December 14, 2017

20,000 Vinyl LPs 120: Saturday Night Fever ~ Disco Daze 2

Saturday Night Fever
vinyl LP album cover detail
 album cover photo by Francesco Scavullo
detail photo of album by Styrous®


Well, I can't believe it's been forty years ago today, December 14, 1977, that the film, Saturday Night Fever, and the soundtrack that came from it, burst onto the world. This is the second article about the disco craze I've written for the Viewfinder. The first was on the Skatt Brothers (link below).      

   
Saturday Night Fever
vinyl LP album gatefold cover
 album cover photo by Francesco Scavullo
photo of album by Styrous®
 

Saturday Night Fever instigated the resurgence, after a twenty year hiatus, of the dance film. Dance films had been the pacifier of the Great Depression in the thirties. It encouraged people to get up and dance to forget their worries. However, the bleak reality of the era was vividly recounted in the film, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, which starred Jane Fonda, Michael Sarrazin, Susannah York, Bruce Dern, Bonnie Bedelia and Gig Young. The film ended with a grim hopelessness that was indeed, depressing. 

Saturday Night does have its light moments, however; my favorite part of the movie is when the group is in the diner talking about rock artists of the period; in particular, David Bowie. At one point Tony (John Travolta) claims Bowie swings both ways, the scene ends with them barking as they leave. Now, what the . . . . ?        ;-)       



Saturday Night Fever
vinyl LP album, front cover
album cover photo by Francesco Scavullo
photo of album by Styrous®


On the surface, Saturday Night Fever, was light and fun but the story is almost but not as grim as Horses. It revealed the world of disco and the shallow people who populated it. Unlike Horses, it does end with hope, though.   

Saturday Night Fever
vinyl LP album, back cover
album cover photo by Francesco Scavullo
photo of album by Styrous®


The Bee Gees music, which propelled the action of the movie, was fun and captured the excitement of the dance clubs that proliferated in the late seventies. The music was totally different from their earlier work, which I loved dearly, and it was a shock! I thought, "They've gone Disco! What a sell-out!" However, the music is so infectious I fell for it anyway. Except for the clothes (oh, my gosh, bell-bottom hip-huggers and long-lapel polyester shirts!), the presentation of the epoch in the movie left me skeptical as to its veracity. Although there was usually a jammed dance floor, I never saw ANYONE sync-step or dance in a group nor did I EVER see anyone raise their arm over their head and point their finger.
John Travolta as Tony Manero

I wasn't totally knocked out by the star of the film, John Travolta, but he effectively captured the essence of Tony Manero, the arrogant, self-centered character he portrayed. The film made Travolta a superstar and he later went on to tout the teachings of the Scientology guru, L. Ron Hubbard (link below). 



Saturday Night Fever
vinyl LP album, back cover detail
Yvonne Elliman photo by Norman Seeff
Tavares photo by Charles W. Bush 
detail photo of album by Styrous®


Of course, I have favorites from the album. From the Bee Gees, You Should Be Dancing, which is originally from the album Children of the World, released in 1976, and Jive Talkin' the lead single from the album Main Course which hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100, get my vote. Then comes Stayin' Alive which was written for the film.    


Saturday Night Fever
vinyl LP album, back cover detail
Yvonne Elliman photo by Norman Seeff
Tavares photo by Charles W. Bush 
detail photo of album by Styrous®


My very favorite song from the film is If I Can't Have You which featured the beautiful and dynamic voice of Yvonne Elliman. It was written by Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. Barry is the sole survivor of the trio. Even though it is about a dissolving love affair, I love its bouncy, syncopated beat and it made for excellent dancing.

Pillow (link below) liked Calypso Breakdown by Ralph MacDonald and would dance to it when we weren't dancing together. I loved to watch her dance solo.       





Another favorite of mine is Night On Disco Mountain, by David Shire, which was a cover of the tone poem by Modest Mussorgsky. Night is based on the theme of a witches' sabbath occurring on St. John's Eve, which Mussorgsky completed on that very night, 23 June 1867.There is a great review of the song on Financial Times (link below).         
 


















