The Bee Gees Are No ‘Sell Outs’ by Tatiana Rocha
In the 1970s, Disco was the most popular dance music and could be heard everywhere from the streets to the infamous night clubs. The genre incorporated funk, pop, psychedelic soul and salsa music. Infamous songs that came from Disco are still heard today and seem to belong to the history of popular music. Songs from well-known disco bands like ABBA have been incorporated into Broadway hit musicals and Hollywood that have allowed people and children, 30 years later, enjoy and sing along to their songs to this day.
One of the most popular bands that can their music can still be heard and recognized was the Bee Gees. The group of Australian brothers, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, formed the group in 1958. Prior to the fame in the 1970s with disco music the Gibb brothers were popular within the rock music scene in the 1960s. This bands career has lasted over 4 decades and has sold over 200 million records worldwide making them one of the bestselling bands in the world. In the early 1960s, the band sent demos to Brain Epstein which got them a contract for five years with Polydor Records which allowed the band to be compared to the Beatles. When the brothers reunited, throughout the early 1970s that Bee Gees had a few hit singles like, Lonely Days and How Can you mend a Broken Heart, but it was not until later 1970s, that the Bee Gees turned to Disco and maintained international success.
Thankfully, due to Disco, they recorded songs like “You Should Be Dancing” (Number One, 1976) and a ballad, “Love So Right” (Number Three, 1976), which suggested a more Philly-Motown influence allowed the band to explore different styles that led to more universal success because it infused different sounds that truly connected with African Americans to Hispanic to all over the world. The different sounds created a rhythm that was created for only one group of people but to all different people. In the end everyone could dance and enjoy this music in a time in the U.S and all over the world there were racial tensions that created an escape with dance, fashion, club going, and sexual appeal.
The album Children of the World (1976) which infused R&B, soul, funk, disco, sold over 2.5 million copies and showed Barry’s falsetto voice and synthesizer for disco. Songs like ‘You Should be Dancing’ (Number One, 1976) influenced the producer Stigwood to ask the band to create songs for the movie Saturday Night Fever (1977). This decision ultimately allowed the Bee Gees become part of the great appeal of the Disco industry. The Bee Gees were a huge part to the disco appeal with the music, fashion, and excitement all around. Although, Disco craze did end eventually in the beginning of the 1980s the Bee Gees and their hits prolonged the infamous genre of music.
In their infamous albums and their songs in Saturday Night Fever, “How Deep Is Your Love”, “Stayin’ Alive”, and “Night Fever” reached number one and can still be heard today. These songs were so diverse with ballads and demonstrated the unique Gibb sound. The songs in there albums were fun, upbeat and truly made people dance. Essentially, what made disco so addicting was the new sounds it incorporated and definitely helped with the creation of music in the 1980s and future. The Bee Gees were a talented group and many artists like Elton John to Blondie covered their songs and influenced artists like Michael Jackson. The band created songs that infused sensuality with futuristic sounds and incorporated all elements of music to make Disco addictive, fun while proving that they were talented artists by showing that Disco was not a ‘sell out’ but created a music culture of clubs and fashion that are very much in existence today.