Review #163: Saturday Night Fever, Various Artists

Karla Clifton
3 min readAug 25, 2021

#163: Saturday Night Fever, Various Artists

No, I haven’t seen this movie, either. Listen, I’m a busy woman — I can’t watch every music-related movie there is. And it’s so hard for me to get excited about disco.

This movie was actually based on a New York Magazine article by Nik Cohn called “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night.” Cohn said that everything in the article was “factual and was either witnessed by me or told to me directly by the people involved.” 20 years later, though, he recanted and admitted he made it all up because he was on deadline.

That’s horrible journalistic practice, but I can’t help but be thrilled about it anyway. Some writer didn’t get their homework in on time and accidentally launched John Travolta’s career. Delightful!

I read through the article and couldn’t believe that people ever thought it was real. Hindsight is 20/20, I guess, but the idea that there’s a roving disco gang that acts like the Jets from West Side Story is ridiculous.

I love it. I love everything about it. I gotta see this movie.


“Stayin’ Alive,” Bee Gees — Something else fun about this soundtrack: It’s basically a Bee Gees & Friends album. Out of the 17 songs included, six of them are Bee Gees songs. (That’s them on the album cover.) And this is the best one! Everybody do CPR!

“Night Fever,” Bee Gees — I love when Barry Gibb does his falsetto.

“More Than A Woman,” Bee Gees — I can’t shake the feeling that this is actually the soundtrack to a ’70s adult movie.

“If I Can’t Have You,” Yvonne Elliman — I was just excited to hear someone who wasn’t the Bee Gees.

“A Fifth of Beethoven,” Walter Murphy — This is like the best interpolation/sample ever.

“More Than A Woman,” Tavares — A cover of the Bee Gees version. Weird, that they include the same song twice.

“Calypso Breakdown,” Ralph MacDonald — Oh I love a good bongo breakdown.

“Night On Disco Mountain,” David Shire — These disco adaptations of classical songs are amazing. This one is a take on “Night on Bald Mountain” by Modest Mussorgsky.

“Open Sesame,” Kool & The Gang — Maybe disco is actually … awesome?

“Jive Talkin’,” Bee Gees — The Bee Gees sound just like the Scissor Sisters.

“You Should Be Dancing,” Bee Gees — Yes I should!

“Boogie Shoes,” KC & The Sunshine Band I wanna put on/My my my my my boogie shoes.

“Salsation,” David Shire — I finally looked up who this guy was on this song, thinking he must be some disco bigshot, but no, he’s just a film score composer! But these songs groove so much!

“Disco Inferno,” The Trammps — I thought I knew this song from Shrek 2, but I was wrong. I actually know this song from the animated short that came with the Shrek 2 DVD, “Far, Far Away Idol.” Donkey sings it with Dragon. I’m learning that I retained the plots and soundtracks of every Shrek movie better than I retained a single thing I learned in high school.


“How Deep Is Your Love”, Bee Gees — Elevator music. (My editor was so angry that I called this song “elevator music” that he sent me these two versions in order to change my mind. My mind didn’t change but I will admit that I was shocked the Bee Gees had such gorgeous voices. They reminded me of CSN’s harmonies.)


At first I wasn’t sure it was technically fair to include a movie soundtrack, but according to the RS blurb, this soundtrack sold over 40 million copies worldwide. Also, it’s basically a Bee Gees album, and the Bee Gees are awesome.

Someone (who will remain unnamed) told me that they believed they were conceived to this soundtrack. That should tell you everything you need to know about its impact.

Review #162: Different Class, Pulp

Review #164: At Folsom Prison, Johnny Cash