Love to Love You Baby (song)

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"Love to Love You Baby"
Love to Love You Baby by Donna Summer 1975 US vinyl A-side.jpg
A-side label of US vinyl single
Single by Donna Summer
from the album Love to Love You Baby
B-side"Need-a-Man Blues"
ReleasedJune 1975 (Netherlands, as "Love to Love You")
November 26, 1975 (worldwide, as "Love to Love You Baby")
Recorded1974 (as "Love to Love You")
May–June 1975; Musicland Studios (Munich, West Germany)
(as "Love to Love You Baby")
Genre
Length3:20 (original NL version)
16:49 (album version)
4:57 (single version)
LabelOasis (United States/Canada)
GTO (United Kingdom)
Polar (Sweden)
Ariola (Spain/Portugal)
Interfusion (Australia)
Atlantic (France/Germany)
Durium (Italy)
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Pete Bellotte
Donna Summer singles chronology
"Lady of the Night"
(1974)
"Love to Love You Baby"
(1975)
"Virgin Mary"
(1975)

"Virgin Mary"
(1975)

"Love to Love You Baby"
(1975)

"Could It Be Magic"
(1976)

"Protection"
(1983)

"Love to Love You Baby (re-issue)"
(1983)

"She Works Hard for the Money"
(1983)
Music video
"Love to Love You Baby" on YouTube

"Love to Love You Baby" is a song by American singer Donna Summer from her second studio album Love to Love You Baby (1975). Produced by Pete Bellotte, and written by Italian musician Giorgio Moroder, Summer, and Bellotte, the song was first released as a single in the Netherlands in June 1975 as "Love to Love You" and then released worldwide in November 1975 as "Love to Love You Baby". It became one of the first disco hits to be released in an extended form.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame named it one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, Summer's only selection on this list.[4]

Background[edit]

By 1975, Summer had been living in Germany for eight years and had participated in several musical theatre shows. She had also released an album in The Netherlands entitled Lady of the Night (1974), written by Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte and produced by Bellotte, which had given her a couple of hit singles. She was still a complete unknown in her home country when she suggested the lyric "Love to Love You Baby" to Moroder in 1975. He turned the lyric into a full disco song and asked Summer to record it. The full lyrics were somewhat explicit, and at first, Summer said she would only record it as a demo to give to someone else. However, Summer's erotic moans and groans impressed Moroder so much that he persuaded her to release it as her own song, and "Love to Love You" became a moderate hit in the Netherlands.

In an interview in 1976, Summer responded to a number of questions that she claimed she'd been asked about the process of recording the song: "Everyone's asking, 'Were you alone in the studio?' Yes, I was alone in the studio. 'Did you touch yourself?' Yes, well, actually I had my hand on my knee. 'Did you fantasize on anything?' Yes, on my handsome boyfriend Peter."[5]

International release and reception[edit]

A tape of the song was sent to Casablanca Records president Neil Bogart in the U.S., and he played it at a party at his home. Impressed with the track, Bogart continued to play it over and over all night. He later contacted Moroder and suggested that he make the track longer - possibly as long as 20 minutes. However, Summer again had reservations; she was not sure of all of the lyrics. Nevertheless, she imagined herself as an actress (namely Marilyn Monroe)[6] playing the part of someone in sexual ecstasy. The studio lights were dimmed so that Summer was more or less in complete darkness as she lay on the floor.

The final recording lasted over 16 minutes, and according to the BBC, contained 23 "orgasms".[6] By that point, the song was renamed "Love to Love You Baby". It took up the entire first side of the album of the same name, and edited versions were also found on 7" vinyl.

Originally released in November 1975, the song became an international disco smash. In the U.S., it became Summer's first US Top 40 hit, spending two weeks at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on February 7 and 14, 1976,[7] being held off the number one spot by Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" and logged four weeks atop the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart,[8] as well number three on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[9]

In the UK, upon release in January 1976, the song reached #4[10] on the UK Singles Chart in spite of the BBC's initial refusal to promote it. They also refused to play it.[citation needed] As a result of the success of the song, Summer would be named "the first lady of love," which labeled her with a sexually oriented, fantasy image from which she would struggle to free herself.[citation needed]

Impact and legacy[edit]

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame named the song one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll in 1995.

