MEDIA ROOTS – With famous Italian producer Giorgio Moroder (who also produced Blondie and Nina Hagen), Donna Summer created some of the most ground breaking proto techo music that came out of the 70s. New Order even sampled the beat for ‘Blue Monday’ off the track ‘Our Love’.
Donna Summer is mainly unassociated with electronic music history, but she should be. The album ‘Bad Girls’ in particular, has some of the catchiest and ahead of their time electronic dance music productions that Moroder was ever part of. When America heard her hit single ‘I Feel Love’ it was probably the first time the general public heard ‘electronic music’ in pop form. Kraftwerk was pioneering electronic music before Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer, but their music never achieved mainstream success like Donna Summer, which by our estimates catapulted electronic sounds into the world of popular music.
‘Sunset People’ especially is a fantastic energetic fast tempo dance song and one of the best electronic music rarities from the late 70s. Most historical overviews of electronic music only mention her single ‘I Feel Love’ while neglecting to mention the excellent double LP ‘Bad Girls’ which ends with 3 completely electronic proto techno/house songs. The album also features inside cover art of Summer posing as a street walking prostitute, and even reaching inside a flashing man’s overcoat (who happens to be moroder) alluding to his penis size, a far cry from the ‘born again’ Christian image she cultivated later in her career.
Please enjoy this sampling and remembrance of the greatness of Donna Summer. We include the last 3 songs off ‘Bad Girl’ as well as ‘I Feel Love’ her most popular single. May she rest in peace.
Robbie Martin for Media Roots