Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture

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Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by
John Travolta / Olivia Newton-John / Various Artists
ReleasedApril 14, 1978[1]
Olivia Newton-John chronology
Olivia Newton-John's Greatest Hits
Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture
Totally Hot
Singles from Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture
  1. "Grease"
    Released: May 6, 1978
  2. "You're the One That I Want"
    Released: May 17, 1978
  3. "Summer Nights"
    Released: August 25, 1978
  4. "Hopelessly Devoted to You"
    Released: September 9, 1978
  5. "Sandy"
    Released: September 29, 1978
  6. "Greased Lightnin'"
    Released: 1978[2]

Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture is the original motion picture soundtrack for the 1978 film Grease. It was originally released by RSO Records and subsequently re-issued by Polydor Records in 1984 and 1991. The song "You're the One That I Want" was a US and UK No. 1 for stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. It has sold approximately 38 million copies worldwide,[3] making it one of the best-selling albums of all time, also ranking amongst the biggest selling soundtrack albums of all time.

Besides performers John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, the album also featured songs by rock and roll revival group Sha Na Na as well as the hit song "Grease", a tune written by Barry Gibb (of the Bee Gees) and sung by Frankie Valli (of The Four Seasons) that was an additional U.S. number one.


The soundtrack was released on April 14, 1978, two months ahead of the film's release.[1] As with most musicals of the period, the vocal takes recorded for the album release–and in some cases the instrumental background as well–do not lock to picture but were recorded during entirely different soundtrack sessions often months prior or subsequent to the performances used for lip sync in the film.[citation needed]

The cover gives credit to, and prominently features, the two stars of the film—John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John—although they only appear on seven of the 24 tracks. Sha Na Na performed many of the 1950s numbers in the film, the recordings of which also appear on the soundtrack. Stockard Channing sings lead on two of the tracks; the two tracks remain her only significant contribution to recorded popular music to date. The title track was recorded by Frankie Valli, who had no other connection with the film.

The entirety of the score written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey for the Broadway musical was included on the soundtrack and/or in the film, with the exception of two songs: "Shakin' at the High School Hop" (originally composed to open Act II of the musical) and "All Choked Up" (the song originally written into the spot where the film used "You're the One that I Want") were both left out of both the film and the soundtrack. Not all of the songs were included in the film; songs cut from the film were performed on the soundtrack by Louis St. Louis and Cindy Bullens or converted to instrumentals. Songs in the musical that were not performed by Rizzo, Danny, Sandy, the Teen Angel, or Johnny Casino & the Gamblers were given to those characters or to St. Louis and Bullens; these included Sandy's original feature number "It's Raining on Prom Night" (given to Bullens and used as a jukebox background song), Marty's "Freddy, My Love" (given to Bullens), Doody's "Those Magic Changes" (given to Johnny Casino & the Gamblers), Kenickie's "Greased Lightnin'" (given to Danny), and both of the songs originally attributed to a character named Roger that was written out of the film, "Mooning" and "Rock'n'Roll Party Queen" (both given to St. Louis; "Mooning" was replaced in function in the film by the 1930s standard "Blue Moon," performed by the Gamblers).

The most successful songs from the soundtrack were written specifically for the film. They included the Billboard number-one hits "Grease", "You're the One That I Want" and the Academy Award-nominated "Hopelessly Devoted to You".[4] In the UK, the album proved even more successful where "You're the One That I Want" and "Summer Nights" (a song carried over from the original musical) reached No.1 for nine and seven weeks respectively, while "Grease", "Hopelessly Devoted to You" and "Sandy" all became top three hits.[5][6][7][8] The soundtrack album hit the top of the charts in the U.S. during the summer of 1978, replacing The Rolling Stones' Some Girls. In the UK, it remained at the top of the charts for 13 consecutive weeks.[9][self-published source?] As of 2011, "You're the One That I Want" and "Summer Nights" are still among the 20 best-selling singles of all time in the UK (at Nos.6 and 19 respectively).[10] "Greased Lightnin'," another carryover from the stage version, was also released as a single, reaching the top 20 in the UK but narrowly missing the top 40 in the U.S. in part because of the lyrical content not being permitted on U.S. radio.

