In 1980, Paramount Pictures wanted to capitalize on the release of Urban Cowboy, John Travolta's third Paramount film by re-distributing his prior two films for the studio - Saturday Night Fever and Grease - in theaters as a Travol-tastic double-bill, making it possible in some cities to watch three Travolta films, set in three different decades, in about six hours. Posters were printed and the film reels were shipped out to theaters across the country.
But the two films had already been released together as a "double feature" of sorts in March 1979 when the Side One of each double album were pressed together on opposite sides of one record as RSO RPO 1011, a promo only release serviced to radio stations, discos and record stores in an effort to:
- reinvigorate sales of both soundtrack albums which had only recently fallen out of Top 70 on the Top LPs & Tapes chart;
- take advantage of the March 1979 PG rated re-release of Saturday Night Fever into theaters and all the disco hungry teens able to see it for the first time;
- lobby for a Best Original Song Oscar for "Hopelessly Devoted To You" though it eventually lost to Donna Summer's "Last Dance" at the April 9th ceremony
- promote the release of John Travolta's "Sandy", the sixth and final (and ultimately non-charting) single from the Grease soundtrack album.
Copies of this unique record, featuring a custom jacket that has the original cover artwork from both albums with Saturday Night Fever on the front and Grease on the back, are readily available on the collector's market and range in price from $15 to $75.
But to paraphrase a friend "What's the point? I already have both soundtrack albums." I think it's an interesting little piece, definitely worthy of a spot on the newly-relocated and expanded Vinyl Wall here at The Hideaway. By any definition of a greatest hits album, this one exceeds it to become one of the Greatest "Greatest Hits" albums. It pairs nicely with my other Saturday Night Fever promo vinyl record.
Though it contains four of the five tracks from The Best Of Saturday Night Fever above, this twelve inch features unique, longer versions of each of those four songs as well as a longer version of "You Should Be Dancing" in place of "How Deep Is Your Love". Though the cover is rather sparse, the uniqueness of the tracks fetches up to $250 on the collector's market.