Among the sincere regrets of my life is that I was not 21 or 22 in 1977, when this monster hit dance floors for the first time. To be in a disco the first time we all heard “I Feel Love” — that undulating synth, matched to the beat of our hearts, surging ahead while Donna Summer cooed in the distance? We would have lost our minds.
“I Will Survive” is a great song that lives on only as kitsch, but “I Feel Love” is the real deal. I’m not sure any song from the disco era still sounds as urgent today; there’s a reason why Madonna mashed it up with “Future Lovers” for the opening performance of her Confessions on a Dance Floor tour. More than 30 years after it came out, “I Feel Love” still felt like the future.
Here’s David Bowie: “One day in Berlin … [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.”