Baby, she’s burning

I always say that in the 70s, everybody had to record a disco song or three.  Dolly Parton was certainly no exception.  One of my favorite of the handful of “disco Dolly” songs is “Baby, I’m Burning.”  From Dolly’s 1978 album Heartbreaker, she had mainstream pop crossover success squarely in her sights.  The song actually got some pretty significant play in the clubs at the time, if you can imagine that!  My first exposure to the song was in 1983 when she performed it in concert on the HBO special Dolly: Live In London  As I’ve said before, that HBO special was probably the root of my Dolly fandom.  I recorded the entire concert on a cassette player by holding it up to the TV and shushing everyone in the room.

25 years later, when I finally saw Dolly in concert in Minneapolis, she trotted this song out again much to my great delight.

My biggest question is how did someone get this fan footage?  At the two Dolly shows I went to, they were Nazis about camera use, confiscating cell phones and digital cameras left and right.  Perhaps it was because the O2 in London is just a titch bigger than the Civic Center in Des Moines?  Well whatever.  I have to say that between the two performances, the first one is preferred – mostly because Dolly looks like a human female rather than a plastic mannequin.  Whenever I see footage of that 1983 concert, I always wonder if Dolly had been touched by a surgeon’s knife yet.  She looks so natural and soft.  In the second clip, she is so thin and plastic.

Still, she’s Dolly.  The fact that she’s Dolly makes you forgive a lot.

What I am still waiting for is a full album of dance music a la Cher’s Believe.  She’s promised it – no doubt as a gift to her massive gay male fan base – but it has yet to arrive.  Time’s ticking Dolly!

One of these days, I’m going to spring for one of the bootlegged DVD copies of that classic ’83 concert.  Until such time, there’s always YouTube.

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This entry was posted in Cher, concerts, Dolly Parton, Life stories, Music. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Baby, she’s burning

  1. John Hill says:

    It may be blasphemous of me, but I don’t know that I want a dance album at this point. She’s doing some pretty quality music without gimmicks.

    • Dan says:

      That’s a good point. I’ve been a bit underwhelmed by her last couple of albums that have been pretty serious attempts to break back in to mainstream country radio. They have been less inspired than her bluegrass albums.

  2. Mary35 says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only child who was holding a cassette player up to the TV (Solid Gold, anyone?). One of my fondest moments was when my mom yelled, “Mary, time to dry the dishes!” during one of my tapings.

    • Dan says:

      Totally with you Mary. I also recorded songs from “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” and TV theme songs as well as video game commercials. It’s a wonder Heidi married me.

  3. Let me add my voice to the chorus of those kids who held a cassette recorder up to the TV, though my claim of shame is one of the several Barry Manilow TV specials. I’ve got those on DVD now, though I’ve yet to watch ’em.

    As for the confiscation of cell phones and digital cameras at concerts, I couldn’t be happier if that happened everywhere. So tired of having paid to see a show live, only to have my view blocked by someone holding their iPhone up to record the concert (and I inevitably begin watching the show through said device). Just watch the show — I don’t get this incessant need to document every minute, and the footage isn’t even rare when nearly everyone’s doing the same. Ugh, “The World.”

  4. Dan says:

    I generally agree with your thoughts on cell phones and digital cameras at concerts. When I went to the Sticky & Sweet Tour, I tried to get photos, but quickly realized I was so far back that I would not get good ones. I wonder how many people realize that they are watching the concert through a camera when they could be soaking up the experience of a live show.

    That said, I was glad that I had my camera at Kylie back in May. I balanced it well – took just a few pictures of each set and still felt like I was at the show. I also got some amazingly good photos. But overall, yeah, put the camera down and turn off your goddamn phone for 2 hours and enjoy the live experience.

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