The musical group composed of Gibb and his brothers Barry and Maurice reinvented disco in the late 1970s and became a mainstream success. But it was the inclusion of their music in the John Travolta film “Saturday Night Fever” that really put their stamp on pop culture.
The band of brothers composed and performed a majority of the songs on the soundtrack, and up until Whitney Houston’s musical collection for “The Bodyguard,” it was the best-selling soundtrack of all time. Producer Robert Stigwood had approached the Bee Gees after the film wrapped to see what they could pull together for the soundtrack, and shortly after, “Night Fever,” “More Than a Woman,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “You Should Be Dancing” and the classic “Stayin’ Alive” were born. The latter song, featured in the beginning of the movie, jumped onto Billboard’s Top 100 at #1 immediately following its release and stayed there for four weeks. To this day, the record has sold more than 40 million copies and is one of the top five best-selling albums of all time.
Robin Gibb and his brothers went on to star in “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” a musical adventure co-starring ’70s icon Peter Frampton that centers on a small-town band that finds success in the music industry. Unfortunately, they also come to discover deceit as their instruments and their hometown of Heartland are put in jeopardy by a wicked force. The movie was loosely based on the off-Broadway production of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Road” and featured covers of original Beatles songs from their album of the same name as well as Abbey Road.
Over the years, the Bee Gees’ songs have been featured in well over 100 films and soundtracks, including “50/50,” “The Fighter,” “Despicable Me,” “The Book of Eli,” “Sex and the City,” “Zoolander” and “Good Will Hunting.” The hit Fox musical series “Glee” also paid tribute to the band in a recent disco episode titled “Saturday Night Glee-ver,” in which the cast covered six of the band’s hit songs.
Fellow actor and musician Jordin Sparks told MTV News at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards that she was saddened by Robin Gibb’s passing and recalled the time when she discovered the Bee Gees’ music.
“Barry Gibb, when I was on ’[American] Idol,’ he was one of our mentors, and it was so amazing to meet him. I actually discovered my love for Bee Gees music through that week, and ’Too Much Heaven’ and ’Emotions’ are two of my favorite songs, and ’Stayin’ Alive,’ of course — classic. But it’s so sad. I just can’t [believe it].”
Barry Gibb is the last surviving member of the Bee Gees. Brother Maurice Gibb died in 2003 following abdominal surgery.
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