Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” is undoubtedly one of the most iconic dance tracks of all time. Released in 1977, the track is widely considered to be a watershed moment in the history of dance music, bridging the gap between the disco sound of the 70s and the emerging house and techno sounds of the 80s.
The Sound of “I Feel Love”
At the heart of “I Feel Love” is a pulsing, hypnotic beat that drives the track forward. This beat is built around a sequenced synthesizer riff, a sound that was relatively new at the time of the track’s release. The sound was created using a prototype synthesizer called the Oberheim OB-X, which was capable of producing a rich, thick sound that was perfect for dancefloor-friendly tracks.
Over this insistent beat, Summer delivers a soaring vocal performance, one that is filled with an unbridled sense of joy and ecstasy. The lyrics of the track are simple, with Summer repeatedly singing the words “I feel love” over and over again. But the power of her delivery, combined with the driving beat and the lush, electronic production, creates a sense of pure euphoria that is impossible to resist.
The Impact of “I Feel Love”
“I Feel Love” was a groundbreaking track in many ways. At the time of its release, disco was still the dominant sound in dance music, and while there were certainly some electronic elements creeping into the genre, the sound of “I Feel Love” was something entirely new. The track’s seamless blend of electronic sounds, driving beat, and soaring vocals was a revelation, and it quickly became a massive hit.
But the impact of “I Feel Love” went beyond just its commercial success. The track was a game-changer for dance music, ushering in a new era of electronic dance music that would eventually give rise to house, techno, and countless other sub-genres. The sequenced synthesizer riff that anchors the track would go on to become a staple of dance music production, while Summer’s soaring vocals would become an inspiration for countless other dance music vocalists.
The Legacy of “I Feel Love”
More than four decades after its initial release, “I Feel Love” continues to be a touchstone for dance music. The track’s impact can be heard in countless other dance tracks, from house anthems to techno bangers to more contemporary electronic pop hits. Its influence on dance music is immeasurable, and it remains a beloved track among DJs, producers, and dance music fans around the world.
In 2011, “I Feel Love” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, cementing its place in music history. It’s a track that represents a seminal moment in the evolution of dance music, a moment when electronic sounds and disco beats came together to create something entirely new and thrilling. And while the track may be over 40 years old, its power to move dancefloors inspiring joy and euphoria remains as strong as ever.
Written by: HMR