Donna Summer R.I.PMay 18, 2012
Donna summer, disco queen and a diva in the true sense of the word has died. Apparently it was cancer that took her. She was 63. Sixty three! I have her stuck at around the 30 mark in the amber of my mind, but she had clearly moved on. Donna, along with my childhood had just left the building.
Like many other great singers such as Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Whitney Houston, the young Donna developed her singing chops in church and once grown, like those before her, she jumped into the mouth of Beelzebub, also known as the music industry. After stints in musicals such as Hair and singing backing tracks for other artists, she had her first big hit with producer Giorgio Moroder called Love to Love You Baby, a controversial track banned by the BBC because of her moans and groans. This means that although I had heard about it at the time, I didn’t get to hear until many years later.
She had a high hit rate in the charts with such tracks as Love’s Unkind, She Works Hard For The Money, Hot Stuff, State Of Independence and Dinner With Gershwin. But there’s only one song for me: I Feel Love. Produced by Moroder, this futuristic marvel came out in 1977 and it stands up well against the music of today. As far as I’m concerned this tune never gets old: the amount of remixes and sampling proves it. There are many versions of this track on YouTube and some of them are quite good, but the following three are often cited as the best of the bunch. Before we go to the remixes, however, say hello to the original. It’s a live performance version and she’s hitting those high notes like you wouldn’t believe…
Here’s a version by Rollo and Sister Bliss, otherwise known as members of the recently disbanded Faithless.
House/Garage producers Masters At Work had a go in 1995. It’s very much of its time, but it’s still good.
Patrick Cowley’s version is often cited as the definitive remix. I’d have to agree.
And here’s a quirky one I found whilst looking for the others. Someone had run it in reverse. It sounds almost the same as the original, but slightly ethereal.
The artist has gone, but the music lives on. R.I.P, Donna.