"The Wanderer" is a song by American disco singer-songwriter Donna Summer, released as the lead single from her 1980 eighth studio album of the same name which was the first for her new label, Geffen Records, after recording her previous albums with Casablanca Records. Despite the label change, Summer continued to work with Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte who had produced the majority of her disco hits in the late 1970s. However, "The Wanderer" marks a change in style for the queen of 70's disco, incorporating heavy new wave styled synth riffs and a shuffling beat.
Vocally, it was a return to her understated 1975 debut sound - soft, whispery phrases were the norm in this song, taking on an almost Elvis Presley effect, instead of the power belt she had used often since her album Once Upon a Time and single "Last Dance".
This first 45 from the album became a big hit for Summer in the United States - peaking at Number 3 on the Hot 100 singles chart and reaching #2 in Cash Box magazine as well. It was Donna's eleventh single to sell over a million copies in the US. In Canada, the song spent four weeks at number four. A 12" promotional single was issued, however, unlike all her Top 40 hits prior to this one, it was not an extended version.