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Bee Gees Top 5 Songs
Updated: Feb 26, 2022
The Bee Gees were formed in 1958, featuring brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. The trio were especially successful as a popular music act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and later as prominent performers of the disco music era in the mid- to late 1970s. The group sang recognizable three-part tight harmonies; Robin's clear vibrato lead vocals were a hallmark of their earlier hits, while Barry's R&B falsetto became their signature sound during the mid- to late 1970s and 1980s. The Bee Gees wrote all of their own hits, as well as writing and producing several major hits for other artists and have been regarded as one of the most important and influential acts in pop music history. They have been referred to in the media as The Disco Kings, Britain’s First Family of Harmony, and The Kings of Dance Music.
#5 Jive Talk
This was called "Drive Talking" in its early stages, but producer Arif Mardin suggested the change to "jive" to play to teenage sensibilities. "Jive talkin'" is a term for slang.
This was the first big disco hit for The Bee Gees. They became icons of the era, singing in falsetto harmonies over dance beats. They had seven more #1 hits in the disco era, relying on their top-notch songwriting and impeccable vocals, the Bee Gees were able to craft a long-running career that began in the late '50s in Australia. Along the way they became a hit-producing psychedelic pop group in England during the '60s, and the biggest disco band in the world in the '70s, and had a late comeback as adult contemporary crooners in the '90s.
4# To Love Somebody
This moving ballad was released on the first Bee Gees album. Years later, they became one of the most popular disco acts, but in the '60s they were known for slower songs like this one and "Words."
Legend has it that this song was written for legendry Stax Records artist Otis Redding, who died before he had the chance to record it. While this is a chance Redding would have recorded the song, that's not who the Bee Gees had in mind when they recorded it. The Bee Gees wrote the song for their manager, Australian-born impresario and entertainment entrepreneur Robert Stigwood, who was an influential part of London's gay showbiz establishment. Barry Gibb explained in a June 2001 interview with Mojo magazine: "It was for Robert. I say that unabashedly. He asked me to write a song for him, personally. It was written in New York and played to Otis but, personally, it was for Robert. He meant a great deal to me. I don't think it was a homosexual affection but a tremendous admiration for this man's abilities and gifts."
3# Too Much Heaven
In this song, the Bee Gees find a new way to express their abiding love, telling the lady that nobody gets too much heaven, so they should be together always. The group is often remembered for up tempo hits like "Stayin' Alive," but love songs like this one and "To Love Somebody" were also very effective.
The Bee Gees ruled 1978 with three #1 US hits, plus three more they (or at least Barry Gibb) wrote for other artists ("Shadow Dancing" by Andy Gibb, "If I Can't Have You" by Yvonne Elliman, "Grease" by Frankie Valli). Remarkably, they had another three chart-toppers in 1979, starting with "Too Much Heaven."
#2 How Deep is Your Love
Yvonne Elliman was supposed to record this song for Saturday Night Fever, but Robert Stigwood, who produced the movie, insisted the Bee Gees perform it themselves for the soundtrack. Elliman did sing "If I Can't Have You," which was written by the Bee Gees and included on the soundtrack. That song was also a #1 hit in the US.
This was a massive hit in the US. It was #1 for three weeks and stayed in the Top 10 for 17 weeks, which was a record at the time. The song was also a huge hit on the Adult Contemporary chart, where it spent six weeks at #1 - more than any other Bee Gees song. When Billboard listed their top 100 Adult Contemporary song of all time in 2011, "How Deep Is Your Love" came in at #13.
This was the first of four new songs on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack to top the US Hot 100. It was released as a single before the film or the soundtrack were issued and rose to the top spot a week after the film debuted.
#1 Stayin Alive
This plays over the opening credits of the 1977 movie Saturday Night Fever while John Travolta struts through the streets of New York City. The movie has come to represent the disco era and has made "Stayin' Alive" one of the songs most associated with disco. The Bee Gees had been singing in a high-falsetto style since their 1975 hit "Jive Talkin'," which was also on the soundtrack, but they were very popular as a vocal harmony group in the late '60s and early '70s. Their contributions to Saturday Night Fever brought them huge success but marked them as disco singers.
This was the second of four US #1 hits from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, following "How Deep Is Your Love," which was released ahead of the film, which hit theaters December 14, 1977. "Stayin' Alive" was released one day before the movie, but many theatergoers had already heard the song in trailers for the film. It quickly climbed the charts, reaching the top spot on February 4, 1978, and staying there for four weeks.