Originally released in 1977, Saturday Night Fever has the distinction of being one of the biggest selling albums of all time. Available for years as a double CD, this reissue features state of the art remastering and single disc, enhanced packaging with photos and new essay. A dance classic, the album sports timeless '70s disco hits by the Bee Gees, Yvonne Elliman, Tavares, Kool & The Gang, K.C. & The Sunshine Band, M.F.S.B., The Trammps and others.
Survivors of the disco boom of the late 1970s are of course bemused at the ease with which the patina of cultural significance has appeared on the music (and even the clothes) of the period. In any event, whether you can't resist tapping your feet to those four-on-the-floor Bee Gees tunes or whether you're curious about what is, after all, the precursor of hip hop, there's still no better way of enjoying this stuff than through this era-defining recording. Interestingly, there's more social comment here than the happy tunes might suggest, such as in the lyrics of "Staying Alive" which are entirely reminiscent of the theme of the movieThey Shoot Horses, Don't They?in their depiction of dance as a desperate escape from social deprivation. Well, up to a point. Then there's "Night Fever" and "Disco Inferno" and all the other white-suits-and-sequins standards which epitomised the movement. What's notable--and perhaps surprising--are the strong melodic and lyrical identities the songs all have, which resulted in a string of hit singles. If you were there, you'll want this music. If you weren't, you'll still want it. It explains a lot.--Roger Thomas