Bad Girls (Donna Summer album)

Bad Girls is the seventh studio album by American singer and songwriter Donna Summer, released on April 25, 1979 on Casablanca Records. Originally issued as a double album, Bad Girls became the best-selling album of Summer's career. The album spent 6 weeks at the top of Billboard's Hot 200 albums in 1979, for one week on June 16, 1979 and then for 5 consecutive weeks, from July 7 to August 4, 1979. It contained the number one hits "Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls", and the number two hit "Dim All the Lights".

Bad Girls
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 25, 1979
RecordedDecember 1978 — March 1979
StudioRusk Sound Studios
(Los Angeles, California)
Donna Summer chronology
Live and More
Bad Girls
On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II
Singles from Bad Girls
  1. "Hot Stuff"
    Released: April 13, 1979
  2. "Bad Girls"
    Released: June 23, 1979
  3. "Dim All the Lights"
    Released: October 5, 1979
  4. "Sunset People"
    Released: July 11, 1980
  5. "Our Love"
    Released: August 22, 1980
  6. "Walk Away"
    Released: September 1, 1980

On the week of June 16, 1979, Summer had (for a second time) the No. 1 single "Hot Stuff" and album Bad Girls simultaneously on the Billboard charts. She accomplished this again for a third time, the week of August 14, 1979 when the single "Bad Girls" took the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for a 5-week run, and the album Bad Girls was at the top of the Billboard 200 album chart. They remained at the top of both charts together for 4 weeks. Summer also became the first female artist to have two songs in the top three, on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, when on the week of June 30, 1979, "Hot Stuff" fell to No. 2 and "Bad Girls" rose to No. 3. Both songs remained in the top three for 4 weeks. The week of July 21, 1979 the single "Bad Girls" took the top spot on the Billboard Hot R &B singles chart, Summer sat on top of 3 major Billboard charts. The album Bad Girls topped the R&B album charts for 3 weeks, June 23 to July 7, 1979.


Since the release of her breakthrough album which contained the sexually suggestive "Love to Love You Baby", Summer had been nicknamed "the First Lady of Love" in the press and her record label wanted her to keep this image, despite the fact that she was never truly comfortable with it. Several years later, Summer became dependent on prescription medication and reportedly suffered a mental breakdown at her California home in 1979; shortly afterwards, one of her sisters and backing vocalists in her band took her to a church in Los Angeles and Summer reconnected with her faith. Upon her recovery, Summer set to work on her new album with long-time partners Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, as well as various others she had not worked with before. By this time, although disco music was still popular, other styles such as punk and heavy metal were also doing well on the charts, so the team decided to incorporate a rockier sound into some of the songs. Other songs had a more soul/R&B feel to them, and in all it was probably Summer's most diverse album to date. The fusion of rock and disco was particularly evident, and synthesizers were used to augment the sound for a more electronic and dance oriented electro music in the first two songs on the album – "Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls", which also became the first two singles to be released from the album. Both were huge hits and made number one on the American singles chart. The former also won Summer a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance and became popular again in the 1990s when it was featured in The Full Monty and again in the film The Martian. "Dim All the Lights" was the third single and also became a huge hit, peaking at number two in the U.S.

Release and reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideA–[2]
Rolling Stonefavorable (1979)[5]
Rolling Stone (2003)[6]
Virgin Encyclopedia[7]
Yahoo! Musicfavorable[8]

Bad Girls was universally acclaimed by music reviews. The album was certified double platinum for sales in excess of 2 million copies in the U.S. on December 1, 1993 (double albums are certified per disc by the RIAA rather than per complete unit). It also became her second consecutive number-one album in the U.S., also spending three weeks at number one in Canada on the RPM 100 national albums chart.[9] As well as the aforementioned Grammy Award for "Hot Stuff" (Best Female Rock Vocal Performance), the song "Bad Girls" was also nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. "Dim All the Lights" was nominated for Best Disco Recording and the album itself was nominated for Album of the Year. The album was also nominated for "Favourite Pop/Rock Album" at the American Music Awards of 1980. The single took an American Music Award for "Favorite Pop/Rock Single", while Summer took awards for "Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist" & "Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist".

Bad Girls would be Summer's final studio album for Casablanca Records, who ended 1979 with the release of a greatest hits double-album. For her next studio album, Summer wanted to branch out into other formats of music but since she and Casablanca could not come to an agreement on her musical direction, Summer opted to sign a new deal with Geffen Records, the then-new label formed by David Geffen. Her first album with Geffen Records was more rock/new wave oriented. In the meantime, Casablanca chose to release more singles from the Bad Girls album into 1980: "Sunset People" and "Walk Away", the latter of which became a moderate hit reaching the top 40. Casablanca/PolyGram also released a special edition compilation entitled Walk Away – Greatest Hits 1977–1980, which featured a selection of her hits from the Bad Girls period and the preceding years. In 2003 Universal Music, owners of the Casablanca/PolyGram back catalogue since 1998, re-issued Bad Girls as a digitally remastered and expanded deluxe edition.

