"What I Like About You" is a song by American rock band The Romantics. The song, written by Romantics members Wally Palmar, Mike Skill and Jimmy Marinos is featured on the band'sself-titled 1980 debut album (1980), and was also released as a single. Marinos, the band's drummer, is the lead vocalist on the song. The band filmed a music video for the song that appeared frequently on MTV during the early 1980s.
"What I Like About You" was written by the group around a guitar part by Skill. The song's "Hey, uh-huh-huh" refrain was influenced by The Yardbirds' "Over Under Sideways Down" and Chuck Berry's "Back in the U.S.A.". The song's riff is slightly similar to Neil Diamond's "Cherry, Cherry" and The Standells 1966 hit "Dirty Water". The song is frequently mis-identified as being recorded by The Kinks due in part to its mid 60's British pop rock sound. The Romantics recorded the song and the accompanying album at Coconuts Recording Studio in Miami Beach, Florida.
When first released, "What I Like About You" was already a popular song on the Romantics' concert playlist. In terms of record sales and radio airplay, however, the song was only a moderate success at the time of its release, reaching only #49 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song did quite well in Australia however, reaching #2 on the Australian Singles Chart (Kent Music Report) on its initial release. It was only towards the end of the 1980s, after the song had been licensed for use in television commercials for Budweiser beer, that "What I Like About You" grew to become one of the most popular rock anthems of all time.
"What I Like About You" has become a staple of modern rock, appearing on numerous compilation albums of 1980s pop and rock music hits and heard in frequent rotation on modern rock and classic rock radio. The song is also often played at sporting events, parties and at bars and clubs. In addition to Budweiser, the song has also been heard promoting products, services and institutions including the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, Barbie toy dolls, SeaWorldand T.G.I. Friday's restaurants. The song was also featured in TV commercials for Hampton Inn, Esurance, Papa John's Pizza, Toon Disney and Toyota as recently as 2008. The song was also included in the films Richie Rich (1994),Shrek 2 (2004), Surf's Up (2007) and Marmaduke (2010).
Channel Ten and Southern Cross Ten used the song to advertise their television channel in 2005-06. They used three different versions of the song, all performed by Green Dragon. The first, used from February–December 2005 was the original version of the song. The second, used from December 2005–February 2006 was a dance mix. The third, used from February–December 2006 was an R&B mix; the song was again used from December 2006–February 2007 in Ten's summer promos.
In November 2007, The Romantics filed a federal lawsuit against Activision Inc., the maker of Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s, claiming that the video game manufacturer had infringed on the band's rights by featuring a soundalike recording of "What I Like About You" in the game. The Romantics lost their case in December 2007, with the judge stating that Activision had taken all the necessary steps in developing its product.
- Michael Morales released a version of "What I Like About You" in 1989, as the follow-up to his hit "Who Do You Give Your Love To". His version reached number #28 on the Billboard Hot 100, eclipsing the position of the original version.
- The Australian rock band Tlot Tlot covered the song on their 1995 album Fashion Takes a Holiday.
- Punk rock band The Suicide Machines covered the song for the 1999-release compilation album Before You Were Punk 2.
- In 2002, the alternative rock band Lillix recorded a version of the song, which was featured on the soundtrack of the Disney teen comedy film Freaky Friday (the film's star Lindsay Lohan also makes cameo appearance in the music video), which was released the following year, and the film 13 Going on 30. Lillix's recording of the song was also used as the theme tune for The WB Television Network's television series of the same name, starring Jennie Garth andAmanda Bynes and on the Japanese CD Roxy's Jam (2006).
- In 2004, Nacker covered this song for the film What the Bleep Do We Know!?.
- "What I Like About You" was also covered by American rock band Poison as lead single from the Poison cover album Poison'd! (2007). This single, for which a music video was made, was the 27th single to be released by Poison. "What I Like About You" was also covered by The Gale Bros. (Memphis) on their 1996 Left Hand Brand CD on the House of Blues label.
- "What I Like About You" is soon to be featured on the upcoming "She Looks So Perfect" EP from Australian band, 5 Seconds Of Summer. The band has also covered the song on multiple other occasions.