The gatefold format of the album allows room for lots of pix . . . 


 








. . . and the record sleeve has tons of info, lyrics and more pix.





















The film significantly helped to popularize disco music around the world and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack is one of the best-selling soundtracks of all time. Everyone, even symphonic conductors, got into the act as did Arthur Fiedler with his album, Saturday Night Fiedler (link below). Side one was devoted to music from the film with the Bachamania, based on the Bach Toccata and Fugue in d minor and the August Wilhelmj arrangement, Air for the "G" String, based on the the second movement of the Bach Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068 completing the flip side (YouTube links below).     


Arthur Fiedler - Saturday Night Fiedler
vinyl LP album cover
album cover photo by Lynn Goldsmith
photo of album cover by Styrous®


Saturday Night Fever was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.      


record one, side 1






record one, side 2





record two, side 3






record two, side 4




Tracklist:

Side 1:

A1 – Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive, Bass Guitar – Maurice Gibb, Drums – Dennis Bryon, Guitar – Alan Kendall, Barry Gibb, Keyboards – Blue Weaver, Percussion – Joe Lala, Producer – Albhy Galuten, Bee Gees, Karl RichardsonVocals – Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb, written by B., R. & M. Gibb* - 4:43

A2 – Bee Gees - How Deep Is Your Love, Bass Guitar – Maurice Gibb, Drums – Dennis Bryon, Guitar – Alan Kendall, Barry Gibb, Keyboards – Blue Weaver, Producer – Albhy Galuten, Bee Gees, Karl Richardson, Vocals – Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb, written by B., R. & M. Gibb* - 4:03

A3 – Bee Gees - Night Fever, Bass Guitar – Maurice Gibb, Drums – Dennis Bryon, Guitar – Alan Kendall, Barry Gibb, Keyboards – Blue Weaver, Producer – Albhy Galuten, Bee Gees, Karl Richardson, Vocals – Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb, written by B., R. & M. Gibb* - 3:33

A4 – Bee Gees - More Than A Woman, Bass Guitar – Maurice Gibb, Drums – Dennis Bryon, Guitar – Alan Kendall, Barry Gibb, Keyboards – Blue Weaver, Percussion – Joe Lala, Producer – Albhy Galuten, Bee Gees, Karl Richardson, Vocals – Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb, written by B., R. & M. Gibb* - 3:15

A5 – Yvonne Elliman - If I Can't Have You, Arranged By [Horn & String] – Wade Marcus, Arranged By [Rhythm] – Freddie Perren, Backing Vocals – Julia Tillman Waters, Marti McCall, Maxine Willard Waters, Bass Guitar – Scott Edwards (2), Drums – James Gadson, Guitar – Bob Bowles*, Percussion – Bob Zimmitti, Freddie Perren, Paulinho Da'Costa*, Piano – Sonny Burke (2, )Producer – Freddie Perren, Synthesizer – Freddie Perren, written by B., R. & M. Gibb* - 2:57

Side 2:

B1 – Walter Murphy - A Fifth Of Beethoven, Arranged By, Conductor – Walter Murphy, Producer – Thomas J. Valentino, written by Walter Murphy - 3:01

B2 – Tavares - More Than A Woman, Arranged By [Horn & String] – Wade Marcus, Arranged By [Rhythm] – Freddie Perren, Bass Guitar – Scott Edwards (2), Drums – James Gadson, Guitar – Bob Bowles*, Percussion – Bob Zimmitti, Paulinho Da'Costa*, Piano – Sonny Burke (2), Producer – Freddie Perren, written by B., R. & M. Gibb* - 3:16

B3 – David Shire - Manhattan Skyline, Arranged By – David Shire, Bass – Abraham Laboriel, Concertmaster – Jimmy Getzoff*, Contractor [Orchestra] – Nathan Kaproff, Drums – James Gadson, Guitar – Lee Ritenour, Mitch Holder, Keyboards – Sonny Burke (2), Percussion – Steve Forman, Producer – Bill Oakes, David Shire, Synthesizer – Michael Boddicker, written by David Shire - 4:43