VH1 placed "Love to Love You Baby" at #63 in their list of 100 Greatest Dance Songs in 2000.[11]

Slant Magazine ranked the song 10th in its 100 Greatest Dance Songs in 2006.[12]

According to Peter Shapiro, a freelance British music journalist, the song was marked by "little more than Donna Summer simulating an orgasm over a background of blaxploitation cymbals, wah-wah guitars, a funky-butt clarinet riff, and some synth chimes." He continued, "Love to Love You Baby" [...] was extended into a seventeen-minute minisymphony at the behest of Casablanca Records chief Neil Bogart, who wanted a soundtrack for his sexual exploits. The song reached number two in the American charts and was largely responsible for the development of the twelve inch single."[13]

Donna Summer was forced to stop performing "Love to Love You" live when, "Riots broke out [...] [She] was in a tent in Italy, 5,000 men, almost no women, and was doing 'Love to Love You, Baby,' fairly scantily clad, and the guys got so wrapped up that they began to push the stage back. And [she] had to run off the stage, to [her] trailer out the back. And they came to the trailer and started to rock it. [She] just thought, 'I'm going to die today, I'm not going to get out of here.' It's not the kind of song you just want to throw out there."[14]

Personnel[edit]

  • Donna Summer – lead vocals
  • Pete Bellotte – guitars
  • Dave King – bass
  • Michael Thatcher & Giorgio Moroder – keyboards
  • Martin Harrison – drums
  • Lucy, Betsy, Gitta – backing vocals

Track listing and formats[edit]

Original Netherlands 7" (Groovy GR 1211)

  1. "Love to Love You" (3:20)
  2. "Need-a-Man Blues" (?)

NB This original release (without the "Baby" in the title) ran for just over 3 minutes and 20 seconds. This version was integrated into the 16-minute version found on the album. All subsequent international releases either contained a new edit of the full album version (lasting just under five minutes) or the original version (but still adding "Baby" to the title). In some cases (for example, the United States), both versions were found on different sides of the record.

US 7" (Oasis OC 401)

  1. "Love to Love You Baby" (4:57)
  2. "Love to Love You Baby" (3:27)

UK 7" (GTO GT 17)

  1. "Love to Love You Baby" (4:57)
  2. "Need-a-Man Blues" (?)

Germany 7" (Atlantic ATL 10625)

  1. "Love to Love You" (3:20)
  2. "Need-a-Man Blues" (3:09)

NB The word "Baby" appears on the sleeve but not the label

Netherlands 7" (Groovy GR 1218)

  1. "Love to Love You Baby Part I" (3:30)
  2. "Love to Love You Baby Part II" (5:20)

NB This Dutch re-release was issued shortly after the song became a hit internationally, with "Baby" being added to the title

France 7" (Atlantic 10.693)

  1. "Love to Love You Baby (Part 1)" (3:27)
  2. "Love to Love You Baby" (Part 2)" (4:57)

Canada 7" (Oasis OC 401X)

  1. "Love to Love You Baby" (3:22)
  2. "Need-a-Man Blues" (3:12)

Sweden 7" (Polar POS 1209)

  1. "Love to Love You Baby" (3:21)
  2. "Need-a-Man Blues" (3:10)

Spain 7" (Ariola 16575)

  1. "Love to Love You Baby" (3:42)
  2. "Need-a-Man Blues" (4:30)

1983 re-issue[edit]

Following the dance chart success of the Patrick Cowley remix of Summer's "I Feel Love" in 1982, Casablanca Records/PolyGram re-issued her first hit single "Love to Love You Baby". However, the single failed to make an impact on the charts the second time around, and it would be the label's final single re-release of tracks from the Donna Summer back catalog in the 1980s. In 1984, Casablanca Records was closed by PolyGram.

