I Feel Love

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"I Feel Love"
Single by Donna Summer
from the album I Remember Yesterday
B-side "Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)"
Released July 2, 1977
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded 1976
Genre
Length 5:53
Label Casablanca (U.S.)
GTO Records (UK)
Writer(s) Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, Pete Bellotte
Producer(s) Giorgio Moroder
Pete Bellotte
Certification Gold (US)
Gold (UK)
Donna Summer singles chronology
"Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)"
(1977)
"I Feel Love"
(1977)
"Shut Out"
(1977)
Audio sample
file info · help

"I Feel Love" is a song by American singer and songwriter Donna Summer, taken from her 1977 concept album, I Remember Yesterday.

The song constituted the "future" segment of the album, which represented a stylistic progress through time. The title track of the I Remember Yesterday album represented the 1920s, "Love's Unkind" the 1950s, "Back in Love Again" the 1960s and the album concluded with the futuristic "I Feel Love". The song peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and number nine on the Billboard Hot Soul Chart. Internationally, the song topped the charts in Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and peaked within the top ten of the charts in Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Republic of South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland. It quickly became popular in gay dance clubs and was adopted as a gay anthem.[1] "I Feel Love" is ranked #418 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. "I Feel Love" was added to the National Recording Registry in 2012.[2]

Production[edit]

Before "I Feel Love", most disco recordings had been backed by acoustic orchestras[3] although all-electronic music had been produced for decades. Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte's innovative production of this disco-style song, recorded with an entirely synthesized backing track, utilizing a Moog synthesizer, spawned imitators in the disco genre, and was influential in the development of techno. Moroder went to work on the song with Bellotte in his Musicland studio in Munich. "We wanted to conclude with a futuristic song," he said, "and I decided that it had to be done with a synthesizer."[4] Atypically of disco tracks in this era, Moroder composed the backing track and bass line before composing the melody. Moroder introduced a degree of variety by altering the song's key at regular intervals and layering in Summer's repetitive and synthesized vocals. [5]

Critical reception[edit]

According to David Bowie, then in the middle of recording of his Berlin Trilogy with Brian Eno, its impact on the genre's direction was recognized early on:

One day in Berlin ... 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."[6]

Famed music critic Vince Aletti wrote that, "The pace is fierce and utterly gripping with the synthesizer effects particularly aggressive and emotionally charged." He went on to predict that the track "should easily equal if not surpass" the success of "Love to Love You Baby" in the clubs.[7]

The album version lasts for almost six minutes. It was extended for release as a 12" maxi-single,[8] the eight-minute version included on the 1989 compilation The Dance Collection: A Compilation of Twelve Inch Singles. The song was slightly edited on the 7" format, the fade-in opening sound reaching maximum volume sooner. A version which fades out at 3:45, before the third verse and final choruses, has been included on a large number of greatest hits packages and other compilations issued by PolyGram, Mercury Records, Universal Music and others, such as 1994's Endless Summer: Greatest Hits and 2003's The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer.

In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked "I Feel Love" #418 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The review for the song stated that Moroder, Bellotte and Summer "claimed tomorrow in the name of disco."[9]

Following the track's success, within months Summer and Moroder and Bellotte produced the 11-minute "Now I Need You"/"Working the Midnight Shift" sequence on Summer's 1977 double album Once Upon a Time, which successfully builds on "I Feel Love"'s pioneering ethereal vocals, mechanised beats, sequenced arpeggios and ostinato basslines.

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, the song peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1977, but only reached a peak of number forty five on the Billboard Adult Contemporary. Its 1995 remix peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play.

In the United Kingdom, "I Feel Love" peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart in July 1977. The 1982 and 1995 remixes of the song peaked at number twenty one and number eight on the chart respectively, and sales of these physical singles totalled 956,400.[10] According to the Official Charts Company, together with digital sales, "I Feel Love" has sold 1.07 million copies in Britain as of June 2013, making it the country's 103rd best-selling single of all time.[11]

Cover versions[edit]

Charts[edit]

Patrick Cowley remix[edit]

"I Feel Love (Patrick Cowley Remix)"
Single by Donna Summer
Released 1982
Format 7" single, 12" single
Length 15:53 (Megamix)
8:50 (Megaedit)
Donna Summer singles chronology
"State of Independence"
(1982)
"I Feel Love (Patrick Cowley Remix)"
(1982)
"The Woman in Me"
(1983)

In 1978, disco and Hi-NRG pioneer Patrick Cowley created a 15:45 remix of "I Feel Love" which, despite not impressing Moroder, became a popular "underground classic" available only on acetate discs.[31] The remix used loops, keeping the song's bass-line going for extended passages of overdubbed effects and synthesiser parts.

