Monday, 28 March 2011
Donna Summer - I Feel Love (1977/ No. 1/ 26 weeks/ GTO)
Here’s a question that might help us rethink this song from a different perspective: Does feeling love actually feel like ‘I Feel Love’?
Two things are going on with the music here; There’s the internal mind, locked on one enticing thought ad infinatum, refracted and repeated again and again, each time very slightly different through the tone having slightly altered. And then there’s the tremendous sense of incessant forward motion, due to the motoric thing, which feels as much to me like driving or train travel as dancing.
The combination of these two things; inner thought and feeling, combined with bodily movement make this an really intense experience to listen to, either on a dancefloor or on headphones, even on the tinniest of transistors.
It manages to convey something of the first sense of dislocation (not dehumanisation), when you are aware that your body, thoughts and feelings are starting to be out of synch with each other. When you don’t fully know what you’re doing anymore, but are keeping things together by still really concentrating on what you are doing. Becoming drunk is probably the most obvious example of this, but some sorts of breakdowns also produce the same sensation, as indeed does surrendering a large part of your own control to the presence and actions of a loved other.
So yes, the sensation of feeling love internally is physically quite a lot like this record.
It’s astonishing, and it never stops being so.