The Friday Morning Listen: Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby (1975)

Share this:

I’ve said many times that I was something of a liar back in the days of disco. While I wasn’t a huge fan of most of the music, there were a few artists (and sometimes particular songs) who I really liked despite my supposed membership in the “Disco Sucks” club. Donna Summer was an unavoidable force of musical nature back then. Clearly, she was on my “secret list.”

And now she’s gone. Man, this has been a brutal spring with the passing of Levon Helm, Adam Yauch, and Donald “Duck” Dunn. What’s surprising me is how much worse this particular loss feels to me. I’ve listened to her music far, far less than the others and yet … what is it?

I don’t mean to overplay this “secret list” thing. After all, it was pretty short, mostly involving songs I’d hear on the radio like Amii Stewart’s “Knock On Wood” or Chic’s “Le Freak.” The only actual disco record I owned was a live Bee Gees album, which is weird because I really hated the whole Saturday Night Fever thing. Actually, the disco movement in general kind of bugged me. I never owned a leisure suit though I did go to a disco once and was totally miserable. Talk about feeling out of place! No, I truly was more of a rock guy. My idea of a good time was to go to a dance where a real band plugged in their guitars with those curly cords and played oafish tunes like “Can’t Get Enough” and “Big Ten Inch” … while I danced the stoner stomp with whatever girl would have me. That I also enjoyed songs like “MacArthur Park” (note: that disco that I went to was called “The Park”) and “Hot Stuff” was beside the point.

So now that I’ve established my late 70’s, Dazed & Confused rock cred, the question still remains: why does the loss of Donna Summer feel so … heavy? I think it’s because she was this big pop music presence who was around for those years where I made that slow pivot from kid to young adult. I first became aware of her when “Love To Love You Baby” came out in 1975. She Works Hard For The Money was huge toward the middle 80’s. That’s nearly eight years. It seemed like a long time back then.

Is this another one of those mourning for lost youth moments? Maybe. But part of the innocence and idealism of youth is wrapped up in that music. It’s not that Summer’s death takes that away. No, it’s just another reminder of the distance.

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B0013F2BH6″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000001F9M” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
Share this:
Close