Day 3 – Donna Summer – I Feel Love
So here I am, a rock fan citing a massive 1970’s dance song as a nostalgic memory.
I have to say that I very nearly bought I Feel Love as my very first single, such was my love for the song. The year was 1977 and the synthesizer was just making an appearance.
I was fourteen and music was a very important part of my life. I still didn’t own a single record but I had a great mate who I shall call S whose parents gave him pocket money, which he promptly spent on singles.
Sadly, he didn’t like I Feel Love; he simply wouldn’t buy it.
I had to rely once more on Top of the Pops and Radio One. The song was number one and ubiquitous. What did I like about it? The synthesizers – they were a totally new type of music and I was hooked from the second I heard it.
The guy behind the music was Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer’s voice added the icing to the cake.
I was past caring what my dad thought about it to be honest but I do have to thank him for two things when it comes to this record.
First, he was a geek and loved gadgets. Although relatively speaking we didn’t have much money, my dad was very careful and saved up for treats. These treats came in the form of holidays and gadgets. In the 70’s he splashed out on a music centre, a combination record player, radio and cassette player with Dolby (I had no idea what that was). All I know is that the sound of the record player was immense and like nothing I had heard before.
Second, my dad actually said that if I bought my own records he would allow me to play them – when he was out of course.
“I don’t have any cash” I wailed.
“Get a job then,” he replied.
So I did. I walked down to the local newsagent and asked about a paper round.
I still remember when that first payment arrived; I was beside myself with pride and rushed down to Walsall to buy singles. I soon ran out of money.
Sadly, I Feel Love was out of the charts by this time so I was quite gutted to be honest – until I spotted Donna Summer’s Greatest Hits.
Can you imagine my dilemma? I had a small amount of money to spend on singles and one of my favourite songs was there in its full eight minute glory on an LP.
An LP for God’s sake. I couldn’t afford that.
I bit the bullet and bought it anyway. Yes, dear reader – my first LP was Donna Summer’s Greatest Hits.
Me, a heavy metal loving progressive rock monster bought the Queen of Disco’s album in the 70’s.
I don’t care – I loved it.
I still do.
It sounded utterly colossal on my dad’s new music centre and I used to play it full blast – when he was out.
This was the first taste of electronic music I had had and yet another seed had been sewn.
Embarrassingly there was another song on the album called Love To Love You Baby that came in at a cool 13 minutes long. It was a massive anthem and I didn’t quite grasp the significance of it until my parents heard it. Basically it consists of Donna Summer groaning her way through a full 13 minute orgasm to the words "Love to love you baby", urging somebody to “Do it to me again and again”.
You can imagine the look of shock on their faces and the look of sheer discomfiture as Donna Summer feigned having sex for 13 minutes with a guy with more stamina than most.
I Feel Love, sadly, became a massive gay anthem for some reason (not sure why) and, sadly, Marc Almond and Bronski Beat destroyed it in the 80’s mixing it with the aforementioned Love To Love You Baby. It was a shame.
I have nothing against the gay community adopting it but I was bitterly disappointed by their cover version.
I’ll finish off by suggesting that you check out the 13 minute sex marathon that is Love To Love You Baby – just don’t play it in front of your kids.