With that, it’s 70s disco at
Breakaway (rkb forget mix, rkb total soulpower re-edit, rkb total harding re-edit)
remix again putting together some significant segments of the various versions.
I’m still wondering if I went over the top with all the vocal sampling, but it’s
on now. The ending loop somehow was hypnotizing to me, and I wanted to add
something from outside the song but it took a little time before I got the idea
of changing the key of the first line from Cry Of A Waking Heart to make
it fit in.
Don’t Wanna Get Hurt (rkb tell me remix)
one I simply love! I remember hating most of the APAT album when it came out,
especially this song, but the single remix was a great improvement. I think that
a lot of SAW songs have a much nicer verse than chorus, so in this case I used
the instrumental verses as the core of the song (the same way as I did with
TTIKIFR) and went crazy with vocal overdubs. That way I could have stretched the
song for ever, but at one point you have to consider the listener. I am very
proud of Donna rapping “Bad Girls” with the “hurt”-word, although it is
maybe a bit silly. I discovered using samples on separate channels (in stereo)
while working on this mix.
Love Takes Over You (rkb re-edit)
not found a way yet to make a remix of this song, so this re-edit may serve as
remix material later. I’m thinking of doing something that I rarely do: adding
a modern beat.
Donna’s SAW tracks are so easy to remix and re-edit.
Of Emptiness (rkb)
thing that needed to be done, although I think the song is plain and a bit
boring. It took a few minutes to complete. I may redo the slight mismatch in
re-edit. The known 8 minutes version is almost sufficient. I only added the
extra vocal improvisation that was found on most compilation versions. Ripping
all the versions of LD I have on I don’t know how many CDs was necessary to
find out which sound qualities fitted together best. I used to not like the song
too much, but now it has gained my appreciation.
one had been haunting me for weeks and I kept reworking it, listening to various
versions on and on, until I just decided to stick with whatever I had, which is
not perfect but still okay and interesting. It somehow fascinates me how 2 songs
so many years & even styles apart can be so similar!
Of Light version that is on is from a remix that I made a while ago, and I had
to change the tempo of Love’s Unkind a lot to make it fit.
nothing special, just cutting out the two other songs included on the original
suite. I don’t think I ever will mess with the original sound, which is
nothing less than perfect until the time that outtakes of the original track are
Later I did one which includes the full One Of A Kind, and Heaven Knows, including the 7 inch-bits, resulting in a MAP-suite of over 19 minutes. That’s the way the suite should have been anyways!
song has been following me for over a year, like Dinner With Gershwin.
Unlike DWG, however, my unfinished master track was not lost in a computer
crash, so after a year I dared to try again. DWG will have to wait.
this underrated track I knew I wanted to recreate the Donna tradition of
starting with a ballad, and then quickly going to a dance track. Well…quickly…it
takes a few minutes before there’s the dance beat of the original remixes
setting in, but then you have heard some beautiful orchestral sounds of the
original movie soundtrack, and a bit of the instrumental ballad.
a tough cookie, and it took a lot of effort to get where I wanted to be, because
of the transition from ballad to dance song, and because of all the modulations
that I had to create. There was also so much remix material to choose from. I
used some sped up and manipulated sounds from the instrumental ballad version,
to add a nostalgic orchestral feel that was not found on the original remixes.
version I listened to for some weeks in my car while driving to work, and I kept
having the association with MacArthur Park, so I reopened the file and
added some orchestra in the background of this track in some places. I skipped
the tradition long ago to add MAP-samples in my Donna mixes some time ago, but
here it just screamed for one. When I reopened the file, I also did an 4+
minutes edit which I wanted to sound like an edit Donna’s record company would
have brought out as a single version in the old days.
On (4 mixes)
CO-mixes came about because I couldn’t find a way to make one, comprehensive
mix that was not getting boring. I wanted to include all various vocal bits that
were put in all those mixes. They were not hard work, more or less just sifting
through all the material and shuffling everything around.
