Shadow Dancing

Album: Shadow Dancing (1978)
Charted: 42 1

Songfacts®:

  • Andy Gibb was the younger brother of Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb - The Bee Gees - but due to the age difference between Andy and his older brothers, and the fact that Andy didn't embrace disco to quite the degree that they did, Andy seldom performed with the Bee Gees, although they did help him write many of his songs, including this one.

    Together, the brothers Gibb dominated the US pop chart in 1978, with Andy and the Bee Gees each scoring three #1 hits - and the Bee Gees contributing to a few others - but "Shadow Dancing" turned out to be the biggest of them all, staying at #1 for seven weeks and becoming Billboard magazine's #1 single of the entire year of 1978. (Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" was actually an even bigger hit, but because its chart run straddled 1977 and 1978, it only managed to finish #3 for 1978, behind the Bee Gees' "Night Fever").

    Andy's other #1 hits in 1978 (both of which came before "Shadow Dancing") were "I Just Want To Be Your Everything" and "Love Is Thicker Than Water." He would also have a Top 5 hit that year with "An Everlasting Love." He was barely 20 years old at this, the height of his career.
  • Unfortunately for Andy, his star fell almost as quickly as it rose. Although he had a few more hits over the next three years, by 1982 his career had stalled, due in large part to his addiction to cocaine and a sort of negative-coattails effect with the Bee Gees, whose own stature had fallen with the passing of the disco era. He eventually got treatment for his drug addiction at the Betty Ford Clinic, but by then the damage to his career, his finances and his health were already done. In 1988 Andy Gibb died from myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle caused by a viral infection, and aggravated by his years of substance abuse. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Joshua - Twin Cities, MN, for above 2
  • This was written by all four Gibb brothers. Andy joined his older siblings Barry, Robin and Maurice for a writing session in Hollywood, where were filming the movie Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. "We literally sat down and in ten minutes, we had a group going, (singing) the chorus part," Andy recalled in The Billboard Book of Number One Hits.
  • In July 1978 Andy was performing at the Jai-Alai Fronton Studios in Miami, when Barry, Robin and Maurice unexpectedly joined him on stage and sang this with him. It was the first time all four brothers performed live together in concert. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for above 2

Comments: 5

  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenGibb was essentially the 4th Bee Gee, since he wrote his hit songs with them and they sang backup on them. He waxed as they waxed and then waned as they waned.
  • Agnes from GlasgowTo young an beautiful to forget took from us to Soon luv you Andy for ever and a day
  • Abigail from Lexington, KyThis was actually the very first song written by all four of the brothers. It was created one day while the Bee Gees were filming Srgt. Pepper.
  • Brian from Boston, MaAndy was a talented singer.He also played guitar rather well.I always have a little more respect for a pop star when they can actually play an instrument.The cocaine did him in.I never did coke but I know those who have. I see no appeal in the drug.I am perfectly capable of being paranoid and jittery without coke.Coke is a discusting drug.
  • Marty from San Francisco, CaThis was the third #1 from Gibb and the only solo artist to ever achieve this. It was written by all four Gibb Brothers.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of WayneSongwriter Interviews

The guy who brought us "Stacy's Mom" also wrote the Jane Lynch Emmy song and Stephen Colbert's Christmas songs.

Jesus In Pop Hits: The Gospel Songs That Went MainstreamSong Writing

These overtly religious songs crossed over to the pop charts, despite resistance from fans, and in many cases, churches.

Al Jourgensen of MinistrySongwriter Interviews

In the name of song explanation, Al talks about scoring heroin for William Burroughs, and that's not even the most shocking story in this one.

Joe ElySongwriter Interviews

The renown Texas songwriter has been at it for 40 years, with tales to tell about The Flatlanders and The Clash - that's Joe's Tex-Mex on "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"

Penny Ford of Snap!Songwriter Interviews

The original voice of Snap!, this story is filled with angry drag queens, video impersonators and Chaka Khan.

Yacht Rock QuizFact or Fiction

Christopher Cross with Deep Purple? Kenny Loggins in Caddyshack? A Fact or Fiction all about yacht rock and those who made it.