About the Song:
The Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love” was the first single from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and “Stayin’ Alive” is the one which endured to become the most iconic, but “Night Fever” was the biggest hit at the time. In the U.S., the first two spent a combined 7 weeks atop the chart, but “Night Fever” stayed there for a whopping 8 weeks. It was the biggest #1 of the year.
Saturday Night Fever was such a juggernaut that “Night Fever” was knocked from its perch by yet another of the soundtrack’s songs – Yvonne Elliman’s “If I Can’t Have You.” The three Gibb brothers in the Bee Gees shared writing credits on all four #1 songs. Barry Gibb, however, also co-wrote “Love Is Thicker Than Water,” the song for his brother Andy that held the #1 slot between “Stayin’ Alive” and “Night Fever.” It meant that for the week ending April 1, 1978, Barry Gibb had a writing credit on five of the top 10 songs and four consecutive #1 songs.
The song contributed to the name of the movie. Robert Stigwood, who produced the movie and the Bee Gees, was developing a film about the disco scene in the Big Apple. He was inspired by the article “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night” in New York magazine about teens going to dance competitions. With the working title of Saturday Night, the movie’s star, John Travolta, rehearsed his dancing moves to the Bee Gees’ “You Should Be Dancing,” SF a #1 from 1976.
Stigwood reached out to the Bees in hopes that they might contribute some new songs. He asked the group to write a song with that title, but they balked, thinking it was a dumb title. SF They did, however, already have a song called “Night Fever” and convinced Stigwood to use it and call the movie Saturday Night Fever. WK The final soundtrack featured five #1 songs by the Bee Gees – “Night Fever,” “Stayin’ Alive,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” the aforementioned “You Should Be Dancing,” and “Jive Talkin’” from 1975.
First posted 10/23/2020; last updated 4/12/2023.