Dim all the lights for Donna Summer, the disco diva who lost her battle with cancer today at 63. She was more than just one of the Seventies’ mightiest voices; she was the artist who exemplified the way disco broke out of the gay club subculture to take over the world. “Bad Girls,” “I Feel Love,” “Hot Stuff,” “On The Radio” – these were bold and innovative records, but they not only became global hits, they defined the beat of pop music ever since.
Donna Summer would be remembered as a ground-breaking artist today even if she’d retired the day after she recorded “I Feel Love” in 1977. She wrote the song with European producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, who created an electro-dystopian mirror-ball glacier-wave wall of machine rhythm, the musical equivalent of catching a stranger’s dead-eyed stare on the dance floor. Summer’s voice floated over the synthesizers as if feeling love meant zoning out into your own private nightworld of sensory overload. This is what Summer was talking about when she boasted, “I could be a Bette Davis-type actress. Catty, cold, precise and domineering.” It was all there in “I Feel Love.” [Read More]