[ARTIST: LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY] [SONG: LOVE SENSATION]
This is pure disco. Right from the heyday of rotating mirror balls and hedonism. Although the name Holloway may not immediately ring a bell, her powerful voice and this song in particular most certainly will. “Love Sensation” is happiness embottled.
Loleatta Holloway was born in Chicago and was only 4 years old when she became a part of her mother’s gospel choir, “The Holloway Community Singers”. Later on she joined “The Caravans“, and in 1976 she signed up with Gold Mind, a sub label of Salsoul Records, in order to pursue a solo career. In 1979 she was contacted by Dan Hartman, who asked her if she would put the vocals to a new song he had written. Holloway accepted, without knowing that the song, “Vertigo/Relight my fire“, would become a worldwide success that is recognized today as one of the greatest disco songs ever. “Love Sensation” is also the work of Hartman, and was released in 1980. When recording the song, Holloway was invited to Hartman’s own house to record in his private studio. In an interview with Discoguy she explains that this is the hardest song she has ever recorded. Apparently Hartman made her sing it 30 times before he was fully satisfied, and Holloway practically lost her voice in the end.
The vocals from “Love Sensation” were sampled by Black Box for their 1989 number one hit “Ride On Time“, but Holloway was not credited for this. She consequently sued Black Box, which resulted in a court settlement in Holloway’s favor. In 1991, “Love Sensation” topped the charts once more, when Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch used a sample for “Good Vibrations“. This time Holloway was correctly credited.
Several other artists have sampled Holloway’s vocals, but a small mystery remains unsolved for this writer: She tells in an interview on Disco-Disco.com, that the first artist to sample her was actually Madonna, but she can’t remember which song it was. Supposedly it was a very short sample, but I haven’t been able to figure out what song this could be yet. So if anyone knows this, please enlighten me.
On the subject of Madonna, Loleatta Holloway has covered “Like a Prayer” on “Virgin Voices” (a Madonna tribute album).
In 2006, Holloway managed to crawl back into the dance charts once more with a new version of “Love Sensation”, which has by now become her signature tune, and she remains active right up until today.