Posts Tagged ‘David Shire’

#131 – Saturday Night Fever (Soundtrack)

In 150-125, Top 150 on June 13, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

This is embarrassing: I’ve never seen Saturday Night Fever. I’m sorry to those of you who feel terribly offended by this, I really am. (I just added it to the list of movies I’d like to watch)

But I do know the music – and really, who doesn’t? I remember my parents putting their SNF vinyl on sometimes at home, and listening to the warm, imperfect purr of the album as it was amplified over our stereo. There really is nothing like a vinyl.

Track Listing

  1. Stayin’ Alive (The Bee Gees)
  2. How Deep Is Your Love (The Bee Gees)
  3. Night Fever (The Bee Gees)
  4. More Than A Woman (The Bee Gees)
  5. If I Can’t Have You (Yvonne Elliman)
  6. A Fifth Of Beethoven (Walter Murphy)
  7. More Than a Woman (Tavares)
  8. Manhattan Skyline (David Shire)
  9. Calypso Breakdown (Ralph MacDonald)
  10. Night on Disco Mountain (David Shire)
  11. Open Sesame (Kool & the Gang)
  12. Jive Talkin’ (The Bee Gees)
  13. You Should Be Dancing (The Bee Gees)
  14. Boogie Shoes (K.C. & Sunshine Band)
  15. Salsation (David Shire)
  16. K-Jee (MFSB)
  17. Disco Inferno (The Trammps)
So come on, how can you not love this album? It’s got the nice, synth-disco bass and the great vocal harmonies of the Bee Gees mixed with a nice electric piano and some string synths filling in the mid-section…all combined with the nostalgic feeling that any disco music creates, and you can’t help but think of the dancing that goes with it! It’s great, good fun to listen to this album.
I will say though, that when I hear ballads by The Bee Gees it makes me think of Q97.5 FM, London’s Easy Rock…aka the easy rock, adult-contemporary radio station in my hometown. Which is hilarious. And then, in turn, I think about Saturday car rides when I was younger. Again with the nostalgia.
The Bee Gees have such a distinct sound. As soon as you hear anything by the Bee Gees, you instantly recognize their harmonized, groovy falsettos. I think its cool when bands have characteristic sounds (although, it really can be repetitive to listen to an entire album when that happens, but still).
This album starts off with 4 Bee Gees tracks, and has a few later in the album as well, but they include a few more bands into the mix as the album progresses. And again, I just love the nostalgia that every track brings up. “If I Can’t Have You”, Yvonne Elliman’s sweet disco ballad is familiar and recognizable, not only from the fact that its a classic tune, but also from the fact that it was in The Jetsons Movie (yep, its true).
Then we rock out with “A Fifth of Beethoven”, Walter Murphy’s infamous disco tune that pulls the main theme of Beethoven’s fifth and mixes it into a great disco track that makes you want to dance (like most disco, I guess). And I think that’s my favourite part about disco, but especially this album: it makes you want to move! Isn’t that what music is suppose to do? Make you move, whether its physically, emotionally, or mentally? I sure think so.
Great music makes you dance. Great music makes you feel an overwhelming emotion. Great music can raise your awareness on so many levels.  So although this album is a disco album filled with tunes about dancing and love, it still makes you want to move, and I classify that as great music.
I really think every track on this album is great. Maybe its the fact that Saturday Night Fever has been so popular over the years that I can’t help but love this! This album also did well on numerous music charts in ’77 and ’78, which meant that the music of SNF and The Bee Gees spread across the U.S. and was incredibly popular and contributed to the uprising of disco in pop culture. It was  part of the dance and club scene, and in many ways, contributed to large growth of the disco/dance club scene.
In the ’70s, disco was embraced by various groups such as African Americans, the LGBTQ community, and other communities as a movement against the uprising of rock and roll, and apparently, according to Wikipedia, against the idea that dance music and dance culture was not acceptable. Interesting!
Okay, so I love the album for a while, and then it gets a bit old. It doesn’t mean its not fun, it just means that this disco album is so dramatic and has got several different styles in it (especially when you start hitting “Calypso Breakdown”, “Night on Disco Mountain” and “Open Sesame”) that it can be a bit much. Still really interesting to listen to, and fun to listen to!!
Check it out.

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