Sounds Of Soul, From The Land Down Under

By
Hope Elle


This band of brothers from the Land Down Under has been around since the 1950’s. But their commercial success and longevity was sparked, when they relocated to Miami, FL; at the suggestion of fellow musician and rock legend, Eric Clapton. After experiencing a major musical rut around 1973 and touring tired nightclub scenes. Music producer, Arif Mardin was advised by Ahmet Ertegtin, (head of the US label Atlantic Records) to arranged for the brothers to record their next album with Mardin. And the results, an unforgettable signature sound and complete Disco era domination. The Bee Gees haunting soulful sound, coupled with powerful lyrics gave them the popularity and following they’ve long for. Eventually, this move proved to be highly advantageous to the group, thus spawning hit after hit making the Bee Gees a household name.



A frustrating time surfaced, when the Bee Gee’s noticed they were unable to reach grander heights of record sells. Forced to tour America and overseas nightclubs, just to generate some kind of interest to no avail. In 1973, things got worse for the band and soft rock nor popular music were helping matters any. It was definitely time for a major shake up or they needed to ship out. Through the consistency of encouraging the Bee Gees to lean towards Soul music, ballads were the lead off. Eventually, they would try their hand at disco dance oriented music; and Eureka a US No. 1 hit “Jive Talkin” followed by “Nights on Broadway”.


Falling in love with their new sound, along with a bigger fan based. The album Main Course shot up the charts, and introduce the world to the eldest Brothers Gibb, Barry, and his sexy falsetto became the band’s trademark. The Main Course would be the band’s first charting album, with two top ten singles since 1968’s Idea Album. The follow up album Children of the World was completely immersed with Barry Gibb’s sultry melodious falsetto. Thus songs like “Love So Right”, “You Should Be Dancing”, and “Boogie Child” were all top ten hits with the album peaking at No. 8 in the U.S. The Bee Gees became certified gold and released a greatest hits album spanning from 1967-1972.

After the successful release of a live album, the brothers Gibb heard opportunity knocking. And agreed to work on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack Album, for the film of the same title starring John Travolta. Although, initially not part of soundtrack creation, until post production of the film. They were urged to write songs for the film, which they completed in one week at Château d’Hérouville studio in France. The soundtrack was a masterpiece and three ten singles were, yet spawned again “How Deep Is Your Love”, “Stayin Alive” and “Night Fever” all charted high in the US and UK. It’s believed that, the Bee Gees started disco, but it should be noted the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack may have prolonged it. 


During 1977, the Bee Gees sound was undeniable and inescapable starting in Christmas season of 1977 for 8 months, six songs composed by the Bee Gees hit the No. 1 position. And reigned supreme on the US charts for 25 of 32 consecutive weeks. They would also enjoy launching a successful career, for the youngest brother, Andy Gibb given him two top ten hits “I Just Wanna Be Your Everything” and “Shadow Dancing”. And the popular single for Yvonne Elliman single, “If I Can’t Have You”.

The extreme success of the Saturday Night Fever movie, broke multiple industry records becoming the highest selling soundtrack of that time. As of 2010, it’s ranked No. 4 of all time.

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