Donna Summer › She Works Hard for the Money

Album Songs

Album Info

She Works Hard for the Money is an album by Donna Summer released in 1983. Summer had made her name as the biggest female star of the disco era during the 1970s. Having signed to Geffen Records in the early 1980s, she had gained some success during the post-disco era but had encountered problems in that Geffen had refused to release some of her material. The She Works Hard For The Money album was turned down by Geffen. PolyGram had taken over Casablanca Records, to which Summer was signed at the height of her fame the previous decade. She had left them after a dispute which was resolved by Summer giving PolyGram this album which Geffen rejected. PolyGram agreed to release the album on their Mercury label.

This project became Summer's most successful since the disco era. She Works Hard For The Money was more pop/dance oriented than her last couple of albums, but also contained some soulful ballads, including "Love Has a Mind of Its Own", a duet with gospel singer Matthew Ward. It also contained a reggae-styled song called "Unconditional Love" which featured vocals by young black British group Musical Youth. Lyrically, the album dealt with subjects such as social injustice ("Stop, Look and Listen"), Jesus Christ ("He's a Rebel") and missing children ("People, People"). Many fans saw the album as a "return to form" for Summer - she was once again presented as a strong, powerful woman very much in control. During the 1970s, Summer's management had worked hard to portray her as a powerful, sexual fantasy figure to the point where they had become too involved in her personal life (which led to a period of depression for Summer before becoming a born-again Christian and filing a lawsuit against her record label). Since the disco era, Summer had experimented with different genres including New Wave and rock, and some felt she had got a little "lost" in trying to find her musical place in the new decade. She Works Hard for the Money firmly established her place as a 1980s pop/dance diva.

Summer was credited with writing or co-writing every track on the album, mostly alongside Michael Omartian, who was also the album's producer. It became her first Top 10 album in the U.S. since 1979 and produced a massively successful hit single in the form of the title track. The sleeve of the single and album pictured Summer as a waitress who "works hard for the money" and the song was a tribute to "the working woman." It was accompanied by a high-profile music video which became the first by a black artist to be heavily promoted on MTV. The song shot to Number 3 on the Hot 100 American singles chart, making it her biggest hit there since "The Wanderer" three years previously. The song was also given a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Several more singles were released from the album, including the aforementioned "Unconditional Love" which gave Summer her fourteenth U.K. Top 20 hit (and also a Number 3 placing on the U.S. R&B chart), followed by the more moderate hits including "Stop, Look and Listen" and the soulful duet "Love Has A Mind Of Its Own" with Matthew Ward.

The song "He's A Rebel" gained Summer the Grammy award for Best Inspirational Performance, her first win since 1979. Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.