Wayback Wednesday: ‘Saturday Night Fever’ Soundtrack Hits #1 Today In 1978

Today in 1978, The soundtrack album ‘Saturday Night Fever’ started a 24 week run at No.1 on the US album charts, it went on to sell over 30 million copies world wide, making it the best selling soundtrack album of all time.

Bruce Eder of AllMusic.com explains how The Bees Gees came to start a disco revolution. “The Bee Gees had written “Stayin’ Alive” (then called “Saturday Night”), “Night Fever,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “If I Can’t Have You,” and “More Than a Woman” for what would have been the follow-up album to Children of the World, and they might well have enjoyed platinum-record status with that proposed album. Instead,Robert Stigwood asked them in early 1977 to contribute songs to the soundtrack of a movie that he was financing, a low-budget picture called “Tribal Rites on a Saturday Night.” More out of loyalty to him than any belief in the viability of the film, they obliged; the group’s involvement even survived the decision by the original director, John Avildsen, that he didn’t want their music in the film — instead,Stigwood fired him and brought in the very talented but much more agreeable John Badham, the movie’s title was changed to Saturday Night Fever, The Bee Gees’ music stayed, and the result was the biggest-selling soundtrack album in history, a 30 million copy monster whose sales, even as a more expensive double-LP, dwarfed the multi-million units sold of Children of the World and Main Course.”

In 2012, the album was ranked No. 132 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

 

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