guilty pleasure monday: i feel love (donna summer)
donna summer’s first hit, to my memory, was love to love you, baby, a song i loathed mostly because it was rumored that she was actually having sex while recording the song, a concept that just was too incredibly repulsive for my ten-year-old mind to wrap around…and something which she wasn’t doing , of course. but just as i hated hearing certain sounds through dormitory walls in college, i certainly have no interest in secondhand sex. i still hate the song. (for all i know, that youtube link above may be cut off. i heard two seconds of it and shut it down. and then, i washed my hands.)
so why, you may ask, am i thinking about donna summer? well, recently, i put together a playlist for a disco bat mitzvah that my synagogue is putting together as a fundraiser. it won’t be my bat mitzvah, even though i actually was bat mitzvah’d in 1978 (and have the hideous pictures, complete with thick, plastic, rectangular glasses to prove it.) i suppose you could say i have a certain level of expertise in this area: i was the DJ for the disco club that year in my intermediate school. (can i get any dorkier, please?) but it should be a fun time. making the playlist allowed me to dip into the magical world of disco, a world i avoided in 1978 — at least around the cool people – because it just wasn’t done in my family.
and one of the songs i’ve rediscovered is i feel love, perhaps one of the first disco songs to be completely backed by synthesizers. it sounded very futuristic to my young ears, as it still does today. in fact, i would boldly note that it almost hints of the new wave music to come. it’s impossible to talk about this song without mentioning giorgio moroder, the producer of many of summer’s hits (including the loathed love to love you thingy above.) he has worked with some of the most famous names, probably disco-fying or electrifying their works. whether or not you like this stuff, he was especially influential during the ’70s and ’80s. (i have him to blame, apparently, for ruining the band berlin, giving them the song take my breath away, a song which essentially took my band — and the contents of my stomach — away. how could he do this to the band that made sex (i’m a) — with HIM?)
anyway, i feel love is not a terribly complicated song. but you hear summer sing, you are lifted up by the chord progression, and the chorus makes you feel joy. pure and simple.
i’d rather feel the joy myself than listen to someone else’s joy. so to speak.
Note to the six people who read GPM faithfully: Guilty Pleasure Monday will be on hiatus during the month of November so that we can bring you Blatantly Bad ’70s Music ALL MONTH LONG as part of National Blog Posting Month (aka NaBloPoMo)! So think of it as a month of really awfully guilty pleasures. If you’ve a tin ear, that is!