You're the One That I Want

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"You're the One That I Want"
Single by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
from the album Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture
B-side"Alone at a Drive-In Movie" (instrumental)
Released1978
Recorded1977 or 1978
StudioRecorded and Mixed by David J. Holman at Heider Studios and United/Western Studio
GenrePop[1]
Length2:49
LabelRSO
Songwriter(s)John Farrar
Producer(s)John Farrar
Olivia Newton-John singles chronology
"Don't Cry for Me Argentina"
(1977)
"You're the One That I Want"
(1978)
"Hopelessly Devoted to You"
(1978)
John Travolta singles chronology
"Razzamatazz"
(1977)
"You're the One That I Want"
(1978)
"Summer Nights"
(1978)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusicFavorable[2]

"You're the One That I Want" is a song performed by American actor and singer John Travolta and Anglo-Australian singer and actress Olivia Newton-John for the 1978 film version of the musical Grease. It was written and produced by John Farrar, and released in 1978 as the second single from Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture. The song is one of the best-selling singles in history to date, having sold over 4 million copies in the United States and the United Kingdom alone, with estimates of more than 15 million copies sold overall.[3][4][5][6]

Background[edit]

"You're the One That I Want" was one of the two singles, along with "Hopelessly Devoted to You", that Farrar wrote specifically for Newton-John's appearance in the film that had not been in the original stage musical. Randal Kleiser, the film's director, was not fond of this song because he felt that it did not mesh well with the rest of the Warren Casey-Jim Jacobs score.[7]

Record World called it "a frantic, up-tempo duet between the two stars that is bound to leave listeners breathless."[8]

Synopsis[edit]

Danny Zuko (Travolta), leader of the T-Birds, has recently lettered in cross-country running in an effort to win back his estranged girlfriend Sandy Olsson (Newton-John); unbeknownst to him, Sandy, who has been conflicted about her upright and proper etiquette in a school full of brash greasers, has herself transformed into a greaser queen to win back Danny. In the song, Danny expresses pleasant shock and arousal at Sandy's transformation, with Sandy responding that Danny must "shape up" to prove himself capable of treating her the right way.

The song originally written at this point in the original musical, "All Choked Up" (which had previously replaced a song titled "Kiss It"), was similar in theme, but different in style, written as a pastiche of Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" and with Sandy being more provocative. "All Choked Up" was one of two songs from the Jacobs/Casey score that was excised completely from both the film and the film's soundtrack. Most 21st-century performances of the musical also include "You're the One That I Want" instead of "All Choked Up".

Chart performance[edit]

Upon its release in conjunction with the film (and its status as a potential blockbuster worldwide), the single became a huge international hit, reaching number one in several countries.

In the United States, the single reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100[9] and on July 18 was certified Platinum for shipments exceeding 2 million copies.[10] (It was already Gold by April 12.)[10]

It also topped the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks in the summer of 1978, some months before the film had even been released in that country.[11] As of 2018, it is still the fifth best-selling single of all time in the United Kingdom, where it has sold two million copies.[12]

In Australia, the single spent nine nonconsecutive weeks at the top and became the best charting single of the year.[13]

1998 re-release[edit]

A re-released "Martian remix" of the single by PolyGram Records reached #4 in the United Kingdom[11] and #27 in Australia in 1998, the twentieth anniversary of the film's debut.

Charts[edit]

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Belgium 170,000[47]
Denmark
physical
14,000[48]
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[49]
reissue
Platinum 90,000
France (SNEP)[51] Gold 1,800,000[50]
Germany (BVMI)[52] Gold 500,000^
Ireland 25,000[53]
Italy (FIMI)[54]
sales since 2009
Gold 35,000
Netherlands (NVPI)[56] Platinum 200,000[55]
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[57]
Digital release
Platinum 60,000
Sweden 10,000[48]
United Kingdom (BPI)[59] Platinum 2,072,035[58]
United States (RIAA)[61] Platinum 4,000,000[60]
Summaries
Worldwide 15,000,000[6]

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Cover versions[edit]

"You're the One That I Want"
Single by Craig McLachlan and Debbie Gibson
from the album Grease – Original London Cast Recording
Released1993
Length3:27
LabelEpic
Songwriter(s)John Farrar
Debbie Gibson singles chronology
"Free Me"
(1993)
"You're the One That I Want"
(1993)
"For Better or Worse"
(1995)
Craig McLachlan singles chronology
"Time Warp"
(1992)
"You're the One That I Want"
(1993)
"Grease"
(1993)

