May 21, 2012


The Bee Gees' No. 1 Songs: A Primer

Jan Persson/Redferns
Jan Persson/Redferns

The death of Bee Gees co-founder Robin Gibb reminds us of the immense success and records the group can claim: 200 million records sold worldwide. Nine Grammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award and Legend Award. The most No. 1 singles of any artist in the 1970s. Celebrate the band's legacy with a rundown of all nine of their No. 1 singles.

Related: Listen to our Best of Bee Gees Spotify Playlist

"How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" (1971)
It took the Bee Gees six years and nine albums to have their first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, but they finally achieved their first with this adult contemporary ballad. Al Green would later cover it, with the soul singer's version appearing in numerous subsequent films.

"Jive Talkin'" (1975)
The first single off the group's Main Course, this disco-pop track was originally titled "Drive Talking" after the sound of their car before morphing into its actual title. 

"You Should Be Dancing" (1976)
The leadoff track from Children of the World established the propulsive disco rhythms and soaring falsettos that would become the Bee Gees' trademarks. Saturday Night Fever was still a year away, but the group had begun their disco dominance here.

"How Deep is Your Love?" (1977)
"Stayin' Alive" and "Night Fever" got people on the dancefloors, but the group's first No. 1 from Saturday Night Fever is this romantic ballad that has become one of their best-known songs.

"Stayin' Alive" (1977)
Is there a more iconic cinematic image of the 1970s than John Travolta, paint can in hand, strutting down a Brooklyn street in the beginning of Saturday Night Fever with this song playing in the background? Classic. 

"Night Fever" (1978)
The follow-up single to "Stayin' Alive" remained in the No. 1 spot for more than two months and, years later, inspired a brief, yet riveting, Biz Markie cover.

"Too Much Heaven" (1978)
This ballad, the first single from the group's fifteenth album Spirits Having Flown, would also be the most benevolent, as the Gibbs donated all of its publishing royalties—more than $7 million—to UNICEF.

"Tragedy" (1979)
Disco meets orchestral movements in this ambitious track. When you're finished listening, check out footage of the Bee Gees in the studio creating the song's famed "explosion" at 3:36 below.

"Love You Inside Out" (1979)
Feist fans will already know this one from the singer's cover on her 2004 album Let it Die. The track was the group's sixth consecutive No. 1 song, a feat only achieved by them and the Beatles. In recent years, the song was prominently sampled by Jay-Z & R. Kelly on "Honey" and Snoop Dogg on "Ups and Downs."