Love to Love You Baby (song)

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"Love to Love You"
Single by Donna Summer
from the album Love to Love You Baby
B-side "Need-a-Man Blues"
Released June 1975
Format 7" single
Recorded 1974
Genre Disco, funk
Length 3:21
Label Oasis
Writer(s) Donna Summer
Giorgio Moroder
Pete Bellotte
Producer(s) Pete Bellotte
Donna Summer singles chronology
"Little Miss Fit"
"Love to Love You"
"Virgin Mary"

"Love to Love You Baby" is a song by American singer and songwriter Donna Summer released in 1975. It became one of the first ever disco hits to also 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 such selection.

Song information and original release[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, 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."[1]

International release and breakthrough[edit]

"Love to Love You Baby"
German re-release vinyl single
Single by Donna Summer
from the album Love to Love You Baby
B-side "Need-a-Man Blues"
Released November 26, 1975
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded Musicland Studios, Munich, May–June 1975
Genre Disco, funk
Length 16:48 (album version)
4:58 (single version)
3:21 (radio edit)
Label Oasis (U.S./Canada)
GTO (U.K.)
Polar (Sweden)
Ariola (Spain/Portugal)
Interfusion (Australia)
Atlantic (France/Germany)
Durium (Italy)
Writer(s) Donna Summer
Giorgio Moroder
Pete Bellotte
Producer(s) Pete Bellotte
Certification Platinum (U.S.)
Donna Summer singles chronology
"Virgin Mary"
"Love to Love You Baby"
"Could It Be Magic"

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 twenty minutes. However, Summer again had reservations; she wasn't even sure of all of the lyrics. Nevertheless, she imagined herself as an actress (namely Marilyn Monroe)[2] 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 sixteen minutes, and contained the sexiest "simulated" orgasms ever found on vinyl. According to the BBC, the song contained 23 "orgasms".[2] 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 was also released as a 12" single. 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 U.S. top 40 hit, spending two weeks at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1976[3] and logged four weeks atop the Billboard U.S. disco chart,[4] as well number three on the soul singles chart.[5]

In the UK, upon release in January 1976, the song reached #4[6] on the UK Singles Chart in spite of the BBC's initial refusal to promote it. 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.

Casablanca Records became responsible for the distribution of Summer's work in the U.S., and later in other parts of the world. Bogart was particularly keen for Summer to portray the image of the rich, powerful, sexy fantasy figure with which this song had labeled her. Bogart and his wife Joyce (who also became Summer's manager) would become close friends with Summer once she returned to the United States. However, Bogart also began interfering with aspects of Summer's personal and professional life. Summer eventually felt that she had no control over her life and suffered with depression and insomnia. She would later become a born-again Christian, leave disco, Casablanca and the Bogarts behind, and file a lawsuit against them (which was eventually settled). Thereafter, Summer once and for all decided to exclude "Love to Love You Baby" from her concert playlists. However, she would reintroduce the song into her concert repertoire some twenty-five years later.

"I was 12 when I heard this…" recalled Sharleen Spiteri of Texas (band). "I didn't know what it was but I knew it sounded fantastic. I'm about to be listening to the Clash and the Jam and suddenly here's this woman making all these sexy little moans and sighs. And it went on for 16 minutes. My dad bought it on 12-inch and I thought, Bloody hell, Dad, you're right out there this time."[7]

Track listing[edit]

Original Netherlands 7" (Groovy GR 1211)
  1. "Love To Love You"
  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 plus 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 U.S.), both versions were found on different sides of the record.

U.S. 7" (Oasis OC 401)
  1. "Love To Love You Baby" (4:57)
  2. "Love To Love You Baby" (3:27)
U.K. 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]

"Love to Love You Baby
(1983 Re-Issue)"
Single by Donna Summer
from the album Love to Love You Baby
B-side "Love to Love You Baby (Part Two)"
Released 1983
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded Musicland Studios, Munich, May–June 1975
Genre Disco
Length 7:47
Label Casablanca
Writer(s) Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, Pete Bellotte
Producer(s) Pete Bellotte
Donna Summer singles chronology
"Love to Love You Baby (re-issue)"
"She Works Hard for the Money"

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 catalogue in the 1980s. In 1984, the Casablanca Records label was shut down by PolyGram.

U.K. 7" (Casablanca CAN 1014)
  1. "Love To Love You Baby (Part One)" - 3:35
  2. "Love To Love You Baby (Part Two)" - 4:12
U.K. 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) (Upon Remix Albums Love to Love You Donna)


Chart (1975-1976) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report) 4
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 9
Canadian RPM Top Singles[9] 1
France [10] 17
Germany (Official German Charts)[11] 6
Italy (FIMI)[12] 11
Irish Singles Chart[13] 11
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[14] 17
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[15] 13
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[16] 8
Norway (VG-lista)[17] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[18] 5
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[19] 6
UK (Official Charts Company)[20] 4
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[21] 2
U.S. Billboard Disco File Top 20[21] 1
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Songs[21] 3
Chart (2012) Peak
UK (Official Charts Company) 138
France (SNEP)[22] 77
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[15] 90

Cover versions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ a b "The Greatest Songs Ever! Love to Love You Baby", 21 November 2006. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 612.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco 1974-2003, (Record Research Inc.), page 249.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 556. 
  6. ^ UK Singles Chart info Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  7. ^ Q, April 1997
  8. ^ " – Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ "Love to love you baby in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  10. ^ Hung Medien. "Love to love you baby in French Chart". Retrieved 12 June 2013.  You have to use the index at the top of the page and search "Donna Summer"
  11. ^ " – Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby". GfK Entertainment.
  12. ^ "Love to love you baby in Italian Chart". HitParadeItalia (it). Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "Love to love you baby in Irish Chart". IRMA. Retrieved 10 July 2013.  Only one result when searching "Love to love you baby"
  14. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Donna Summer search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  15. ^ a b " – Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  16. ^ " – Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby". Top 40 Singles.
  17. ^ " – Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby". VG-lista.
  18. ^ " – Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby". Singles Top 100.
  19. ^ " – Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby". Swiss Singles Chart.
  20. ^ "1976 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive - 7th February 1976". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  21. ^ a b c "allmusic ( Donna Summer > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  22. ^ " – Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby" (in French). Les classement single.
  23. ^ " Love to Love You Bradys: The Bizarre Story of the Brady Bunch Variety Hour". Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  24. ^ Che, Cathy (1999), 'Deborah Harry: Platinum Blonde', MPG Books Ltd, Cornwall, p.179
  25. ^ Seen on April 4, 2013

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Casanova Brown" / "(If You Want To) Do It Yourself" / "How High the Moon" by Gloria Gaynor
Disco File Top 20 number-one single
October 25, 1975 - November 15, 1975
Succeeded by
"I Love Music" by The O'Jays