B4 – Ralph MacDonald - Calypso Breakdown, Producer – Ralph MacDonald, W. Salter*, written by William Eaton - 7:50

Side 3:

C1 – David Shire - Night On Disco Mountain, Adapted By – David Shire, Arranged By – David Shire, Bass – Scott Edwards (2), Concertmaster – Jimmy Getzoff*, Contractor [Orchestra] – Nathan Kaproff, Drums – Mike Baird, Guitar – Dennis Budimir, Lee Ritenour, Keyboards – Ralph Grierson, Percussion – Emil Richards, Steve Forman, Producer – Bill Oakes, David Shire, Synthesizer – Michael Boddicker, written by Modest Mussorgsky - 5:12

C2 – Kool & The Gang - Open Sesame, written by Kool & The Gang, Ronald Bell - 3:59

C3 – Bee Gees - Jive Talkin’, Bass Guitar – Maurice Gibb, Drums – Dennis Bryon, Guitar – Barry Gibb, Joey Murcia, Guitar [Lead & Steel] – Alan Kendall, Keyboards – Blue Weaver, Geoff Westley, Percussion – Joe Lala, Producer – Albhy Galuten, Bee Gees, Karl RichardsonSaxophone [Alto; Boneroo Horns] – Whit Sidener, Saxophone [Baritone; Boneroo Horns] – Stan Webb, Saxophone [Tenor; Boneroo Horns] – Peter Ballin, Trombone [Boneroo Horns] – Pete Graves*, Trumpet [Boneroo Horns] – Jeff Kievit, Kenny Faulk*, Vocals – Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb, written by B., R. & M. Gibb* - 3:58

C4 – Bee Gees - You Should Be Dancing, Bass Guitar – Maurice Gibb, Drums – Dennis Bryon, Guitar – Alan Kendall, Barry Gibb, Keyboards – Blue Weaver, Percussion – George Perry*, Joe Lala, Percussion [Additional] – Stephen Stills, Producer – Albhy Galuten, Bee Gees, Karl Richardson, Vocals – Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb, written by B., R. & M. Gibb* - 4:15

C5 – KC & The Sunshine Band - Boogie Shoes, Arranged By – H. W. Casey & Richard Finch*, Producer – H. W. Casey & Richard Finch*, written by H. W. Casey & Richard Finch* - 2:16

Side 4:

D1 – David Shire - Salsation, Arranged By – David Shire, Bass – Scott Edwards (2), Congas – Chino Valdez, Contractor [Orchestra] – Nathan Kaproff, Drums – Mark Stevens (2), Guitar – Lee Ritenour, Keyboards [Electric] – Sonny Burke (2), Percussion [Latin] – Emil Richards, Steve Forman, Piano [Acoustic] – Eddie Cano, Producer – Bill Oakes, David Shire, Soloist [Flute] – Jerome Richardson, Soloist [Trumpet] – Tony Terran, Timbales – Bob Zimmitti, written by David Shire - 3:50

D2 – M.F.S.B.* - K-Jee, Arranged By – Bobby Martin, Producer – Bobby Martin, Broadway Eddie, written by Charles Hearndon - 4:15

D3 – The Trammps - Disco Inferno, Arranged By – Ron Kersey, Producer – Ron Kersey, written by Leroy Green, Ron "Have Mercy" Kersey* - 10:52

Companies, etc.

    Phonographic Copyright (p) – RSO Records, Inc.
    Manufactured By – RSO Records, Inc.
    Marketed By – RSO Records, Inc.
    Distributed By – Phonodisc, Inc.
    Recorded At – Studio Hérouville
    Recorded At – Mom & Pop's Company Store
    Recorded At – The Burbank Studios
    Recorded At – Wally Heider Recording
    Recorded At – Criteria Recording Studios
    Recorded At – Le Studio
    Remixed At – Criteria Recording Studios

Credits:

