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Staying Alive (1983)
Audio CD
Track Listing (Bee Gees)

1. The Woman In You
2. I Love You Too Much
3. Breakout
4. Someone Belonging To Someone
5. Life Goes On
6. Stayin' Alive

by Nicholas James

Following the commercial failure of their 1981 album, Living Eyes, the Bee Gees had been busy producing albums for other artists, and Robin, in particular, had been busy working with Maurice on a new solo album, How Old Are You. The Bee Gees were invited to submit songs for the sequel to the movie Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive. They contributed six songs of the 12 featured on the album, although one of the six was the original Stayin' Alive, presented here in a shorter version.

The Bee Gees tracks on Staying Alive are a development of the sound used in Living Eyes, but this time with a stronger 1980s urban sound. Unfortunately for them, the songs were pretty much buried in the film (in favour of songs by Frank Stallone, the brother of the film's director, Sylvester Stallone). This is a shame because, as with Living Eyes, the Bee Gees songs are very good, if less adventurous in their style.

It is obvious from listening to this album that Barry Gibb is dominant in the singing (he provides all leads), production and probably the song writing too. Presumably this is because Robin and Maurice were hard at work on How Old Are You (although Barry was also working on a new album for Kenny Rogers).

The opening track, Woman In You, is a tough, gritty piece, a perfect backdrop for the Brooklyn setting of the film, and is an undeniably catchy song. It became a minor hit in the US. The video that accompanied it had Barry Gibb, adorned in jeans and a sleeveless leather jacket, walking through the tough streets of (one assumes) New York. Robin and Maurice also feature in the video, although they can barely be heard in the song.

'I Love You Too Much' follows the same style, and has fantastically distinctive, complex lyrics. It is a song you can listen to again and again. The two stand-out tracks on the album, though, are the exceptional 'How Deep Is Your Love'-style ballad, 'Someone Belonging To Someone', and the completely infectious, inspired 'Life Goes On', again a song with complex, carefully considered lyrics. These songs should have had much greater exposure.

Why Buy Staying Alive?

If you are expecting Saturday Night Fever, you will be disappointed. This is an album for those that want to explore the music of the Bee Gees at a time when their song writing was at its finest.