April 1978: "Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture" Released

Photo Credit

The year 1978 was all about Grease. It was the #1 movie of the year, while the soundtrack album would come in #2 behind only the juggernaut that was the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever. Clearly, not a bad year for John Travolta, either.

Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture was released on April 14, 1978. That was a good two months ahead of the movie hitting big screens across the country in mid-June. The album was a mix of 1950s classics, performed by the group Sha Na Na, mixed with new original tunes recorded for the film.

Grease had some crossover with Saturday Night Fever on the movie's title track and first single. "Grease," performed by vocal legend Frankie Valli, was written by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees. Fun fact: Peter Frampton played guitar on the session. Gibbs' Midas touch helped launch the disco-pop song to #1 on the Hot 100 for the week of August 26, 1978, holding the spot for two weeks straights. It would be replaced on September 9, 1978, by A Taste of Honey's "Boogie Oogie Oogie."

The second single from the album put the film's stars, Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, in the spotlight: "You're the One That I Want." hit radio in May 1978, and followed "Grease" up the charts to #1 for the week of June 10, 1978.

The pair teamed again for the album's third single, "Summer Nights." Another hit record, it would peak at #5 on the Hot 100 for the week of September 30, 1978. The #1 song in America that week: Exile's "Kiss You All Over."

Olivia Newton-John would go it alone for the fourth single, "Hopelessly Devoted to You." The tune got as high as #3 on the Hot 100, and would be nominated in the Best Original Song category of the Academy Awards, where she'd perform the track. The award went to Donna Summer's "Last Dance" from Thank God It's Friday.

There would be one more single from Grease: John Travolta's "Greased Lightnin'". The song wasn't exactly a smash like the previous four, only reaching #47 on the pop charts.

The album was a blockbuster, topping the Billboard 200 from July 29 through mid-September. Boston would take the spot for the week of September 16 with Don't Look Back, but Grease would jump back to #1 from October 14 until November 4, when Linda Ronstadt's Living in the USA went to #1. It has sold more than 22 million copies to date.

Artist Name

Read More

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Standout quotes from The Doors' discography.
Angelo Deligio/Mondadori via Getty Images
The story of 'The Kick Inside.'
Leee Black Childers/Redferns
The album laid the groundwork for punk rock.

Facebook Comments