Release Date: Oct 22, 2013
Record label: Verve
Genre(s): Electronic, House, Club/Dance, EDM
First, a somewhat penitent confession: I have never understood the cachet dance-floor scholars give to Patrick Cowley's remix of Donna Summer's “I Feel Love. ” Even granting that the original track is incontestably the most revered disco song ever, and that hardcore aficionados cherish the 12” format above all else, Cowley's discursive expansion of Giorgio Moroder's masterpiece more or less double-underlines the song's already spacey vibe, interjecting corny shooting-star effects and fattening up those undulating bass-note triplets, turning a song that sounds like the future into a 15-minute recap of yesterday's sound. The lesson isn't so much “don't mess with perfection,” but rather “don't bother trying to gild the lily of genius.
When one thinks of Donna, one must also think of Giorgio. Thanks to a couple of French helmets, Giorgio Moroder’s stock is as high as it’s ever been. As his muse, a similar re-appraisal of Donna Summer’s music would surely have occurred, the possibility of which was sadly ended by her untimely death in May 2012. This is the driving factor for this collection of new remixes of some of her finest singles and album tracks, but despite it being hard to keep a good song down, content wise, it’s hard to love Love to Love You Donna with some of the remixes included.
The late queen's longtime collaborator and husband, Bruce Sudano, served as executive producer for this tribute, a varied collection of remixes from house pioneers (Frankie Knuckles, Masters at Work), hipper left-of-center figures (Holy Ghost!, Hot Chip, Jacques Greene), and current dance-music stars (Duke Dumont, Laidback Luke). In some instances, it helps to not be much of a Donna Summer fan. Afrojack transforms "I Feel Love" into a graceless barrage of battering noise and reduces Summer's vocal to pulp, while Greene's "On the Radio" has Summer so heavily echoed and distant that it could be titled "On the Radio (At the Bottom of a Deep Well).
Donna Summer & Various Artists, ‘Love to Love You Donna’ Donna Summer was known as the “Queen of Disco,” but the Boston native was successful in several formats before her untimely passing in 2012, including rock, pop, and gospel. But the focus of “Love to Love You Donna,” out Tuesday, is squarely on Summer’s triumphs under the glittering mirror ball, as a raft of (mostly modern) DJs and producers remix tracks from her back catalog for prime dance floor euphoria. Among those who help pump up what was already a pretty ecstatic catalog are Summer’s original main man Giorgio Moroder, who revisits the famous murmurs and moans of “Love to Love You Baby” and adds some contemporary tweaks and shrieks to the original icy undulations.