What I Like About You (The Romantics song)

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"What I Like About You"
The Romantics - What I Like About You.jpg
Single by The Romantics
from the album The Romantics
B-side"First in Line"
ReleasedDecember 1979
RecordedSeptember 1979
StudioCoconuts Recording,
Miami Beach
  • 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. Written by Romantics members Wally Palmar, Mike Skill and Jimmy Marinos in 1979, the song is included on the band's self-titled debut album (1980), and was also released as a single in late 1979.[3] 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 Palmar, Marinos and Skill 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", the Standells 1966 hit "Dirty Water", and Joe Jackson's 1979 single "I'm the Man". The Romantics recorded the song and the accompanying album at Coconuts Recording Studio in Miami Beach, Florida.[4]

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 number 49 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was most successful in Australia, where it reached number two on the Australian Singles Chart (Kent Music Report) for two weeks and became the 13th most successful single for 1980.[5] 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.

Guitar Hero legal case[edit]

In November 2007, The Romantics filed a federal lawsuit against Activision, the publisher 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.[6] The Romantics lost their case in December 2007, with the judge stating that Activision had taken all the necessary steps in developing its product.[7]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1979–80) Peak
Australian Singles Chart (KMR) 2
Belgium[8] 11
Netherlands[8] 8
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 49
US Cash Box Top 100[10] 53
Chart (2011) Peak
US Rock Digital Songs[11] 46

Cover versions[edit]

"What I Like About You"
Single by Poison
from the album Poison'd!
B-side"Just What I Needed"
ReleasedMay 25, 2007
  • Wally Palmar
  • Mike Skill
  • Jimmy Marinos
Producer(s)Don Was
Poison singles chronology
"We're an American Band"
"What I Like About You"

5 Seconds of Summer version[edit]

"What I Like About You"
Single by 5 Seconds of Summer
from the EP She Looks So Perfect
ReleasedDecember 2, 2014[14]
GenrePop punk
  • Wally Palmar
  • Mike Skill
  • Jimmy Marinos
Producer(s)John Feldmann
5 Seconds of Summer singles chronology
"Good Girls"
"What I Like About You"
"She's Kinda Hot"
Music video
5 Seconds of Summer - What I Like About You : Live at The Forum on YouTube

The song was covered by Australian rock band 5 Seconds of Summer for their 2014 She Looks So Perfect EP, reaching number 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 December 2, 2014 as its lead single.[14] 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 number 30.[15][16]

The band performed the song live at the 2014 American Music Awards on November 23, 2014 ahead of its release.[17]

Music video[edit]

A lyric video for the live version was uploaded to 5 Seconds of Summer's Vevo account November 23, 2014, the same day as their AMA performance.[18] The official music video was directed by Tom van Schelven and premiered on December 5, 2014.[19] 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.[20]


Chart (2014–15) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[21] 76
UK Singles Chart (Official Charts Company)[22] 137
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[16] 30


  1. ^ Prato, Greg. "The Romantics – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  2. ^ "The Romantics keep 80s sound alive". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  3. ^ Discogs – ZS9 7527
  4. ^ Eskow, Gary (December 1, 2006). "Classic Tracks: The Romantics' 'What I Like About You'". MixOnline.com. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
  5. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 Singles 1980". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  6. ^ "80's Band The Romantics Sue 'Guitar Hero,' Claim Infringement". Associated Press via FoxNews.com. November 22, 2007. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  7. ^ Kuchera, Ben (December 21, 2007). "The Romantics lose suit over Guitar Hero song". Ars Technica. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
  8. ^ a b "Google Translate". translate.googleusercontent.com.
  9. ^ "The Romantics Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 3/29/80". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  11. ^ "Chart Search". Billboard Rock Digital Songs for The Romantics. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  12. ^ Whitson, Joel (2000). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles: 1955–99. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research. p. 868. ISBN 0-89820-139-X.
  13. ^ "Roxy's Jam Japan CD KT Tunstall Anna Aslyn LILLIX". eBay. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Top 40/M Future Releases". All Access Media Group. Archived from the original on November 30, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  15. ^ Cantor, Brian (December 29, 2014). "5 Seconds of Summer's "What I Like About You" is One of Pop's 40 Most-Played". Headline Planet. Cantortainment Inc. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  16. ^ a b "5 Seconds of Summer Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  17. ^ Strecker, Erin (November 23, 2014). "5 Seconds of Summer Rock Out During 'What I Like About You' at the 2014 AMAs: Watch". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  18. ^ 5SOSVEVO (November 23, 2014). "5 Seconds Of Summer - What I Like About You (Lyric Video)". YouTube. Google. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  19. ^ 5SOSVEVO (December 5, 2014). "5 Seconds Of Summer - What I Like About You: Live At The Forum". YouTube. Google. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  20. ^ Scott, Jason (December 5, 2014). "5 Seconds Of Summer Drop Live 'What I Like About You' Video—Watch Now!". Pop Dust. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  21. ^ "Ultratop.be – 5 Seconds Of Summer – What I Like About You" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  22. ^ "CHART: CLUK Update 5.04.2014 (wk13)". Zobbel.de/. Official Charts Company.