Saturday Night Fever (soundtrack)

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Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track
Soundtrack album by Bee Gees & various artists
Released November 15, 1977 (1977-11-15)
Recorded 1975–1977
Genre Disco
Length 1:15:54
Label RSO, Polydor, Reprise
Producer Bill Oakes (Music Supervisor)
Bee Gees chronology
Here at Last... Bee Gees... Live
Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track
Spirits Having Flown
Singles from Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track
  1. "A Fifth of Beethoven"
    Released: June 1, 1976
  2. "How Deep Is Your Love"
    Released: September 1977
  3. "Stayin' Alive"
    Released: 13 December 1977
  4. "Boogie Shoes"
    Released: 19 January 1978
  5. "Night Fever"
    Released: 7 February 1978
  6. "If I Can't Have You"
    Released: 1978

Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track is the soundtrack album from the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta. In the United States, the album was certified 15× Platinum for shipments of over 15 million copies.[1] The album stayed atop the album charts for 24 straight weeks from January to July 1978 and stayed on Billboard‍ '​s album charts for 120 weeks until March 1980. In the UK, the album spent 18 consecutive weeks at No. 1. The album epitomized the disco phenomenon on both sides of the Atlantic and was an international sensation.[2] The album has been added to the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress.[3]


Origins and recording[edit]

According to the DVD commentary for Saturday Night Fever, the producers intended to use the song "Lowdown" by Boz Scaggs for use in the rehearsal scene between Tony and Annette in the dance studio, and choreographed their dance moves to the song. However, representatives for Scaggs' label, Columbia Records, refused to grant legal clearance for it, as they wanted to pursue another disco movie project, which never materialized. Composer David Shire, who scored the film, had to in turn write a song to match the dance steps demonstrated in the scene and eliminate the need for future legal hassles. However, this track does not appear on the movie's soundtrack.

The Bee gees involvement in the film did not begin until post-production. As John Travolta asserted, "The Bee Gees weren't even involved in the movie in the beginning ... I was dancing to Stevie Wonder and Boz Scaggs."[4]

Producer Robert Stigwood commissioned the Bee Gees to create the songs for the film.[5]

Robin Gibb recalled:

We were recording our new album in the north of France. And we'd written about and recorded about four or five songs for the new album when Stigwood rang from LA and said, 'We're putting together this little film, low budget, called Tribal Rites of a Saturday Night. Would you have any songs on hand?', and we said, 'Look, we can't, we haven't any time to sit down and write for a film'. We didn't know what it was about.[6]

— Robin Gibb

The brothers wrote the songs "virtually in a single weekend" at Château d'Hérouville studio in France.[4] The first song they recorded was "If I Can't Have You", but their version was not used on the film.

Barry Gibb remembered the reaction when Stigwood and music supervisor Bill Oakes arrived and listened to the demos:

They flipped out and said these will be great. We still had no concept of the movie, except some kind of rough script that they'd brought with them...[4]

Maurice Gibb recalled, "We played him demo tracks of 'If I Can't Have You', 'Night Fever' and 'More Than a Woman'. He asked if we could write it more discoey"[6]


The original issue of the album included the original studio version of "Jive Talkin'"; later LP pressings included a version culled from Here at Last... Bee Gees... Live. All CD releases have included the original "Jive Talkin'". "Jive Talkin'" was to have been used in a deleted scene taking place the day after Tony Manero's first Saturday night at the disco, but as the sequence was cut for the final film, the song was cut as well. In addition to the Bee Gees songs, additional incidental music was composed and adapted by David Shire. Three of Shire's cues – "Manhattan Skyline", "Night on Disco Mountain" (based on the classical piece "Night on Bald Mountain") and "Salsation" – are included on the soundtrack album as well. Five additional cues – "Tony and Stephanie", "Near the Verrazano Bridge" (both adapted from the Bee Gees' song "How Deep Is Your Love"), "Barracuda Hangout", "Death on the Bridge" and "All Night Train" – while heard in the film, remain unreleased on CD. In 1994, the soundtrack was re-released on CD through Polydor Records. In 2006, the album was re-released on Reprise Records as part of the Bee Gees' regaining control of their master tapes.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[7]
Robert Christgau (B+)[8]
Pitchfork Media (8.7/10.0)[9]