UK 7" (Casablanca CAN 1014)

  1. "Love to Love You Baby" (Part One) – 3:35
  2. "Love to Love You Baby" (Part Two) – 4:12

UK 12" (Casablanca CANX 1014)

  1. "Love to Love You Baby" (Come On Over to My Place Version) – 16:50
  2. "Love to Love You Baby" (Come Dancing Version) – 8:10 (A Young and Strong mega-edit)

NB: The "Come On Over to My Place Version" is in fact the original full-length album version

1990 re-release[edit]

Germany CD single (Casablanca 874 395-2)

  1. "Love to Love You Baby" – 4:15
  2. "I Feel Love" – 5:39
  3. "Bad Girls" – 3:54
  4. "On the Radio" (long version) – 5:51

2013 release[edit]

  1. "Love to Love You Baby" (Giorgio Moroder Remix) (featuring Chris Cox) (4:15)

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[37] Gold 75,000^
United States (RIAA)[38] Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Cover versions and samples[edit]

  • The refrain "Love to love you" can be heard predominantly in the background of Diana Ross' 1976 hit "Love Hangover".
  • In 1982, Indian singer Sharon Prabhakar recorded a cover of the song in Hindi, entitled "Aaj Ki Raat" on her album "Disco Mastana", released on Multitone records.
  • Bronski Beat recorded a Medley with Marc Almond consisting of I Feel Love, Love to Love You Baby and Johnny Remember Me (by John Leyton).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Krettenauer, Thomas (2017). "Hit Men: Giorgio Moroder, Frank Farian and the eurodisco sound of the 1970s/80s". In Ahlers, Michael; Jacke, Christoph (eds.). Perspectives on German Popular Music. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-4724-7962-4.
  2. ^ "Donna Summer". The Daily Telegraph. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  3. ^ Allen, Jeremy (14 August 2015). "Giorgio Moroder – 10 of the best". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  4. ^ Henke, James. "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  5. ^ Cromelin, Richard (17 May 2012). "Donna Summer: 'The audience was groaning worse than I was' – a classic interview from the vaults". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  6. ^ a b "The Greatest Songs Ever! Love to Love You Baby" Archived 2010-12-31 at the Wayback Machine Blender.com, 21 November 2006. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 612.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco 1974-2003, (Record Research Inc.), page 249.
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 556.
  10. ^ Official Charts Company info OfficialCharts.com. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  11. ^ "Rock On The Net: VH1: 100 Greatest Dance Songs". Rockonthenet.com.
  12. ^ "100 Greatest Dance Songs". Slant Magazine. 30 January 2006. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  13. ^ Shapiro, Peter. Turn the Beat around : the Secret History of Disco. London, Faber and Faber, Inc., 2009.
  14. ^ McLean, Craig. "Donna Summer: Too Hot to Handle." The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 13 June 2008.
  15. ^ "Australian Chart Books". Australianchartbooks.com.au. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  16. ^ "Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  17. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 4089a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  18. ^ Medien, Hung. "Love to love you baby in French Chart". Archived from the original on 19 March 2005. Retrieved 12 June 2013. You have to use the index at the top of the page and search "Donna Summer"
  19. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Love To Love You Baby". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  20. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Donna Summer" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  21. ^ a b "Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  22. ^ "Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby". Top 40 Singles.
  23. ^ "Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby". VG-lista.
  24. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. September 18, 1976. p. 53. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  25. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  26. ^ "Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby". Singles Top 100.
  27. ^ "Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby". Swiss Singles Chart.
  28. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  29. ^ "Donna Summer Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  30. ^ "Donna Summer Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  31. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby". GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 27 November 2020. To see peak chart position, click "TITEL VON Donna Summer"
  32. ^ "Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby" (in French). Les classement single.
  33. ^ "australian-charts.com - Forum - Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts - 1980s (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  34. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on June 10, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  35. ^ "Old-Charts". Old-Charts. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  36. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1976/Top 100 Songs of 1976". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  37. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Donna Summer – Love to Love You Baby". Music Canada.
  38. ^ "American single certifications – Donna Summer – Love to Love You Baby". Recording Industry Association of America.
  39. ^ Nichelson, Ted; Sutton, Lisa (2009). amazon.com: Love to Love You Bradys: The Bizarre Story of the Brady Bunch Variety Hour. ISBN 978-1550228885.
  40. ^ "The Good the Bad and the Funky - Tom Tom Club | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  41. ^ "Seen on April 4, 2013". Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  42. ^ a b "Baptiste Giabiconi - Love To Love You Baby". Lescharts.com. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  43. ^ "Kylie Minogue Setlist". Setlist.fm. 7 November 2020. Retrieved 7 November 2020.

External links[edit]