“You’re the One That I Want” is the big finale in the movie Grease. The sweet, good-girl bobby soxer Sandy (Olivia Newton-John), dons tight leather clothes and teases the hell out of her hair (basically changing her whole persona) to win the heart of Danny (John Travolta), the cool bad boy of Rydell High. He’s so amazed by her transformation, and his “teenaged” (Travolta was 24 at the time) hormones, he becomes discombobulated and admits his feelings in an energetic burst of song. With a full rousing dance number, of course. It’s all in nostalgic fun, though, right? Okay, he does don a letterman’s sweater to kind of become what she wants, too. But I still think her change is way more drastic. And sexist. And yet, I sing along, believing true love triumphs. Yada yada.
This next video is what sparked me to choose this for a Cover Battle. It’s a full length form of a Chanel No. 5 commercial featuring model Gisele Bundchen. As I was listening absentmindedly, a phrase caught my attention, then I realized what the song was. The tempo fits the lush, dreamy romantic feel of the commercial, but it’s such a departure from the usual way you hear this song. The commercial, sorry – the film – was beautifully directed by Baz Luhrmann with a full-fledged storyline and real acting, by Gisele and Michiel Huisman. The song itself is sung by artist Lo-Fang.
Australian brother and sister duo Angus & Julia Stone also does this in a tempo radically different from the original. Angus plays guitar, while Julia, alone, handles the vocal. Her voice is kind of girly and a little precious. On first listen it was a little grating to my sensibility, but the more I replay it the more ingratiating it becomes. I’m coming around to liking it; it’s very sweet. And precious. But not in a bad way. The ending is very sudden and just kind of cuts off abruptly. I don’t know if that’s how they actually decided to end the recording or if it was something with the person who uploaded the video.