Night Fever

Album: Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack (1977)
Charted: 1 1
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  • In 1977, The Bee Gees manager Robert Stigwood was producing a movie about the New York disco scene. The working title of the film was "Saturday Night," so he asked the group to write a song of that name. The Bee Gees thought it was a dumb title, but they had already written a song called "Night Fever." They convinced Stigwood to use that and change the film's title to Saturday Night Fever. The movie became a classic, telling a coming-of-age story in the disco era. It helped launch the film career of John Travolta, who starred as Tony Manero, the conflicted youth who escaped his troubles on the dance floor.
  • The soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever sold over 30 million copies worldwide and won the 1978 Grammy for Album Of The Year. This was the third single from the soundtrack and its biggest hit, remaining on the top of the Hot 100 for eight weeks in early 1978. It also topped the British singles chart for two weeks and won a 1978 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance By A Group.
  • The string intro is inspired by "Theme From A Summer Place" by Percy Faith. The Bee Gees keyboard player was performing it one morning at the studio and Barry Gibb walked in and heard the new idea for this song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    James - Beverly Hills, CA
  • Robin Gibb said in Observer Music Monthly, January 2008: "The idea for the film that became Saturday Night Fever started when our manager, Robert Stigwood, saw an article in New York magazine entitled 'Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night' by Nik Cohn, talking about teenagers going to dancing competitions. When they first started dance rehearsals for the film with John Travolta, they were using our song 'You Should Be Dancing,' which had been released the previous year. We were mixing a live album in France and Robert rang and asked if we had any other songs we could contribute. In the end we had five new tracks - 'Staying Alive,' 'How Deep is Your Love?' 'Night Fever,' 'More Than a Woman' and 'If I Can't Have You' (recorded by Yvonne Elliman) - plus the previously released 'Jive Talkin" and 'You Should Be Dancing.' It was also our idea to call it Saturday Night Fever, because the competitions were on Saturday and we already had the track 'Night Fever.'

    Until the film came out, 'disco' meant something very different in the UK to the US. We were writing what we considered to be blue-eyed soul. We never set out to make ourselves the kings of disco, although plenty of other people tried to jump on the bandwagon after the success of the film. When we went to the premiere at the Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles it was obvious the film and the songs really gelled, but none of us had any idea how huge it would become. It remains the biggest-selling soundtrack ever, and very few artists have created something with the cultural impact that Saturday Night Fever had."
  • In America, this spent more weeks (eight) at #1 than any other song in 1978. For five of those weeks (March 18 - April 15), another Bee Gees song from Saturday Night Fever, "Stayin' Alive," was #2. The last week it was at #1 (May 6), "More Than A Woman" by Tavares, which was written by the Bee Gees and featured in the film, reached its chart peak of #32. The following week, "If I Can't Have You" replaced "Night Fever" at #1.

