Radio is an East Coast rap album by hip hop artist LL Cool J, released in 1985 (see 1985 in music). LL Cool J had dropped out of high school to record the album (after the 12" "I Need A Beat" became a moderate success the year before), and he was seventeen years old when it was released. Widely considered one of the first hip-hop LPs that are a cohesive whole, the album was surprisingly popular for a hip-hop album in the mid-1980s. Rick Rubin's sparse production was also influential; its stripped-down beats and gritty sound inspired The Bomb Squad (best known for producing Public Enemy) and several other future hip-hop producers. "I Want You" and "I Can Give You More" are often considered the first hip hop ballads.

Radio peaked at #6 and #46 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums and Billboard 200 albums charts. It ranks at #69 on Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Best LPs of the 80s". Template:RS500 In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source Magazine's 100 Best Rap Albums.

The song "I Can't Live Without My Radio" appeared on the soundtrack to Krush Groove.

Trivia: "Rock the Bells" was supposed to be the music video for the first album, but LL Cool J overslept the first day of shooting the video. Afterwards, Rick Rubin said that there will be no music video of "Rock the Bells".

Track listing

# Title Producer(s) Performer (s) Sample(s) Used
1 "I Can't Live Without My Radio" Rick Rubin LL Cool J n/a
2 "You Can't Dance" Rick Rubin LL Cool J Contains samples from "Apache" by Incredible Bongo Band
3 "Dear Yvette" Rick Rubin LL Cool J n/a
4 "I Can Give You More" Rick Rubin LL Cool J n/a
5 "Dangerous" Rick Rubin LL Cool J n/a
6 "Rock The Bells" Rick Rubin LL Cool J Contains samples from "Pump Me Up" by Trouble Funk, "Take Me to the Mardi Gras" by Bob James & "Flick of the Switch" by AC/DC
7 "I Need A Beat (Remix)" Jazzy Jay LL Cool J n/a
8 "That's A Lie" Rick Rubin LL Cool J, Russell Rush Contains samples from "Owner of a Lonely Heart" by Yes
9 "You'll Rock" Rick Rubin LL Cool J Contains samples from "Frisco Disco" by Eastside Connection
10 "I Want You" Rick Rubin LL Cool J n/a

Album singles

Single cover Single information
"I Need A Beat"
  • Released: 1984
  • B-side:
"I Can Give You More"
  • Released: 1985
  • B-side: "I Can't Live Without My Radio"
"I Want You"
  • Released: 1985
  • B-side: "Dangerous"
"Rock The Bells"
  • Released: 1985
  • B-side: "Rock The Bells [Original Version]"

Album Chart Positions

Year Album Chart positions
Billboard 200 Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums
1985 Radio #46 #6

Singles Chart Positions

Year Song Chart positions
Billboard Hot 100 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales Hot Dance Music/Club Play
1985 "I Can't Live Without My Radio" - #15 - -
1986 "I Can Give You More" - - #12 -
1986 "Rock The Bells" - #17 #24 #35
1986 "You'll Rock" - #59 - -

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