Bee Gees get their 8th US No.1 hit with “Tragedy” in 1979

The song remains one of the band’s most popular ones to this day

Bee Gees get their 8th US No.1 hit with “Tragedy” in 1979

Written by Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb, “Tragedy” was one of the most popular Bee Gees track to be released from their 1979 album “Spirits Having Flown”. Released in February 1979, and though not originally part of the “Saturday Night Fever” movie soundtrack, it was subsequently added to the musical score of the West End version of the movie-musical. The song knocked “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor off the top spot in the US for two weeks on March 24, 1979, before that song again returned to number one for an additional week. “Tragedy” was the second single out of the three released from the album to interrupt a song’s stay at number one. In the US, it would become the fifth of six consecutive number-ones, tying the record with the Beatles for most consecutive number-ones in the US. One of the most recognizable parts of the song it’s the explosion effect before the last chorus, in 1979, NBC aired “The Bee Gees Special”, which showed how the sound effect for the explosion was created. Barry cupped his hands over a microphone and made an exploding sound with his mouth. Several of these sounds were then mixed together creating one large boom heard on the record. “Tragedy” remains one of the most popular Bee Gees songs and made it to No.1 and Top 10 on several music charts around the world.

Watch a rare clip of Bee Gees recording and performing “Tragedy” live in 1979

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