♫ Stayin’ Alive ♫

I promised earlier this week that I would play one that wasn’t a redux, that I hadn’t played here before, and … {drumroll} here it is!!!  I wracked my brain (such as it is) and I thought I might like to do something by the Bee Gees.  So, I put on my blindfold, spun the wheel, and this is what came up!  I hope you like it!

This plays over the opening credits of the 1977 movie Saturday Night Fever while John Travolta struts through the streets of New York City. The movie has come to represent the disco era, and has made Stayin’ Alive one of the songs most associated with disco.  Their contributions to Saturday Night Fever brought them huge success, but marked them as disco singers.

In a 1989 interview with Q magazine, they talked about this stigma and why they didn’t deserve it. Said Robin Gibb …

“We were not disco. People who emulated us were disco. All you heard on the radio was that dooo! dooo! syn-drum sound. We never had a syn-drum on one of our records!”

This was one of five songs the Bee Gees wrote specifically for Saturday Night Fever. Like the film, the song is about much more than dancing and having a good time. It deals with struggle and aspiration; making your way in the world even after you’ve been kicked around.

Robert Stigwood, who produced Saturday Night Fever, is the one who asked The Bee Gees to write music for the film.  Stigwood asked for a song called Saturday Night, but the Bee Gees wanted nothing to do with that title, since many other songs, including a very popular one by the Bay City Rollers, had that name.  Stigwood objected when he heard the song was called Stayin’ Alive, but the group told him that if he didn’t like it, they would just use the song on their own album!

Stayin’ Alive was released one day before the movie, but many theatergoers had already heard the song in trailers for the film. It quickly climbed the charts, reaching the top spot on February 4, 1978 and staying there for four weeks.

When they recorded Stayin’ Alive, The Bee Gees were more than just the Gibb brothers: guitarist Alan Kendall, keyboard player Blue Weaver, and drummer Dennis Bryon were key members, if not official. Byran, though, got called away when his mother fell ill, leaving them without a drummer. Their producer/engineers, Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson, kept work going by looping a bar of Bryon’s drumming on Night Fever and using that as the drum track. The built the song from there, adding the bass, then the guitar.  They planned to replace the drum loop with live drums when Bryon returned, but it sounded so good they left it in.

This song made it to #4 in the UK and #1 in the U.S.

38 thoughts on “♫ Stayin’ Alive ♫

  1. It’s disco, no matter what anyone says 🙂

    I like most Bee Gee music, but not their disco. I’m not particularly partial to disco, but I prefer ABBA’s take on it over the Bee Gees.

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  2. No lyrics? Without lyrics I cannot understand 75% of the song. The words just run together. But while the Bee Gees may say this is not pure disco, it is disco at its worst.
    I love the Bee Gees, right from New York Mining Disaster 1941. But the disco era is one that I can completely do without.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meanwhile, while looking up New York Mining Disaster 1941 on YouTube, they had the audacity to ask me to choose my 5 favourite singers/bands/musicians/artists “based on my listening history.” I have to give it to them, they had Eric Burdon as the very first choice. But after him, they were totally out to lunch, suggesting artists I have never heard of let alone ever listened to on YouTube. I don’t know about you, but while choosing only 5 artists cannot be an easy task for anyone, it is actually easy for me. 1. Etic Burdon 2. Jimi Hendrix 3. Janis Joplin 4. George Harrison 5. Leonard Cohen (the last 4 not necessarily always in those positions, depending on my mood).
      But as I scrolled down the list of offerings, there were long gaps before I found my people. And I went right to the bottom without ever seeing Janis’s gorgeous face. And then my tablet froze up on me, so I never got to tell YouTube my choices. I’m just wondeting, did any of you see this new feature on YouTube? Were you able to find your top 5? Who were they? (There are NO WRONG ANSWERS, lol. ☺)

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      • You’re kidding! I’ve never been asked anything like that on YouTube or anywhere else! That’s … invasive! Well, if I had to choose five, it would start with Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, and … I’m not sure who the 5th would be. As you say, it really depends on mood of the moment. And to your question, no, I have NEVER seen that before … but I’ll let you know if I do!

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        • It appeared out of nowhere, and somebody put a lot of work into it. Row after row of entertainer, with little regard for true talent, in my mind at least. My Golden Era started at Sun Records — not with Elvis, but rather with Roy Orbison — and continued to the start of disco. Music did not end there, but my Golden Era did. And my top 5 changed once since, with Leonard Cohen replacing Jim Morrison.
          But after the top 5, there are 100 artists who could occupy the next 5 spots on any given day. I could not even try to number them, as it would involve numbers to at least 5 decimals (6.12739). As I ran through the YouTube list there were numerous occasions where my finger twitched as I saw individual names and band names pass by. They are so close to the top. But to mention one without mentioning others would be musical sacrilege, so that list will never be seen in public. I cannot even say who might be there…

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                • Not yet. Wr have a list of possibilities which we want to pick 5 from, and then pick one.
                  Speaking of picking, that page showed up again on youTube, and I found Janis on it this time. But by the time I reached the end of the list the DONE button would not work, so it was all in vain again. They have over 1400 artists listed. I am willing to tell them my top 5 to see what they will do with it. (Try to sell me their music, lol.) I consider it an experiment. So far they get a failing grade for iseless technology.
                  Once we decide on a bame I will let you know. Hopefully it will be in a post with pics, if I can figure out how to go from cell to tablet to Word Press. Writing the pist on the phone would be ideal, but the keys are so small I make more typos than I do pn the tablet.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • I still haven’t gotten that message on YouTube … perhaps they have chosen a select target audience for their experiment!

                    As re transferring the pics, I find it easiest to email it to myself, then I can upload it to whichever venue I need it on. Let me know if I can help in any way.

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    • AAAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! I FORGOT THE LYRICS!!! I am a dolt! A failure! An idiot! I had them, but it was late (3:00 a.m.) and I guess my mind had already shut down for the night! I’m so sorry!!!

      Heh heh … I agree with you on disco, for the most part, but I do rather like this one.

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        • Hah! We’ll see, but I doubt I’ll spend the time to redo it now … next time ’round (if there is a next time, since it didn’t seem to please too many) then I’ll be sure to add the lyrics. Yes, I did listen to Janis! Not my favourite style of music, but she is very talented.

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  3. I liked the Bee Gees sixties stuff but hated disco: not just theirs but everything about it. Robin Gibb is talking BS in that quote: the movie was disco, and so were they and their songs. My then-wife persuaded me to see it and I quite enjoyed it, apart from the music! I did enjoy one of the reviews I read, though, which described Travolta as looking like an over-friendly horse 🤣

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