Of Independence (rkb’s murk remix, rkb’s
murk remixes just don’t go with the original SOI-sound, for one the tempo is
too fast. Being so different from
the original mix, but still very nice, it deserved something of its own. It’s
a re-edit, not a remix. I just rebuild the song from scratch, alternating the
two chord structures and avoiding too many repetitions and still keeping
the vocals in and the beat going. Too bad I could not fix Donna sounding
like a frightened canary.
original was little more over 10 minutes (against my principles). I did an edit,
but somehow it works less than the original.
with Whenever There Is Love, this mix starts like a ballad and then kicks off
into a dance song. At the end it slows down again for a ballad conclusion. I
used some soundtrack parts to make it more majestic.
often, with mixing, when you have a lot of versions, it takes forever to listen
to and select the various bits that can be suitable. It’s painstaking. For
this mix I needed my calculator, and wrote out 3 papers with data. The master
tape is 70 minutes long, and the mix cost 3 evenings and almost a relationship!
re-edit I had completely forgotten about. Making the re-edit did, however,
appreciate me this song more, although it is not as good as what Grace Jones did
with this song.
ambitious plans for this song, but sound and music quality of the bootleg
versions made me stick to the Hex remix for the most part. I consider it a
premix until I can think of something else to do. This 6.41 re-edit also appears
on compilations I make as the most preferred version.
song has so many official remixes to choose from that I made several re-edits so
I had a sort of ultimate JP mix, ultimate Thunderpuss mix, etcetera. Makes me
worried to think about remixing IWGWY, that has more than 20 versions! From 9
remixes that finally resulted, I made the final “rkb I Feel Healed 2” mix.
It starts with a few nice bits that I could not fit in with the other remixes. I
left the munks in, they work so hard for their money. Then the Healed-version
starts and I added a modulated sample of IFL, to further explore the original
idea of the remixer that made this version. It was a lot of work to make it all
fit, and the danger is that you overdo it in the beginning. But with the
addition of the Thunderpuss extra vocals, this is the ultimate LITH mix for me
done with material that came available illegally through the Internet, I was
happy with the two promos that Universal brought out, and very thankful for Tony
Moran’s compilation album, which contains the beautiful dreamy intro to this
song which should have been big. The mix practically made itself, and I’m very
happy with the way it turned out. Better than any of the official versions,
started this mix knowing two things: that I wanted to add Donna’s extra vocals
that she had supposedly written originally, and sang on the 1995 version of I
Feel Love (which was a remake, not a remix), and that I did not need the Patrick
Cowley remix. Good as it is, it distracts at times from the song. There are so
many things you can do with a song like I Feel Love that it is tempting to go
into overdrive. I decided to try not to, and stick with whatever Donna may have
had in mind, if she ever had serious ambitions with this song.
away I tried to create an extra 12 inch instrumental passage, as was the
tradition in those days. I messed around with vocals a bit, and somehow those
random added, almost insecure sounding extra Donna vocals in there kill me!
has the 1977 version as its core, but some 1995 things are added.
there is the 1995 version. Not superior to the original, but not bad either. I
basically scanned all the versions that don’t have the major 7 chords in then,
if that makes sense to anyone. Then I added some original 1977 loops, to find
out that the mix benefited from that.
note for those with an eye for detail: laying Donna’s 1977 vocals and her 1995
vocals on top of each other revealed that they are 18 years apart, but have the
same captivating quality; you really cannot tell the difference. Who said that
voice deteriorates with age?
was never any inclination for me to remix a track that is absolutely
outstanding, but that had no extra material to add to it, besides the little
keyboards extra on the album On The Radio and repeating some boring old
beep-beeps. Then the demo version, that has some very good parts in it, ignited
a remix that I’m very fond of. Necessity to proceed with caution: you don’t
just tamper with a 25 year old song that bears so much a Summer signature as Bad
Girls. Luckily, it turns out to be one of my best mixes, I think.
starts with the demo version, and flows into the original. That original was
extended with the 1980 TV special version with the orchestra, supported by the
original intro to make up for lost sound quality. I added some samples from the
TV special, took it into the car, some minor adjustments, and there you go.
one great song, no use to do anything more than a re-edit, adding the
instrumental intro found on the US 7 inch. The edit is older. Later I heard what
Summer 2K did with the song (mixing it with the Heart version), that mix was
just outstanding, and until outtakes are available, that is the last word on The
Woman In Me as far as I’m concerned.
