I Feel Love

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"I Feel Love"
I Feel Love by Donna Summer US vinyl A-side 1977 reissue.jpg
A-side label of US vinyl reissue pressing (1977)
Single by Donna Summer
from the album I Remember Yesterday
B-side"Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)"
ReleasedJuly 2, 1977 (1977-07-02)
StudioMusicland (Munich, West Germany)
  • 5:53 (album version)
  • 3:45 (7" version)
  • 8:15 (12" version)
  • Giorgio Moroder
  • Pete Bellotte
Donna Summer singles chronology
"Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)"
"I Feel Love"
"Shut Out"
Music video
"I Feel Love" on YouTube
Audio sample
"I Feel Love"

"I Feel Love" is a song by Donna Summer. Produced and co-written by Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, it was recorded for Summer's fifth studio album, I Remember Yesterday (1977). The album concept was to have each track evoke a different musical decade; for "I Feel Love", the team aimed to create a futuristic mood, employing a Moog synthesizer.

"I Feel Love" was released May 1, 1977, just before release of the album, as the B-side to the single "Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)", which rose to #20 on the US R&B chart. Two months later, the sides were flipped and the single was reissued. "I Feel Love" was a number one hit in Australia, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, number three in Germany and Italy, number six on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and also topped the charts in many other countries.[1]

"I Feel Love" became popular during the disco period,[3] influencing artists such as David Bowie, Brian Eno, the Human League, and Blondie.[4] The Financial Times credited it as "one of the most influential records ever made", laying the foundations for electronic dance music.[5] In 2011, the Library of Congress added the song to the National Recording Registry as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important".[6][7] It has been covered by acts including Bronski Beat, Messiah and Sam Smith.


Giorgio Moroder in 2015

In 1970s Munich, Musicland Studios, led by producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, had produced a number of disco hits, including Donna Summer's 1975 single "Love To Love You Baby".[8] Summer had moved to Munich to perform in the musical Hair, and had become a successful session vocalist.[8] Moroder described her as "an incredibly talented singer, who could improvise but was also very disciplined".[8]

For Summer's fifth album, I Remember Yesterday (1977), the production team wanted each track to evoke a different musical decade, such as 40s swing, 60s girl groups, and 70s funk and disco. For the final track, "I Feel Love", the team wanted to create a futuristic mood.[8] Whereas most disco recordings had been backed by orchestras,[9] the team produced "I Feel Love" with a Moog Modular 3P synthesizer borrowed from the classical composer Eberhard Schoener, aided by Schoener's assistant, Robby Wedel. Wedel demonstrated how to synchronize the elements using a click track, a feat Moroder described as "a revelation".[8] Wedel's help with the technically complex synthesizer proved essential, and Moroder described him as the "unsung hero" of the project.[8]

"I Feel Love" was recorded on a 16-track tape recorder, with the various parts played on a sequencer.[10][11] As the Moog went out of tune quickly, it had to be recorded in bursts of 20 or 30 seconds before being retuned.[8] To create the hi-hat sound, the team took white noise generated by the Moog and processed it with an envelope.[12] As the Moog could not create a satisfactory kick drum sound, the kick was played on a drum kit by session drummer Keith Forsey.[8] Aside from Summer's vocals, the kick drum is the only element of the song not played by a machine.[8] Unusually for a disco track of the era, Moroder composed the backing track and bassline before the melody. He introduced variety by altering the key at regular intervals and layering Summer's vocals.[13]

The lyrics were written by Bellotte.[8] Summer recorded her vocal in one take.[8] In contrast to the deeper chest voice of most disco vocals, Summer sang in head voice.[12]


"I Feel Love" is in the key of C major, with electronic dance flavor, and choruses and interludes. The album version has a length of 5:53. It was extended to 8:15 for release as a 12" maxi-single,[14] and is included on the 1989 compilation The Dance Collection: A Compilation of Twelve Inch Singles. The song was edited to 3:45 on the 7" format, the fade-in opening sound reaching maximum volume sooner and fades out before the third verse and final choruses. This version 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. A new edit of 3:20 was released on Donna Summer's first compilation album On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II.

