Grease And Saturday Night Fever 8 Track Tapes are this Movie Monday’s Double Feature. Both films came out in the late Seventies, with Grease releasing in June of 1978, and Saturday Night Fever, the year prior, in December of 1977. Both films star John Travolta, but he is only a featured singer in Grease, mostly dueting with co-star Olivia Newton-John, or with others in the ensemble cast.
Grease was based on Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey’s musical of the same name. The film version was directed by Randal Kleiser and written by Bronte Woodard. The movie depicts the life of Rydell High School students Danny, played by John Travolta, and Sandy, played by Olivia Newton-John and is set in the late 1950’s.
We follow the story of Danny and Sandy as they unexpectedly reconnect Senior year at Rydell High after they had met over the Summer break in what they both thought would be a Summer Love only. The two “could-be” teen lovers come from two sides of the High School world, both in style and attitude, and this Musical Movie takes us along as the two try to find their way to each other, and to themselves in a somewhat coming-of-age way.
Have you heard the rumor that the story is really a death dream of Sandy’s? That she drowned during their Summer Fling and is in an in-between state dreaming of what could have been if she had gone to school with Danny. The flying car in the end scene is supposedly representative of her final acceptance of her demise, and her transcendence to Heaven.
Seems a bit dark for a 70’s Musical about the 50’s, doesn’t it? At least there are some great songs to sing-a-long to. Especially if you can get your hands on the 8 Track Tape of the Grease Soundtrack.
The Soundtrack released the same year as the film, ended 1978 as the second-best selling album of the year in the U.S., right behind the 1977 Soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever.
Saturday Night Fever was based upon a 1976 New York Magazine article written by British writer Nik Cohn entitled “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night”. The film version was directed by John Badham and stars John Travolta as Tony Manero, a working-class young man who spends his Saturday nights dancing and drinking at a local Brooklyn disco. While on the dance floor Tony is a star, but outside in the “real world” of his Brooklyn neighborhood and limited options life, he is hit with setbacks and complications from his circle of friends, and his family.
The film delves into some of the more troubling realities of life in the type of neighborhood Tony grew up in and is struggling to escape from – like racism, unexpected pregnancy, rape, and accidental, tragic death. Talk about dark for a Musical. Though to be fair, Saturday Night Fever is not a musical in the typical sense, but it is heavily reliant on its full of hits Soundtrack.
Did you know that the New York Magazine story was a fake? Nik Cohn acknowledged in the mid-1990’s that he fabricated the article. That being as he was a newcomer to the U.S. and a stranger to the disco lifestyle, Cohn had been unable to make any sense of the subculture he had been assigned to write about; instead, the character who became Tony Manero was based on a friend of Cohn’s back home – a Mod, not a 70’s Disco aficionado.
All that said, we all sort of like Tony, right? At least we enjoy seeing him dance to all that Quintessential Disco that you really need to hear on 8 Track Tape, on the Double Play Soundtrack.
Grease And Saturday Night Fever 8 Track Tapes are available to buy, along with other great Soundtracks from 8 Track Paradise.