When "Saturday Night Fever", starring John Travolta, was released in December 1977, few could have expected the cultural phenomenon it would become. The soundtrack by British band the Bee Gees was an enormous hit: its songs, including "Stayin' Alive", "How Deep Is Your Love" and "Night Fever", epitomized the disco era and the album spent 24 consecutive weeks at No. 1. With more than 45 million units sold, it is the second best-selling soundtrack album of all time, behind Whitney Houston's 1992 album for The Bodyguard.
The film was also a huge hit and catapulted John Travolta to international stardom (he would repeat the success the following year with another musical smash, Grease). Disco was already a popular genre by 1977 but the film's success broke it into the mainstream, and it would remain dominant for the next three years.
The album revitalized the Bee Gees. They had experienced significant success in the 1960s with songs like "Massachusetts" and "New York Mining Disaster 1941" but Saturday Night Fever took them to another level, and their sound was virtually inescapable for months after the album's release.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
- 1977-12-12 "Saturday Night Fever", a film starring John Travolta, premieres in NYC
- 1978-01-21 Bee Gees' album "Saturday Night Fever" goes #1 for 24 weeks