Fire and Water Records – The Bee Gees

Whether you're a Daly Brother or whether you're a mother, you're stayin' alive, and you should be dancing!

This isn't a joke. Ryan and Neil Daly return to discuss the Brothers Gibb, better known as the Bee Gees. From the hippy days of psychedelic rock to the feverish nights setting disco clubs on fire, the Bee Gees have an immense catalogue of frequently undervalued popular hits! On this episode, the Brothers Daly share each of their five favorite Bee Gees tracks, as well as the hidden gems written by the Gibbs but made famous by other performers.

All tracks performed by the Bee Gees except where noted.

  1. Night Fever
  2. Emotion by Samantha Sang (featuring the Bee Gees)
  3. How Can You Mend a Broken Heart
  4. Stayin’ Alive
  5. Lonely Days
  6. Jive Talkin’
  7. You Should Be Dancing
  8. Massachussetts
  9. How Deep is Your Love
  10. To Love Somebody
  11. More Than a Woman
  12. If I Can’t Have You by Yvonne Elliman
  13. Ghetto Supastar (That is What You Are) by Pras (with Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Mya)
  14. Islands in the Stream by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
  15. I Just Want To Be You Everything by Andy Gibb

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27 responses to “Fire and Water Records – The Bee Gees

  1. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the end when you wondered if anyone would listen to this episode because I was so excited when you first teased it on twitter. I’m awful at leaving feedback for podcasts I listen to but I had to make a point to thank you for this one. Growing up I felt like the BeeGees were dismissed or mocked far too often so its always refreshing to hear them get acknowledged as the great band they are. I may turn out to be alone but I loved the episode and yes, I’ll probably be listening to the BeeGees on a loop for the next couple of days. Starting with “To Love Somebody.”

  2. Don’t apologize for liking the Bee Gees! People who DON’T like the Bee Gees or at least acknowledge them should apologize. Sure, they got swept up in the disco backlash, but their track record should speak for itself, as you two ably demonstrated.

    Even as a kid I always liked the Bee Gees. They were everywhere in the 70s! On shirts, kids record players, magazines, posters, you name it! It was them and KISS, and I was a weenie, so KISS scared me. Especially Gene. So I preferred to see the much safer Brothers Gibb.

    When they resurfaced after their disco exile in the late 80s, I really liked their single “One”. About 10 years or so ago, Cindy brought home a CD compilation from the library, and that’s when I first became aware that a lot of the pre-disco hits Ryan chose were there songs. I had no idea before! Some of those my mom listened to on her easy-listening channels in the late 70s. I still listen to that compilation from time to time. Great stuff.

    As for Dolly Parton and Charro, yes, they are highly underrated musicians. Charro is an accomplished Flamenco guitarist, but she didn’t do herself any favors by just coming on stage on every TV show of the 70s and 80s yelling “Coochie, coochie!” or whatever.

    Dolly is not only a helluva songwriter and guitarist in her own right, in addition to her voice, she pretty much single-handedly transformed her poverty-stricken hometown area of Pigeon Forge, TN into a thriving vacation destination. Dollywood is actually a pretty cool theme park!

    Anyway, great show fellas. I just hope Ryan doesn’t listen to “You Should Be Dancin'” before we do a Knightcast, or else I may feel to have an intervention or something…


    1. I gotta agree with Cfranks on Dolly Parton and Charro. Both amazing.

      Ryan, I suggest you check out Parton’s Jolene. Simply amazing. And there’s a Miley Cyrus version that’s pretty phenomenal as well.

      1. With regard to Charo, I saw her once on some TV show, probably a variety show, back in the late ’70s or early ’80s, and she did a flamenco piece on guitar. I remember thinking, ‘man, she’s famous for the wrong reason.’

    2. My family went to Dollywood 4 years ago, and it’s really excellent. If you’re into theme parks, I recommend it. We didn’t have time to try the water park, but maybe another time.

  3. This was a lot of fun, boys. It’s a shame how much crap the BGs had to take when people turned on disco so angrily, they deserved better. I’m glad they all lived long enough to see their work come back into favor, most of the song clips you played were amazing.

  4. What a toe-tapping episode – I was singing along in the car to your track choices! Thanks, Dalys!

    Although my first exposure to the Bee Gees music was the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack (when I was at primary school), it’s the song “You Win Again” that resonates most with me, as it came at a time when I was actively consuming pop music rather than it being something in the background… so I’m pleased that it got a mention outside of your Top 5’s.

    (Speaking of primary school, I can shamefully confirm that the “Dolly Parton As Playground Boob Joke” was a transatlantic phenomenon.)

  5. I can’t believe we neglected to mention how we were literally at the epicenter of the anti-disco movement when our own hometown of Chicago’s Comiskey Park hosted the infamous “disco demolition” night on July 29, 1979! So the fact that we’ve come full circle on disco demonstrates how open-minded and free-thinking I really am (and how much Ryan longs to be)!

