So Donna, you’ve gone the way of too many greats recently. My friend Sean always say deaths go in 3′s, so with Yauch, Chuck Brown and now you, hopefully that’s it for a while.
My first experience of you and your music, were the strange groans that emanated from my tranny radio, underpinned by the dirtiest little bass line that started my unhealthy devotion to the art of boom. “Mum why is that women in pain?” I probably asked, at which point my mum would have rapidly switched over to Radio4.
‘Love to Love You Baby’ was not jus a young mans sniggering wet dream, it was a dynamic slab of pure class soul that set Euro dance on it’s way to defining its own unique style. Understated but majestic at the same time, it had the uncanny knack of suggesting by far the most intriguing aspects of a women’s body, draped in silks in some luxurious penthouse, well it did for me (swiss tony anyone?)
Those compressed octave pianos through loads of reverb seared into my brain (a sound I’ve copied many a time) and then those swooping strings dancing melodically in unison over that euro groove that only an understated Italian could have produced.
But it’s an American that separated it from being jus another musical out take from a dodgy porn movie.
Donna owned that toon from that first searing falsetto “I love to love you baby” and the way she held back on the word “baby”, pure dirt. And then the mighty drop that paved the way for those primeval groans that sadly would plague her in her later Christian rebirth (god didn’t create sex?)
It’s doing the rest of the song a complete disservice to say that the only reason that track broke were those 40 odd seconds.
How could you follow such a work of art?
‘I Feel Love’
Fuck me. I mean literally fuck me. In every way shape and form this is one of the most important records of all time. Yes Day in the Life, Yes Heartbreak Hotel, Yes Smells Like Teen Spirit.
YES, YES, YES!!!
I FEEL LOVE!!!!
It started electronic dance music. It started female pop dance, Madonna, Kylie, Britney, Katy Perry, Rhianna, Nikki Minag, you name it. ‘I Feel Love’ was the blueprint. 16′s sequencer, 4′s kik, spacy clap’s, soft phasy lead string parts and those ‘I’m right hear whispering this shit in you ear, are you ready for me?’ vocals.
I was in love.
To this day when I hear that opening whosh and the grinding B’line, my heart jus flies and I’m moving. It has that same deep rooted spiritual mess head that something like Dark Side of the Moon or the Hindu Mantras have, transcending music and art and lifting you, flying and soaring.
Also the 15 minute Patrick Cowley remix was fantastic for grabbing a quick pee in the mammoth 5 hour DJ sets at Ministry and the like that I used to do!
Did she stop? Did she fuck!
I had to remind myself of her track record.
Last Dance, MacArthur park, Hot stuff, Bad Girls, No More Tears, On The Radio, The Wanderer, She Works Hard for the Money, Dinner with Gershwin and State Of Independence.
Aaaah State of Independence. The scene of many a stupid tearful end of night, early morning, I love u session after one to many. Never has the word ‘yeahyeaheyeahyeaheoooh’ sounded so good.
I love Donna Summer, or rather loved. (when they die is it love or loved?)
If you don’t know anything about her or her music spend an hour in her company. You won’t be disappointed.
You can start here