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Nights On Broadway by Bee Gees

Album: Main CourseReleased: 1975Charted:
7
  • While recording this, the producer Arif Martin asked if one of the Bee Gees could do some screaming during the main chorus to make the song more exciting. In response, Barry Gibb began singing higher and higher, eventually singing it in a falsetto that was unexpectedly powerful. He had never known he had such an ability and Barry's falsetto became a trademark of the Bee Gees. Barry Gibb recalled in a May 2001 interview with Mojo magazine: "Arif said to me, 'Can you scream?' I said, Under certain circumstances. He said, 'Can you scream in tune?' I said, Well, I'll try."
  • Barry Gibb on The Larry King show February 2, 2002 talked about his first use of falsetto on this song: "It came to me in a dream. There was a request by Arif Martin, who was like an uncle to us, he was a great record producer during the song 'Nights On Broadway,' for the Main Course album, which is previous to the 'Fever' syndrome. And he said, 'Can any of you scream... scream in falsetto.' So, you know, give us an ad lib or a scream at the end. So from screaming, it turned into things like Blaming It All."
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Comments: 17

It makes the most sense that this would be about a couple of performers who at one time had been romantically involved. They probably both came from the same small town and moved to the Big Apple to try to make it on Broadway. One has moved on, or moved up in the performance world, while the other, with less talent, is left 'standing in the dark' wanting things to be as they once were. This song will get stuck in your head for weeks for no reason at all. I love the BeeGees, love their legacy, their sound, their lengthy list of hits and that their careers spanned decades. For most of us, their music is part of the soundtrack to our lives. This particular song does have a wonderful frenzied energy due to the falsetto. One can imagine when the music slows down in the middle of the song, the singer idolizing the lover who is on stage in the spotlight, sort of like time standing still for them both. Then back to the chaotic life of behind-the-scenes on a Broadway show.Camille - Toronto, Oh
Also about the falsetto, Maurice sang it on this song, in alot of there live performances in the 70's like on the 'Spirits Having Flown Tour' At the end of the song, you can see Maurice singing it in various clips and on the live ones you can clearly hear its Maurice.
But even so, its still one of my favorite songs!
-Nick, Victoria, BC, Canada... eh!
Nick - Victoria, Bc
Actually, the Bee Gees/Barry Gibb did use a bit of falsetto as early as their #1 hit from 1971, How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.Don - Sevierville, Tn
I never thought this had anything to do with stalking. It always struck me as a song about two performers--both working on Broadway--and they can't make things work out becuase they can't give up the glamor of their careers--hence the chorus--blaming it on the "Nights on Broadway, singing...... to that crazy crazy town." By the way, Ron from Florida is correct---the middle bridge is one of the best sections of music the BeeGees ever recorded. Makes the whole song.Thomas - Arlington Heights, Il
Charles: right on about Maurice providing the falsetto backing vocal on the live version of Nights On Broadway, but Maurice was providing the falsetto backing vocals for years to the leads by Barry and Robin. Listen to the falsettos on Please Read Me from Bee Gees 1st. Simply incredible. I also believe Maurice is singing the lead on that song even though it was written by Barry and Robin. The lead vocal doesn't sound like either of them and every bit like Maurice.Boomer - Oklahoma City, Ok
The middle bridge section (from about 2:35 to 3:25) is one of the best sections of music the Bee Gees has recorded. The harmonies give me goosebumps. Awesome, underrated song!Ron - Auburndale, Fl
I didn't see the song as being about a stalker. My interpretation was that during a week long set of performances in New York, one of the brothers wanted to go out and see the seedy side of the city, alone. One of the brothers followed, to keep an eye on him. This caused a rift between them but the songwriter wasn't going to let that affect their relationship. He was just looking out for his brother.Roger - Wyandotte, Mi
I think Nights On Broadway is a milestone record because I believe it was the forerunner of the new sound the Bee Gees were developing.This is R&B at it's best and the Bee Gees are master songwriters.Marty from San Francisco said it well,this is one of the best and most complex songs of their career.George - Belleville, Nj
Ben-
You can see Maurice singing falsetto in this song. See 2:02-2:03. Pretty obvious.
The "...somehow I feel inside..." section has harmonies that stand up to ANY in the business - CSN, The Beatles, anyone. They were an amazing live band. I got a chance to meet them while passing through the Providence RI Amtrak station. We talked a bit. They were VERY funny and sweet, especially Maurice.
Charles - Bronxville, Ny
During the early '70's Barry got to know Michael Bennett. In 1974 while Bennett was working on A Chorus Line they kept in touch. In an interview Bennett said that Barry had asked him if he'd every had dancers who were in a show fall in love and when one gets cut whether their love was stronger than their ego's. "It would make an interesting song..." Bennett supposedly told Barry. Probably apocryphal, but who knows...Charles - Bronxville, Ny
One of their best disco/dance songs. The lyrics are incredibly disturbing. The guy is a stalker.David - Youngstown, Oh
About this song: I think it's a GREAT song; shame they always cut it down to a short [medley] version doing this live; but that's what they do [did!]Ben Dirks - Nijmegen, -
About falsetto by Bee Gees; I keep argueing that Maurice sang a lot of falsetto [in harmonies] way before this song, so I claim this is NOT first time Bee Gees used it. Possibly it IS first time Barry did that though![?]Ben Dirks - Nijmegen, -
One of many, many classic Bee Gees songs --between 1967 and 1975 -- in which Barry and Robin traded lead vocals. In this case, Barry is lead on the verses and chorus, but Robin sings the vital bridge section, " Well I had to follow you / though you did not want me to . . . " Changing lead vocalists back and forth in a song is tricky, because the point of view can change. Even most groups with multiple lead singers didn't intermingle the leads in the same song. The Band is probably the best example, wherein three lead vocals might sing solo during a song and it works. Of course, John and Paul were great at it, especially in the earlier years when they actually worked on songs together. Notice though, there isn't really a song I can think of at the moment that features John, Paul and George singing solo leads. At least not until "Free as a Bird," which of course is a unique circumstance.Kevin - Reading , Pa
This song has the distinction of being the debut of Barry Gibb's falsetto singing. It must have blown listeners away when this was on the radio in late 1975. I happen to like it, but fans of the old-style Bee Gees detested it. Falsetto soon became an albatross for the group (chiefly because they relied on it too much).Jim - Brunswick, Me
Talkin bout chest hair, talkin bout crazy gold medallions.Jeff - Austin, Tx
One of the best and most complex of the Bee Gees seventies period, Robin has stated it is his favorite, but Barry strangely said, he has always had trouble with this song. Cryptic...Marty - San Francisco, Ca