Revisiting the classic soundtrack to “Saturday Night Fever”: Disco doesn’t necessarily need to suck

The famous album made people dance to the unlikely Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony”

Revisiting the classic soundtrack to “Saturday Night Fever”: Disco doesn’t necessarily need to suck



In 1977 there were two different music forces overtaking the industry, on one side Punk Rock and on the other, the Disco beat. Needless to say that Punk pleased only a strict niche of people despite its popularity and like some have said, the world (and especially the Americans) wasn’t quite as yet ready for Punk as it was for Disco. The clean and sensual musical and dance phenomenon, contrasted with the rawness and “violence” of Punk, maybe back then would have been hard to find someone who liked both genres regardless, today, now that the Pop culture and music universe has seen so many several trends and “manias”, we truly live in an era where people are getting more and more eclectic, so now, in 2018, wouldn’t be so hard to find someone who loves with the same passion both the albums “Nevermind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols” and “Saturday Night Fever”. Both were symbolic and epitomized an era and a musical force in the same way, through different roads and paths. “Saturday Night Fever” it’s possibly the greatest Disco album that has ever been made, not only that reflects on it’s sales, that alone confirm being the best-selling Soundtrack from all time, but also through the selection of songs that can be found on it, opening the album it’s perhaps the most famous Disco song of all times, “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees. The double album it’s a non-stop Disco music experience, mostly composed and performed by the Bee Gees, whom after being the 1960’s Baroque Pop champions, mutated into Disco Kings. The 1977 movie “Saturday Night Fever” was an international success, and again, side by side with another big trend and blockbuster, “Star Wars”, on one side a movie supporting and spreading the Disco fever around the globe, and on other, a movie supporting the cult resurgence of Sci-Fi around the globe. But regardless of its strength, cultural force and influence back then, Disco ended buried in an era while Punk Rock and “Star Wars” keep finding new audiences among young people 40 years later. “Saturday Night Fever” it’s a relevant album, one of those records everyone should own in their collection, it made people dance to the unlikely Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony”, to the Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain”, properly re-titled “Night On Disco Mountain”. It also features some of the best and most popular Bee Gee’s Disco era songs, aside of “Stayin’ Alive”, “Night Fever”, “More Than A Woman”, “Jive Talkin’ “and “You Should Be Dancing”. Additionally, it features one of their greatest ballads “How Deep Is Your Love”, reminiscent of the classic late 1960’s Bee Gees sound. All these songs are absolute Disco and Pop music classics, that regardless how they have aged, remain a pleasant listening and when played at the right party, still puts everyone in the dance floor. Other important music names of the period present are KC and the Sunshine Band with “Boogie Shoes” and Kool & the Gang with “Open Sesame”. The album closes with another one of Disco’s absolute classics, the timeless “Disco Inferno” by The Trammps. You don’t need to dance like John Travolta to get on the dance floor when listening to the soundtrack of “Saturday Night Fever”, and it is ok to like Punk Rock and Disco, “Saturday Night Fever” and “Star Wars”, it’s all part of the wonderful universe of Pop Culture. This historical album was released on November 15th, 1977 and on the January 21st, 1978 it started an incredible 24 week run at No.1 on the U.S albums charts, selling over 30 million worldwide, 42 years have gone by, but the songs remain the same. Disco doesn’t necessarily need to suck.



Side 1
1 “Stayin’ Alive” – Bee Gees (Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb)
2 “How Deep Is Your Love” – Bee Gees (Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb)
3 “Night Fever” – Bee Gees (Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb)
4 “More Than a Woman” – Bee Gees (Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb)
5 “If I Can’t Have You” – Yvonne Elliman (Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb)

Side 2
6 “A Fifth of Beethoven” – Walter Murphy (Murphy, based on Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony)
7 “More Than a Woman” – Tavares (Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb)
8 “Manhattan Skyline” – David Shire (Shire)
9 “Calypso Breakdown” – Ralph MacDonald (William Eaton)

Side 3
10 “Night on Disco Mountain” – David Shire (Modest Mussorgsky, arranged by Shire)
11 “Open Sesame” – Kool & the Gang (Robert Bell)
12 “Jive Talkin’ ” – Bee Gees (Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb)
13 “You Should Be Dancing” – Bee Gees (Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb)
14 “Boogie Shoes” – KC and the Sunshine Band (Harry Wayne Casey & Richard Finch)

Side 4
15 “Salsation” – David Shire (Shire)
16 “K-Jee” – MFSB (Charlie Hearndon & Harvey Fuqua)
17 “Disco Inferno” – The Trammps (Leroy Green & Ron Kersey)

Featuring:
Bee Gees
Yvonne Elliman
Walter Murphy
Tavares
David Shire
Ralph MacDonald
Kool & the Gang
KC and the Sunshine Band
MFSB
The Trammps

Produced by: Bill Oakes (Music Supervisor)
Recorded during: 1975–1977
Released: November 15th, 1977
Label: RSO, Polydor, Reprise

Singles:
“A Fifth of Beethoven” Released: June 1, 1976
“How Deep Is Your Love” Released: September 1977
“Stayin’ Alive” Released: 13 December 1977
“If I Can’t Have You” Released: 6 January 1978
“Boogie Shoes” Released: 19 January 1978
“Night Fever” Released: 7 February 1978

Strongest tracks:
“Stayin’ Alive”, “How Deep Is Your Love”, “Night Fever”, “More Than a Woman”, “A Fifth of Beethoven”, “Night on Disco Mountain”, “Open Sesame”, “You Should Be Dancing”, “Disco Inferno”



Watch the Bee Gees 1978 music video for “You Should Be Dancing”





Listen to the album “Saturday Night Fever” on Spotify

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