Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’ is 38 years old

Gloria Gaynor

Gloria Gaynor’s disco anthem I Will Survive is 38 years old today. Originally released on October 23rd 1978 the song about getting through a broken relationship was quickly adopted by the LGBTI community who embraced it’s themes of strength and persistence.

The song was written by Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris, and recorded by Gloria Gaynor in 1978.

Perren was originally a member of Motown’s ‘The Corporation’ a collection of writers who wrote hits for The Jackson 5. He went on to write many well known songs including The Miracles ‘Love Machine’, Tavares ‘Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel’, Peaches and Herb’s ‘Shake Your Groove Thing’.

When it was first released ‘I Will Survive’ was the b-side to another tune, but DJs loved to song and kept playing it, leading to it being released as a single in it’s own right.

The song has been covered by many artists including indie rock band Cake who released a morose version of the song, while Diana Ross recorded a hi-NRG version in the’90s. The sing is also featured in Robbie Williams song ‘Supreme’, and Erasure’s tune ‘Love to Hate You’.

The tune has was also covered by R’nB singer Chantay Savage in the ’90s and last year Demi Lovato recorded a version for the Angry Birds movie. Soul Queen Aretha Franklin also included the song on her most recent album.

Undoubtedly Gaynor’s biggest hit, ‘I Will Survive’ went to the top of the charts, but the singer also had success with her version of ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ and the queer anthem ‘I Am What I Am’.

In 2016 the cultural significance of the song was recognised when it was added the US Library of Congress.


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