By A. Scott Galloway
Saying this upfront, compiling a list of Top 10 anything is a recipe for more blowback than solidarity no matter how you slice it. So here is the specific idea of this commissioned Top 10 from me: ten albums that represented loud and proud in their individual sub-genres but that also boasted massive crossover appeal thus ultimately making them “pop” albums, as in “popular.” These are by no means my personal favorite albums by these artists (in most cases) and they are not each artist’s artistic breakthrough or apex (though with the first four it is arguable). They are as I hypothesized above…and away we go. Click NEXT fo the next album.
10. Saturday Night Fever – Bee Gees/Various (SRO – 1977)
The omnipresence of The Brothers Gibb (Barry, Robin and Morris, a.k.a. the Bee Gees) – as a vocal group and as songwriter/producers of a string of instantly identifiable and undeniable hit pop records – was never more clearly reflected than in the multi-million selling/chart-topping 2-LP soundtrack to the fluke hit Disco flick “Saturday Night Fever.” Their music dominated Top 40 airwaves and heavily crossed over to Black and international radio dials. While many consumers may have never even taken the second disc out of its sleeve – reveling exclusively in Side 1’s smash factory of “Stayin’ Alive,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “Night Fever,” “More Than a Woman” and Yvonne Elliman’s “If I Can’t Have You”; all of which the brothers composed – it was merely the beginning.
The group not only included a second version of “More Than a Woman” – sung and performed by another group of singing brothers, Cape Verdeans Tavares – the soundtrack also included two of the Bee Gees’ previous hits “Jive Talkin’” and “You Should Be Dancing,” six dance classics by KC & The Sunshine Band (“Boogie Shoes”), MFSB (a cover of the Nite-Liters’ “K-Jee”), percussion king Ralph MacDonald (“Calypso Breakdown”), New Jersey funksters Kool & The Gang (“Open Sesame”), innovative orchestrator Walter Murphy (a flip of the ol’ Ludwig Van’s 5th Symphony “A Fifth of Beethoven”) and Philly Dance group The Trammps’ (the explosive “Disco Inferno”). The jam-packed package rounds out with three instrumental pieces of score by David Shire. When the infamous Disco backlash happened at the end of the `70s, MANY copies of this particular album – which epitomized the commercial zenith of the genre – were ‘burn baby burned’…and over 2,500 of the surviving copies can be purchased via the Discogs website for as little as 50 cents! But no coverage of Disco nor Pop music of the era can be discussed without referencing the ecstasy and the infamy of the infectious Bee Gees-inflected “Saturday Night Fever.”