Saturday Night Fever?? - Is this album truly legendary?
This will raise a few eyebrows. But its true. It was and still is a brilliant, brilliant album. I took this album out the other day from my record collection and decided to played it from start to finish and by doing so bought a smile to my face.
So where did Saturday night fever originally come from first of all? I've seen the film countless times myself. But that question always was in the back of my mind when I finished watching the movie for the upteam time.
Well it appears that a young British journalist called Nik Cohn in 1976 wrote an article in the New York Magazine. The article was called "Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night". Most of what was written within that article formed to be the basis of the film that we all know today as "Saturday Night Fever.
Cohn, stated at the time that his article was based on factual reporting. However, the truth came out later on in years as his story panned out to be a fraud. Cohn, had actually based his article on a young man that he knew in England.
"My story was a fraud," he wrote. "I'd only recently arrived in New York. Far from being steeped in Brooklyn street life, I hardly knew the place. As for Vincent, my story's hero, he was largely inspired by Shepherd's Bush mod whom I'd known in the Sixties, a one-time king of Goldhawk Road.The fraud was successful because mod and disco subcultures shared certain similarities, both emphasized fashion and music, and both the US and UK characters were working class" said Cohn -( Saturday Night Fever: The Life - by Charlie LeDuff - Published by Charlie LeDuff - June 9th 1996).
Saturday Night Fever, the original sound track movie album was confirmed 15 x Platinum in the Usa alone. The album stayed at number 1 within the album charts within the year of 1978 from January to July; and on the Billboard album charts stayed at number 1 for 120 weeks until 1980. Within the Uk the album stayed at number 1 for at least 18 consecutive weeks.
The first song to be recorded for Saturday Night fever sound track was "If I can't have you". In fact this single was recorded to be performed and sung by the Bee Gees themselves. In fact it was released as the b side single to the A side single release that is "Jive Talking" in 1977. However, the song was put on the map by Yvonne Elliman as she recorded her version of the tune for the album that is Saturday Night fever, and the rest is history.
Elliman had proved that she was a good pop ballad singer a good year before as she has a huge hit with the track called "Love me" (1976) . This track was also written for her by the Bee Gees.
It was intended that because of Yvonne Elliman involvement with the Bee Gees a year earlier with the track called "Love me". It was planned for her to sing yet another pop ballad penned by them called "How deep is your Love".
The Bee Gees the creators of "If I can't have you" were to sing and record their version of this song for the Saturday night Fever album instead.
But fate was work against this happening. This was because the chairman and manager (Robert Stigwood) of the Bee Gees; who was also chairman of RSO record label and the executive producer of the film (Saturday night fever) decided against this.
He wanted the Bee Gees to sing and record "How Deep is you love", and for Yvonne Elliman to sing and record "If I can't have you" for the sound track.
Robert Stigwood had his way with this decision and it proved to be an decisive as both singles to be released as individual singles from the album went to number one respectively.
The other number ones from the album are "Stayin Alive", "A fifth Beethoven" and "Night fever".
However, it must be noted that Disco as a musical movement was dying long before the release of this movie.
By 1977, many of Disco's big hits had already ploughed it way into our consciousness. Tracks like Kung Fu Fighting, Get Down tonight, Love Machine and the The Hustle were firmly planted within our brain. Also artists such as Abba and Rod Stewart were adding the Disco beat to their musical output as well.
The novelty of the music was wearing thin and the music industry was getting anxious. Punk Rock music was beginning to make noise within the music Industry. And former rock music fans were now beginning to latch onto this instead.
Then came Saturday night fever into our lives via the movie and the sound track and Disco was given a second chance. It fact it went global.
There is an argument against Saturday night fever that the sound track watered down the music of Disco from its black roots. This I don't think is the case with this album. It featured a number of top black acts such as Tavares, Kool and the Gang, MFSB and The Trammps for instance. In my opinion the tracks done by Tavares and The Trammps were the best of the best from a great album.
Looking at the album cover I am smiling. I have only just learnt after all these years that these two songs that were originally penned for the album were left out and should have been included on the album. These were "(Out Love) Don't throw it all away" by the Bee Gees and "Emotion" by Samantha Sang.
That would be my only refinement to a truly brilliant album
What is my favourite track on the album? Wow that's is hard to call. However, I do love "More than a Women" by Tavares. It is truly wonderful song that even now get my feet tapping and soul singing. I just love that single.
Here is the official track list of the album.
1."Stayin Alive" - Bee Gees
2."How Deep is your love - Bee Gees
3. "Night Fever" - Bee Gees
4. "More than a Women" - Bee Gees
5. "If I can't have you" - Yvonne Elliman
6."A Fifth of Beethoven - Walter Murphy
7. "More than a Women - Tavares
8. "Manhatten Skylinr - David Shire
9. "Calypso Breakdown - Ralph Macdonald
10."Night on DiscoMountain" - Modest Mussorgsky
11. "Open Sessame" - Kool and the Gang
12. "Jive Takin" - Bee Gees
13. "You should be dancing" - Bee Gees
14. "Boogie shoes" - KC and the Sunshine Band
15. "Salsation" - David Shire
16. "K-Jee" - MFSB
17. "Disco Inferno" - The Trammps
What are your thought about Saturday Night Fever sound track? What was your favourite track on the album even?
Dj Mistri and the Electric Soul Show © www.electricsoulshow.com