“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 in 1979 is included on the band’s self-titled 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 Palmar, Marinos and Skill 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”, The Standells 1966 hit “Dirty Water”, and Joe Jackson’s 1979 single “I’m the Man”. 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 number 49 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song did quite well in Australia however, reaching number two 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.