“Last Dance”

August 30, 2015 • 1:15 pm

I’m feeling disco-ish today, so let’s have one of the great disco songs of all time, here in a terrific live performance by Donna Summer, who of course made it famous. Her real name was LaDonna Adrian Gaines, and she died in 2012 of lung cancer. She was only 63.

“Last Dance” nabbed both a Grammy and the Academy Award for Best Song in 1978, for it was in the movie “Thank God It’s Friday.” Wikipedia adds this:

“Last Dance” was one of the first disco songs to also feature slow tempo parts: it starts off as a ballad; the full-length version on the film soundtrack also has a slow part in the middle. This part was edited out for the 7″. The versions found on most greatest hits packages is either the original 7″ edit (3:21) or the slightly longer and remixed version from the 1979 compilation On The Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes 1 & 2 (4:56). “Last Dance” started a trend for Summer as some of her following hits also had a ballad-like intro before speeding up the tempo. Her other hits of this tempo format include “On the Radio”; “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)”, a duet with Barbra Streisand; “Dim All the Lights”; and a song written by and duetted with Paul Jabara called “Foggy Day/Never Lose Your Sense Of Humor”, from his album “The Third Album”.

Here’s Summer with her long-time producer Georgio Moroder, who also produced “Last Dance”. I love this photo; it’s so. . . Seventies.

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24 thoughts on ““Last Dance”

  1. My father once explained the difference between today’s music and music from the 70’s, when he was young. Both eras produced good music, but in the 1970’s the good stuff was mainstream.

  2. Not criticizing your choice–I like the song just fine, even though my favorite disco song is “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)”–but what does it mean when someone says “I’m feeling disco-ish”?

      1. Oh, great, now I can’t get THAT song out of my head.

        I remember some time in the 80s when Pierre Trudeau had a photo-op with Sheik Yamani from somewhere and everyone was singing “Shake Yamani, shake yamani….” Guess you had to be there…

  3. She was a great talent. Was science ever able to find out who left the cake out in the rain? I heard it took her a long time to bake it and she may never have that recipe again.
    CSI: McArthur Park.

  4. Georgio Moroder has a great 70s/80s porn mustache! Lots of great songs from the 70s. The Disco Era has gotten a bap rap as there were some darn fine tunes that rocked back in the day. I still enjoy breaking out the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack when the mood hits.

    1. I’m with you space…whatever. If the professor just thru in some Bee Gees and the Pointer Sisters he would have a night out.

  5. OMG, that’s the film composer Morodor who composed the new score to Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis”. Didn’t know he had a connection of Summer!

    BTW, it’s GIorgio not Georgio.

  6. I always liked that song a lot and still crank it when it makes an appearance on the radio.

    Donna Summer epitomizes ” A real pro.”

  7. Speaking of real pros, has Prof CC every done some tributes to Earth Wind And Fire?
    (I’m guessing based on the Donna Summer song that EWF would be on his radar as well).

    1. EWF is one of my favorites. Gratitude is one of my favortie live albums of all time. That period was rather formative for me. Many other artists from that period of my life.

      Brick
      Rose Royce
      Commodores
      Marvin Gaye
      Player
      Pablo Cruise
      Parliament
      Heatwave
      The Manhattans
      The Brothers Johnson
      Even The Floaters (insert sheepish look here)

  8. I had lost track of my good friend Mike Thatcher by the time he played keyboards on Summer’s “Love to Love You.” Some years later, Morodor curtly emailed me that Mike had died of cancer. And that’s the last I’ve heard. Anybody know what happened to Mike?

  9. In Holland there is a legendary appearance of Donna Summer in “van Oekels Discohoek” (1974).

    I think it’s a lovely clip and Donna always said she very much liked it and was always thankful for this opportunity: it bootstrapped her career.

    Warnings :

    1) Some Dutch language spoken
    2) “Van Oekels Discohoek” is a parody of playback music programs.
    3) it’s a bit strange

    Donna appears after 2 minutes.

  10. Pick up Daft Punk’s incredible album “Random Access Memories”, out last year. Its DNA is Giorgio Moroder and synth-disco. One of the tracks is even called “Giorgio”

  11. Ah, the memories! Yes, I’m old enough to have been around for disco. Donna’s ‘Bad Girls’ album was awesome.

    Grace Jones was incredibly hot.

    And for those who say disco sucks . . . it’s like any musical genre. There was good and there was bad. Just like there is good rock and bad, good country and bad, good rap …well, maybe not.

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