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Olivia Newton-John (RIP) Reunites with Grease Co-Star John Travolta to Sing “You are The One That I Need” (2002)

American nostalgia as we all know it was invented within the nineteen-seventies. Think about that decade’s preponderance of backward-looking pop-cultural phenomena: Sha Na Na; Blissful Days; “Yesterday As soon as Extra”; American Graffiti, whose tagline requested “The place had been you in ’62?”, a time simply eleven years earlier than the discharge of the image itself. However no piece of labor stands extra iconically for the seventies revival of the late fifties and early sixties than Grease. First produced as a stage musical in Chicago in 1971, it graduated to Broadway the following 12 months. However Grease wouldn’t take its most enduring type till 1978, the 12 months that introduced Randal Kleiser’s movie adaptation starring John Travolta and the late Olivia Newton-John.

A 28-year-old Australian may need appeared an unconventional selection for the a part of Sandy Dombrowski, the brand new woman at midwestern Rydell Excessive College. However after the alteration of some particulars within the character and story, she made the position totally her personal. “It was Newton-John’s dulcet intimacy as a singer that set her up completely to play the naïve Sandy onscreen,” writes the New Yorker‘s Rachel Syme.

Her “squeaky prudishness and moony innocence as she wails ‘Hopelessly Dedicated to You‘ stands in such sharp, foolish distinction to her vampy fallen-woman persona on the finish of the movie that the entire thing appears like a camp commentary on the facility of costuming and collective fantasy (to not point out a superb perm).”

It didn’t damage that Newton-John was already established as a singer: she’d represented the UK in 1974’s Eurovision Track Contest (shedding, finally, to ABBA), and that exact same 12 months scored nation hits in the US. Her abilities did a lot not simply to make the Grease soundtrack America’s second-best-selling album of 1978 (second to the soundtrack of Travolta’s personal automobile Saturday Evening Fever), however to maintain it enduringly well-liked all through the a long time since. At Grease‘s 2002 DVD launch social gathering, Newton-John and Travolta reunited onstage to sing “You’re the One That I Need,” a lot to the delight of the viewers — all of whom should nonetheless bear in mind the place they had been in ’02, at the very least for these three minutes.

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Based mostly in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His initiatives embrace the Substack e-newsletter Books on Cities, the e-book The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by means of Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video sequence The Metropolis in Cinema. Comply with him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Fb, or on Instagram.



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