The pop singer, who died today, created powerful futuristic records that changed the course of music for ever.
Donna Summer will be remembered as the queen of disco, but in fact her best records transformed not just dancefloors but the course of pop music. Released in 1977, the year of punk, her single I Feel Love was as radical as any record that has got to No 1. Sparks were a glam rock band until they heard I Feel Love, when they decided to throw their entire musical direction in the dustbin and make pulsing, synthesised disco records with its producer, Giorgio Moroder. Seeking to assert his credentials as a man of impeccable musical taste, Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream used to boast that he had bought both I Feel Love and the Sex Pistols’ God Save the Queen on the same day. The combination of silvery female soul vocals with state-of-the-art electronic production, which has been responsible for some of pop’s greatest and most groundbreaking singles, from Janet Jackson to Aaliyah to Beyoncé, was pioneered right there by Summer and her two Italian producers – Moroder and Pete Bellotte.