Along with the success of the movie, the soundtrack, composed and performed primarily by the Bee Gees, was the best-selling soundtrack album of all time (it was later surpassed by Whitney Houston's soundtrack to The Bodyguard).[10] Saturday Night Fever had a large cultural impact in the United States. The Bee Gees had originally written and recorded five of the songs used in the film - "Stayin' Alive", "Night Fever", "How Deep Is Your Love", "More Than a Woman" (performed in the film in two different versions – one version by Tavares, and another by the Bee Gees) and "If I Can't Have You" (performed in the movie by Yvonne Elliman) as part of a regular album. They had no idea at the time they would be making a soundtrack and said that they basically lost an album in the process.[citation needed] Two previously released Bee Gees songs – "Jive Talkin'" and "You Should Be Dancing" – are also included on the soundtrack. Other previously released songs from the disco era round out the music in the movie.

The soundtrack also won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year.[11] It is the only disco album to do so, and one of only two soundtrack albums so honored (the other being The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album). In 2012, the album was ranked No. 132 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The soundtrack hit the No. 1 spot on Billboard Music Chart's Pop Album and Soul Album charts. In 2003 the TV network VH1 named it the 57th greatest album of all time, and it was ranked 80th in a 2005 survey held by British television's Channel 4 to determine the 100 greatest albums of all time.[citation needed] Pitchfork Media listed Saturday Night Fever as the 34th best album of the 1970s.

The album was added to the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress on March 21, 2013 for long-term preservation.[12]

Track listing[edit]

Side A
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Stayin' Alive" (Bee Gees) Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb Bee Gees, Albhy Galuten, Karl Richardson 4:45
2. "How Deep Is Your Love" (Bee Gees) Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb Bee Gees, Albhy Galuten, Karl Richardson 4:05
3. "Night Fever" (Bee Gees) Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb Bee Gees, Albhy Galuten, Karl Richardson 3:33
4. "More Than a Woman" (Bee Gees) Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb Bee Gees, Albhy Galuten, Karl Richardson 3:18
5. "If I Can't Have You" (Yvonne Elliman) Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb Freddie Perren 3:00
Side B
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
6. "A Fifth of Beethoven" (Walter Murphy) Murphy (based on Beethoven's Fifth Symphony) Thomas J. Valentino 3:03
7. "More Than a Woman" (Tavares) Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb Perren 3:17
8. "Manhattan Skyline" (David Shire) Shire Shire & Bill Oakes 4:45
9. "Calypso Breakdown" (Ralph MacDonald) William Eaton   7:51
Side C
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
10. "Night on Disco Mountain" (David Shire) Modest Mussorgsky (arranged by Shire) Shire & Oakes 5:13
11. "Open Sesame" (Kool & the Gang) Robert Bell Kool & the Gang 4:01
12. "Jive Talkin'" (Bee Gees) Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb Arif Mardin 3:44
13. "You Should Be Dancing" (Bee Gees) Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb Bee Gees, Albhy Galuten, Karl Richardson 4:14
14. "Boogie Shoes" (KC and the Sunshine Band) Harry Wayne Casey & Richard Finch Casey & Richard Finch 2:17
Side D
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
15. "Salsation" (David Shire) Shire Shire & Oakes 3:51
16. "K-Jee" (MFSB) Charlie Hearndon & Harvey Fuqua Bobby Martin & Broadway Eddie 4:13
17. "Disco Inferno" (The Trammps) Leroy Green & Ron Kersey Kersey 10:51
Total length:

Additional songs recorded for the film but not used[edit]



Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Recipient/Nominated work Award Result
1978 "How Deep Is Your Love" Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Group[13] Won
1979 Saturday Night Fever Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group[14] Won
Saturday Night Fever Album of the Year[14] Won
"Stayin' Alive" Best Arrangement Of Voices[14] Won
Barry Gibb, Albhy Galuten, Karl Richardson (producers) Producer of the Year[14] Won
2004 Saturday Night Fever Hall Of Fame Award Won

American Music Awards[edit]

Year Recipient/Nominated work Award Result
1979 Saturday Night Fever Favorite Soul/R&B album Won


Year Single Chart Position
1975 "Jive Talkin'" Pop Singles 1
1976 "A Fifth of Beethoven" Pop Singles 1
"You Should Be Dancing" Pop Singles 1
"Open Sesame" Pop Singles 55
1977 "How Deep Is Your Love" Adult Contemporary 1
Pop Singles 1
1978 "Night Fever" R&B Singles 8
Pop Singles 1
"If I Can't Have You" Pop Singles 1
"Stayin' Alive/Night Fever/More Than A Woman" Club Play Singles 3
"Stayin' Alive" Pop Singles 1
R&B Singles 4
"Disco Inferno" Pop Singles 11
"More Than a Woman" Pop Singles 32
"Boogie Shoes" Pop Singles 35


