|Single by Bee Gees|
|from the album Main Course|
|B-side||"Wind of Change"|
|Released||31 May 1975|
|Format||Vinyl record (7" 45 RPM)|
30 January – 19 February 1975
|Length||3:44 (album version)
3:33 (single version)
|Writer(s)||Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb|
|Bee Gees singles chronology|
"Jive Talkin '" is a song by the Bee Gees, released as a single on 31 May 1975 by RSO Records. This was the lead single from the album Main Course and hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top-five on the UK Singles Chart in the summer of 1975. Largely recognised as the group's "comeback" song, it was their first US top-ten hit since "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" in 1971. The original recording is also notable for its prominent bass-line, which was played on an ARP electronic synthesiser, rather than the usual electric bass.
By 1975, the Bee Gees assembled a studio group consisting of Alan Kendall on electric guitar, Blue Weaver on keyboards and Dennis Bryon on drums. This combination, with Maurice Gibb on bass and Barry Gibb on rhythm guitar, recorded all the Bee Gees albums of the late '70s and also went on tour with the group. Recording for "Jive Talkin'" took place on 30 January and 2 February 1975. The scratchy guitar intro was done by Barry and the funky bass line provided by Maurice Gibb. The finished recording featured a pulsing synthesiser bass line, which was (along with the pioneering work of Stevie Wonder) one of the earliest uses of "synth bass" on a pop recording. It was overdubbed by keyboardist Blue Weaver. using a then state-of-the-art ARP 2600, which producer Arif Mardin had brought in for the recording of the Main Course album.
The song was originally called "Drive Talking". The song's rhythm was modelled after the sound their car made crossing the Julia Tuttle Causeway each day from Biscayne Bay to Criteria Studios in Miami.
According to Maurice, while hearing this rhythmic sound, "Barry didn't notice that he's going 'Ji-Ji Jive Talkin' ', thinking of the dance, 'You dance with your eyes'...that's all he had...exactly 35 mph...that's what we got." He goes on to say, "We played it to Arif [producer Arif Mardin], and he went 'Do you know what "Jive Talkin' " means?' And we said 'Well yeah, it's, ya know, you're dancing.' He says 'NO...it's a black expression for bullshitting.' And we went 'OH, REALLY?!? Jive talkin', you're telling me lies...' and changed it". Maurice goes on to describe how Arif gave them "the groove, the tempo, everything." Robin Gibb then goes on to mention that, because they were English, they were less self-conscious about going into the "no-go areas", referring to musical styles that were more black in styles, etc. He then said, "We didn't think that there was any 'no go' areas, it's music!"
Upon its release to radio stations, the single was delivered in a plain white cover, with no immediate indication of what the song's name was or who sang it. The DJs would only find out what the song was and who played it when it was placed on the turntable; RSO did provide the song with a label on the record itself. It was the second time in the band's career that this strategy had been employed to get airplay for their music, after a similar tactic had popularized their debut US single "New York Mining Disaster 1941" in 1967.
The original studio version was included on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, as it was used in a scene that was cut from the final film. Later pressings of the album used the live version of "Jive Talkin' " from the Bee Gees 1977 album, Here at Last... Bee Gees... Live, due to contractual distribution changes. The CD version restores the use of the studio version.
- In 1975, the funk band Rufus covered "Jive Talkin'" on their album Rufus featuring Chaka Khan.
- In 1987 this song was covered by the Boogie Box High. Boogie Box High was a musical project by Andros Georgiou in the late 1980s, that featured a range of vocal collaborations such as his relative George Michael (of Wham!) and Nick Heyward (of Haircut One Hundred). The cover was their biggest hit in 1987.
- On Iron Maiden's song "More Tea Vicar", towards the end, Bruce Dickinson sings a bit of the song in a voice imitating The Bee Gees as a joke, then follows it up with, "No, no, no! You got the wrong track, you have to go in the studio next door." Then sings, "Okay" in a Bee Gees voice.
- Dread Zeppelin covered "Jive Talkin'" on their 1992 album It's Not Unusual.
Certifications and sales
- Brennan, Joseph. "Gibb Songs : 1975". Columbia University. Retrieved 29 January 2014. "‘Jive Talkin’’ now continues on from ‘Nights on Broadway’ as another funk song, but there is no falsetto."
- DeCurtis, Anthony; Henke, James; George-Warren, Holly (1992). The Rolling Stone Album Guide: Completely New Reviews : Every Essential Album, Every Essential Artist. Random House. p. 833. ISBN 978-0-6797-3729-2. "Collecting the best of the Gibb brothers' born-again funk phase (like the itchy "Jive Talkin' ") and some authentic dance-floor jams (like the Trammps' blazing "Disco Inferno"), Saturday Night Fever deserves its preeminent status."
- Guarisco, Donald A. "Jive Talkin' – Song Review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- Dede, Mehmet (2001). "Jive Talkin' with Arif MARDIN". The Light Millenium. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "The Bee Gees – 35 Years of Music". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media) 113 (12): 22. 24 March 2001. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- "Ultratop.be – Bee Gees – Jive Talkin'" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- (Dutch) "Jive Talking – BEE GEES". Top 30. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- CHART NUMBER 966 – Saturday, July 26, 1975 at the Wayback Machine (archived 7 November 2006). CHUM. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- "RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- "RPM Top Singles." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- "Bee Gees – Jive Talkin'". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 6 July 2013. When searching "Jive talking"
- (Italian) "Indice per Interprete: B". Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Bee Gees - Jive search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Bee Gees – Jive Talkin'" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- "Charts.org.nz – Bee Gees – Jive Talkin'". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- "Main Course – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending AUGUST 9, 1975 at the Wayback Machine (archived 14 August 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- RECORD WORLD 1975 at the Wayback Machine (archived 1 August 2004). Record World. Geocities.com. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- "Forum - ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1970s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- "Top Singles – Volume 24, No. 14, December 27, 1975". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- "Top 100 Hits for 1975". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1975 at the Wayback Machine (archived 19 August 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- "British single certifications – Bee Gees – Jive Talking". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 29 January 2014. Enter Jive Talking in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
- "American single certifications – Bee Gees – Jive Talkin_". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 29 January 2014. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
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