Donna Summer – I feel love (Leaping Ahead #213)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #213: 160731

[A song from 1976]

1976 was (of course) THE long hut summer. I was between sixth form years and was therefore out in the sun from May when it all started right through to mid-September. Most of it was on the beach but, sometime in the middle, I joined an uncle and aunt for a week in the Lake District, staying in a caravan on the shores of Lake Windermere.

Although it wasn’t formerly released until the following summer, Donna Summer’s ‘I feel love’ was already getting extensive airplay on the pirate radio-stations by then and promo copies had been circulated to all the clubs. Certainly the bar/club/games room on the lakeshore had a copy and (taking a lead from the Kenny Everett radio show), the DJ played the full 12″ version pretty well every other track.

Suited me. Although a hardened ‘heavy rock’ influenced latter-day hippy by then, there was a freshness in these grooves absent completely from anything else at the time. I wasn’t a disco fan and punk hadn’t made it as far as the north-west back then. But this was something else. Fresh and (although it didn’t know it) a shout to the future of electronic dance from the likes of Underworld and Leftfield still some twenty years away, and both of which would attract the avid attention of this long-haired 17-year old.

And it’s stood the test of time. Now approaching 40 years old, its many sampled powerhouse rhythm still cuts the mustard/floats the boats/shivers the spines and any other metaphor you might care to mention. It certainly does mine.

The Pirates – Johnny B Goode (Leaping Ahead #208)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #208: 160726

[Song from an artiste beginning with P]

Back in the late 70’s I was working as a kitchen porter on a large university campus in the Midlands. We had our own digs on site and, in the little leisure time we had in between the excruciatingly long work hours, the place quite literally rocked. The Pirates’ ‘Skull Wars’ came out in 1978 and its airplay at top volume in the very early hours of the morning was very evident. These days we’d have got an ASBO!