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Summer Nights

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"Summer Nights" is a popular song from the musical Grease. Written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey,[2] its best-known version was recorded by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John for the big-screen adaptation of the musical, and released as a single that same year.

"Summer Nights" became a massive hit in both the United States and United Kingdom during the summer of 1978. Included on the movie's soundtrack album, the song was one of several hit singles from the movie. Parts of the song were introduced to a new audience when it was re-released in the 1990s as part of a megamix of several songs from the movie version.

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 Background

Background[edit]Edit

In the movie version of Grease, Travolta and Newton-John played the lead roles of Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson.[3]

The song's genesis stems from a summertime love affair between Danny and Sandy, which had ended upon Sandy's revelation that she was moving back to Australia with her family. However, Sandy soon learns that her family is staying in the United States and subsequently enrolls at Rydell High School, where Danny is also a student. However, it quickly becomes clear that there are unresolved feelings of love between Danny and Sandy.[4]

Separately and unknown to each other, both Danny and Sandy meet with their respective group of friends and share their perspectives of their summertime fling. Danny, the leader of a greaser gang known as "The T-Birds" (the "Burger Palace Boys" in the stage show), brags about the physical aspects of the relationship; Sandy remarks to the schoolgirl clique "The Pink Ladies" about her emotional attachment to Danny. The resulting conversations are played out through the song.

Of the cast members, only Travolta and Newton-John provided vocals for the song.

Chart success The follow-up to the Travolta-Newton-John duet "You're the One That I Want," "Summer Nights" reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.[5]

The song was an even bigger hit in the UK, spending seven weeks at No. 1. Combined with an earlier nine-week run with "You're the One That I Want," the Travolta-Newton-John duet team spent 16 weeks at No. 1 during 1978 in the UK.

In 2010, Billboard ranked it No. 9 on their "Best Summer Songs of All Time" list.[6]

Sales and certifications[edit]Edit

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[7] Gold 75,000^
France (SNEP)[8] Gold 539,000[9]
United Kingdom (BPI)[10] Platinum 1,590,000[11]
United States (RIAA)[12] Gold 1,000,000^
Total sales: 3,214,000

  • sales figures based on certification alone ^shipments figures based on certification alone xunspecified figures based on certification alone

"The Grease Megamix"[edit]Edit

In 1991, "Summer Nights" and two other songs from the Grease soundtrack — "You're The One That I Want" and "Greased Lightnin'" — were remixed into a new song called "The Grease Megamix." This song was created to observe the movie's release on home video.

Joe Masciantonio, from Outstanding Bass Productions, created the song for Philadelphia radio station WIOQ-FM. The song subsequently became a big hit worldwide.

Cover versions[edit]Edit

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