Saturday, February 4, 1978

Bee Gees hit #1 with “Stayin’ Alive”

Stayin’ Alive

Bee Gees

Writer(s): Barry Gibb/ Robin Gibb/ Maurice Gibb (see lyrics here)


First Charted: December 10, 1977


Peak: 14 US, 14 CB, 16 HR, 16 RR, 28 AC, 4 RB, 4 UK, 14 CN, 17 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 0.6 UK, 5.77 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 889.2 video, 531.66 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack sold 25 million copies on the strength of this and three other #1 songs, making it the biggest album of all-time until Michael Jackson’s 1982 Thriller album. BR For better or worse, there are few songs more associated with disco than “Stayin’ Alive.” BB100

It was written after Robert Stigwood, the Bee Gees’ manager, asked the group to create music for a film he was producing that was based on an article in a New York magazine about the club scene in Brooklyn. RS500 Upon hearing the demo of the song, Stigwood wondered why the group wasn’t singing “Saturday Night, Saturday Night.” Maurice Gibb explained that “It’s corny; it’s a terrible title.” BR “There are so many blood records out there called ‘Saturday Night.’” BR

“Confident, cocky, streetwise and upbeat,” LW the song perfectly complements the movie’s lead character as portrayed by star John Travolta. LW The song was not intended as a single, but after fans saw trailers for the movie, they swamped radio stations and RSO Records with calls for the song. WK

The song was released as the second single, following the group’s blockbuster ballad “How Deep Is Your Love.” The soundtrack also generated number one songs with the Bee Gees’ “Night Fever” and Yvonne Elliman’s “If I Can’t Have You.” The feat gave the brothers Gibb bragging rights to having penned four chart-toppers in six months. However, Barry could boast an even bigger accomplishment. He shared writing credit on all three of younger brother Andy’s #1 songs from July 1977 to July 1978. This gave Barry seven trips to the pinnacle and a total of 29 weeks in the pole position as a writer in a year’s time.


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Bee Gees
  • DMDB page for Saturday Night Fever soundtrack
  • BB100 Billboard (9/08). “All-Time Hot 100
  • BR Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 478.
  • LW Alan Lewens (2001). Popular Song – Soundtrack of the Century. Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 147.
  • RS500 Rolling Stone (2011). “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • WK Wikipedia

First posted 1/6/2015; last updated 4/13/2021.

No comments:

Post a Comment