There are many bands and individuals that have written music for movies. Sometimes a movie is so important to a band’s career. For instance, Saturday Night Fever came to be intimately identified with the Bee Gees.
Few movies have done a better job of capturing the spirit of the disco era than the classic drama Saturday Night Fever. The Bee Gees’ song is heard throughout the movie. Unexpectedly, the band had a say in the movie’s eventual title.
How the Bee Gees got involved with ‘Saturday Night Fever’
The Bee Gees’ indelible place in popular culture can be attributed in part to Saturday Night Fever. Without knowing the movie, it is hard to comprehend the band’s history. The Bee Gees, however, had no interest in working on the project. They were approached to compose the music for the movie by their manager, Robert Stigwood.
Maurice Gibb, a member of the Bee Gees, told the Los Angeles Times, “We weren’t looking at ‘Fever’ as a career vehicle. We just got caught up in the Robert Stigwood syndrome: Anyone he managed he also wanted involved in his film projects, as opposed to keeping them separate, and I think we got blinded by that. He asked for three songs, we gave him three songs off what would have been our next studio album.”
Another band member, Barry Gibb, said that the group composed the music for Saturday Night Fever despite not being familiar with the movie’s premise. “We were unsure about the movie’s subject. We were unaware that there was a disagreement between the pictures that would subsequently harm us. You didn’t give pictures much thought back then.
The band ultimately contributed six songs to the soundtrack of the movie, including “Night Fever,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “More Than a Woman,” “You Should Be Dancing,” “Jive Talkin’,” and “Stayin’ Alive,” according to AllMusic. The latter song ended up being the group’s signature tune. It is frequently linked to the opening sequence of the movie, in which John Travolta’s persona struts to the tune.
How the Bee Gees changed the film — and made music history
According to the Billboard Book of Number One Hits, Stigwood had planned to title the movie Saturday Night. The title offended the Bee Gees. Even though they had previously created the song “Night Fever,” Stigwood wasn’t keen on giving the movie that name. Stigwood eventually came up with a compromise title: Saturday Night Fever.
The movie is a classic, and the soundtrack was a huge success. The soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever was the most popular soundtrack released up to that moment, according to Mental Floss, selling over 15 million copies in the US. Barry said that the album’s cover played a role in those sales figures.” If our picture hadn’t been on the front of the album, I’m sure it would have been a different story.” The Bee Gees were the most well-known of the soundtrack’s contributors, so it seems sensible to have them on the album cover.