This one is called RKB inferior mix, not because it’s bad, but because I have not found a way to flesh out this great song yet. To do something, I re-edited it, and added a drum loop from a PO1-remix. After several times listening, it’s not bad.
The rkb original has no beat-from-the-future; it merely combines the lp and the 12 inch version.
The little instrumental part from side 3 added at the
Starts with a section from the
ballad version, and then goes into the regular version, wherein I added some
piano loops from the ballad. The song ends in the last bit from the ballad
version, and clocks in at 8.39. Okay song, I just wish Donna would have sung it
differently, not so soft and lazy.
are so hard to categorize in any list, so I tend to shy away from them. However,
I was desperate to remix some Donna, and did this one over three nights. It’s
a 25+ minutes compilation of all Donna’s A-sides, including promos. I wonder
if I should have included On My Honor and Someday, though…
hard work to make the samples flow, and I sometimes made Donna sing a tone
higher or lower, so that the fade-in to the next snippet was somehow logical. A
lot of details may go unnoticed. Some new bits of songs just crash in, others
sneak in. Surprisingly, the hardest work and the most rewarding results for me
were in the 80-s. Her styles changed so much there, but still it seemed to flow
Systems Go (rkb re-edit)
album version, with, at the start and at the end, some of the 12inch-pieces
added. Not a great song, but hey, it’s there!
Remember Yesterday (rkb re-edit)
one of the edits that you do in less than an hour, but that gives me much
satisfaction. I don’t like repetition, so I don’t want to listen to the
original version and the reprise after one another. However, if I only listen to
the LP version, I miss the extra bits from the reprise. This re-edit fixes that
and makes for a 5.09 minute mix.
Love (rkb remix)
do this remix, for which I practiced a long time ago. I extrapolated and
isolated some sounds to extend this short tune, and could not resist the
temptation to add the base line of I Feel Love, to which the 12 inch version
hints so much.
wanted to have this song, and I gave him what is basically the album version
with the extra fade-out vocals from the 12inch. Then I extended the thing with
the two other versions that exist.
together, and re-editing the 3 existing versions of this song, so that it brings
out the best of Donna’s vocals. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t care that
much for 2 minutes of one modern beat in the intro, and rather skip to the
Cry For Me Argentina (rkb re-edit)
pretty similar studio versions of the song gave some choice, but not much. So
this sounds like a pretty intact DCFMA to the casual listener, except maybe for
the extra instrumental part after the first verse. No worries; Donna sounded
fine in the first place.
To Love You Baby (rkb 30th anniversary remix)
suggested that this outstanding piece receive some re-editing, to filter out
some of the repetition. While working on that, I discovered that there was a lot
I could do with just the original. I added some extra bits here and there, and
made the trumpets of On The Radio make some brief visits. The live bit was added
after much doubt, but after softly mixing it with some of the original sound in
the background and a few listens it seemed okay to leave it in. Then, just as I
thought I was done, I remembered a favorite instrumental Deodato song from 1973,
a song I knew before I knew LTLYB. Always suspected Giorgio to have gently
stolen from the chords, sound and instrumentation of this song, so I added a
good deal of that song into the mix, to acknowledge that. The result is
something that haunts me still, I keep listening to it, like the song is new, or
something. The two flute notes that are incorporated on quite a few places at
the beginning of a bar are imprinted in my mind as belonging to the song now for