“What I Like About You” is one of those songs that almost everyone recognizes in popular culture, but a lot of people don’t know where it comes from. It’s also one of those songs that, to our ears, sounds almost timeless—like it’s a rock song that simply been around forever.
So here’s the low-down on it, in case you’re one of those people. “What I Like About You” was first released in 1980 by a band called The Romantics, straight out of the Detroit punk scene. As it turns out, there is plenty of history associated with this song. It was released as a music video in the earliest days of MTV; it was also one of the earliest examples of how song placements in commercials and movies can influence a song’s success. “What I Like About You” only made it to #49 on the Billboard Hot 100, but when Budweiser started using it in commercials almost 10 years after its release, it rapidly became a pop culture staple. Since then, the song has appeared in seemingly countless movie soundtracks and commercials, and covered by more bands than you can shake a stick at.
The video below is the original version of the song, played by The Romantics, the original band who wrote and performed it. This is a great piece of rock and roll history, and a prime example of how something as simple as three chords and a solid beat can stick in our brains and get our feet dancing.