The Two-Way
9:34 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Let's Remember Robin Gibb By Saying It: Bee Gees' Disco Years Were Great

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 10:13 am

  • Elizabeth Blair on 'Morning Edition'

As NPR's Elizabeth Blair said on Morning Edition in her report about the death of singer Robin Gibb:

"The Bee Gees might be forever linked to the 1970s, the era of polyester outfits and blow-dried hair, thanks to the songs they wrote and performed for the movie Saturday Night Fever. Disco, however, didn't make the Bee Gees. Their vocal harmonies and songwriting skills were hugely popular a decade earlier, like on their first U.S. release in 1967, New York Mining Disaster 1941."

That's surely true.

But as we note the passing of Gibb, who died Sunday at the age of 62 after a long battle with cancer — and as we consider the music produced by Robin and his brothers (Maurice, who died in 2003, and Barry) — this blogger thinks something should be clearly said:

That Saturday Night Fever soundtrack was damn good. After all, if you're of a certain age how many of these songs don't pop right into your head and bring a bit of a smile when you hear their titles?

-- Stayin' Alive

-- Night Fever

-- Jive Talkin'

-- How Deep Is Your Love

-- More Than A Woman

Now, many of us who were in their teens, 20s and 30s in the '70s never would have admitted at the time that the Bee Gees' disco years were great. But what about now? Would you give them that?

Update at 10:10 a.m. ET: A third option. After reading a good suggestion from commenter Jacques Bouvier, we've added a third option to the question. Check it out.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.