12 February 2008

Stayin' Alive

Little Know Fact, The Bee Gees were Staying Alive in the 80s!
by Kristin Battestella

I admit I was one of those people who thought The Bee Gees came and went with disco. Naturally the brothers didn’t, and the 1983 soundtrack Staying Alive is proof they still had their touch, whether the populous was ready to admit it or not.
Only six songs from the soundtrack are penned by the boys, and you’ll have to forgive me for skipping over the other six songs by Frank Stallone, Cynthia Rhodes, and Tommy Faragher. (The last guy I don’t even know who he is!) I don’t care, I don’t think you care. The movie is guilty pleasure cheese directed by Sly Stallone. Enough on that, let’s move on.

I downloaded a few of these songs, and then I found the soundtrack on cassette. Oddly enough, the day I started this review I snagged the LP! Both formats present The Gibb tunes on Side A and the rest on Side B. The Woman In You leads off with a harsh edge to it. It’s well put together but it doesn’t sound like The Bee Gees from Living Eyes. Perhaps a tad too far in the rough and tumble direction.

I Love You Too Much, however, has that easy eighties vibe too it. It has some great lyrics and a recognizable Gibb sound. This might be the best song here. Lyrical balladry with a speedy track of music. The lyric of ‘under me is where you should be’ then turned around as ‘under you is where I should be’ symbolizes this either way style. Good stuff!
Breakout returns to this odd and rough vibe. The music overtakes Barry’s vocals, which I think are about the same old surviving the city et al, but the lyrics and lack of harmony here are a miss.

Although this soundtrack didn’t do as well as Fever for a number of reasons, one naturally being the song quality is a tad lower, but also, the movie and the music aren’t as perfectly matched. Can anyone tell me where Someone Belonging To Someone is in the film? Granted It’s been awhile, but the song is at least on par with How Deep Is Your Love, yet this ballad does not stick in my mind the way the How Deep sequence from Fever does. Someone’s got a great hook and a sweet blended vocal sound to it and is worthy of much more than its second rate obscurity.

Life Goes On makes it into the plus column, and not just to give the album a split vote either, ;0) It’s not comparable to More Than A Woman in quality, but similiar in style. The easy dance song with some good lyrics. Lyrics and Harmony that you can always hear and understand is a good thing.

And naturally we come to Staying Alive. I must admit this is a very symbolic and penne ultimate song that represents so much, that must be why it’s been played to death! This is the one memorable part of the film, at the end where Travolta says he’s feels like ’strutting’ and does so into the credits. The song definitely has its place, and has indeed immortalized The Brothers Gibb. Just over and over I can’t take all that clich├ęd Ah Ah Hah Hah Staying Alive Staying Alive. ARGH! People have come to think this is all The Bee Gees are about, and that is wrong.

Their contribution to this soundtrack may not exactly show why the Brothers are in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but its an integral part in the transition of the boys’ move from Fever to producing for others, working solo, and progressing themselves. An easy find to complete your collection.

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