A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while the movie Saturday Night Fever features questionable characters in dicey situations, Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track -- which was inescapable in its late '70s heyday and still enjoys huge popularity everywhere from dance school recitals to Glee -- is much lighter fare and lots more fun. It's a musical snapshot of the disco era, comprising some of its greatest classics -- the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" and "Night Fever," K.C. and the Sunshine Band's "Boogie Shoes," Yvonne Elliman's "If I Can't Have You," a raft of throbbing instrumentals by David Shire, The Trammps' nearly 11-minute "Disco Inferno." And it's free of the highly sexualized content found in many disco songs.
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What's the story?
About half the soundtrack to 1977's Saturday Night Fever, featuring John Travolta as a confused young man escaping a dead-end New York life on the dance floor at the local disco, consists of light, catchy tunes from the Bee Gees. The rest of the double-album is taken up with other disco tracks, including instrumentals, many of which were also hits in their day. With sales of more than 25 million copies, it became the best-selling movie soundtrack in history, and is one of those albums whose sound defines the era in which it appeared.
Is it any good?
There are good reasons SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER: THE ORIGINAL MOVIE SOUND TRACK was so popular in its time and continues to resurface. The Bee Gees are in top form as performers and songwriters (besides the tunes they perform themselves, they also wrote "If I Can't Have You"; and "More Than a Woman" gets the cover treatment from Tavares as well as a version by the Bee Gees). And just about every track is irresistibly danceable. For profound lyrics or inspirational messages, look elsewhere, but for all-ages party music, this is a classic choice.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about classical music making the move to other styles, as in "A Fifth of Beethoven" and "Night on Disco Mountain." Would the composers approve? Do you approve?
How do you think the disco music on this album compares with the dance music of today?
Why do you think the music in movie soundtracks is often so different from what actually happens in the movie?
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