I Remember Yesterday
Disco was often called “faceless” and “impersonal” by critics – but no one could level such a charge at Donna Summer. Gifted with gospel-trained vocal pipes and supercharged with erotic appeal, she deservedly became disco’s reigning queen in the late ‘70s I Remember Yesterday (1977) is one of her best-realized works, showcasing Summer’s compelling vocals and Giorgio Moroder’s bravura production. Sequencing the songs by musical eras, the album offers tastes of 1940s-style big band elegance (the title track), 1950s girl-group melodrama (“Love’s Unkind”), 1960s Motown bounce (“Back In Love Again”) and 1970s orchestrated soul-funk (“Black Lady”). Summer acquits herself well in all these genres, finely balancing sincerity with camp. The real excitement is provided by the sleekly-pulsating dance numbers “Take Me” and especially “I Feel Love.” On the latter tune, Moroder’s mesmerizing synthesizer rhythms anticipate the techno-rock breakthroughs of the 1980s. For her part, Donna delivers a supremely sensuous performance that marries flesh-and-blood desire to the track’s unstoppable robotic throb. Ultimately, I Remember Yesterday both defines the essence of disco and transcends its stylistic limitations thanks to Summer’s seductive artistry.