About the song
If you are a fan of disco music, you probably know the song **Stayin’ Alive** by the Bee Gees. It is one of the most iconic songs of the 1970s, and it was featured in the opening scene of the movie **Saturday Night Fever**, starring John Travolta. But do you know the story behind this song? How did it come to be, and what does it mean? In this blog post, we will explore the history and meaning of Stayin’ Alive, and why it is still relevant today.
Stayin’ Alive was written and performed by the Bee Gees, a pop group composed of three brothers: Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. The Bee Gees had been singing in a high-falsetto style since their 1975 hit Jive Talkin’, which was also on the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever. However, they were more known as a vocal harmony group in the late 1960s and early 1970s, before they embraced the disco genre.
The song was one of five songs that the Bee Gees wrote specifically for Saturday Night Fever, a musical drama film that depicted the life and culture of young working-class people in Brooklyn, New York, who spent their weekends dancing at a local discotheque. The film was based on a New York Magazine article called Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night, written by Nik Cohn in 1976.
The producer of the film, Robert Stigwood, who was also the manager of the Bee Gees, asked them to write some songs for the soundtrack. He gave them very little information about the film, except that it was about disco and that it needed a song called Saturday Night. The Bee Gees refused to use that title, because they thought it was too generic and there were already too many songs with Saturday in them. They also wanted to avoid being labeled as disco singers, because they felt that disco was not their true style.
Instead, they came up with Stayin’ Alive, a song that captured the mood and theme of the film, but also had a deeper meaning. The song is about survival, resilience and aspiration in a harsh urban environment. It reflects the struggles and dreams of the main character of the film, Tony Manero, played by John Travolta, who works as a paint store clerk during the week, but transforms into a confident and charismatic dancer on Saturday nights. The song also expresses the energy and excitement of New York City in the late 1970s, as well as the dangers and challenges that it posed.
The song was recorded in France in 1977, where the Bee Gees were working on their own album. They co-produced the song with Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson, who helped them create a distinctive sound with synthesizers, electric guitars and drums. The song also features a prominent bass line that was inspired by another disco hit, Boogie Shoes by KC and the Sunshine Band.
The song was released on December 13, 1977, one day before the premiere of Saturday Night Fever. It became an instant hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for four consecutive weeks in February 1978. It also topped the charts in many other countries, including Canada, Australia, France and Italy. It sold over 15 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. It also won a Grammy Award for Best Arrangement for Voices in 1979.
Stayin’ Alive is not only a catchy and danceable song, but also a powerful and inspiring anthem for anyone who faces difficulties or challenges in life. It is a song that celebrates life and encourages people to keep going despite the odds. It is also a song that reflects the spirit and culture of an era that changed music and society forever.