Each note of the bassline is doubled by a delay effect. The unmodified bassline plays through the left channel and the slightly delayed repetition through the right, creating a flickering, strobe-like effect.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

According to singer David Bowie, who was then recording his Berlin Trilogy, his collaborator 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."[15] However, Robert Moog, creator of the Moog synthesizer, was critical, saying:[16]

That sequencer bass that's chugging along through the whole thing has a certain energy to it but also a certain sterility because it's always the same ... Warm, lyrical vocals but essentially it sounded like [Summer] was fighting the sequencer. When the sequencer stopped, I felt that I could hear the audience sort of coming alive and breathing a sigh of relief ... When [the song] is played live, what does [the band] do? The audience expects a musician to be doing something and if he's not doing as much as they expect, it's more showbiz than music.

Music critic Vince Aletti wrote that "The pace is fierce and utterly gripping with the synthesizer effects particularly aggressive and emotionally charged." He predicted that the track "should easily equal if not surpass" the success of "Love to Love You Baby" in the clubs.[17]


"I Feel Love" peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the week of November 12, 1977. It reached number nine on the Soul Singles Chart in October 1977. Its 1995 remix peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play.

In the United Kingdom, "I Feel Love" peaked at the top of the UK Singles Chart in July 1977, a position it maintained for four weeks. The 1982 and 1995 remixes of the song peaked at number 21 and number eight on the UK Singles Chart respectively, and sales of these physical singles totaled 956,400.[18] According to the Official Charts Company, together with digital sales, "I Feel Love" has sold 1.07 million copies in the United Kingdom as of June 2013, making it Britain's 103rd best-selling single of all time.[19]

Elsewhere, "I Feel Love" also topped the charts in Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Italy and the Netherlands, and peaked within the top ten of the charts in Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland.[20]


Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte's innovative production spawned its own music genre, imitators in the mainstream disco genre, and was influential in the development of new wave, synth-pop and later techno.

In a 2017 feature on the song's 40th anniversary for Pitchfork, journalist Simon Reynolds reflected that "I Feel Love" had a significant impact on music across all genres for the next decade, including rock-leaning genres such as post-punk and new wave, and subsequent sub-genres of the electronic dance music style the song had pioneered, including Hi-NRG, Italo disco, house, techno, and trance.[21] Reynolds also posited "If any one song can be pinpointed as where the 1980s began, it's 'I Feel Love'."[21]

Mixmag ranked the song number 12 in its 100 Greatest Dance Singles Of All Time list in 1996, writing:

Whenever, however you hear this tune, it's guaranteed to make you smile, shut your eyes and trance out. The first electronic disco masterpiece, disco diva Donna and Moroder's finest, trippiest moment. Whether it's Derrick May or Carl Craig slipping Patrick Cowley's deliciously psychedelic 1982 remix into their techno sets, or Masters at Work climaxing a four deck set with last years garaged-up remake, or just some bloke in a bow tie playing the original at your brother's wedding, this record is timeless. And priceless.[22]

In 2013, Mixmag ranked it number 19 in its '50 Greatest Dance Tracks Of All Time.[23]

Slant ranked the song 1st in its 100 Greatest Dance Songs-list in 2006, writing:

No longer would synthesizers remain the intellectual property of prog-classical geeks. And, separated from its LP context and taken as a Top 10 single, it didn't just suggest the future, it was the future. Cooing ascending couplets of an almost banal ecstasy, Summer's breathy vocals still dwelled in the stratosphere of her own manufactured sensation.[24]

In 2011, The Guardian's Richard Vine ranked the release of "I Feel Love" as one of 50 key events in the history of dance music, proclaiming it "one of the first to fully utilise the potential of electronics, replacing lush disco orchestration with the hypnotic precision of machines".[25]

Time Out listed the song number 12 in their The 100 best party songs list in 2018, writing:

Sometimes a song comes along that's so innovative that it changes the shape of the musical landscape for decades, whilst also getting you to shake yo bootay. This timeless, Giorgio Moroder-produced disco anthem from 1977 did exactly that, becoming the first purely electronic jam to make it big and pretty much inventing dance music in the process.[26]

Critics' lists[edit]

The information regarding lists including "I Feel Love" is adapted from Acclaimed Music, except where otherwise noted.[27] Asterisk designates lists that are unordered.

