(Published by Musika)
As I’m sure you are now aware, Donna Summer died yesterday (May 17), creating a deluge of tributes on Twitter. And no wonder – without Donna Summer, modern music would have been completely different than it is today, and it’s all due to one song. In fact, you could say pop music has two parts; before ‘I Feel Love’ and after it.
But surely it’s just another disco record, and as everyone knows ‘disco sucks’, right? Wrong. The song – written by Summer and produced by Georgio Moroder, then an upcoming producer who has since gone on to win three Oscars – was the first UK number one single to feature solely electronic instruments. Basically, these eight minutes of synths, squeals and lust are where it all begins.
Just think about it. Without this, post-punk loses its electronic elements and the 80s as we know them (for better or for worse) don’t exist, which means no 00s revival. The whole concept of what it is to be a female pop performer stalls, meaning no Madonna (who sampled ‘I Feel Love’ for her ‘Confessions Tour’) and no Grace Jones. Kraftwerk remain a German oddity, rather than getting to number one with ‘The Model’. No Gary Numan. Hell, no ‘OK Computer’.
So basically, it’s extremely important and incredible. But don’t just take my word for it. As David Bowie put it in his ‘Sound and Vision’ liner notes, “One day in Berlin… Eno came running in and said, ‘I have heard the sound of the future.’ He puts on ‘I Feel Love’. He said, ‘This is it… This single is going to change the sound of club music for the next fifteen years.’ Which was more or less right” – this coming from two men who know a thing or two about the ‘sound of the future’!