Sunday, 2 July 2017

Ooh, it's so good, it's so good



Listening to Radio 2 (as is my wont on Sundays) I heard a trailer for a show tomorrow that sent a shockwave down my spine.

For, terrifyingly, it is forty years since the release of one of the most influential songs, ever - I Feel Love by Donna Summer!

The brilliant product of a cross-pollination between the mechanised, electronic world of Giorgio Moroder's synths and the sassy, sleazy world of funk-disco vocal styles, I Feel Love was not only the song that encapsulated the global domination of Disco, but also gave birth to the synth-pop era that made the late 70s and early-mid 80s such an era of experimentation and innovation.

As the blurb for the programme The Summer Of "I Feel Love" says:
Exactly 40 years ago, the combination of Donna Summer's beguiling voice and the studio wizardry of writer-producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte created a record that changed the course of dance music. I Feel Love, released on July 2, 1977, was the template for the electronic revolution that followed, inspiring generations of artists with a daringly futuristic sound that reverberates to this day.

To mark this momentous anniversary, Paul Sexton introduces a celebration of a truly groundbreaking record. The Summer Of "I Feel Love" features memories of its creation from Moroder and Bellotte, while superstar DJs Arthur Baker and John Morales talk about its impact on both the dancefloor and on their lives. Martyn Ware, meanwhile, describes the influence that I Feel Love had on his work with the Human League and Heaven 17. Also featured are techno pioneer Derrick May, author Tim Lawrence and Sister Bliss of Faithless, who reveal what it was like to remix the track that became the very pulse of disco.
It also spawned myriad cover versions, not least by Madonna, Kylie, Blondie, Bette Midler, Moby, and...

...the inimitable Klaus Nomi:


...an Irish fiddle-band called Ham Sandwich:


...Blue Man Group featuring Venus Hum [love that dress!]:


...a Turkish singer called Ülkü:


...and, of course, Bronski Beat and Marc Almond!


However, there is only one original, after all...


Happy birthday, I Feel Love!


Postscript - 3 July 2017

A fact I never realised:
I Remember Yesterday was yet another concept album, cooked up by Bellotte and inspired by Anthony Powell’s novel A Dance to The Music Of Time (also the LP’s original title). Each song would evoke a different decade’s mood, from 40s swing to the 1960s with the Shirelles and Supremes, 70s funk and contemporary disco before alighting upon the future with the final track: I Feel Love.
Read Bill Brewster's history of the making of the song in MixMag

2 comments:

  1. I Feel Love still sounds like the future 40 years later. x

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    Replies
    1. Remarkable, isn't it how certain songs stand the test of time - and others in the chart at the same time as the saintly Donna (such as Oh Lori by the Alessi Brothers, or Angelo by Brotherhood of Man, for example) sound so dated? Jx

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