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Les Inrockuptibles France 1000 Indispensable Songs 2006 *
1000 Necessary Songs 2015 *
Volume 200 Records that Changed the World 2008 *
Musikexpress Germany The 700 Best Songs of All Time 2014 134
Rolling Stone The 500 Best Songs of All Time 2004 458
Spex The Best Singles of the Century 1999 *
NPO Radio 2 Netherlands Top 40 Songs by Year 1969-2000 2013 18
Panorama Norway The 30 Best Singles of the Year 1970-98 1999 1
BBC United
Pop on Trial, Top 50 Songs from the 1970s 2008 *
Robert Dimery 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die:
And 10,001 You Must Download
2010 *
The Guardian 1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear 2009 *
A history of modern music 2011 *
IDJ Magazine The 50 Greatest Dance Singles 2004 37
Mixmag The 100 Best Dance Singles of All Time 1996 12
Mojo The 100 Records That Changed the World 2007 96
Gary Mulholland This Is Uncool: The 500 Best Singles Since Punk Rock 2002 *
Muzik The 50 Most Influential Records of All Time 2003 *
NME The 100 Best Songs of NME's Lifetime 2012 79
The 100 Best Songs of the 1970s 6
The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time 2014 3
Q The 50 Most Exciting Tunes Ever 2002 44
100 Songs That Changed the World 2003 36
The 1001 Best Songs Ever *
The 1010 Songs You Must Own 2004 *
Top 20 Singles from 1970-1979 3
The Ultimate Music Collection 2005 *
Paul Roland CD Guide to Pop & Rock, 100 Essential Singles 2001 *
Uncut The 100 Greatest Singles from the Post-Punk Era 11
100 Rock and Movie Icons 2005 68
Blender United
Standout Tracks from the 500 CDs You Must Own 2003 *
Dave Marsh, Kevin Stein The 40 Best of the Top 40 Singles by Year 1981 15
Michaelangelo Matos Top 100 Singles of the 1970s 2001 4
Pitchfork The Pitchfork 500 2008 *
The 200 Best Songs of the 1970s[28] 2016 4
PopMatters The 100 Best Songs Since Johnny Rotten Roared 2003 38
Rolling Stone The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time 2004 411
40 Songs That Changed the World 2007 *
Time The All-Time 100 Songs 2011 *
Treble The Top 200 Songs of the 1970s 2012 14

Track listings[edit]

7" single Casablanca CA. 501[29]

  1. "I Feel Love" – 5:53
  2. "Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)" – 4:25

12" maxi Casablanca NBD-20104 [US][29]

  1. "I Feel Love" – 8:15
  2. "Love To Love You" – 16:50

Single-Side - 12" maxi Casablanca NBD-20104 [US][29]

  1. "I Feel Love" – 8:15
  2. "Theme From The Deep (Down, Deep Inside)" – 6:06

7" single GTO GT 100 [UK][29]

  1. "I Feel Love" – 5:53
  2. "Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)" – 3:56



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[58] Platinum 150,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[59] Gold 500,000^
United States (RIAA)[60] Gold 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Patrick Cowley remix[edit]

In 1978, disco and hi-NRG DJ Patrick Cowley created a 15:43 remix of "I Feel Love" which, despite not impressing Moroder[citation needed], became a popular "underground classic" available only on acetate discs.[61] 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.[61] 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.[62] With this wider release, "I Feel Love" became a dance floor hit again, five years after its debut. A further-edited 7" single reached number 21 on the UK Singles Chart.

The Patrick Cowley mix was out of print until it was released on the bonus disc of the 2003 UK edition of The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer and the Ben Liebrand compilation album Grand 12-Inches. It also exists on the 2013 double disc I Feel Love: The Collection.

