Day 64: Your favorite song featured in a musical.
“You’re The One That I Want”
Olivia Newton-John with John Travolta
You may be surprised that I didn’t pick something from The Blues Brothers. In a way, so am I. But The Blues Brothers is not what I would consider a “pure” musical. That is, where the songs are an integral part of the storyline, and actually help tell the story. (The fact that I know that makes me question my masculinity for a tiny second.)
I was not quite eight when Grease came out, and did not see the movie at the time. But I do remember Jolie Garvey’s birthday party in December of that year. I remember it for three reasons:
- I won a burping contest.
- I ate plaster. (The jury is out on whether I ate it just to eat it, or did it to ease some embarrassment on the part of my friend Mike after he had eaten it first)
- The soundtrack from Grease was all the rage with the girls.
Not familiar with a song I’ve mentioned?
Click above to hear samples.
I didn’t care much then, and, outside of hearing “Hopelessly Devoted To You” pretty often during the “slow skates” at the roller rink for a while, I basically forgot about it until the fifteenth anniversary came around. Then there was this whole Grease revival where they re-released the soundtrack and made a big fuss about the movie in general. And that’s when I actually saw it. (Sadly, thanks to HBO, I’ve seen the fairly horrible Grease 2 way more than Grease. We can talk about the merits of “Cool Rider” and “Reproduction” in another post. Or not.)
It was also the first time I cared at all about the music from Grease.
“You’re The One The I Want,” as you probably know, is a rousing tune performed near the end of the movie when Sandy and Danny (Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta) finally get past all the crap and admit their love (and lust). The scene is memorable for its bubbly nature where everyone seems to be having a good time.
The scene with this song was also memorable because (and I may take flack for this) it was the only time in the movie (and possibly ever) that Olivia Newton-John looked hot (hey, look at that, masculinity intact). Sure, pre-Spandex-leggings Sandy was cute, but… man. While I could have done without the cigarette (I’m a fascist when it comes to smoking), that outfit was something. So skin-tight, in fact, that she had to literally be sewn into it. No wonder Danny’s chills were multiplying.
While I can’t discern any musical nods to the 50s that would make sense for its placement in the movie, it’s a good song that has help up remarkably well in the intervening 35 years since the film’s release. In fact, it might have been my choice for favorite duet had I not already had it slated for today’s post. It’s got many of the song elements that I gravitate towards. It’s upbeat; it’s got a decent, sort of sliding bass line; and it has (possibly fake) horns. What’s not to like?
There actually aren’t too many other songs from the soundtrack that I like at all, but there are a couple. None, however, get the plays that this one does. (It’s tied for 14th place on my iTunes “Most Played” list.) So there you have it.
So let the “Olivia Newton-John? Really?” comments begin. It’s okay. I’ve got thick skin.
In case you forgot…