It’s not long before you start to enjoy this weeks’ album, Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Soundtrack. The record begins with a series of instantly catchy tunes that get you dancing, after all, You Should Be Dancing. Pick of the bunch is Night Fever, with its bursting verses, sweeping choruses and grooving rhythm. The bass of Stayin’ Alive opens the record in style, leading the way between the wonderful singing of the Bee Gees brothers – Barry, Robin and Maurice – who write and perform many of the songs on the compilation. Their high-pitched singing is a prominent feature, giving their songs an enchanting softness, particularly on the ballads More Than A Woman and How Deep Is Your Love. Walter Murphy’s instrumental piece A Fifth Of Beethoven, adapted from the first movement of the composer’s fifth symphony, captures the disco sound brilliantly.
Sorry Barry White, but disco doesn’t get any better than this.
The second half of the record is heavily instrumental, and in my eyes, fails to measure up to the quality of the first seven songs. Calypso Breakdown seems to last forever without really going anywhere. The sinister Night On Disco Mountain, one of three disappointing contributions from David Shire, is overly dramatic and doesn’t really fit with the rest of the record.
Previously released Bee Gees’ hits Jive Talkin’ and You Should Be Dancing improve things considerably, reminding us of the great disco tunes that opened the record so well. The Trammps’ Disco Inferno is a true classic, leaving you singing well after the record has finished.