In mid-1980, Cowley's mix was released with the title "I Feel Love / I Feel Megalove" and subtitle "The Patrick Cowley MegaMix", but only on a limited vinyl pressing by the DJ-only subscription service Disconet.[31] Since this pressing was not available to the general public for commercial sale, it became highly sought after by collectors.

In 1982 the mix was released on a commercially available 12" single in the UK market by Casablanca, backed with an 8-minute edited version.[32] With this wider release, "I Feel Love" became a dance floor hit again, five years after its debut. A further-edited 7" single reached #21 on the UK singles chart.

The Patrick Cowley mix is now available on the second ("bonus") disc of The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer.

1995 remixes[edit]

"I Feel Love (The 1995 Remixes)"
Single by Donna Summer
Released 1995
Format 12" single, CD single
Label PolyGram
Donna Summer singles chronology
"Any Way At All"
(1994)
"I Feel Love (The 1995 Remixes)"
(1995)
"State of Independence (The 1996 Remixes)"
(1996)

Following 1993's The Donna Summer Anthology and 1994's Endless Summer: Greatest Hits, both released by PolyGram, "I Feel Love" was re-released on the PolyGram sublabel Manifesto in a newly remixed form as a single in 1995, including mixes by Masters At Work and Rollo Armstrong and Sister Bliss of UK remixer/producer team Faithless – and also new vocals by Summer herself. The single became a UK #8 hit, the second time the song had entered the Top 10, and the '95 Radio Edit was later included as a bonus track on PolyGram France's version of the Endless Summer compilation.

The song was again remixed and issued as a single in 2005.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Benjamin Genocchio. "Exploring the Effects of Disco's Beat", New York Times. February 19, 2006.
  2. ^ New York Times blog [1], May 23, 2012.
  3. ^ All Music review
  4. ^ Lawrence, Tim (2004). Love saves the day : a history of American dance music culture, 1970-1979 (2. printing. ed.). Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press. p. 254. ISBN 0822331985. 
  5. ^ "AllMusic Donna Summer biography". Retrieved 2011-03-12. "Eschewing the strings and typical disco excess, "I Feel Love" was the first major pop hit recorded with an entirely synthesized backing track; its lean, sleek arrangement and driving, hypnotic pulse laid the groundwork not only for countless Euro-dance imitators, but also for the house music revolution of the '80s and '90s." 
  6. ^ David Bowie and Kurt Loder (1989). Sound and Vision: CD liner notes
  7. ^ Lawrence, Tim (2004). Love saves the day : a history of American dance music culture, 1970-1979 (2. printing. ed.). Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press. p. 253. ISBN 0822331985. 
  8. ^ Discogs - I Feel Love vinyl-12 1977 Casablanca Records (NBD 20104) US
  9. ^ Rolling Stone review
  10. ^ "Official Charts Analysis: UK suffers lowest album sales week since 1996". MusicWeek. May 21, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  11. ^ Lane, Daniel (June 27, 2013). "Daft Punk's Get Lucky becomes one of the UK’s biggest selling singles of all-time!". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 2, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Australia n°1 Hits - 70's". Worldcharts.co.uk. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "Donna Summer – I Feel Love – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Donna Summer – I Feel Love" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  15. ^ "I feel love in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Steve Hawtin et al. "Song title 712 - I Feel Love". Tsort.info. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "Donna Summer – I Feel Love". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment.
  18. ^ a b c "The Irish Chart - All there is to know". IRMA. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  19. ^ "The best-selling singles of 1977 in Italy". HitParadeItalia (it). Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
    5. I feel love - Donna Summer [#1]
  20. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Donna Summer - I Feel Love search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  21. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Donna Summer – I Feel Love" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  22. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Donna Summer – I Feel Love". Top 40 Singles.
  23. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Donna Summer – I Feel Love". VG-lista.
  24. ^ John Samson. "I feel love in South African Chart". Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  25. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Donna Summer – I Feel Love". Singles Top 60.
  26. ^ "Donna Summer – I Feel Love – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
  27. ^ a b c d "Donna Summer". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  28. ^ a b c d "Donna Summer awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  29. ^ a b "Lescharts.com – Donna Summer – I Feel Love" (in French). Les classement single.
  30. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Donna Summer - I Feel Love - Remixed By Rollo/Sister Bliss And Masters At Work search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  31. ^ a b DJ News Vol. 3 Program 7, Disconet, June 1980, retrieved 2010-07-17 
  32. ^ "I Feel Love release info at Discogs". Retrieved 2011-04-18. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"So You Win Again" by Hot Chocolate
UK number one single
23 July 1977
(for four weeks)
Succeeded by
"Angelo" by Brotherhood of Man