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 OST
B-side "Alone At The Drive-In Movie (Instrumental)"
Released 17 May 1978
Genre Pop, disco
Length 2:49
Label RSO
Writer(s) John Farrar
Producer(s) John Farrar
Olivia Newton-John single chronology
"You're the One That I Want"
"Summer Nights"
John Travolta chronology
"You're the One That I Want"
"Summer Nights"
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic Favorable[1]

"You're the One That I Want" is a song written by John Farrar for the 1978 film version of the musical Grease. It was performed by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. It is one of the best-selling singles of all time, having sold over 6 million copies among the United States, the United Kingdom, and France alone, with estimates of more than 15 million copies sold overall.[2][3][4][5]

Chart history[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 1 in several countries.

In the U.S. the single reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100[6] and on July 18 was certified Platinum for shipments exceeding 2 million copies.[7] (It was already Gold by April 12.)[7]

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.[8]

As of 2013, it is still the fifth best-selling single of all time in the U.K., where it has sold 2 million copies.[9]

The 1998 're-release'[edit]

A re-released dance version of the single by Almighty Records reached #4 in the UK in 1998, the twentieth anniversary of the film's debut.[8]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"Too Much, Too Little, Too Late" by Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
June 10, 1978
Succeeded by
"Shadow Dancing" by Andy Gibb
Preceded by
"Rivers of Babylon" by Boney M.
UK Singles Chart number-one single
17 June 1978 - 12 August 1978
Succeeded by
"Three Times a Lady" by The Commodores
Preceded by
"Rivers of Babylon" by Boney M.
"Substitute" by Clout
Irish Singles Chart number-one single
24 June 1978 - 12 August 1978
26 August 1978
Succeeded by
"Substitute" by Clout"
Three Times a Lady" by Commodores
Preceded by
"Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty
"Rivers of Babylon" by Boney M.
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single
June 26, 1978 - July 10, 1978
August 21, 1978 - October 9, 1978
Succeeded by
"Rivers of Babylon" by Boney M.
"Are You Old Enough?" by Dragon
Preceded by
"Rivers of Babylon" by Boney M.
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
July 1, 1978 - August 26, 1978
Succeeded by
"You're the Greatest Lover" by Luv'

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
Released 1993
Length 3:27
Label Epic
Writer(s) John Farrar
Debbie Gibson single chronology
"Free Me"
"You're the One That I Want"
"For Better or Worse"
Craig McLachlan chronology
"Time Warp"
"You're the One That I Want"

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 Deborah Gibson (Epic UK 659 522, released July 1993). it peaked at number thirteen in the UK.[8]

British comedians Arthur Mullard and Hylda Baker also released a version of the song in 1978. Their version reached No. 22 in the UK.[8]

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.[24]

In 1982, Alvin and the Chipmunks and Charlene the Chipette covered the song for the album The Chipmunks Go Hollywood.

In 2003, teen pop singer Nikki Cleary covered this song with former member of teen pop boy band Dream Street, Chris Trousdale in her self-titled album.

The song serves as the source of the title of the American reality TV show Grease: You're the One that I Want!.

In 2012, a cover version by Angus & Julia Stone was used in commercials for Sky (UK and Ireland).

In 2014, Lo-Fang included a cover on his album Blue Film.[25]

In 2015, a cover of the song was added to the song list of Just Dance 2016, the artist is credited as "From the Movie Grease".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joe Viglione. "You're the One That I Want - Olivia Newton-John,John Travolta - Song Info". AllMusic. 
  2. ^ a b Grein, Paul (August 26, 1978). "Billboard Vol. 90, No. 34". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2012-06-08. "You're the One That I Want" and "Shadow Dancing" each did 2.5 million 
  3. ^ "Record Breakers and Trivia : Singles : Individual Hits : Sales". Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "InfoDisc : Les 45 T. / Singles les plus vendus en France". (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "D-B Dramahawks performing Broadway giant "Grease"". The Loafer Online. 19 January 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2016. [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of #1 Hits, 5th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 484.
  7. ^ a b "Gold & Platinum - RIAA". 
  8. ^ a b c d "You're the One That I Want - Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Sedghi, Ami (4 November 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  10. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2015-06-25. 
  14. ^ David Kent's "Australian Chart Book 1970-1992" Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  16. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 1978 | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". 1978-12-31. Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  17. ^ "1970s Singles Chart Archive". Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  18. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1978/Top 100 Songs of 1978". Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-11-03. 
  20. ^ "Les Singles en Or :" (in French). Archived from the original on 29 October 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  21. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John; 'You're the One That I Want')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  22. ^ "British certifications – Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta – You're the One That I Want". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 29 March 2012.  Enter You're the One That I Want in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  23. ^ "American single certifications – Newton-John, Olivia and John Travolta – You're the One That I Want". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 29 March 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  24. ^ [1] Archived May 29, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  25. ^ Lo-Fang, "You're the One That I Want" song page