Thursday, May 17, 2012

Remembering Donna Summer

I was shocked to read of Donna Summer's death today at age 63.  I became aware of music and began buying albums during the Disco era and so her music was inescapable. I remember listening to a transistor radio in our garage in Alaska when "Love to Love You, Baby" came on and was, without knowing quite why, unnerved and seduced. I knew it was naughty and still extremely desirable. Her crystalline voice, those moans, that beat, it was like she was taking sex AND music into the 21st Century. While her later career tended toward the pleasant pop side, it was her earliest hits that had the most impact on modern music. The song, "I Feel Love," that she created with Giorgio Moroder, may be the one number that both melded disparate styles, created something entirely new, and then went on to spawn wholly new genres like House and Techno. It was the perfect marriage of Black American Soul and the chrome plated electronic precision of European electronic dance music. It still sounds like the sexiest future imaginable.

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