    Artwork [Prepared By] – Susan Herr, Tom Nikosey
    Compiled By, Supervised By [Album] – Bill Oakes
    Engineer – Danny Wallin* (tracks: B3, C1, D1), Karl Richardson (tracks: A1 to A4, C3, C4), Larry Miles (tracks: A5, B2), Ray Thompson (tracks: C3), Steve Pouliot (tracks: A5, B2)
    Engineer [Assistant; Miami] – Ed Marshal* (tracks: C4)
    Engineer [Assistant; Quebec] – Nick Blacona* (tracks: C4)
    Engineer [Assistant] – Jerry Crawford (tracks: B3, C1, D1), Jim Nau (tracks: A5), John Blanch* (tracks: C4), Michel Marie (tracks: A1 to A4), Tyrone Williams (tracks: A5)
    Mastered By – Wally Traugott
    Photography By [Bee Gees] – Francesco Scavullo
    Photography By [Tavares] – Charles W. Bush*
    Photography By [Yvonne Elliman] – Norman Seeff

Notes:

This version has a longer 3:58 'live' version of track C3 "Jive Talkin'" (other variations have a shorter 'studio' version). It can be differentiated by the label typesetting.

For example, "Record" and "Side" are printed on the right hand side of the label and catalog numbers appear on the left hand side. The track list on the labels is also centered with writing credits under each track.

© 1977 RSO Records, Inc.
Manufactured/marketed by RSO Records, Inc. Distributed by Phonodisc.

A1 to A4, Recorded at Chateau D'Herouville, France
Overdubs and remixing at Criteria Studios Miami, Florida.
A5, B2 Recorded at The Mom & Pops Company Store, Studio City.
B3, C1, D1 Recorded at The Burbank Studios, Burbank, California.
C3 Recorded by Wally Heider Mobile Unit No. 1
C4 Recorded at Criteria Studios Miami, Florida and Le Studio, Quebec.
Mastered at Capitol records, Hollywood.
Printed in U.S.A.

Gatefold cover with printed inner sleeves with info.
Barcode and Other Identifiers

    Matrix / Runout (A-side label): (RS-2-2001-A)
    Matrix / Runout (B-side label): (RS-2-2001-B)
    Matrix / Runout (C-side label): (RS-2-2001-C)
    Matrix / Runout (D-side label): (RS-2-2001-D)
    Other (All labels): 2658 123
    Other (A & B side labels): 2479 199
    Other (C & D side labels): 2479 200
    Rights Society: BMI
    Rights Society: ASCAP

Various ‎– Saturday Night Fever (The Original Movie Sound Track)
Label: RSO ‎– RS-2-4001, RSO ‎– 2658 123
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Compilation
Country: US
Released: 1977
Genre: Electronic, Funk / Soul, Pop, Stage & Screen
Style: Soundtrack, Disco
        
         
      
   
Viewfinder links:         
         
The Skatt Brothers - Disco Daze             
Leatherneck, Pillow, a Hungry i          
Battlefield Earth ~ L. Ron Hubbard         
John Travolta     
Yvonne Elliman      
        
Net links:         
         
Financial Times ~ Night on Disco Mountain review       
Chicago Tribune review       
NY Times review     
Roger Ebert review     
Dangerous Minds ~ 
    ‘Saturday Night Fiedler’: This IS your father’s Disco-sploitation          
           
YouTube links:         
         
The Bee Gees - 
        Stayin' Alive             
        How Deep Is Your Love       
        Night Fever       
        More Than A Woman       
        Jive Talkin’       
        You Should Be Dancing       
Yvonne Elliman - If I Can't Have You     
Walter Murphy - A Fifth Of Beethoven       
Tavares - More Than A Woman       
David Shire - Manhattan Skyline   
Ralph MacDonald - Calypso Breakdown     
David Shire - Night On Disco Mountain     
Kool & The Gang - Open Sesame     
KC & The Sunshine Band - Boogie Shoes 
David Shire - Salsation   
M.F.S.B.* - K-Jee     
The Trammps - Disco Inferno       
Arthur Fiedler ~          
        Saturday Night Fever Medley (1979) (18 min, 33 sec,)      
        Bachamania (11 min, 22 sec,)       
           
           
     
              
movie poster
   
        
"Oh, fuck the future" 
~ Tony Manero (John Travolta)


             
             
Styrous® ~  Wednesday, November 15, 1977


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