  6. How funny!

    Just a few months ago I made my own collection of Bee Gees Covers (and songs that they wrote for other people). I’ve found that I absolutely LOVE their songs but I am not a fan of their voices. (I’m not knocking their vocals AT ALL – I just found that I prefer the songs when performed by others).

    I’ve replicated my collection for you on Spotify and have included a link below – but – the one song on my collection that wasn’t on Spotify is ‘You Win Again’ by Jason Raize. I have no idea if this is the mystery version that you’re more familiar with, but I think it’s a great song. Jason was the adult Simba in the original cast of The Lion King on Broadway but sadly committed suicide in 2004.

    Bee Gees Covers – on Spotify:

    Jason Raize – You Win Again – on YouTube:

    So much of pop music from the 1970’s was made up of fantastically structured songs that because they were “just” pop music don’t get the recognition that they deserve.
    Nearly all of the hit songs from the Bee Gees, Carpenters and ABBA are perfection of the highest degree for being accessible and well crafted – both in song structure and production.

    I’m also somewhat a fan of Dolly Parton and have done the same for you with a collection of her most pop and recognizable songs. She really is a talented songwriter and seems to be so genuine and personable.

    Dolly Parton – Hello, Dolly! – on Spotify:

  7. Really enjoyed the conversation, and it’s a great topic.
    Like many people, my first association with the Bee Gees is disco and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack – I was about 8 when the movie came out, and I remember how crazy popular it was, and how much – for a while anyway – everybody loved those songs. My older sister bought the LP and it got a lot of play on the family’s stereo. And yeah, I also vividly remember the backlash against the Bee Gees specifically and disco in general a few years later – that in part shaped my musical tastes as I moved into my teens.
    Of course, I later came to appreciate them and their wide-ranging body of work. My personal favorite song of theirs, though, is “You Should be Dancing” (glad it made one of your lists), which is also my second favorite disco song (first one is “Get Down Tonight” by KC & the Sunshine Band).

    By the way, I found it amusing that Neil (I think) said that Saturday Night Fever was the movie “with the guy from Grease.” Back then, all of the kids referred to it as the movie with the guy from “Welcome Back, Kotter” or even “the movie starring Vinnie Barbarino.”
    And yeah, that is a truly dark and somber movie. I remember being a big shocked when I first saw it as a teen, because my impressions as a child when it was first released was that it was just this feel-good movie about young people having fun going to a night club every Saturday night, and maybe having disco dance competitions or something. It was really anything but.

  8. Excellent show gentlemen, and now I’ll be digging out the vinyl of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a pure cheesefest that I hope to hear about on a future Film & Water episode.

  9. I wanted to refresh my memory with some of the cast for this film so I was reading IMDB while listening to your podcast. They listed a lot of trivia about this movie INCLUDING what songs Travolta was dancing to before replacing them with The Bee Gees.

    According to John Travolta, The Bee Gees weren’t involved with the film at the very beginning. “I was dancing to Stevie Wonder and Boz Scaggs.”

  10. Oh, my goodness! The Daly brothers are talking about music that I know! And like! I was fourteen in 1978. The phenomenon of Saturday Night Fever was inescapable. The music from the soundtrack, especially the songs by The BeeGees, was truly unavoidable. Those tunes got so much airplay, they became incessantly annoying. It was worse than hearing the “Kars for Kids” jingle. It was easy to resent all of it. “It” being the movie, the soundtrack, Disco, and The BeeGees, including Andy. I remember being resentful of Mad Magazine for using the name BeeGees as part of a gag on one of their covers. It was definitely a case of “enough already!”
    And yet…
    This was my golden age of buying comic books. I would read them in m y bedroom while listening to the radio. Much of the music of that era can remind me of certain comics, and whenever I chance to hear one of those records, I think of it as “one of my comic book songs.” Samantha Sang’s “Emotion” is very definitely one of those songs! The thing is, I can also remember not liking the song that much! I can also recall being a little resentful that I couldn’t find older, pre-SNF, BeeGees records! When I started paying attention to pop music, I also jumped on the “oldies” cart. The success of “American Graffiti” and “Happy Days” caused a re-emergence of early rock and roll. My favorite station in those years had a great format; two current hits, commercials, two oldies, commercials, repeat cycle. So alongside the music of Fleetwood Mac, Rita Coolidge, and Boz Scaggs, I was hearing Jimi Hendrix, The Miracles, AND early BeeGees! So, songs like “Massachusetts,” “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart,” and especially “To Love Somebody” never fell out of favor with me.
    Over the last 40 years, the hits from SNF, and it’s immediate follow-ups, have triggered the twin reactions of revulsion and nostalgia. I can truly appreciate the skill and craft in those recordings, (and thanks, Neil for the cool background info!) but I need to take it in small doses!
    I have two, more recent, distinct memories, of trimming the hedges at my mother’s old house. One time when I was listening to Ryan dissect the Golden Age Atom’s origin, and another of deliberately listening to disco-era BeeGees songs. “Nights On Broadway” rules, man!

