From Rockin Robin:
They barely found the time to record it.
At 3:30 in the morning.
Diana Ross was so busy she couldn’t even fly to Los Angeles. Lionel Richie was so busy with the Commodores (an album) and with Kenny Rogers on his recording projects that he couldn’t leave Los Angeles. The two worked out a recording session in Reno, Nevada after Diana Ross drove for an hour from her Lake Tahoe concert. And the result was…
According to my good friend Fred Bronson, Diana Ross didn’t even have the lyrics in front of her until the 3:30 a.m. session. But by 5 a.m., “Endless Love” was recorded and it went on to become this writer’s choice of the #1 “Love” song in the golden age of rock and roll (roughly 1955-1990). It’s also the #11 movie song of all time. It spent nine weeks at #1 and was named the #2 single of 1981 behind “Bette Davis Eyes.”
Still, “Endless Love” is the golden age of rock and roll era’s greatest duet hit. And, at the time it was a hit, it was the most successful soundtrack single and Motown single, too.
Those are just some of the honors accorded to “Endless Love” by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross as the #7 song in the first 25 years of “American Top 40’s” history.
In the first 60 years of the pop chart, only “Vaya Con Dios” by Les Paul and Mary Ford’s 11 weeks at #1 in 1953 (two years before the rock era began) spent more weeks at #1 as a duet.
“Endless Love” became the top soundtrack single of its time because it was heard on the soundtrack of the movie of the same name. That wasn’t the case of “You Light Up My Life.” Debby Boone’s version wasn’t heard in the movie. Instead, it was sung by the late Kacey Cisyk.