The Bee Gees released some of the most enduring songs of the 1970s; However, the band’s popularity sparked a huge backlash. Maurice Gibb of The Bee Gees said that this reaction was partly the result of music from other artists making his band’s work “cheap”. Subsequently, his bandmate, Barry Gibb, revealed how the Bee Gees responded to this response.
The Bee Gees’ Maurice Gibb Criticizes These Disco Artists
Disco was once as widespread as rap music is today. Along with Donna Summer, the Bee Gees were among the major stars of the genre. The Bee Gees contributed several famous songs to the soundtrack of the 1977 film Saturday night Fever. According to Washington Post, ns Saturday night Fever The soundtrack was the most successful album of all time until Michael Jackson’s 1982 blockbuster Thriller beat it.
The band’s success led to backlash. A comedy group called Hee Bee Gee Bees released an album called meaningless song. Maurice Gibb of The Bee Gees said the media was partly responsible for the reaction, but so were other artists.
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“The media made it look like people were suffering from (disco),” Maurice Gibb said. “And then there were the villagers, ‘Disco Duck’ and ‘Kung Fu Fighting,’ all these stupid, silly records that were based on what we were doing but nowhere near it. But because it was ‘disco. Well, they thought they could get away with it and people accepted it. Unfortunately, what we did ended up being cheap.”
How did the public react to these songs?
While Gibb didn’t like these songs, the public sure did. The Village People released two songs that reached the top 10. billboard hot 100: “YMCA” and “In the Navy.” The first reached number 2, while the latter reached number 3. Rick Dees and his Cast of Idiots’ “Disco Duck” went even higher on the charts, peaking at #1. billboard hot 100. Carl Douglas’ “Kung Fu Fighting” peaks at No. billboard hot 100 Too. While Gibb disliked these songs, the public embraced them.
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What did the Bee Gees do after disco became unpopular?
Barry Gibb explains how the Bee Gees deal with disco backlash. “We instinctively got away with making records as the Bee Gees,” he said. “We were saturated, we were punished for it, we were in trouble. We were getting too much airplay and people were stopping us from playing because of that.”
The Bee Gees’ First No. 1 Hit Wasn’t a Disco Song at All
He said there was an upside to this development. “But more than anything, we’re songwriters, so we started writing for other artists, expanding our songwriting,” he said. “And instead of using our voices all the time as instruments, we started using people like Barbra Streisand, Dion Warwick, Diana Ross, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.” The Bee Gees’ career survived a backlash against disco, even though they stopped making disco songs.