1995 and 2013 remixes[edit]

"I Feel Love (1995 Remix)"
Donna Summer-I Feel Love (1995 Remix).jpg
Single by Donna Summer
Producer(s)Rollo & Sister Bliss
Donna Summer singles chronology
"Any Way at All"
"I Feel Love (1995 Remix)"
"Whenever There Is Love"
Music video
"I Feel Love (1995 Remix)" on YouTube

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 production duo Rollo & Sister Bliss of UK electronic group Faithless – and also new vocals by Summer. The single became a UK number 8 hit,[44] the second time the song had entered the Top 10,[44] and the '95 Radio Edit was later included as a bonus track on PolyGram France's version of the Endless Summer compilation. The 1995 release also peaked at number 80 in Australia.[63]

In 2013, a remix by Dutch DJ Afrojack was released together with remixes by other DJs of other Donna Summer songs.[64]


Bronski Beat versions[edit]

Bronski Beat included a medley of "I Feel Love" with "Johnny Remember Me" on their groundbreaking gay themed The Age of Consent in 1984. The album charted in many markets and went platinum in the UK and Canada, with gay anthems "Smalltown Boy" and "Why?" hitting the top 10 in the UK, Germany, France, and several other European markets, as well as being popular on U.S. dancefloors. Jimmy Somerville left Bronski Beat in 1985 and went on to have success as lead singer of The Communards and as a solo artist.

Hundreds & Thousands included two new recordings with Somerville and remixes of The Age of Consent songs[clarification needed]; it was released in 1985. The "I Feel Love" medley was extended with an intro of a cover of Summer's "Love to Love You Baby" and John Leyton's "Johnny Remember Me" with some new vocals from Marc Almond from Soft Cell; it was released as a single that hit No. 3 in the UK.

Messiah version[edit]

"I Feel Love"
Single by Messiah
from the album 21st Century Jesus
  • 1992 (UK)
  • 1994 (U.S.)
  • Kickin Studios
  • Moody Studios, London
  • Donna Summer
  • Giorgio Moroder
  • Pete Bellotte
  • Messiah
  • Ralph P. Ruppert
Messiah singles chronology
"There Is No Law"
"I Feel Love"

English electronic duo Messiah released their version of "I Feel Love" in 1992, featuring singer Precious Wilson on vocals. This version was a top 20 hit, peaking at No. 19 on the UK Singles Chart.[72] In the U.S., it was released as a single in 1994 and reached No. 15 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart in early 1995, spending a total of 10 weeks on the chart.[73]

Track listings[edit]

UK 12"

A. "I Feel Love" – 4:11
B1. "The Future Is Ours" – 3:45
B2. "I Feel Love (Voxless)" – 4:03

US 12" maxi

A1. "I Feel Love" (Centurion Mix)
A2. "I Feel Love" (Journey of Love)
A3. "I Feel Love" (Sellout Pussy Radio Mix)
B1. "I Feel Love" (I Feel Dub)
B2. "I Feel Love" (Kiss My Beat and Move)
B3. "I Feel Love" (American Version)

Sam Smith version[edit]

"I Feel Love"
Sam Smith - I Feel Love.png
Single by Sam Smith
from the EP Dance
ReleasedNovember 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)
LabelCapitol UK
  • Donna Summer
  • Giorgio Moroder
  • Pete Bellotte
Producer(s)Guy Lawrence
Sam Smith singles chronology
"How Do You Sleep?"
"I Feel Love"
"To Die For"

Sam Smith released a cover of the song on 1 November 2019,[76] calling it a "queer anthem", "an honour and most importantly so much fun to have a go at" and the "highest song" that they have ever sung.[77] Smith's version would also eclipse Summer's original (which peaked at number 3 in 1977) on Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart, going all the way to number one in its 25 January 2020 issue. The song was intended to appear on Smith's third studio album To Die For; however, as Smith has delayed the album's release, it is no longer included on the album.[78]

Track listing[edit]

  • Digital download / streaming
  1. "I Feel Love" – 4:14
  • 12" picture disc[79]
  1. "I Feel Love"
  2. "I Feel Love" (Extended)


Chart (2019–2020) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[80] 19
Belgium Dance (Ultratop Flanders)[81] 14
Belgium Dance (Ultratop Wallonia)[82] 49
Euro Digital Song Sales (Billboard)[83] 11
Hungary (Single Top 40)[84] 40
Ireland (IRMA)[85] 78
Mexico Airplay (Billboard)[86] 5
New Zealand Hot Singles (RMNZ)[87] 22
Scotland (OCC)[88] 24
UK Singles (OCC)[89] 76
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[90] 1
US Digital Song Sales (Billboard)[91] 14
US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs (Billboard)[92] 8

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Various November 1, 2019 Capitol [93]
United Kingdom November 16, 2019 Adult contemporary radio [94]
Various August 29, 2020 12" [79]


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