Comments: 19

  • Db from DcSkip from LA, a player by the name of Blue Weaver is on the keyboards. I think he's on all the Bee Gees records from this period. Love his work.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaSadly only one brother is still alive. Never was a Travolta fan and didn't see the movie but loved some of the sound track.
  • Howard from LevittownThe Bee Gees' success in the mid-to-late 70s was a mindblowing example of reinvention. A band that had a respectable chain of hits in the late 60s, followed by a brief resurgence, then BOOM! They come up on the wave of 70s dance music, making their own distinctive contribution, along with an update of their ballad sound and an image makeover. Like John Travolta after them, their second(third?) act was better than their first. I like the lyrics. Whatever the complaints about their vocal style, they hid nothing.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 19th 1978, "Night Fever" by the Bee Gees jumped from #17 to #8 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    As a result, five of the ten records on the Top 10 were co-composed by Barry Gibb...
    #1. "Stayin' Love" (co-writers Maurice & Robin Gibb)...
    #2. "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water (co-writer Andy Gibb)...
    #5. "Emotion" (co-writer Robin Gibb)...
    #8. "Night Fever" (co-writers Maurice & Robin Gibb)...
    #10. "How Deep Is Your Love" (co-writers Maurice & Robin Gibb).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 29th 1978, "Night Fever" by the Bee Gees entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on March 12th, 1978 it peaked at #1 {for 8 weeks} and spent 20 weeks on the Top 100 {and for 13 of those 20 weeks it was on the Top 10}...
    It replaced their younger brother's "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water" at #1, Andy Gibb had held the top spot for two weeks...
    On the Top 100 "Night Fever" was the third of six straight #1 records by the trio; starting with "How Deep Is Your Love" {3 weeks}, "Stayin' Alive" {4 weeks}, then this one, "Too Much Heaven" {2 weeks}, "Tragedy" {2 weeks}, and finally "Love You Inside Out" {1 week}...
    It was "He's A Liar" that broke the string, it reached #30..
    R.I.P. Maurice Gibb {1949 - 2003}, Robin Gibb {1949 - 2012} and Andy Gibb {1958 - 1988}.
  • Don from Sevierville, TnSkip, in the late 1970's, Blue Weaver played keyboards for the Bee Gees. I think during that time, Maurice only played bass and rhythm guitar and sang back-up.
  • Skip from Los Angeles, CaWas it Maurice who played keyboards (especially Fender Rhodes piano) on all those tracks from Saturday Night Fever?
    ...or is there some unsung studio-cat keyboard-hero, behind the scenes, who played the very tasty and cool licks on so many Bee Gees tracks from their disco era?
  • Camille from Toronto, OhGeorge, you're right, the song flows seamlessly. Hearing it transports the listener to that lighted 1970s-decade disco dance floor where the teens all dressed up to dance the night away and felt like they were, to take a phrase from another most popular movie, "on top of the world!"
  • George from Belleville, NjNight Fever is a masterpiece of melody.The song flows beautifully in a smooth rhythm.An irristible piece of pop song writing and it shows the creative musical force the Bee Gees were becoming.A classic.
  • John from Kirkland, Wa"A dreaded fever that only strikes on Saturday night!"
  • David from Youngstown, OhJohn,
    Why can't we understand what Dylan is singing half the time or Mick Jagger or James Brown? That's just the way it is.
  • John from Brisbane, United StatesWhy did the bee gees not sing in a clear voice so we can understand all the words of this song.I have had to invent words.
  • David from Youngstown, OhThe (largely fictional) article that Saturday Night Fever was based on was called the Tribal Rights of a New Saturday Night and published in New York magazine. It was never the working title of SNF.
  • Jeff from Austin, TxThis song rocks!!! I defy anyone to listen to this song and not freak out when the first verse begins. Something happens to your right arm as soon as Barry sings the first line. It shoots up, pointing towards the sky, and in your mind, you're wearing a white leisure suit with a black shirt, and you have a really serious look on your face.
  • Marty from San Francisco, CaThe beat and cymbals for this song were simply a recorded 1-4 beat repeated through a tape loop. It sounded so perfect that record companies wanted to hire this "extraordinary" drummer.
  • Dylan from Chicago, IlThe true original title of Saturday Night Fever was Tribal Rights of a New Saturday Night. Maurice is the only one to state that it was called Saturday Night, but due to his heavy alcoholism at the time, nothing he said then can be trusted.
  • Leah from Brooklyn, NyThis song was used to hilarious effect in the TV mini-series TENTH KINGDOM (2000), where a group of nasty trolls find a boom box with the tune and surmise that it's a spell that invokes a terrible plague.
  • Pete from Ny, NyA great song, one that even us 'disco-haters' admitted we liked.
  • David from Youngstown, OhThis song was #1 for eight straight weeks and is the second best selling song of the 1970s behind "You Light Up My Life" by Debby Boone. Just an outstanding song with Barry's falsetto at its best.
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