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Rock Hall Anniversary: Donna Summer’s Bad Girls

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35 years ago in April 1979, what is perhaps one of the biggest landmark albums to come out of the disco era is released.

The album is Bad Girls, and it is the seventh studio album from Donna Summer, and her third to be a double LP. The album was recorded during a crucial point in Summer’s career, as she was recovering from a mental breakdown, as well as an addiction to prescription medication. With longtime producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte at the helm, Summer would diversify her disco sound by incorporating rock, soul, and electronic music. The first two breakout singles from Bad Girls were “Hot Stuff” (which featured Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter) and the title track. Both songs topped the singles charts, and one of them brought Summer a Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. Other notable hits include “Dim all the Lights”, “Sunset People” “Our Love” and “Walk Away”.

Bad Girls became the biggest selling album of Summer’s career with over five million copies sold worldwide. It knocked Supertramp’s Breakfast in America from the top of the album charts, to become Summer’s second consecutive number one double album, where it stayed for six nonconsecutive weeks. It was highly acclaimed by various sources including Rolling Stone and critic Robert Chistgau, and in 2003, was reissued as a deluxe edition to include 12” versions of other hits including “I Feel Love” and the “MacArthur Part Suite”.


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