Two of the bass players who recorded on the Grease soundtrack were (at different times) members of Toto. One of these, David Hungate, also performed on Olivia Newton-John's album Totally Hot with Toto guitarist Steve Lukather. Other musicians here have previously worked with Elton John, Steely Dan, Bee Gees and others. The Grease album as well as the soundtrack for the film were recorded and mixed by David J. Holman.

The album has sold over 6 million copies in the US in the SoundScan era (beginning 1991) in addition to the 8 million shipped in the years 1978–1984.[11][12]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[13]
Christgau's Record GuideC+[14]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic retrospectively rated the soundtrack four-and-a-half stars. He stated that "the originals hold up better than the '50s tunes" due in large part to Sha Na Na's workmanlike performances of the latter. Erlewine added however that the original songs "are so giddily enjoyable that everything works". He also said that "the sleek pop production the movie's soundtrack boasts and the cast's enthusiastic performances go a long way in making this Grease the definitive Grease."[13] The album was nominated for Album of the Year at the 21st Annual Grammy Awards.[15]

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

1."Grease"Barry GibbFrankie Valli3:24
2."Summer Nights"Jim Jacobs and Warren CaseyJohn Travolta and Olivia Newton-John3:35
3."Hopelessly Devoted to You"John FarrarOlivia Newton-John3:04
4."You're the One That I Want"John FarrarJohn Travolta and Olivia Newton-John2:48
5."Sandy"Louis St. Louis and Scott SimonJohn Travolta2:31

Side two[edit]

6."Beauty School Dropout"Jim Jacobs and Warren CaseyFrankie Avalon3:59
7."Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee"Jim Jacobs and Warren CaseyStockard Channing, Didi Conn, Dinah Manoff and Jamie Donnelly1:40
8."Greased Lightnin'"Jim Jacobs and Warren CaseyJohn Travolta, Jeff Conaway3:13
9."It's Raining on Prom Night"Jim Jacobs and Warren CaseyCindy Bullens2:51
10."Alone at a Drive-In Movie" (Instrumental)Jim Jacobs and Warren CaseyInstrumental2:24
11."Blue Moon"Richard Rodgers and Lorenz HartSha-Na-Na2:18

Side three[edit]

12."Rock n' Roll Is Here to Stay"David WhiteSha-Na-Na2:03
13."Those Magic Changes"Jim Jacobs and Warren CaseySha-Na-Na2:18
14."Hound Dog"Jerry Leiber and Mike StollerSha-Na-Na1:24
15."Born to Hand Jive"Jim Jacobs and Warren CaseySha-Na-Na4:37
16."Tears on My Pillow"Sylvester Bradford and Al LewisSha-Na-Na2:02
17."Mooning"Jim Jacobs and Warren CaseyLouis St. Louis and Cindy Bullens2:15

Side four[edit]

18."Freddy, My Love"Jim Jacobs and Warren CaseyCindy Bullens2:48
19."Rock n' Roll Party Queen"Jim Jacobs and Warren CaseyLouis St. Louis2:11
20."There Are Worse Things I Could Do"Jim Jacobs and Warren CaseyStockard Channing2:22
21."Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee (Reprise)"Jim Jacobs and Warren CaseyOlivia Newton-John1:40
22."We Go Together"Jim Jacobs and Warren CaseyJohn Travolta and Olivia Newton-John3:00
23."Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (Instrumental)"Sammy Fain and Paul Francis WebsterOrchestral1:23
24."Grease (Reprise)"Barry GibbFrankie Valli3:24

CD release[edit]

The CD of the soundtrack has been released twice in the US. In April 1991 it was released through Polydor Records as a single disc replicating the sequence of the original 1978 RSO LP. In September 2003 it was released by PolyGram as a 2-CD digitally-remastered "Deluxe Edition" containing additional tracks. As with the LP and single-disc CD, the songs are not presented in the order replicating their appearances in the movie.

