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Dim All the Lights

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"Dim All the Lights"
Dutch picture sleeve
Single by Donna Summer
from the album Bad Girls
B-side"There Will Always Be a You"
ReleasedAugust 1979
Length4:40 (Album Version)
3:55 (7" Edit)
Songwriter(s)Donna Summer
Donna Summer singles chronology
"Bad Girls"
"Dim All the Lights"
"No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)"

"Dim All the Lights" is a song by American recording artist Donna Summer released as the third single from her 1979 album Bad Girls. It debuted at number 70 on August 25, 1979, and peaked that year at number two on November 10 and November 17 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] Produced by her longtime collaborator Giorgio Moroder with Pete Bellotte, the track combines Summer's trademark disco beats with a more soulful pop sound. It was the third Hot 100 top-two single from the album and her sixth consecutive Hot 100 top-five single.


Prior to the release of "Dim All the Lights", Summer had released "Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls" and, later, the "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" duet with Barbra Streisand, all of which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. "Dim All the Lights" also became another massive hit for her. Overseas, it peaked at number 29 on the UK Singles Chart. Like "Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls" before, Summers' "Dim All the Lights" and "No More Tears" were simultaneously in the top three. Summer was the first female artist to achieve that feat.[2]

"Dim All the Lights" was Summer's only hit single that she wrote alone. She had originally considered giving the song to Rod Stewart but changed her mind. The song was nominated for Best Disco Recording at the 22nd Grammy Awards in 1980.[3] The song caused a rift between Donna and Casablanca label president Neil Bogart, who had promised to wait a month longer than he did before releasing Summer's duet with Barbra Streisand, to allow "Dim" to peak first.

The recording is remarkable for Summer sustaining a note for 16 seconds. In comparison, Bill Withers set the overall record nearly two years earlier, sustaining a note for 18 seconds in "Lovely Day".[4]

The record's flipside, "There Will Always Be a You," was also written alone by Summer. It also received some airplay and was charted as an album cut on some North American radio stations (notably CKLW in Windsor, Ontario, where it reached number two in October 1979; "Dim All the Lights" failed to chart prominently on that station).[5]


Billboard rated the song one the sexiest ever recorded, saying it, "sounds like a nice song to sway to at the prom. But the groove becomes decidedly horizontal once the song hits the bridge and she demands her lover to 'use me all up / take me bottom to top'.[6] Cash Box said the song was "original and intriguing," with a "surging disco beat."[7] Record World said it "explodes into a joyous disco-pop dancer."[8]

Smash Hits said it, "has a slow intro which breaks into the familiar beat while she holds a note for two hours. There's piano, echo, and lots of backing vocals."[9]

Official versions[edit]

  • Album version – 4:40
  • 7" version – 3:59
  • 12" version – 7:09


Certifications and sales[edit]

Certifications for "Dim All the Lights"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[25] Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Laura Branigan version[edit]

"Dim All the Lights"
Artwork for the US commercial cassette
Single by Laura Branigan
from the album The Best of Branigan
B-side"Show Me Heaven"
Songwriter(s)Donna Summer
Producer(s)Brinsley Evans
Laura Branigan singles chronology
"How Can I Help You to Say Goodbye"
"Dim All the Lights"
"I Believe"

Laura Branigan had a Top 40 Dance hit in 1995 with her cover version. The single version appears on her US hits collection, The Best of Branigan.[26] While Branigan's version was released in several mixes by Atlantic Records, a popular version in some Hi-NRG clubs at the time came from the DJ-only label Hot Tracks, which gave clubgoers two singers in one song, editing Donna Summer's original in with Branigan's remake. A video for the single, showing Branigan surrounded by a bevy of drag queens (Miss Understood, Hedda Lettuce and Vivacious), was her last, and the release was the end of her association with the label, as she left the music industry to care for her husband, who had been diagnosed with cancer.

Track listing[edit]

US cassette single
1."Dim All the Lights"4:44
2."Dim All the Lights" ("remix edit" on the cassette; "Ehab's remix radio edit" on the promo CD)4:14
German CD single – promo
1."Dim All the Lights"4:44
2."Show Me Heaven"4:09
12" single – The Stonebridge Mixes
1."Dim All the Lights" (Stonebridge main mix)6:39
2."Dim All the Lights" (Monday bar dub)6:43
3."Dim All the Lights" (Stonebridge straight mix)5:52
4."Dim All the Lights" (Stonebridge edit)3:26
5."Dim All the Lights" (Ehab's Rehab edit)4:14
12" single – promo
1."Dim All the Lights" (Ehab's Rehab club version)5:52
2."Dim All the Lights" (Ehab's Rehab edit)4:14
3."Dim All the Lights"4:44
4."Dim All the Lights" (instrumental)4:44


Chart (1995) Peak
US Dance Singles Sales (Billboard)[27] 37
Hungarian Airplay Charts [28] 12

Other recordings[edit]


  1. ^ "The Hot 100". Billboard. 2 January 2013.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1990). The Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Seventies (30 June - 21 July 1979, 17 November 1979). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. ISBN 0-89820-076-8.
  3. ^ "Dim All the Lights by Donna Summer Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Lean On Me singer Bill Withers dies at 81". BBC. 2020-04-03. Retrieved 2024-04-25.
  5. ^ ""There Will Always Be a You" on the Airheads Radio Survey Archive". Airheads Radio Survey Archive. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  6. ^ M. Tye Comer; Mariel Concepcion; Monica Herrera; Jessica Letkemann; Evie Nagy & David J. Prince (February 11, 2010). "The 50 Sexiest Songs Of All Time". Billboard. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  7. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. August 18, 1979. p. 15. Retrieved 2022-01-01.
  8. ^ "Hits of the Week" (PDF). Record World. August 18, 1979. p. 1. Retrieved 2023-02-11.
  9. ^ Steve Bush (23 March 1979). "singles". Smash Hits. No. 19.
  10. ^ "Donna Summer – Dim All the Lights" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 7853a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 7872." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Dim All the Lights". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  14. ^ "Tipparade-lijst van week 42, 1979". Dutch Top 40 (in Dutch). Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  15. ^ "Donna Summer – Dim All the Lights" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  16. ^ "Donna Summer – Dim All the Lights". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  17. ^ "Donna Summer: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  18. ^ "Donna Summer Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  19. ^ "Donna Summer Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  20. ^ "Donna Summer Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  21. ^ "Donna Summer Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  22. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Donna Summer – Dim All the Lights" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  23. ^ "Top 100 Singles (1979)". RPM. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
  24. ^ "1980 Talent in Action – Year End Charts : Pop Singles". Billboard. Vol. 92, no. 51. December 20, 1980. p. TIA-10. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  25. ^ "American single certifications – Donna Summer – Dim All the Lights". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  26. ^ "Laura Branigan ~ Songs List". OLDIES.com. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  27. ^ "Laura Branigan Chart History (Dance Singles Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved May 6, 2024.
  28. ^ "National Airplay" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 12, no. 35. September 2, 1995. p. 31. Retrieved July 9, 2024.