Donna Summer – MacArthur Park [Suite] (Casablanca Records 1977)

“MacArthur Park” is a song by Jimmy Webb in 1968, originally composed as part of an intended cantata. Richard Harris was the second to record it. Other covers include Donna Summer’s disco arrangement from 1978 and Waylon Jennings’s version recorded in 1969. Maynard Ferguson, Stan Kenton, and Woody Herman all performed big-band jazz arrangements.

“MacArthur Park” utilized flowery lyrics and metaphors (most famously, love being likened to a cake left out in the rain) that were considered by media such as the Los Angeles Times to be “polarizing” and “loopy.” The inspiration for “MacArthur Park” was the relationship and breakup between Webb and Susan Ronstadt, a cousin of singer Linda Ronstadt. MacArthur Park was where the two occasionally met for lunch and spent their most enjoyable times together.

In 1978, “MacArthur Park” by Donna Summer was number one on the American pop music sales charts for three weeks. “MacArthur Park Suite stayed at number one on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs chart for five weeks in 1978.

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