Bee Gees fever lives on:

The TV Guide - - CONTENTS -

Forty years af­ter Satur­day Night Fever, TV airs a trib­ute to The Bee Gees. How deep is your love for their mu­sic?

The Bee Gees’ song Stayin’ Alive is such a durable hit that it is now be­ing used in an ad­vert for the Bri­tish Heart Foun­da­tion.

In the com­mer­cial, the for­mer foot­baller and ac­tor Vin­nie Jones demon­strates how to ad­min­is­ter CPR to the beat of Stayin’ Alive.

That is just one of the band’s many hits cel­e­brated in TVNZ 1’s

Stayin’ Alive: A Grammy Salute To The Mu­sic Of The Bee Gees.

This one-off spe­cial, recorded at Los An­ge­les’ Mi­crosoft Theatre this year, marks the 40th an­niver­sary of the sound­track to the film

Satur­day Night Fever.

The sound­track be­came a pop cul­ture phe­nom­e­non. In the US, it held the top spot in the Bill­board 200 for 24 weeks. The al­bum spawned four No 1 sin­gles and five Gram­mys, in­clud­ing Al­bum Of The Year for 1978.

Born in Manch­ester and brought up in Aus­tralia, the three el­dest Gibb broth­ers – Barry, Robin and Mau­rice (above) – started The Bee Gees as a fam­ily group in 1958.

They pro­ceeded to shift more than 220 mil­lion records world­wide, with nine No 1 hits in the US.

Sadly, only the el­dest brother, Barry, sur­vives. Mau­rice died at the age of 53 in 2003, while his twin Robin died aged 62 in 2012.

The youngest brother, Andy, who was not part of the band, died at the age of 30 in 1988. He bat­tled drug ad­dic­tion dur­ing a solo pop ca­reer in which Barry wrote and pro­duced sev­eral hits for him. Look­ing back on his ter­ri­ble losses now, Barry says that, “Your world turns up­side down. But some­how you get through.”

Stayin’ Alive: A Grammy Salute To The Mu­sic Of The Bee Gees

fea­tures mu­si­cal trib­utes to the band by such lu­mi­nar­ies as Ste­vie Won­der, Ed Sheeran, Ce­line

Dion, Nick Jonas, John Leg­end, Demi Lo­vato, and Keith Ur­ban. Barry also per­forms a selec­tion of hits from the Satur­day Night

Fever sound­track. Neil Port­now, Pres­i­dent/CEO of The Record­ing Academy which runs the Gram­mys, un­der­scores why the band are so wor­thy of cel­e­bra­tion.

“The Bee Gees were in­ter­na­tional mu­si­cal icons who helped make

Satur­day Night Fever an em­blem of 1970s pop cul­ture. The iconic band of broth­ers de­fined not just a genre, but a gen­er­a­tion.”

The irony is that, for all their well-de­served cur­rent adu­la­tion, The Bee Gees were once viewed as ter­mi­nally un­cool. Their char­ac­ter­is­tic falsetto vo­cals, ex­trav­a­gant hair­dos and out­ra­geous disco out­fits were mocked by co­me­di­ans such as Kenny Everett and The Hee Bee Gee Bees, who re­leased the cruel, but amus­ing spoof track, Mean­ing­less Songs (In Very High Voices).

Barry re­calls that be­cause they were re­garded as “poster boys for disco”, when the genre went out of fash­ion, so did the band.

“There was a time when it wasn’t cool to even be seen with The Bee Gees,” the 71-year-old singer sighs.

Now, how­ever, they are fi­nally re­ceiv­ing the praise they merit as among the great­est singers and song­writ­ers of all time.

They are also be­ing feted by younger, seem­ingly cooler mu­si­cians.

For in­stance, Barry re­veals, “Noel Gallagher told me he al­ways lis­tened to my mu­sic. That to me is stag­ger­ing be­cause in the pe­riod when Oa­sis be­came big, we were gone. That was not our time.”

Now Barry and Noel are due to meet up again.

“We’re go­ing to go for a curry,” dis­closes Barry, who per­formed in the Leg­end slot at this year’s Glas­ton­bury Fes­ti­val. “We can talk about what it’s like to be in a band with broth­ers.”

Barry, who has also com­posed and pro­duced tracks for many other artists in­clud­ing Frankie Valli (Grease), Dionne War­wick (Heart­breaker), Bar­bra Streisand (Woman In Love), Diana Ross (Chain Re­ac­tion) and Kenny Rogers and Dolly Par­ton (Is­lands In The

Stream), ad­mits that like Oa­sis, The Bee Gees were some­times be­set by fra­ter­nal ri­val­ries.

“I re­mem­ber lots of in­tense ar­gu­ments, not speak­ing to each other for weeks and then com­ing back to­gether again.

“It doesn’t stop you be­ing broth­ers. We broke up in 1969, and yet my broth­ers came to my wed­ding in 1970 and we started talk­ing again – and sud­denly we were back in the stu­dio.”

Once they had re-formed, their work proved as har­mo­nious as their mu­sic. Barry rec­ol­lects, “Every­thing had to be unan­i­mous. If one of us was un­happy about any­thing, we

wouldn’t do it.”

“There was a time when it wasn’t cool to even be seen with The Bee Gees.” – Barry Gibb

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