Track of the Day: 'Love to Love You Baby'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Over the weekend, a reader sent in a raunchy TotD, exploring the idea of songs about sex being songs to have to sex to. But another reader points to a key challenge with understanding the genre this way:

The problem with most songs is that they don’t last long enough. The extended version of Donna Summer’s “Love to Love You Baby” made progress towards solving that problem by running over 16 minutes long, all the while maintaining a steady, uninterrupted rhythm. I suspect that it may have helped many a couple in the 1970s discover the patience necessary to achieve mutual satisfaction (a fairly new concept to some, back in the day).

No problem with satisfaction in Summer’s song:

According to the BBC, the song contained 23 “orgasms”. By that point, the song was renamed “Love to Love You Baby” [the original version didn’t have “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.

(Track of the Day archive here. Access it through Spotify here.)