  11. My wife is a HUGE fan of the Bee Gees. One of their CDs is always on rotation in her car, and she’s found almost every one of their albums. I’ve actually encouraged her, as this is her fandom, and it’s been fun because I loved plenty of their songs, and have become a defender/apologist of the Bee Gees for years now. So this episode was a welcome reminder and celebration of what great musicians the Brothers Gibb are.

    Along the way, we’ve watched documentaries and biographies on them and Saturday Night Fever, and my wife has read their biography “Tales of the Brothers Gibb” a couple of times. Some of the things we’ve heard about SNF don’t jibe (or jive if you will) with Neil’s research. Make of it what you will, but the Gibbs have said their follow up to “Main Course” was mostly recorded and ready to go (their proposed album cover is the box on the upper right of the SNF album), when manager Robert Stigwood approached them to use the music in the movie. They state the music was already recorded, and used as appropriate, not the other way around. They would play the music in the disco club between shoots, the Travolta supposedly was the one to suggest “You Should Be Dancing”. “I can dance to that one!” he said, and he worked for a long time to get the choreography just right for the song. I know some songs were written and added to the movie as they went, but the Bee Gees said not as much for theirs specifically. As I said, make of that what you will.

    Ok, rant over. Back to the fun!

    Great choices for songs! Rather than give my favorites (which I suck at), here are some additional ones I enjoy, most of which are after SNF:
    Run To Me
    Man in the Middle
    You Win Again

    Thank you so much, Dalys! (Dalies? Daly-s?) I enjoyed the show a lot. and my wife actually listened to it for 20 minutes! (That’s 10 times longer than she’ll listen to talk radio, so it’s a compliment!)

    1. Great insight Tim. I am by no means an expert historian of the band, and some of my research did unearth contradictory stories (depending on who’s side you take). I believe Brian Rosen even found Travolta’s own quote referencing the non-Bee Gees songs he danced to. So I found that extremely interesting (whether it’s accurate or not). But yours and your wife’s stories are awesome and thanks for sharing a true fan’s perspective. That’s why we do these things and encourage people to share their own connections and memories. So thank you and your wife for listening for a full 20 mins! Always appreciate good feedback!

  12. I think you may have inspired a One Song Each with this episode. One of the LPs I had as a kid was Duck Wars: Big Hits Dance Party, credited to Irwin The Dynamic Duck And The Wibble Wabble Singers And Orchestra. This comp and another that featured Genesis’ “Follow You Follow Me” tend to elude my conscious memory, but I knew that there was at least one Bee Gees-related song on the album, and was able to reverse search for it on DisCogs. A probable source of confusion is that there’s actually a Bee Gees cover block on the album, sandwiching “Stayin’ Alive” between the titularly similar “How Deep Is Your Love” and Andy Gibb’ solo “Love Is Thicker Than Water.” No actionable relation to Rick Dees and most notably voiced by Don Messick, I came in late enough on Peter Pan Records’ Disco Duck series of comps that he wasn’t called that anymore. I was surely suckered by the similarly shameless Star Wars allusions, and liked those tunes, for as far as my interest in disco goes.

    I’m definitely more of a greatest hits listener, and therefor far more aligned with Neil in my areas of the Bee Gees discography than Ryan. I certainly respect their song craft, but partially fueled by nostalgia, my favorite will always be “Grease” by Frankie Valli.

    I was introduced to “I Started a Joke” through a cable viewing of 1989’s Penn & Teller Get Killed, which ended with the pairing inspiring mass suicide as the song played over the credits. Too memorable a usage to ever be erased by the DCEU.

    I recall being mildly offended when Destiny’s Child covered “Emotion,” probably triggering flashbacks to Whitney Houston’s histrionic but emotionally vacant cover of Dolly Parton’s stellar “I Will Always Love You.”
    A few months back while working on a Comic Reader Resume, I watched the original Samantha Sang video, and she’s corny as a river of popcorn, so I now bow to Bey. Part of it was how much the Bee Gees backing vocals carry Sang, but also, she looked like Beverly Goldberg on ‘ludes with cinematography by Olan Mills. I just watched the Destiny’s Child video for the first time and must confess to be tearing up at the moment. It probably didn’t help that I’d just watched Barry Gibb do the same thing on a Sunday Night clip over the loss of all his brothers.

    Of the Bee Gees-penned songs performed by other artists listed in the podcast, I’d have to favor “Heartbreaker” by Dionne Warwick. I join the chorus who can’t separate “Islands in the Stream” from schoolyard jokes, and of the many songs I enjoy by the singers, it is among the least of them. Way too cheesy to take seriously as a ballad, and no great chemistry between the performers, plus it was released at the height of power duets that it can’t compete with. Anyway, Dolly Parton is one of the greatest singer-songwriters in history, and probably one of the best human beings to ever walk the earth, so always put respect on her name (regardless of wherever else on her you would like to apply your mouth.)

    I’m pretty sure Iggy Pop gets asked about his big dick. Not at all equal time, but that’s the note I choose to go out on.

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