Thursday, May 17, 2012

Donna Summer RIP

The Vinyl Word raises a glass to Donna Summer who has died of cancer aged just 63. Donna was the queen of disco with huge seventies hits such as Love To Love You Baby and I Feel Love and I remember that her early music videos really raised the bar in terms of visual content. She began her rise to fame when she moved to Germany to star in a production of Hair and made it big when she teamed up with Giorgio Moroder. Her first album Lady of the Night wasn't released in the US, but the moans and sexual groans on Love To Love You Baby caused a sensation both there and in Europe, with a 17 minute version becoming popular in clubs. Later hits such as MacArthur Park, Hot Stuff, Dim All The Lights and Bad Girls - the title track from her prostitution-based album of the same name - reinforced her disco success. Alleged anti-gay comments in the early 80s cost her some support but she continued to record on and off with success through the 90s and into the 21st century. I'm no great fan of disco, but Donna was a true star and it's sad that she's died at such a young age. So many musicians seem to have died in the last few months.

On a completely different topic, I went to a talk today by Harry Shapiro at the British Library on the Ealing Rhythm and Blues Club and its place in the formation of the British R and B scene, with performers such as Alexis Korner, Cyril Davies, Graham Bond and Jack Bruce. Harry knows his stuff, having written a number of books on the subject, and it was a fascinating look back at the early 60s scene. I didn't go to the Ealing Club at the time, but I went to the Scene, the Flamingo and Eel Pie Island, so it was interesting recalling those attempts by British acts to emulate their American blues heroes - with mixed success it has to be said.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home