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
Length 5:53
  • Giorgio Moroder
  • Pete Bellotte
  • Gold (US)
  • Gold (UK)
Donna Summer singles chronology
"Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)"
"I Feel Love"
"Shut Out"
Audio sample
file info · help

"I Feel Love" is a song by American singer-songwriter Donna Summer from her fifth studio album I Remember Yesterday (1977). It reached number six on the US Billboard Hot 100. Giorgio Moroder, the song's producer, was an early adaptor of electronic sequencers, teutonic melody and four-four beats. The song became popular in High Energy and gay discos,[1] while earlier disco hits were based on soft string and assuring female vocals, "I Feel Love" is formed on a hard kick drum and progressive bass lines seminal in the development of modern electronic dance music.


Before "I Feel Love", most disco recordings had been backed by acoustic orchestras[2] 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."[3]

Unusual for a disco track of that era, Moroder composed the backing track and bass line before the melody. He introduced a degree of variety by altering the song's key at regular intervals and layering in Summer's repetitive and synthesized vocals. [4]

Critical reception[edit]

The song would garner Summer her first American Music Award nomination for Favourite Female Soul/R & B Artist. 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."[5]

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.[6]

The album version lasts for almost six minutes. It was extended for release as a 12" maxi-single,[7] 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.

Following the track's success, Summer, 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]

The song peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 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 chart respectively, and sales of these physical singles totalled 956,400.[8] 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.[9]

Patrick Cowley remix[edit]

"I Feel Love (Patrick Cowley Remix)"
Single by Donna Summer
Released 1982
Format 7" single, 12" single
Length 15:43 (Megamix)
8:50 (Megaedit)
Donna Summer singles chronology
"State of Independence"
"I Feel Love (Patrick Cowley Remix)"
"The Woman in Me"

In 1978, disco and hi-NRG DJ Patrick Cowley created a 15:43 remix of "I Feel Love" which, despite not impressing Moroder, became a popular "underground classic" available only on acetate discs.[10] 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.[10] 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.[11] 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 UK edition of The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer; it also exists on the 2013 double disc I Feel Love: The Collection.

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"
"I Feel Love (The 1995 Remixes)"
"State of Independence (The 1996 Remixes)"

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 number 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.


  1. ^ Benjamin Genocchio;"Exploring the Effects of Disco's Beat", The New York Times'February 19, 2006.
  2. ^ All Music review
  3. ^ Lawrence, Tim (2004). Love Saves the Day: a history of American dance music culture, 1970-1979 (2. ed.). Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press. p. 254. ISBN 0822331985. 
  4. ^ "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 1980s and '90s. 
  5. ^ David Bowie and Kurt Loder (1989). Sound and Vision: CD liner notes
  6. ^ Lawrence (2004). Love Saves the Day. p. 253. 
  7. ^ I Feel Love vinyl-12 1977 Casablanca Records (NBD 20104) US, Discogs.
  8. ^ "Official Charts Analysis: UK suffers lowest album sales week since 1996". MusicWeek. May 21, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ a b DJ News Vol. 3 Program 7, Disconet, June 1980, retrieved 2010-07-17 
  11. ^ "I Feel Love release info". Discogs. Retrieved April 18, 2011.