Donna had a huge string of hits - the '80s was my disco era really in London, Brighton and Portsmouth - so we liked "Bad Girls", "Hot Stuff", "She Works Hard for the Money" etc. Those ill-advised comments about Aids (if she made them) derailed her career for a while, but Donna kept going, that hit with Barbra Streisand etc and did not have to hit the nostalgia circuit, the power and elasticity of her voice continued as her career diversified. Those early hits with Giorgio Moroder will always be around.
Robin Gibb too has lost his long fight against cancer. RIP too then to another 1960s-70s pioneer. He was 62 and co-founded the Bee Gees with his brothers - I remember buying their early singles like "Massachusetts" in the 60s. The tributes have been suitably reverential placing the group's songwriting next to Lennon-McCartney. I got around to buying SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER the other week, as felt as an essential '70s film it should be in the collection. I also of course had the essential vinyl double album back then.
So far then this year we have lost a Bee Gee, a Monkee, a member of The Band as well as some disco divas, Etta James, Dory Previn and that great German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Diskau. A heavenly choir indeed.
Today's paper says .."The deaths of Donna Summer and now Robin Gibb have resounded so powerfully around the world because they were so intimately associated with something utterly life-affirming - the groove of disco and movement and frivolous escapism. When pop stars pass away, they take with them a part of our collective memory, the moments when they were the soundtrack to our times. But at least they leave behind the thing that matters most: the music itself." .