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Rock Hall Anniversary: The Bee Gees’ Spirits Having Flown

Following the massive success of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, where they garnered three number one singles (as well as a few hits from other artists, in which they written), the Bee Gees released their 15th studio album Spirits Having Flown in February 1979. It would be their first since 1976’s Children of the World, and it continued their hit-making streak, as their first three singles, “Tragedy”, “Too Much Heaven” and “Love You Inside Out” all hit top the charts, tying the Bee Gees with the Beatles with a streak of six number one singles.

Produced by the Bee Gees themselves, along with Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson, the album was recorded throughout 1978, as the Saturday Night Fever was ruling the charts. By this time, the Gibb Brothers were typecasted as a disco group, and for them the album was in hopes to prove they were more than that. One case in point was “Too Much Heaven” was a ballad that featured the horn section from the band Chicago. Another was the title track, which was pop and a Caribbean-flavored R&B track.

Spirits Having Flown received positive reviews upon release, but was sometimes seen as a letdown, especially compared to the success of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, as well as critically acclaimed albums like 1975’s Main Course. However, the album topped the charts in ten countries (including the US and the UK) and sold over twenty million copies worldwide, continuing the Brothers’ massive successful run, which would soon slow down come the 1980s.

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