independent

Monday 26 August 2019

Retro Top Ten: This week in 1977

Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder circa 1977
Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder circa 1977

A mixed bag of disco, punk and drippy ballads in our top ten from 42 years ago this week, providing an accurate snapshot of the changing chart landscape of the late seventies.

Top of the tree is disco queen Donna Summer - one of the best selling artists of all time - with a disco blockbuster that's widely credited as being the starting point of electronic dance music.

'I Feel Love' was written for Summer by the Italian 'father of disco' Giorgio Moroder, with lyrics by Pete Bellotte (who also has a co-credit on Donna Summer's 1979 hit 'Hot Stuff').

'I Feel Love', with its driving Moog sythesizer, was produced with a deliberately 'futuristic' sound. It was recorded for Summer's fifth album 'I Remember Yesterday', a concept album with each track evoking the feel of a different decade: 40s swing, 60s girl groups, 70s funk and disco, etc. 'I Feel Love' was to be the final track, heralding the future.

Summer recorded 'I Feel Love' in Musicland Studios, Berlin, where David Bowie was also recording his Berlin Trilogy of albums ('Low', 'Heroes' and 'Lodger').

In his 'Sound & Vision' CD liner notes, Bowie is quoted as saying that collaborator Brian Eno: 'came running in and said, "I have heard the sound of the future". He puts on 'I Feel Love' by Donna Summer. He said, "This is it, look no further. This single is going to change the sound of club music for the next fifteen years." Which was more or less right.'

'I Feel Love' has to date topped a million in UK sales alone. Hailed as the first electronic disco masterpiece, it set a template for the eighties revolution in electronic music production and style.

Donna Summer - born LaDonna Adrian Gaines - died from lung cancer at the age of 63 on May 17, 2012.

1 I Feel Love Donna Summer

2 Angelo Brotherhood of Man

3 Ma Baker Boney M

4 So You Win Again Hot Chocolate

5 Fanfare For The Common Man Emerson Lake & Palmer

6 We're All Alone Rita Coolidge

7 It's Your Life Smokie

8 Pretty Vacant The Sex Pistols

9 You Got What It Takes Showaddywaddy

10 Oh, Lori Alessi

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