Saturday, March 18, 1978

Bee Gees hit #1 with “Night Fever”

First posted 10/23/2020; last updated 3/7/2021.

Night Fever

Bee Gees

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

First Charted: February 3, 1978

Peak: 18 US, 18 CB, 18HR, 16 RR, 19 AC, 8 RB, 12 UK, 15 CN, 7 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.5 US, 0.5 UK, 3.15 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 168.1 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

“How Deep Is Your Love” was the first single from Saturday Night Fever 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.

The soundtrack was such a juggernaut that “Night Fever” was knocked from its perch by Yvonne Elliman’s “If I Can’t Have You,” the fourth #1 single from Saturday Night Fever. For the week ending April 1, 1978, one of the Bee Gees – Barry Gibb – had a writing credit on five of the top 10 songs. It also meant he had writing credits on four consecutive #1 songs since his brother Andy’s song “Love Is Thicker Than Water” was the #1 song after “Stayin’ Alive” and preceding “Night Fever.”

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.

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