Night Fever

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"Night Fever"
Single by Bee Gees
from the album Saturday Night Fever
B-side"Down the Road" (live)
ReleasedJanuary 1978 (US)[1]
Recorded
  • c. April 1977
  • September 1977[2]
Studio
GenreDisco
Length3:32
LabelRSO
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Bee Gees singles chronology
"Stayin' Alive"
(1977)
"Night Fever"
(1978)
"Too Much Heaven"
(1978)
Audio sample
"Night Fever"
Music video
"Night Fever" on YouTube

"Night Fever" is a song written and performed by the Bee Gees. It first appeared on the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever on RSO Records. Producer Robert Stigwood wanted to call the film Saturday Night, but singer Robin Gibb expressed hesitation at the title. Stigwood liked the title Night Fever but was wary of marketing a movie with that name. The song bounded up the Billboard charts while the Bee Gees’ two previous hits from Saturday Night Fever soundtrack ("How Deep is Your Love" and "Stayin' Alive") were still in the top ten. The record debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart at #76, then leaped up 44 positions to #32. It then moved: 32–17–8–5–2–1. It remained at #1 for eight weeks (the most for any single that year), and ultimately spent 13 weeks in the top 10.[3] For the first five weeks that "Night Fever" was at #1, "Stayin' Alive" was at #2. Also, for one week in March, Bee Gees related songs held five of the top positions on the Hot 100 chart, and more impressively, four of the top five positions, with "Night Fever" at the top of the list.[4] The B-side of "Night Fever" was a live version of "Down the Road" taken from the Bee Gees 1977 album, Here at Last... Bee Gees... Live.[5]

Inspiration and writing[edit]

When Bee Gees manager Robert Stigwood was producing a movie about a New York disco scene, the working title for the film at that time was Saturday Night. Stigwood asked the group to write a song using that name as a title, but the Bee Gees disliked it. They had already written a song called "Night Fever", so the group convinced Stigwood to use that and change the film to Saturday Night Fever.[6]

The string intro of "Night Fever" was inspired by "Theme from A Summer Place" by Percy Faith, according to keyboardist Blue Weaver when he was performing it one morning at the sessions and Barry Gibb walked in and heard the new idea for this song.[6] As Weaver explains the history behind this song:

...'Night Fever' started off because Barry walked in one morning when I was trying to work out something. I always wanted to do a disco version of Theme from A Summer Place by the Percy Faith Orchestra or something - it was a big hit in the Sixties. I was playing that, and Barry said, 'What was that?' and I said, 'Theme from A Summer Place', and Barry said, 'No, it wasn't'. It was new. Barry heard the idea - I was playing it on a string synthesizer and sang the riff over it.[7]

— Blue Weaver

Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb completed the lyrics for "Night Fever" sitting on a staircase (reminiscent of their first international hit "New York Mining Disaster 1941", which was written also in a staircase back in 1967).[7]

Recording[edit]

The Bee Gees began recording this song by April 1977 in France and finishing it in September the same year. A demo of "Night Fever" with some instrumental and vocals heard on it exists and was available to download on Rhino Records' website in 2009 or earlier.[2]

...For 'Night Fever' the group had the hook-line and rhythm - they usually pat their legs to set up a song's rhythm when they first sing it - and parts of the verses. They had the emotion, same as on the record. We put down battery first, so the feel was locked in. The electric piano part was put on before the bass, then the heavy guitar parts. We had the sound, but we needed something there to shake it so we used the thunder sound.[7]

Reception[edit]

According to Billboard, it has a "jumping disco beat" and a "smooth falsetto lead" vocal.[8] Cash Box similarly said that it has "dancin' beat, scratchy guitar, sweeping orchestration and the familiar falsetto."[9] Record World predicted that it would become "another dance tempo hit" for the Bee Gees.[10]

Legacy[edit]

It also replaced Andy Gibb's "Love Is Thicker Than Water" at number one and was in turn replaced by Yvonne Elliman's "If I Can't Have You"—all of which were written and produced by the Gibb brothers. It would be the third of six consecutive US #1s for the band, tying the Beatles for the record for most consecutive #1 singles. Billboard ranked it as the No. 2 song for 1978, behind Andy Gibb's "Shadow Dancing".[11]

"Night Fever" topped the UK Singles Chart for two weeks, their third UK number-one, and in the US it remained the number-one Billboard Hot 100 single for over two months in 1978. In addition to Saturday Night Fever, the song has also appeared in the movie and on the soundtrack for Mystery Men. The song is listed at number 38 on Billboard's All Time Top 100.[12] It is also featured in other films including Luna, Mr. Saturday Night, I.D., Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?, and Avenue Montaigne.