Commercial performance

The RIAA site has the album certified as 1,000,000 sales as of May 3, 1979 (certification on December 1, 1993 is a format change and not due to sales).[10] The RIAA did not introduce multi-plantinum awards until 1984, thus there are no artist with multi-plantinum certifications on the RIAA web site before 1984. Bad Girls the album was designated Triple Platinum in 1979.[11] It has sold over 4 million copies in the US.[12]

Track listing

All tracks produced by Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte except "My Baby Understands" by Donna Summer and Juergen Koppers.

Side one
1."Hot Stuff"5:14
2."Bad Girls"4:55
3."Love Will Always Find You"
  • Bellotte
  • Moroder
4."Walk Away"
  • Bellotte
  • Faltermeyer
Side two
5."Dim All the Lights"Summer4:40
6."Journey to the Center of Your Heart"
  • Bellotte
  • Moroder
7."One Night in a Lifetime"
  • Bellotte
  • Faltermeyer
8."Can't Get to Sleep At Night"
Side three
9."On My Honor"
  • Summer
  • Faltermeyer
  • Bruce Sudano
10."There Will Always Be a You"Summer5:07
11."All Through the Night"6:01
12."My Baby Understands"Summer4:03
Side four
13."Our Love"
  • Summer
  • Moroder
  • Summer
  • Moroder
  • Esposito
  • Hokenson
  • Sudano
15."Sunset People"
  • Bellotte
  • Faltermeyer
  • Forsey




  • Producers: Giorgio Moroder, Pete Bellotte
  • Arranged by: Harold Faltermeyer
  • Recording Engineer: Jürgen Koppers, Steven D. Smith
  • Assistant Engineer: Carolyn Tapp
  • Mixing Engineer: Jürgen Koppers
  • Original Mastering Engineer: Brian Gardner at Allen Zentz Mastering, Hollywood[13]
    • recorded and mixed at Rusk Sound studios, Hollywood; January – March 1979[14]
  • Production manager: Budd Tunick
  • Art direction: Jeffrey Kent Ayeroff
  • Design: Jeffrey Kent Ayeroff, Jeri McManus

Charts and certifications

Weekly charts

Chart (1979) Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[15] 8
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[16] 24
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[17] 7
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[18] 9
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[19] 3
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[20] 3
Spanish Albums (Promusicae)[21] 6
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[22] 3
UK Albums (OCC)[23] 23
US Billboard 200[24] 1



Region CertificationCertified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[25] 2× Platinum 200,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[26] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[27] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[28] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also


  1. Ruhlmann, William. Review: Bad Girls. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-03-27.
  2. Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: S". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 13, 2019 via
  3. Malone Jr., Melvin. Review: Bad Girls. PopMatters. Retrieved on 2010-03-27.
  4. Columnist. "Review: Bad Girls". Q: 138. November 2003.
  5. Holden, Stephen (July 12, 1979). "Donna Summer: Bad Girls : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
  6. Hunter, James (August 21, 2003). "Donna Summer: Bad Girls : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
  7. Larkin, Colin. "Review: Bad Girls". Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music: March 1, 2002.
  8. Walls, Richard C. Review: Bad Girls. Yahoo! Music. Retrieved on 2010-03-27.
  9. RPM Magazine – Bad Girls
  10. RIAA certification
  11. Ruben Norte (w/prod)A&E (February 9, 1995). "Donna Summer". Biography. Season 8. Episode 15.
  12. "Whitney Houston Pops New Queen". New York Times. 1986-05-25. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  13. Discogs – Allen Zentz Mastering profile, contact info, and discography
  14. Discogs – Bad Girls 2-vinyl LP 1979 Polygram (NBLP-2-7150) New Zealand
  15. " – Donna Summer – Bad Girls" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  16. " – Donna Summer – Bad Girls" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  17. "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  18. Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  19. " – Donna Summer – Bad Girls". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  20. " – Donna Summer – Bad Girls". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  21. Fernando Salaverri (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  22. " – Donna Summer – Bad Girls". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  23. "Donna Summer | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  24. "Donna Summer Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  25. "Canadian album certifications – Donna Summer – Bad Girls". Music Canada.
  26. "New Zealand album certifications – Donna Summer – Bad Girls". Recorded Music NZ.
  27. "British album certifications – Donna Summer – Bad Girls". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Bad Girls in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  28. "American album certifications – Donna Summer – Bad Girls". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
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