Deluxe edition bonus disc
1."Grease" (Instrumental version)Barry GibbGary Brown, saxophone3:23
2."Summer Nights" (Sing-a-long version)Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey3:34
3."Hopelessly Devoted to You" (Sing-a-long version)John Farrar3:03
4."You're the One That I Want" (Sing-a-long version)John Farrar2:32
5."Sandy" (Sing-a-long version)Louis St. Louis and Scott Simon2:30
6."Greased Lightnin'" (Single version)Jim Jacobs and Warren CaseyJohn Travolta3:20
7."Rydell Fight Song" (Previously unreleased instrumental)Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey0:20
8."Greased Up and Ready to Go" (Previously unreleased instrumental)Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey4:49
9."Grease Megamix" ("You're the One That I Want"/"Greased Lightnin'"/"Summer Nights")John Farrar
Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John4:49
10."Grease Dream Mix" ("Grease"/"Sandy"/"Hopelessly Devoted to You")Barry Gibb
Louis St. Louis and Scott Simon
John Farrar
Frankie Valli, John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John3:59
11."Summer Nights" (Martian remix)Jim Jacobs and Warren CaseyJohn Travolta and Olivia Newton-John3:37
12."You're the One That I Want" (Martian remix)John FarrarJohn Travolta and Olivia Newton-John3:25

40th anniversary vinyl reissue In August 2018, Polydor reissued the vinyl album to celebrate its original release in 1978. Released on 180g vinyl and mastered in half speed, it was the first time since its original release that it had used the original RSO record label in the artwork. No information was provided on who or where the record was half speed mastered.





  • All selections except "Grease" arranged by: John Farrar, Michael Gibson, Louis St. Louis
  • Strings on "Summer Nights" arranged by Ben Lanzarone
  • Horns and Strings on "Greased Lightnin'" and "Born to Hand Jive" arranged by Michael Melvoin
  • Karl Richardson – engineer ("Grease")
  • Recorded at: Filmways/Wally Heider Recording Studios, Hollywood
    United Western Studios, Hollywood
    Hollywood Sound Recorders, Hollywood
  • Engineered by: David J. Holman, Jay Lewis, EirBilly Joel Wangberg, Michael Carneval, Karl Richardson ("Grease")
  • All selections mixed and re-mixed by David J. Holman at Filmways/Wally Heider Recording Studios, Hollywood [Except "Grease"]
  • Produced by: Louis St. Louis and John Farrar; Barry Gibb, Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson ("Grease")
  • Album mastered at A&M Records by Bernie Grundman
  • Art direction: Glenn Ross
  • Album design: Tim Bryant/George Corsillo
  • Photography: Alan Pappe/Lee Gross Assoc., Inc.
  • Background photos: Ron Slenzak



Weekly charts[edit]

Year Chart (1978–98) Position
1978 US Billboard 200 1
UK Albums (Official Charts Company)[17] 1
Australian Albums (Kent Music Report) 1
1991 Australian Albums (ARIA) 1


Release date A-side, B-side
Both sides from soundtrack album except where indicated
May 6, 1978 "Grease" (Frankie Valli)
b/w "Grease" (Instrumental, non-album track)
1 3 2
"You're the One That I Want" (John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John)
b/w "Alone At A Drive-In Movie" (Instrumental)
1 1 1
August 25, 1978 "Summer Nights" (John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, & Cast)
b/w "Rock 'N' Roll Party Queen" (Louis St. Louis)
5 1 6
September 9, 1978 "Hopelessly Devoted to You" (Olivia Newton-John)
b/w "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing" (Instrumental)
3 2 2
"Sandy" (John Travolta)
b/w "Can't Let You Go" (John Travolta, not in the film)
November 17, 1978 "Greased Lightnin'" (John Travolta)
b/w "Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay" (Sha-Na-Na)
47 11[8] 40