British comedians Arthur Mullard and Hylda Baker also released a version of the song in 1978. Their version reached No. 22 in the United Kingdom.[11]

In 1978, the German comedians Dieter Hallervorden and Helga Feddersen released a parody version under the title Du, die Wanne ist voll. The song reached position number four in the German charts.[62]

Also in 1978, the Swedish crooner Svante Thuresson released a version in Swedish under the title Det är dej jag vill ha. The song reached position number four in the Svensktoppen. [63]

In 1993, Epic Records released the London cast recording, Grease – Original London Cast Recording, and "You're the One That I Want" was issued as the lead single by Craig McLachlan and Debbie Gibson (Epic UK 659 522, released July 1993).[citation needed] It peaked at number thirteen in the UK.[11]

In 2021, American rapper and singer Doja Cat performed the song in a commercial for Pepsi to promote their "Soda Shop" line.[64]

A reworked version of the song is featured in a 2023 commercial for British home furnishings retailer Dunelm.[65][66]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Billboard Staff (October 19, 2023). "The 500 Best Pop Songs: Staff List". Billboard. Retrieved February 15, 2024. In the movie, the frothy pop song gives voice to the final turning point in the relationship between Travolta's Danny and Newton-John's Sandy.
  2. ^ Joe Viglione. "You're the One That I Want – Olivia Newton-John,John Travolta – Song Info". AllMusic.
  3. ^ Grein, Paul (August 26, 1978). "Billboard Vol. 90, No. 34". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved June 8, 2012. "You're the One That I Want" and "Shadow Dancing" each did 2.5 million
  4. ^ "Record Breakers and Trivia : Singles : Individual Hits : Sales". everyHit.com. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  5. ^ "D-B Dramahawks performing Broadway giant "Grease"". The Loafer Online. January 19, 2016. Retrieved January 23, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ a b Lachno, James (December 18, 2017). "The 50 best pop songs written for movies". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on December 20, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  7. ^ "Gibb Songs : 1978". www.columbia.edu. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  8. ^ "Hits of the Week" (PDF). Record World. April 1, 1978. p. 1. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  9. ^ Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of #1 Hits, 5th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 484.
  10. ^ a b "Gold & Platinum – RIAA". Recording Industry Association of America.
  11. ^ a b c d "You're the One That I Want – Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  12. ^ Sedghi, Ami (November 4, 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". Guardian. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  13. ^ Kent, David (2007). Australian Top 20 Book 1940–2006. Turramurra, NSW: Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd. ISBN 978-0-646-47665-0.
  14. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992: 23 years of hit singles & albums from the top 100 charts. St Ives, N.S.W, Australia: Australian Chart Book. p. 313. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  15. ^ "John Travolta / Olivia Newton-John – You're The One That I Want" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
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  17. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 4607a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
  18. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2021). "John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John". Sisältää hitin - 2. laitos Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla 1.1.1960–30.6.2021 (PDF) (in Finnish). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 183. Retrieved July 3, 2022.
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  25. ^ "John Travolta / Olivia Newton-John – You're The One That I Want". VG-lista. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
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  27. ^ "SA Charts 1965 – March 1989". Retrieved September 5, 2018.
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  52. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John; 'You're the One That I Want')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  53. ^ Stewart, Ken (July 22, 1978). "Irish notes..." (PDF). Music Week. p. 16. Retrieved July 5, 2022 – via World radio History.
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  56. ^ "Dutch single certifications – John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John – You're the One That I Want" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter You're the One That I Want in the "Artiest of titel" box. Select 1978 in the drop-down menu saying "Alle jaargangen".
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  62. ^ [1] Archived May 29, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  63. ^ "Det Är Dej Jag Vill Ha av Svante Thuresson".
  64. ^ "Doja Cat Gives 'Grease' Classic a Modern Spin with Her Cover: 'It's a Very Difficult Song to Sing'". Billboard. September 10, 2021.
  65. ^ "Dunelm - You're The One That I Want — DLMDD". dlmdd.com. Retrieved October 7, 2023.
  66. ^ "'You're the one that I want.' Dunelm does 'Grease' in new Creature ad - More About Advertising". www.moreaboutadvertising.com. September 25, 2023. Retrieved October 7, 2023.