RIP Donna Summer
We remember the Queen of Disco with a playlist.
Today is a sad day: Donna Summer, Queen of Disco, has died aged 63, allegedly from cancer. (I know this because my boyfriend woke me up at 6:30am to tell me.)
Summer was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and like many other famous singers (and Lauryn Hill in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit) she found her voice as a choir girl at her local church. In the early seventies she moved to Germany to take up a role in the Munich-based production of Hair, and began singing backup for Three Dog Night (the people responsible for 'Joy to the World'). Meanwhile she met the World's Coolest Man and Godfather of the Arpeggiated Synthesiser, Giorgio Moroder (above, in moustache), and approached him with an idea she had for a song, based around the lyrics "love to love you baby". Originally intended for another writer, Moroder convinced Summer to use this crazy new Euro Sound that he'd been working on, and when they recorded the demo she wanted to sing "like Marilyn Monroe", so she asked for the lights to be turned off, lay on the floor, and writhed around as she sang the lyrics interspersed with orgasmic moaning (I've alse read that they called in her husband to make it sound even more authentic). As they say, the rest is history (16-minute long history, actually). Summer spent the rest of her career trying to shake off her sexy image, eventually becoming a born-again Christian.
She spent her last few years residing in sunny Key West, Florida, as all great musicians should. Here's a Donna Summer Top 5. Rest In Peace.
'Sunset People'/'Bad Girls'
Worth it just for Donna's outfit in 'Bad Girls' (comes in at the three minute mark), which also happens to feature Twiggy, Debralee Scott and Pat Ast. This is taken from The Donna Summer Special, which aired on ABC in 1980.
'I Feel Love'
I chose this version in particular because Donna dances the robot the entire way through.
'Love To Love You Baby'
You should definitely check out the long version as well, worth it alone for the saxophone that comes in over the top at 7:22.
'On The Radio'
Not a huge fan of the chorus, but the verse is one of her best.