Heaven Knows

Album: Live And More (1978)
Charted: 34 4
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Songfacts®:

  • In this song, Summer pleads for her lover to stay. It's a somewhat desperate song, with lines like, "Heaven knows I only want to please you."

    The phrase "heaven knows" implies that it's ordained they stay together. It also sings very well - the Grass Roots, Luther Vandross, and When In Rome also had hits with that title.
  • Joe "Bean" Esposito sings on this track with Summer. It's not a typical duet, as it's all from the same perspective - Esposito just echoes her lines in the verses.

    Esposito was in the group Brooklyn Dreams, which was also signed to Summer's label, Casablanca - his bandmates Bruce Sudano and Ed Hokenson sang backup on the track. After the song was released, Brooklyn Dreams toured with Summer, so they could join her on stage to perform "Heaven Knows." They made a number of TV appearances performing the song as well.

    AT the time, Summer was dating Sudano. In 1980, they were married, a union that lasted until Summer's death in 2012.
  • Summer wrote this with the help of Pete Bellotte, Greg Mathieson and Giorgio Moroder. Bellotte and Moroder are European producers responsible for several of Summer's hits, including "Love To Love You Baby" and "I Feel Love." Mathieson is a prominent keyboard player and songwriter.
  • This first appeared on Donna Summer's 1978 double album Live And More, where it was part of a suite of songs bookended by her disco cover of "MacArthur Park," #1 hit in November 1978 when it was released as a single. This version of "Heaven Knows" runs just 2:38 and segues seamlessly in the suite between "One Of A Kind" and the "MacArthur Park" reprise. The suite was the "more" part of the album, taking up an entire side (the other three sides were live cuts).

    When "MacArthur Park" took off, it was obvious that "Heaven Knows" should be the next single. Casablanca released a longer version, running 3:37, as a single credited to "Donna Summer with Brooklyn Dreams," and also included it on the 1979 Brooklyn Dreams album Sleepless Nights. It went to #4 in March 1979.

Comments: 6

  • Lisa from North CarolinaIn reply to Eri:

    There’s a possibility that his voice didn’t “fit” as well. Just because two people are married, partners, whatever—doesn’t mean they sing well together. :shrug: I always figured that they recorded it both ways and chose the best take sonically. Donna Summer’s voice deserved nothing less.
  • Eri from Nyc, Ny, UsaMonday May 10th, 2021...
    I have got a very curious and interesting ? for everyone who reads this comment of mine...

    Since Bruce Sudano was her husband UNTIL her death in 2012... WHY OH WHY was Joe *Bean* Esposito singing this duet with her and NOT her husband Bruce?

    This is just so strange to me!!...

    IF there was anyone to actually sing this duet properly with Donna, it really should have been her husband Bruce Sudano and certainly **not** Joe "Bean" Esposito...

    Does someone, anyone actually AGREE with me on this very important point?

    IF there is someone, anyone who can actually answer this burning ? for me...

    I would really apprec this more than I can ever express!!
  • Mary from N.y.OMG. She (Donna Summer) had an amazing voice! I regret not going to her concert the year before her death! I was fortunate to see the Broadway production which was fabulous!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 7th 1979, "Heaven Knows" by Donna Summer entered the Hot Top 100 chart; and on March 11th it peaked at #4 (for 3 weeks) and spent 19 weeks on the Top 100...
    It was surround by #1 records; her version of "MacArthur Park" preceded "Heaven Knows" on the Top 100 and was #1 for 3 weeks, and then the two records that followed it on the chart also reached #1; "Hot Stuff" for 3 weeks and "Bad Girls" for 5 weeks (plus her next release, "Dim All the Lights", stayed at #2 for 2 weeks...
    R.I.P. Ms. Summer, born LaDonna Adrian Gaines, (1948 - 2012).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyBruce Sudano, a member of Brooklyn Dreams; is Donna Summers' husband. Also the group The Grass Roots charted with completely different song titled "Heaven Knows", it peaked at No. 24 in 1969!!!
  • Linda from Antioch, CaI have been listening to Donna Summer again recently. I don't know if I appreciated her enough earlier. She can REALLY sing. The high notes she hits are amazing. BEAUTIFUL VOICE.
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