Thursday, May 17, 2012

Donna Summer RIP

I have no idea where to begin with this one.  Donna Summer ... dead?  Impossible.

Music for me has simply never existed without Donna Summer.  My earliest memories of listening to music don't involve Depeche Mode or techno.  It was all about disco and Donna Summer.  My parents had a huge collection of disco 12" singles and they were played constantly.  We had Beatles and other rock records too but they weren't in heavy rotation.  "Bad Girls" was.  These are pretty much the extent of my memories of the 1970's.  

When videos came along, Donna Summer was there too.  "She Works Hard For the Money" (the song and the video both) was a big hit at the time.  

In the days before file sharing, I exhausted myself trying to track down some of Donna Summer's music, but especially the remixes of "I Feel Love".  It usually doesn't need to be said, but if not today then when ... "I Feel Love" is probably the best song of the 1970's.  Saying that a song was "influential" is one of the most overused terms in music, but "I Feel Love" really did change the world of music as we know it.  I can't conceive of most club music (house, techno, trance, eurodance, etc., and most of their derivatives) existing without it.  Many contemporary DJ's still play it, and it always seamlessly fits in with whatever style of music they're playing.   Now that's a timeless track.  

RIP to one of the best music makers ever.

[edit: There are no shortage of Donna Summer obits being written, my favourite is Jody Rosen's in Slate.] 

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