On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II

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On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II
Greatest hits album by Donna Summer
Released October 15, 1979
Length 71:20
Label Casablanca
Producer Giorgio Moroder, Pete Bellotte, Gary Klein
Donna Summer chronology
Bad Girls
(1979)
On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II
(1979)
The Wanderer
(1980)
Singles from On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II
  1. "On the Radio"
    Released: November 23, 1979
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau A [2]
Slant Magazine 4.5/5 stars[3]

On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II is the first greatest hits album by American musician Donna Summer, released on October 15, 1979. It was her fourth consecutive double album, and also made her the first person ever to take three consecutive double albums to the number one spot on the U.S. album chart. This would become Summer's third multi-platinum album to date.

Background[edit]

In the early stages of Summer's recording career, her work had been distributed in different countries by different record labels. Varying compilations had been released by these labels. In 1977, Casablanca Records (who had previously been responsible for distributing her work in the U.S.) became responsible for distributing her music in most nations and On the Radio became the first proper international compilation album released by them after years of many successful disco hits. (NB: There were still some countries, such as The Netherlands where other labels continued to distribute her work. A similar compilation was released by Philips Records in this country). The album spanned Summer's career from her breakthrough, the raunchy "Love to Love You Baby" right through to the more rock-influenced tracks of her Bad Girls album. The majority of the tracks were either remixed or edited, largely to fit such a big number of tracks onto two records. Each side, barring side D, runs as a continuous mix.

The compilation also contained two brand-new tracks. The first of these was the pop–disco flavored "On the Radio" (which opened the album, and closed it in a longer version). Written for the film Foxes, this song was reminiscent of some of her other hits ("Last Dance", "MacArthur Park", "Dim All the Lights") in that it started off with a slow beat. The longer version at the end of the album, like the full-length version of "Last Dance", also contained a slow part in the middle. The song was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance category. A longer version was used on the Foxes movie soundtrack release, but omits the final "...now I'm sittin' here with the man I sent away long ago" verse, opting for a repeat of the third instead.

The second new track was a duet with Barbra Streisand entitled "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)". Like "On the Radio", it also had a slow beginning but evolved into a disco number. An early example of girl power, the song was released as a 12" Disco single (with provocative cover – black-and-white photo of Summer and Streisand in merry widow bustiers, Streisand's favorite font used for the titles) towards the end of 1979 and hit the Number One spot on the American singles chart (making it Summer's fourth chart-topper there). It was also a big international hit, making Number Three in the U.K. At the beginning of 1980, the shorter version of "On the Radio" was also released as a single, and became Summer's ninth Top 5 on the U.S. singles chart.

Despite being a double album, a number of Summer's Billboard Hot 100 hits were left off On the Radio; "Could It Be Magic" from A Love Trilogy, "Spring Affair" and "Winter Melody" from Four Seasons of Love, and "Rumour Has It" from Once Upon a Time. Furthermore, two songs from I Remember Yesterday were omitted; the top 20 R&B hit "Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)" and the UK Top 5 single "Love's Unkind", as was "The Hostage", a top ten European hit from Summer's debut album, Lady of the Night

On the Radio proved to be Summer's final release with Casablanca Records. She had not been happy for some time with the label's treatment of her – she felt exploited and that she was being made to portray a sexual image with which she was not comfortable.[citation needed] At one point this had driven her to depression and suicide attempts. However by 1979 she had become a born-again Christian and rediscovered herself. She remained with the label for her Bad Girls and On the Radio albums, and then signed a deal with Geffen Records in 1980. The song "On The Radio" was nominated for "Best Pop Vocal Female" at the Grammy Awards.

In some territories, such as Canada and France, the compilation was also marketed (for a limited time) as two separate discs, "Greatest Hits Volume 1" and "Greatest Hits Volume 2", with the same track listing as each individual disc in the original double LP. Both sleeves used the identical photo, showing Summer literally 'on the radio', as the front cover of the original double LP, but reduced in size; the former against a silver background and the latter against a gold background.

After Donna's death, this disc re-entered the Billboard album chart (at #73).

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Album Length
1. "On the Radio"   Giorgio Moroder, Donna Summer Foxes (soundtrack) 4:00
2. "Love to Love You Baby"   Pete Bellotte, Moroder, Summer Love to Love You Baby 4:07
3. "Try Me, I Know We Can Make It"   Bellotte, Moroder, Summer A Love Trilogy 3:24
4. "I Feel Love"   Bellotte, Moroder, Summer I Remember Yesterday 3:20
5. "Our Love"   Moroder, Summer Bad Girls 3:43
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Album Length
6. "I Remember Yesterday"   Bellotte, Moroder, Summer I Remember Yesterday 4:46
7. "I Love You"   Bellotte, Moroder, Summer Once Upon a Time 3:12
8. "Heaven Knows" (duet with Brooklyn Dreams) Bellotte, Greg Mathieson, Moroder, Summer Live and More 3:30
9. "Last Dance"   Paul Jabara Thank God It's Friday (soundtrack) 4:56
Side three
No. Title Writer(s) Album Length
10. "MacArthur Park"   Jimmy Webb Live and More 3:54
11. "Hot Stuff"   Bellotte, Faltermeyer, Keith Forsey Bad Girls 2:54
12. "Bad Girls"   Joe "Bean" Esposito, Eddie Hokenson, Bruce Sudano, Summer Bad Girls 3:05
13. "Dim All the Lights"   Summer Bad Girls 4:11
14. "Sunset People"   Bellotte, Harold Faltermeyer, Forsey Bad Girls 4:32
Side four
No. Title Writer(s) Album Length
15. "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" (duet with Barbra Streisand) Jabara, Bruce Roberts Wet (Barbra Streisand album) 11:41
16. "On the Radio (Long Version)"   Moroder, Summer Foxes (soundtrack) 5:50

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
1980 USA Billboard 200 1
UK Album chart 24
Norway 39
Sweden 29
2012 USA Billboard 200 73
Catalog Albums 5

Single[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1979 "No More Tears (Enough is Enough)" United States Billboard Hot 100 1
United Kingdom 3
Norway 3
Sweden 1
1980 "On the Radio" US Billboard Hot 100 5
United Kingdom 32
Norway 6


Preceded by
The Long Run by Eagles
Billboard 200 number-one album
January 5–11, 1980
Succeeded by
Bee Gees Greatest by The Bee Gees

Certifications[edit]

Country Provider Certifications
United States RIAA 2x Platinum[4]
United Kingdom BPI Gold[5]

References[edit]