Featured Post


If you're a student looking for syllabi, click the "Academic Home Page" link on your right, and start there.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Songs from '78: "Night Fever"

"Night Fever," released today in 1978, was the sixth and final single released--four of which had been written by the Bee Gees--from Saturday Night Fever, the monster soundtrack which accompanied the okay (but thoroughly dated) movie by the same name. They both came out in 1977, but the former stayed on top of the charts for half a year, and stands today as the first or second best-selling film soundtrack of all time (it depends on how you calculate these things). Was "Night Fever" my favorite song off that album (which my older sister had and treasured)?  Probably not; I might have to choose the disco ballad "If I Can't Have You," sung by Yvonne Elliman. But, honestly, if you were alive in 1978, it was the Bee Gees you heard, everywhere, all the time, and whether you found disco music (which, I later learned, was already dying out as a style in the clubs at the time when John Badham, John Travolta, Hollywood money, and, of course, Polydor Records took a mostly fictional story and gave the scene a massive shot in the arm) appalling or loved it, you did buy the album, and your head does bounce along with this groovy little dance number. Don't deny it.


Anonymous said...

Saturday Night Fever holds up quite well as a compelling look at whiteness in the City and outer boroughs in the 70s. . It is a serious and artful film. I saw it in theaters (I was 10 or 11) and much of it went over my head and my mother covered my eyes a few times. She and my dad took to me to see it because they thought it was a musical about a boy who loved to dance and that it was. But it was so much more. I'd love to show it in my APUSH class, but alas rated R and that's usually a no go for my school.

Russell Arben Fox said...

Thanks, David! I haven't seen the film in ages, so my "dated" judgment of it is itself quite dated as well. I wonder how it would go over in a class here? I've experimented with finishing off my American Character class (which we can almost never manage to get beyond the 70s) with a film or outside book or both; Saturday Night Fever might work pretty well in that case. I'll give it some thought.

Matt said...

Maybe it would be fun to mix Saturday Night Fever with The Last Days of Disco to get two different perspectives on the time (though the characters and setting are different in many ways, of course - working class vs typical Whit Stillman preppies - even that might make a fun contrast, on second thought.)