Happy 65th Birthday, Barry Gibb! The driving force behind the Bee Gees may polarize music lovers, but his group’s influence on rock and pop is undeniable. While the trio’s soundtrack to 1977′s Saturday Night Fever remains an indelible document of the decade’s musical trends, vaunting disco from underground clubs to worldwide prominence, it was actually the group’s 15th album since forming in 1965. Though some may admit it more than others, Gibb’s influence can be heard in numerous current bands. Hive takes a look at five:
The New York dance-pop act admits that Duran Duran was the reason they got into music, but in tracks like “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’” and “Take Your Mama,” you can hear Gibbs’ falsetto all over singer Jake Shears. Dubbed “The Bee Gees and Pink Floyd’s lovechild” by the A.V. Club, the band’s disco camp owes more than a little to the Brothers Gibb.
The throwback disco melodies and dance floor-friendly rhythms of this 19-member (?!) Brooklyn band are indebted to the Bee Gees for laying the groundwork for much of their sound. Early hits “Starlight” and “All Through the Night” sound like they were produced specifically for the 2001 Odyssey discotheque frequented by Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.
Dave 1 and P-Thugg’s earnest use of talk boxes, synthesizers and vintage drum machines inspired the duo to fly the flag for electro-funk and synth-pop. Still, there’s a definite Bee Gees influence in the duo’s irresistible dance rhythms and catchy choruses. Visually, the duo’s aesthetic of classy suits crib equally from Don Johnson circa “Miami Vice” and Gibb circa any year in the ’70s.
Frontman Britt Daniel’s first LP was Bee Gees’ 1979 album Spirits Having Flown, though the singer admits to listening to his parents’ Bee Gees albums after an obsession with the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. “I didn’t know about whether it was groovy and I didn’t know what disco was,” Daniel told Houston Chronicle. “I was that young. It was the first band I’d hear parents play and made me think, ‘I want to hear that.’ They just made high-quality songs.”
5. Foo Fighters
ABBA and the Bee Gees may seem like unlikely inspirations for the world’s biggest hard rock band, but those classic, outsized disco-pop choruses became a reference point for the Foos while recording the recently released Wasting Light. “I love the Bee Gees and Abba, bands whose pop choruses get bigger and bigger,” Grohl told Daily Star. “I love anthemic choruses, that overwhelming feeling of release that you can connect with. So whenever I thought I had a big enough chorus for a song, I would use that as the pre-chorus and then I would try and write something even bigger, like they did.”