independent

Saturday 16 November 2019

Retro Top Ten: This week in 1978

Olivia Newton-John and the Pink Ladies in an iconic scene
Olivia Newton-John and the Pink Ladies in an iconic scene

1978 was dominated by 'Grease', the hit high school movie musical starring John Travolta as Danny Zuko and Olivia Newton-John as Sandy Olsson, and its soundtrack, the second biggest selling album of the year in the US.

The film spawned a bunch of hit singles, including two top-selling Travolta/Newton-John duets, 'You're The One That I Want' and 'Summer Nights' which, combined, spent a total of 16 weeks at number one in the UK.

'Summer Nights' was released at the end of August and was coming to the end of its seven weeks at number one by the time this week's chart was published in early October. The song was also a hit in the US, but less successful, peaking at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.

More than four decades after their original release, 'You're The One That I Want' and 'Summer Nights' are still among the best selling singles of all time in the UK, the former at 12, with over two million sales, the latter at 27, with sales of more than 1.6 million.

Two of the other entries in this week's retro top 10 are also from the Grease soundtrack, Travolta's solo ballad 'Sandy' and the title song, written by Barry Gibb and performed by Frankie Valli.

To date the Grease soundtrack has sold over 28 million copies worldwide, making it one of the biggest selling albums of all time.

Among the album's other hits was 'Hopelessly Devoted to You' the Olivia Newton-John ballad nominated for a Grammy which reached number two in the UK, three in the US and number one in Ireland.

Incidentally, the biggest selling album of 1978 was another soundtrack 'Saturday Night Fever', released in 1977 and featuring music from the blockbuster movie of the same name, also starring John Travolta.

In the list of biggest selling soundtrack albums of all time, 'Saturday Night Fever' ranks second (behind 'The Bodyguard'), with 'Grease' in fifth place. 'Dirty Dancing' (at 3) and 'Titanic' are also in the top five.

1 Summer Nights John Travolta and Olivia Newtown-John

2 Rasputin Boney M

3 Lucky Stars Dean Friedman

4 Sandy John Travolta

5 Love Don't Live Here Anymore Rose Royce

6 Sweet Talkin' Woman Electric Light Orchestra

7 I Can't Stop Loving You Leo Sayer

8 Grease Frankie Valli

9 Rat Trap The Boomtown Rats

10 You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) Sylvester

Wexford People

Most Read

News