About the song
If you’re a fan of disco music, you probably know the song “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees. But do you know the story behind this iconic tune? In this blog post, we’ll explore the history of “Stayin’ Alive” and how it became one of the most recognizable songs of all time.
“Stayin’ Alive” was written and performed by the Bee Gees, a pop group consisting of brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. The song was part of the soundtrack for the 1977 movie Saturday Night Fever, starring John Travolta as a young man who escapes his troubles by dancing at a local nightclub. The movie was based on a New York magazine article about the disco scene in Brooklyn.
The Bee Gees were asked to write some songs for the movie by their manager Robert Stigwood, who was also the executive producer of the soundtrack. They wrote “Stayin’ Alive” in a few days while working at a studio in France. They were inspired by some words from Robin Gibb’s Concorde ticket, and by their own experiences of living in New York.
The song is about survival in the streets of New York, and the challenges that people face in their everyday lives. The lyrics express a sense of resilience and optimism, despite the hardships and dangers. The chorus repeats the phrase “stayin’ alive”, which is both a literal and a metaphorical statement of defiance.
The song was recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami, with the help of producer Albhy Galuten and engineer Karl Richardson. The Bee Gees used a falsetto singing style, which became their trademark sound in the disco era. They also used a drum machine, since their regular drummer was unavailable. The drum machine provided a steady rhythm that matched the tempo of Travolta’s dance moves in the movie.
The song was released as the second single from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack in December 1977. It became an instant hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for four weeks. 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.
The song also received critical acclaim, winning a Grammy Award for Best Arrangement for Voices in 1979. It was ranked number 189 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004, and number 99 on their updated list in 2021. It was also ranked number 9 on AFI’s list of 100 Years…100 Songs, which celebrated the best songs in American cinema.
“Stayin’ Alive” is not only a great song, but also a cultural phenomenon. It has been used in various movies, TV shows, commercials and video games over the years. It has also been covered by many artists, such as N-Trance, Ozzy Osbourne and Wyclef Jean. It has become a symbol of disco music, and of the 1970s in general.