Forty years ago this weekend, the soundtrack to the movie Grease was released in stores, two months in advance of the premiere of the movie.  Singles from the LP, “Grease,” and “You’re the One That I Want,” went to #1 in the United States, while “You’re the One That I Want,” and “Summer Nights” went to #1 in the UK, “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and “Sandy” went to #2 in the UK, and “Grease” made it to #3 in the UK.  Back in 1978, even in advance of the movie, the radio was playing these songs and every teenager knew the words to this musical set in the 1950s with a disco beat.

The Bee Gees lead Barry Gibb wrote the song “Grease,” released on the album on the heels of The Bee Gees’ megahit album Saturday Night Fever from only a few months back in November 1977–still unsurpassed as the best selling soundtrack album of all time.  The song “Grease” also includes guitar work by Peter Frampton.  Five of the 24 tracks feature vocals by the film’s leads John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, with six performed by 1950s throwback group Sha Na Na.

Grease, the movie, expanded on the success of both Happy Days and American Graffiti, and the 1970s nostalgia for the late 1950s and early 1960s.  Fathom Events and TSM Big Screen Classics brought Grease back to theaters this week and you have one final opportunity to catch a screening this Saturday, April 14, 2018.  Check your local listings and the Fathom Events website here for details.  Released in June 1978, Grease became the highest grossing musical film ever, and forty years later it holds a spot in fourth place.

Memorable screenings in 1978 included a nationally promoted double bill with Saturday Night Fever. 

The movie is all about the music and nostalgia.  And it features one of the most memorable drive-in theater sequences in film.  Your find familiar actors including Stockard Channing, Michael Tucci, Dinah Manoff, Didi Conn, Sid Caesar, Frankie Avalon, and Fannie Flagg.  Also keep an eye out for an early film appearance by The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, and Tombstone star Michael Biehn.

So make plans now.  You have one final opportunity to catch this 40th anniversary screening of Grease, Saturday, April 14, 2018, so check out Fathom Events now here for local screenings and tickets.  The album is still available, too–check it out here at Amazon.  And if you miss Grease in theaters, pre-order the new 40th anniversary edition on Blu-ray bundle here or 4K bundle here.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

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