Nights on Broadway
|"Nights on Broadway"|
|Single by Bee Gees|
|from the album Main Course|
|B-side||"Edge of The Universe"|
|Format||7", 45 rpm|
|Recorded||20, 30 January 1975
Criteria Studios, Miami, Florida
|Genre||Rhythm and blues, funk, pop|
|Length||2:52 (radio edit)
4:32 (album version)
|Writer(s)||Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb|
|Bee Gees singles chronology|
"Nights on Broadway" is a song by the Bee Gees from the Main Course album released in 1975. The second single released from the album, it immediately followed their number-one hit "Jive Talkin'". This track was credited to Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb.
Recording this track started on 20 January 1975 and continued on 30 January, when they started to record songs for the album: "Jive Talkin'" (finished 2 February), "Songbird", "Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)" (finished 19 February), "All This Making Love" and "Edge of the Universe".
Barry Gibb talked about "Nights on Broadway" on The Larry King Show in 2 February 2002:
"It came to me in a dream, there was a request by Arif Mardin, who was like an uncle to us, he was a great record producer during the song 'Nights On Broadway,' for the Main Course album, which is previous to the 'Fever' syndrome. And he said, 'Can any of you scream, scream in falsetto.' So, you know, give us an ad lib or a scream at the end. So from screaming, it turned into things like blaming it all."
Producer Arif Mardin asked if one of the Bee Gees member could do some screaming during the main chorus to make the song more exciting. In response, Barry Gibb began singing higher and higher, eventually singing it in a falsetto that was unexpectedly powerful. He had never known he had such an ability and Barry's falsetto became a trademark of the Bee Gees, although Maurice had been harmonizing in falsetto for years and did the shadow "blamin it all" part in falsetto, Barry recalled in a May 2001 interview with Mojo magazine "Arif said to me, "Can you scream?" I said, "under certain circumstances". He said, "Can you scream in tune?" I said, "well, I'll try"".
"Nights on Broadway" reached number seven on the American Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, giving the Bee Gees back-to-back top 10 hits for the first time in seven years since 1968.
Covers and sampling
- In 1977, Candi Staton released a version of this song that peaked at no. 6 on the United Kingdom Singles Chart in late Summer of that year and at no. 4 in Ireland. It omitted the slow-paced middle-eight which broke up the tempo of the Bee Gees' original.
- In 1997, a duet of Tom Jones with Paul Anka on Tom Jones compilation 3CD set The Collection.
- In 1998, the song was sampled on the DMX track "The Convo" from the album It's Dark and Hell Is Hot.
- In 2008, the song was sampled by hip-hop producer Jake One for his song How We Ride for his album White Van Music.
- Saturday Night Live uses the song as the theme to its sketch, "The Barry Gibb Talk Show", in its December 2013 pre-Christmas program with Gibb in a set-up "interview," but with different lyrics. Sir Paul McCartney, Madonna, outgoing New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Justin Timberlake also appeared on the show, with Jimmy Fallon as guest host.
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- "Top RPM Singles: Issue 4043a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
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- The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1975 at the Wayback Machine (archived 19 August 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "1977 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive – 3rd September 1977". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- "DMX's The Convo sample of Bee Gees's Nights on Broadway". WhoSampled. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- "Jake One feat. Freeway's How We Ride sample of Bee Gees's Nights on Broadway". WhoSampled. Retrieved 14 July 2013.