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Donna Summer and Robin Gibb Were Great and Disco Didn't Suck: A Playlist for Remembering

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I grew up in the seventies -- an era that I still consider a golden age for music and film, thanks to so much truly classic rock, funk, soul, punk and new wave, and yes -- damn it -- disco, too. The whole "Disco Sucks" movement always made me uncomfortable and suggested a vaguely racial resentment for the genre's relatively short-lived but intense dominance. Yet the record is clear to me -- at its best, disco did not suck at all. For instance, the albums that Donna Summer made in German with Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellote were groundbreaking, enduring and extraordinary. For me, the Bad Girls album -- which saw her beginning to stretch out further from the confines of disco -- is one of the best albums of the decade. She was so much more than our "Queen of Disco," but she was a powerful aueen, too. And then there's Robin Gibb, and the remarkable musical brotherhood of which he was an such an important part. The Bee Gees had already made history well before disco, in an era when Robin often reigned on lead vocals. The disco era provided the Brothers Gibb a highly unlikely second coming. I love Saturday Night Fever -- the movie and the soundtrack -- but for me, it's the Bee Gees' own studio albums of that era that I still return to the most all these decades later. Main Course -- produced by the legendary Arif Mardin -- is for me the group's greatest moment, featuring gem after gem including the fiercely funky "Jive Talkin'" and the exquisite "Nights on Broadway." The Bee Gees albums that followed in the seventies like Children of the World and Spirits Having Flown are nearly as good and don't require you to wear any white suits to enjoy them. I'm thankful I got the chance to meet both Donna Summer and Robin Gibb briefly and express my own thanks and appreciation for their remarkable musical legacies. They were great artists, and in my experience, lovely people. Here's my playlist of songs by which I will remember these two wonderful artists now. It would be heavenly if you would add your favorites below. Heaven knows, nobody gets too much heaven no more.

HEAVEN KNOWS -- Donna Summer
TOO MUCH HEAVEN -- The Bee Gees
I FEEL LOVE -- Donna Summer
I STARTED A JOKE -- The Bee Gees
DIM ALL THE LIGHTS -- Donna Summer
TO LOVE SOMEBODY-- The Bee Gees
LAST DANCE -- Donna Summer
SAVED BY THE BELL -- Robin Gibb
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE -- Donna Summer
HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE -- The Bee Gees
HOT STUFF -- Donna Summer
DON'T CRY ALOUD (TITANIC REQUIEM) -- Robin Gibb
THIS TIME I KNOW IT'S FOR REAL -- Donna Summer
I STARTED A JOKE -- The Bee Gees
NO MORE TEARS (ENOUGH IS ENOUGH) -- Donna Summer with Barbra Streisand
I GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU -- The Bee Gees
STATE OF INDEPENDENCE -- Donna Summer & All Star Choir
TOYS -- Robin Gibb
SHE WORKS HARD FOR THE MONEY -- Donna Summer
NIGHTS ON BROADWAY -- The Bee Gees
SUNSET PEOPLE -- Donna Summer
LAMPLIGHT -- The Bee Gees
LAST DANCE -- Donna Summer
HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART -- The Bee Gees
CARRY ON -- Donna Summer

LISTEN to "Heaven Knows" by Donna Summer:

LISTEN to "Too Much Heaven" by the Bee Gees

Around the Web

The Donna Summer Tribute Site

Donna Summer Dead -- Disco Legend Died After Battle with Lung ...

Robin Gibb, member of the Bee Gees, dies after battle with cancer ...

BBC News - Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb dies after cancer battle