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[18] 14× Platinum 980,000^
Austria 70,000+[19]
Belgium (BEA)[21] Gold 40,000[20]
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[22] Gold 100,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[23] Diamond 1,000,000^
France (SNEP)[24] Platinum 300,000*
Germany (BVMI)[25] 5× Gold 1,250,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[26] Platinum 20,000*[27]
Italy (FIMI)[28]
sales since 2009
Gold 50,000*
Japan 442,410[29]
Netherlands 750,000[30]
New Zealand (RMNZ)[32] Platinum 250,000[31]
Norway (IFPI Norway)[34] Platinum 250,000[33]
Gold 8,000
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[36] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Sweden 150,000[37]
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[38] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[40] 8× Platinum 2,580,000[39]
United States (RIAA)[42]
certified sales 1978-1984
8× Platinum 10,000,000[41]
United States
Soundscan sales since 1991
Worldwide 38,000,000[3]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Fong-Torres, Ben (October 5, 1978). "Al Coury Owns Number One". Rolling Stone. Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. (275): 40.
  2. ^ Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture Deluxe Edition. CD liner notes. 2003. Various Artists. Polydor Records. 9809773.
    • Note: Liner notes read under "Greased Lightnin' (Single Version)" that single was issued by RSO in 1978 with catalog number RS909.
  3. ^ a b Fiallo, Josh (April 10, 2019). "'Grease' prequel will reveal details of Sandy and Danny's 'Summer Nights'". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  4. ^ Allmusic - US charts
  5. ^ "John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John - Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Frankie Valli - Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Olivia Newton-John - Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  8. ^ a b c "John Travolta - Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  9. ^ Churchill, Michael (23 September 2013). British Albums Chart - All Time Top 1000. London: p. 105. ISBN 9781291569773. Retrieved 19 January 2016.[self-published source]
  10. ^ "BBC Radio 2 - UK's Million Sellers with Tony Blackburn". BBC.
  11. ^ "American album certifications – Soundtrack – Grease". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  12. ^ a b Paul Grein (November 21, 2012). "Week Ending Nov. 18, 2012. Albums: Xtina Slips Despite "The Voice"". Chart Watch. Yahoo Music. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  13. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture at AllMusic
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: G". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved February 24, 2019 – via
  15. ^ "Louis St. Louis". 15 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  16. ^ "Grease [The Soundtrack from the Motion Picture]". AllMusic.
  17. ^ "Number 1 Albums – 1970s". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  18. ^ "ARIA Catalogue Albums Chart – 03/12/2012". Australian Recording Industry Association. 2012-03-12. Archived from the original on 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2012-03-12.
  19. ^ Schreiber, Manfred (13 January 1979). "From The Music Capitols Of The World - Vienna" (PDF). Billboard. p. 74. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  20. ^ Robertshaw, Nick (16 September 1978). ""Grease" Is A European Musical Phenomenon". Billboard. p. 56. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  21. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 1995". Ultratop. Hung Medien.
  22. ^ "Coury Mines Gold" (PDF). Cash Box. 3 March 1979. p. 45. Retrieved October 10, 2020 – via World radio History.
  23. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Various Artists – Grease". Music Canada.
  24. ^ "Les Certifications depuis 1973: Albums". Retrieved 24 March 2012. (select "B.O.F." from drop-down list)
  25. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (O.S.T. - Various; 'Grease')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  26. ^ "Gold Disc Award 1979". IFPI. Archived from the original on 2012-03-18. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  27. ^ "Gold Disc Award Criteria". IFPI. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  28. ^ "Italian album certifications – Artisti Vari – Grease" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 11 December 2018. Select "2013" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Grease" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Album e Compilation" under "Sezione".
  29. ^ Okamoto, Satoshi (2006). Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. p. 349. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  30. ^ Hoos, William (20 January 1979). "Promotion Ploys Intrigue Labels In Netherlands". Billboard. p. 94. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  31. ^ Gifford, Phil (17 March 1979). "Tax Clouds Growth And Dampens Local Talent Development" (PDF). Billboard. p. SA-6. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  32. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Various – Grease Soundtrack". Recorded Music NZ.
  33. ^ Bakkemoen, Kurt (19 March 1980). "Biggest Norwegian Sellers" (PDF). Billboard. p. 113. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  34. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway.
  35. ^ "Singapore Films". Billboard. 8 August 1998. p. APQ-4. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  36. ^ Salaverrie, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (PDF) (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Madrid: Fundación Autor/SGAE. p. 930. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  37. ^ Schulman, Leif (20 January 1979). "Sweden Pushes Local Product" (PDF). Billboard. p. 106. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  38. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Soundtrack; 'Grease')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien.
  39. ^ Myers, Justin (October 24, 2015). "Quiz: Who sold more?". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  40. ^ "British album certifications – Original Soundtrack – Grease - OST". British Phonographic Industry.
  41. ^ Murrells, Joseph. Million selling records from the 1900s to the 1980s : an illustrated directory. Arco Pub. p. 450. ISBN 0668064595. The album begun to register huge sales in the U.S.A. (it had been shipped platinum) and finally sold over 10 million there
  42. ^ "American album certifications – Soundtrack – Grease". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.