Get ready to strut into record stores–Saturday Night Fever‘s immortal soundtrack is being reissued as a super deluxe set alongside the film itself.
Based on a New York Magazine article that was later found to be fabricated, Saturday Night Fever ironically solidified the image of disco in popular culture. John Travolta’s rough-edged but sympathetic Tony Manero–a Brooklyn bum working in a hardware store by day and tearing up the floor of the 2001 Odyssey by night–established the young TV actor as a bona fide movie star and charming symbol of the ’70s. Pauline Kael’s ecstatic review was one of many that year: “These are among the most hypnotically beautiful pop dance scenes ever filmed…At its best, though, Saturday Night Fever gets at something deeply romantic: the need to move, to dance, and the need to be who you’d like to be. Nirvana is the dance; when the music stops, you return to being ordinary.”
But there was nothing ordinary about the double album soundtrack, meticulously assembled by the film’s producer Robert Stigwood. While the film’s dance sequences were scored during production to Boz Scaggs and Stevie Wonder, the soundtrack was anchored by Australian trio the Bee Gees, a mainstay of the RSO label. Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb are part of no less than eight songs on the soundtrack: originals they recorded (“Stayin’ Alive,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “Night Fever” and “More Than a Woman”); a cover of “More Than a Woman” by Tavares; a song they wrote for Yvonne Elliman (“If I Can’t Have You”); and two previous No. 1 singles (“Jive Talkin’,” “You Should Be Dancing”). Add to that a potent mix of other disco classics by Walter Murphy, Kool & The Gang, The Trammps, KC and The Sunshine Band and MFSB, plus three disco-ready score tracks by David Shire, and you’ve got a sensation of an album. Indeed, the album spun off four No. 1 hits (“Stayin’ Alive,” “How Deep is Your Love,” “Night Fever” and “If I Can’t Have You”), topped the U.S. and U.K. charts for a combined 42 straight weeks, sold more than 15 million copies (becoming the best-selling album of 1978 in eight countries including the United States, Canada, England and Australia), won five Grammy Awards including Album of the Year, and is part of both the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.
A soundtrack like this is bound to go large for its 40th anniversary, and Saturday Night Fever is indeed lavish. In this box set, you’ll find the original remastered album on CD and double LP as well as the film on Blu-ray–presented here in a recently restored 40th anniversary cut overseen by director John Badham and packed with extras from previous DVD releases including director’s commentary and deleted scenes.
Audio extras are minimal: an extra CD EP includes new remixes of the four original Bee Gees tunes by noted mixer Serban Ghenea. Rather than update the tracks for a modern dance approach, Ghenea has taken the original multitracks and brought out new details buried from within the master tapes. (His mix of “Stayin’ Alive” was briefly issued digitally earlier this year, not long after the Bee Gees catalogue moved to UMe.) The super deluxe box is rounded out with the usual swag: in this case, a deluxe 24-page book with new liner notes by Barry Gibb, director Badham and soundtrack producer Bill Oakes, a turntable slipmat, five art prints and a reproduction of the film’s iconic original poster.
The set is available November 17. Pre-order links and CD/LP/Blu-ray details are below!
Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track – Deluxe Edition (Capitol/UMe, 2017) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. (TBD) / Amazon Canada (TBD))
CD 1/LP 1-2: Original album (released as RSO Records RS-2-4001, 1977)
- Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees
- How Deep Is Your Love – Bee Gees
- Night Fever – Bee Gees
- More Than a Woman – Bee Gees
- If I Can’t Have You – Yvonne Elliman
- A Fifth of Beethoven – Walter Murphy
- More Than a Woman – Tavares
- Manhattan Skyline – David Shire
- Calypso Breakdown – Ralph MacDonald
- Night On Disco Mountain – David Shire
- Open Sesame – Kool & The Gang
- Jive Talkin’ – Bee Gees
- You Should Be Dancing – Bee Gees
- Boogie Shoes – KC and The Sunshine Band
- Salsation – David Shire
- K-Jee – MFSB
- Disco Inferno – The Trammps
CD 2: The Serban Ghenea Mixes
- Stayin’ Alive
- How Deep is Your Love
- Night Fever
- More Than a Woman
- Saturday Night Fever 40th Anniversary Director’s Cut (4K-restored under supervision of director John Badham)
- Saturday Night Fever Theatrical Version (4K-restored under supervision of director John Badham)
- Audio Commentary by director John Badham (Theatrical Version Only)
- ’70s Discopedia (Theatrical Version Only)
- Catching the Fever
- Back to Bay Ridge
- Dance Like Travolta with John Cassese
- Fever Challenge!
- Deleted Scenes