Joni Mitchell is one of the most revered and influential performers of her time, but her prodigious output contains very few chart hits, largely because she didn't write songs to popular taste. This song was her effort to get a hit, and while it lacks a chorus or any obvious hooks, it is specifically about disc jockeys and radio stations, which helped it garner airplay.
Running a tidy 2:40, it contains a 19-second intro, giving announcers plenty of time to talk up the song (and mention that awesome title!). The fadeout was also accommodating so they could backsell it.
"I decided there were some ways to make a hit, increase the chances," Mitchell said in Sounds. "DJs have to like it, so you put a long part at the beginning and the end so the DJs can talk over it. Take a tender situation and translate it into commonly appealing songs for the DJs. It'd have to be a bit corny, so I wrote this little song called 'Oh Honey, You Turn Me On, I'm A Radio.'"
Released in October 1972, this song did its job, becoming Mitchell's first Top 40 hit in America as an artist. She had made the charts as a songwriter, with Judy Collins' version of "Both Sides Now" making #8 in 1968 and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's cover of "Woodstock" reaching #11 in 1970.
Graham Nash, David Crosby and Neil Young all took part in the sessions for the song, but only a Graham Nash harmonica part was used on the final release.
This is a very unusual song in that it is sung from the perspective of a radio, explaining all the ways it can please listeners. The station is always there to serve, and while it might not always have a clear signal, it knows what you want to hear.
Of course, this radio station could be viewed as a metaphor for a person who is also looking to please.