Song of the Day Challenge – Day 2: “You’re the One That I Want”

Song A Day Challenge

Today’s Song of the Day Challenge theme is “A song you’d sing as a Karaoke duet”, and my pick is “You’re the One That I Want“, which I did in fact sing as a Karaoke duet many years ago. The fun, exuberant song was sung by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta for the 1978 film version of the hit musical Grease, which they both starred in. John Travolta is a decent actor, but was not a good singer. Neither am I, so my part of the Karaoke duet was perfectly fine.

“You’re the One That I Want” was not in the original stage musical, and was written by John Farrar specifically for Olivia Newton-John’s appearance in the film (along with her other hit song “Hopelessly Devoted to You”). The song originally written by Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs for the final number of the stage musical was “All Choked Up”, however it and another of their original songs were removed from both the film and soundtrack album. I think “You’re the One That I Want” is a superior song, and so did many others. It’s the kind of show-stopping finale number audiences love, and is now included in most contemporary stage performances of Grease, rather than the original number. It was also a worldwide smash hit, topping the music charts in the U.S., Australia, UK, Ireland, Germany, and numerous other countries. It spent nine weeks at #1 in both the UK and Australia.

8 thoughts on “Song of the Day Challenge – Day 2: “You’re the One That I Want”

  1. It’s one of those songs I get stuck in my head when it is mentioned 🙂 Thinking of John Travolta as singer, made me remember Bruce Willis ‘ hits and Don Johnson’s too. And truth be told, I am listening to the latter’s “Heartbeat” a lot. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As I mentioned on your Twitter post, It’s always bothered me that this and the title track were anachronistic, more ’70’s than ’50’s (I’m a Sondheim man, through and through). But it’s still a great record and I always turn it up and sing along when it comes on the radio.

    My karaoke song would be “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ one of the few songs I can think of with a range I can handle. Plus I can sing the lyrics and sell them because I feel them from the heart. Great post, Jeff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the original songs written by Casey & Jacobs for the stage musical had a late 50s/early 60s rock’n’roll/malt shop vibe, whereas the songs written by John Farrar (for Olivia Newton-John) and Barry Gibb (“Grease”) did not fit in. It didn’t seem to matter to most of the public, however, as they quickly became Top 40 hits.

      Two songs I’ve long wanted to sing in Karaoke, but never got up enough nerve, are Boy George’s “The Crying Game” and Prince’s “Little Red Corvette”.

      Liked by 1 person

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