Decade-end charts[edit]

Chart (1970–79) Position
Japanese Albums Chart[21] 9
UK Albums Chart[33] 8


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[37] Diamond 1,000,000^
France (SNEP)[38] Gold 2,157,600[39]
Germany (BVMI)[40] 6× Golddouble-dagger 1,500,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[41] Platinum 15,000*
Japan (Oricon Charts) 693,000[21]
United Kingdom (BPI)[42] Platinum 2,000,000[43]
United States (RIAA)[44] 15× Platinum 15,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

double-dagger Usually the BVMI does not give a 6× Gold certification, but a 3× Platinum instead.[45] The reason for this singular certification is unclear.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gold & Platinum – November 30, 2009". RIAA. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  2. ^ James Sullivan, Chronicle Pop Culture Critic (January 14, 2003). "APPRECIATION / Contributor to a sound that went beyond disco". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  3. ^ Richards, Chris. "Library of Congress adds 'Saturday Night Fever,' Simon and Garfunkel, Pink Floyd to audio archive - San Jose Mercury News". Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  4. ^ a b c Sam Kashner, "Fever Pitch", Movies Rock (Supplement to The New Yorker), Fall 2007, unnumbered page.
  5. ^ Rose, Frank (July 14, 1977). "How Can You Mend a Broken Group? The Bee Gees Did It With Disco". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Melinda Bilyeu, Hector Cook, Andrew Môn Hughes. The Bee Gees. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "Allmusic review". 
  8. ^ Album: Saturday Night Fever. Robert Christgau.
  9. ^ Various Artists: Saturday Night Fever | Album Reviews. Pitchfork (July 13, 2007).
  10. ^ Morgan, Laura (December 10, 1999), "The Winning Score", Entertainment Weekly, retrieved August 5, 2010 
  11. ^ "". February 8, 2009. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Simon & Garfunkel song among those to be preserved". CFN13. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "1977 Grammy Award Winners". Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  14. ^ a b c d "In the groove: Grammys go disco". The Milwaukee Sentinel. 16 February 1979. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  15. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  16. ^ " Soundtrack - Saturday Night Fever" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  17. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 1, 2013
  18. ^ " Soundtrack - Saturday Night Fever" (ASP). Hung Medien (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  19. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste : Bee Gees". Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1978" (in Italian). Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  21. ^ a b c Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  22. ^ " Soundtrack - Saturday Night Fever" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  23. ^ " Soundtrack - Saturday Night Fever" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  24. ^ " Soundtrack - Saturday Night Fever" (ASP). Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Number 1 Albums – 1970s". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on February 9, 2008. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  26. ^ "allmusic ((( Saturday Night Fever > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Album Search: Soundtrack - Saturday Night Fever" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  28. ^ " - Jahreshitparade 1978" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  29. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1978". RPM. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1978". Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1978 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1978" [1978年アルバム年間ヒットチャート] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  33. ^ a b "1970s Albums Chart Archive". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 8, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Top Pop Albums of 1978". Retrieved March 1, 2011. 
  35. ^ "Album – Jahrescharts: 1978". Media Control Charts. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  36. ^ – Year End Charts – Year-end Albums – The Billboard 200. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Various Artists – Saturday Night Fever". Music Canada. 
  38. ^ "French album certifications – Bee Gees – Saturday Night Fever" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select BEE GEES and click OK
  39. ^ "Les Meilleures Ventes de CD/Albums depuis 1968 :". (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  40. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Bee Gees; 'Saturday Night Fever')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  41. ^ "Gold Disc Award 1979". IFPI. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  42. ^ "British album certifications – Original Soundtrack – Saturday Night Fever – OST". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Saturday Night Fever – OST in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  43. ^ Murells, Joseph (1984-12-31). Million selling records from the 1900s to the 1980s: an illustrated directory. Batsford. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  44. ^ "American album certifications – Bee Gees – Saturday Night Fever". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  45. ^ "Bundesverband Musikindustrie: Gold/Platin". Retrieved October 30, 2011. 

External links[edit]