What I Like About You (song)

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"What I Like About You"
Single by The Romantics
from the album The Romantics
B-side "First in Line"
Released February 1980
Recorded 1979
Genre Power pop[1]
  • 2:55
  • 2:49 (music video)
  • Wally Palmar
  • Mike Skill
  • Jimmy Marinos
Producer(s) Pete Solley
The Romantics singles chronology
"Tell It to Carrie"
"What I Like About You"
"When I Look in Your Eyes"

"What I Like About You" is a song by American rock band The Romantics. The song, written by Romantics members Wally Palmar, Mike Skill and Jimmy Marinos is included on the band's self-titled debut album (1980), and was also released as a single. Marinos, the band's drummer, is the lead vocalist on the song. The band filmed a music video for the song that appeared frequently on MTV during the early 1980s.

Writing and original version[edit]

"What I Like About You" was written by the group around a guitar part by Skill. The song's "Hey, uh-huh-huh" refrain was influenced by The Yardbirds' "Over Under Sideways Down" and Chuck Berry's "Back in the U.S.A.". The song's riff is slightly similar to Neil Diamond's "Cherry, Cherry" and The Standells 1966 hit "Dirty Water". The Romantics recorded the song and the accompanying album at Coconuts Recording Studio in Miami Beach, Florida.[2]

When first released, "What I Like About You" was already a popular song on the Romantics' concert playlist. In terms of record sales and radio airplay, however, the song was only a moderate success at the time of its release, reaching only #49 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song did quite well in Australia however, reaching #2 on the Australian Singles Chart (Kent Music Report) on its initial release. It was only towards the end of the 1980s, after the song had been licensed for use in television commercials for Budweiser beer, that "What I Like About You" grew to become one of the most popular rock anthems of all time.

Legacy and contemporary usage[edit]

"What I Like About You" has become a staple of modern rock, appearing on numerous compilation albums of 1980s pop and rock music hits and heard in frequent rotation on modern rock and classic rock radio. The song is also often played at sporting events, parties and at bars and clubs. In addition to Budweiser, the song has also been heard promoting products, services and institutions including the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, Barbie toy dolls, SeaWorld and T.G.I. Friday's restaurants. The song was also featured in TV commercials for Hampton Inn, Esurance, Papa John's Pizza, Toon Disney and Toyota as recently as 2008. The song was also included in the films Richie Rich (1994), Shrek 2 (2004), Surf's Up (2007) and Marmaduke (2010).

The song was voted #97 on VH1's television special The 100 Greatest Songs of the '80s.

The song is featured in the video game Donkey Konga.

Guitar Hero legal case[edit]

In November 2007, The Romantics filed a federal lawsuit against Activision Inc., the maker of Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s, claiming that the video game manufacturer had infringed on the band's rights by featuring a soundalike recording of "What I Like About You" in the game.[3] The Romantics lost their case in December 2007, with the judge stating that Activision had taken all the necessary steps in developing its product.[4]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
Australian Singles Chart (KMR) 2
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 49
US Cash Box Top 100[6] 53
Chart (2011) Peak
US Rock Digital Songs[7] 46

Cover versions[edit]

"What I Like About You"
Single by Poison
from the album Poison'd!
B-side "Just What I Needed"
Released May 25, 2007
Recorded 2007
Length 2:59
Label Capitol
Producer(s) Don Was
Poison singles chronology
"We're An American Band
"What I Like About You"

Channel Ten and Southern Cross Ten used the song to advertise their television channel in 2005–06. They used three different versions of the song, all performed by Green Dragon. The first, used from February–December 2005 was the original version of the song. The second, used from December 2005–February 2006 was a dance mix. The third, used from February–December 2006 was an R&B mix; the song was again used from December 2006–February 2007 in Ten's summer promos.

5 Seconds of Summer version[edit]

"What I Like About You"
Single by 5 Seconds of Summer
from the album LIVESOS and She Looks So Perfect
Released 2 December 2014[10]
Recorded 2013–14
Length 2:31
Label Capitol
Producer(s) John Feldmann
5 Seconds of Summer singles chronology
"Good Girls"
"What I Like About You"
"She's Kinda Hot"

The song was covered by Australian pop punk band 5 Seconds of Summer for their 2014 EP She Looks So Perfect, reaching No. 137 on the UK Singles Chart. The studio mix of the song is included on the group's 2014 live album, LIVESOS, and was serviced to American mainstream radio on 2 December 2014 as its lead single.[10] It received strong airplay for the week ending December 28, 2014 and debuted on the Billboard Pop Songs chart, where it has since peaked at No. 30.[11][12]

The band performed the song live at the 2014 American Music Awards on 23 November 2014 ahead of its release.[13]

Music video[edit]

A lyric video for the live version was uploaded to 5 Seconds of Summer's Vevo account 23 November 2014, the same day as their AMA performance.[14] The official music video was directed by Tom Van Schelven and premiered 5 December 2014.[15] It uses the live audio rather than the studio mix and features concert footage from the group's performance at The Forum near Los Angeles, as well behind-the-scenes clips and shots of the audience.[16]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2014–15) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[17] 76
UK Singles Chart (Official Charts Company)[18] 137
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[12] 30


  1. ^ Prato, Greg. "The Romantics – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Eskow, Gary (December 1, 2006). "Classic Tracks: The Romantics' 'What I Like About You'". MixOnline.com. Retrieved November 20, 2010. 
  3. ^ "80's Band The Romantics Sue 'Guitar Hero,' Claim Infringement". Associated Press via FoxNews.com. November 22, 2007. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  4. ^ Kuchera, Ben (December 21, 2007). "The Romantics lose suit over Guitar Hero song". Ars Technica. Retrieved November 19, 2010. 
  5. ^ "The Romantics – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for The Romantics. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Chart Search". Billboard Rock Digital Songs for The Romantics. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  8. ^ Whitson, Joel (2000). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles: 1955–99. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research. p. 868. ISBN 0-89820-139-X. 
  9. ^ "Roxy's Jam Japan CD KT Tunstall Anna Aslyn LILLIX". eBay. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Top 40/M Future Releases". All Access Media Group. Archived from the original on 30 November 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  11. ^ Cantor, Brian (29 December 2014). "5 Seconds of Summer's "What I Like About You" is One of Pop's 40 Most-Played". Headline Planet (Cantortainment Inc.). Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "5 Seconds of Summer – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for 5 Seconds of Summer.
  13. ^ Strecker, Erin (23 November 2014). "5 Seconds of Summer Rock Out During 'What I Like About You' at the 2014 AMAs: Watch". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  14. ^ 5SOSVEVO (23 November 2014). "5 Seconds Of Summer - What I Like About You (Lyric Video)". YouTube. Google. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  15. ^ 5SOSVEVO (5 December 2014). "5 Seconds Of Summer - What I Like About You: Live At The Forum". YouTube. Google. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  16. ^ Scott, Jason (5 December 2014). "5 Seconds Of Summer Drop Live ‘What I Like About You’ Video—Watch Now!". Pop Dust. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – 5 Seconds Of Summer – What I Like About You" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  18. ^ "CHART: CLUK Update 5.04.2014 (wk13)". Zobbel.de/. Official Charts Company.