Music video[edit]

A music video was made for the song in 1978, but not shown to the public until 26 years later, in 2004.[citation needed] It features the brothers singing the song in a darkened studio, layered over background video filmed while driving along "Motel Row" on Collins Avenue, a 3-mile (5 km) motel strip in what is now Sunny Isles Beach, Florida.[13] Most of the motels which appear in the video are now closed or demolished, including several whose names are reminiscent of Las Vegas resorts (Castaways, Desert Inn, Sahara, Golden Nugget).[citation needed]

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[52] Platinum 150,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[54] Gold 650,000[53]
United States (RIAA)[56] Platinum 2,500,000[55]

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Ex-It version[edit]

"Night Fever"
Single by Ex-It
Released20 April 1996
Recorded1996
GenreEurodance
Length3:45
LabelBMG
Songwriter(s)Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb, Robinson, Andreas Hötter, Alexander Stiepel
Producer(s)Robinson, Andreas Hötter, Alexander Stiepel
Ex-It singles chronology
"I Want It All"
(1996)
"Night Fever"
(1996)

In 1996, the Austrian music group Ex-It covered the song and made a small notable success. Large parts of the original were retained in this version, but with many rap passages added. This cover is the compilations Dance Now! 14, Maxi Dance Sensation 21 and Hot Hits [TL 541/35].

Music video[edit]

The music video copies many elements of the movie Saturday Night Fever and satirizes the same. At the beginning of the video, the DJ plays the song, while the protagonist and his girlfriend in a tool shop look around and watch a radio. Then prepare for a visit to a disco and dance there in the rest of the plot.[57]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1996) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA Charts)[58] 82
Austrian Singles Chart[59] 30

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bee Gees singles".
  2. ^ a b Brennan, Joe. "Gibb Songs : 1977". Columbia University. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  3. ^ "Song-Database "Night Fever"". song-database.com/. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Gibb Songs : 1978". www.columbia.edu. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Here at Last...Bee Gees...Live - Bee Gees | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Night Fever by Bee Gees". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Melinda Bilyeu; Hector Cook; Andrew Môn Hughes (January 2011). The Bee Gees. ISBN 9780857128942. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Hot Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard. 4 February 1978. p. 88. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  9. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. 4 February 1978. p. 18. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Hits of the Week" (PDF). Record World. 4 February 1978. p. 1. Retrieved 15 February 2023.
  11. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1978
  12. ^ Bronson, Fred (2 August 2012). "Hot 100 55th Anniversary: The All-Time Top 100 Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  13. ^ "Bee Gees - Night Fever (Video)" on YouTube. Retrieved on 2020-10-27.
  14. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (doc). Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  15. ^ "Bee Gees – Night Fever" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
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  18. ^ "Night fever in Canadian Adult Contemporary Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on 28 December 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
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  20. ^ "Night fever in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on 28 December 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
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  22. ^ "Night fever in Irish Chart". IRMA. Archived from the original on 2 June 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 2nd result when searching "Night fever"
  23. ^ Danyel Smith, ed. (1978). "Billboard 2 september 1978". Billboard. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  24. ^ Danyel Smith, ed. (1978). "Billboard 12 august 1978". Billboard. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 10 July 2013.(mistakenly called "Saturday Night fever")
  25. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Bee Gees" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  26. ^ "Bee Gees – Night Fever" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  27. ^ "Bee Gees – Night Fever". Top 40 Singles.
  28. ^ "Bee Gees – Night Fever". VG-lista.
  29. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. 20 January 1979. p. 183. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  30. ^ John Samson. "Night fever in South African Chart". Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  31. ^ Danyel Smith, ed. (1978). "Billboard 8 july 1978". Billboard. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  32. ^ "Bee Gees – Night Fever". Singles Top 100.
  33. ^ "Bee Gees – Night Fever". Swiss Singles Chart.
  34. ^ "1978 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive - 29th April 1978". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  35. ^ a b c "Saturday Night Fever [Original Movie Soundtrack] awards on Allmusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  36. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 26.
  37. ^ "Cashbox Top 100". Cashbox Archives. 18 March 1978. Archived from the original on 14 February 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  38. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Bee Gees – Night Fever" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  39. ^ "Bee Gees – Night Fever" (in French). Les classement single.
  40. ^ "Bee Gees Chart History (Hot Dance/Electronic Songs)". Billboard.
  41. ^ "Kent Music Report No 236 – 1 January 1979 > National Top 100 Singles for 1978". Kent Music Report. Retrieved 8 January 2022 – via Imgur.com.
  42. ^ Bac-lac.gc.ca
  43. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1978". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  44. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1978". MegaCharts. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  45. ^ "End of Year Charts 1978". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  46. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1978". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  47. ^ Swiss Year-End Charts, 1978
  48. ^ Scaping, Peter, ed. (1979). "Top 200 Singles in 1978". BPI Year Book 1979 (4th ed.). London, England: The British Phonographic Industry Ltd. pp. 186–89. ISBN 0-906154-02-2.
  49. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1978". Cashbox Archives. 31 December 1978.
  50. ^ Musicoutfitters.com
  51. ^ "Hot 100 turns 60". Billboard. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  52. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Bee Gees – Night Fever". Music Canada. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  53. ^ "Polydor Hard Pressed To Soothe U.K. 'Fever'" (PDF). Billboard. 27 May 1978. p. 66. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  54. ^ "British single certifications – Bee Gees – Night Fever". British Phonographic Industry.
  55. ^ Grein, Paul (26 August 1978). "Billboard Vol. 90, No. 34". Billboard.
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  57. ^ Musicvideo in Youtube.com
  58. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 97.
  59. ^ austriancharts.ch

External links[edit]