CSPC: Bee Gees Popularity Analysis
The years that end in a 7 are synonymous of anniversaries. No, I’m not talking about the Beatles’ cult Sgt Pepper’s which is turning 50 soon, and getting a much talked about reissue. Today we will be speaking about one of the biggest pop bands of all-time that came to prominence 40 years ago in the middle of the disco bonanza, the Bee Gees.
A decade ago, Amy Winehouse was everywhere. Two decades back, the Spice Girls were dominating while Shania Twain and Celine Dion dropped gigantic albums. In 1987, Michael Jackson‘s Bad, U2‘s Joshua Tree, Guns N’ Roses‘ Appetite For Destruction and Dirty Dancing all came too the spotlight. The Year 1967 is obviously home for various classics along with the Beatles, like the debut of the Doors or the Bee Gees’ own first hit in April 1967. The year interesting us today is 1977 though. Famous for being the year of Elvis Presley’s passing. Three of the biggest albums ever were released in that same year – Meat Loaf‘s Bat Out of Hell, Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, the #1 CSPC album studied to date, and of course the out-of-this-world smash Saturday Night Fever.
Just like The Bodyguard, this Soundtrack contains hits from various artists but is deeply regarded as the flagship of one specific artist, in this case the Gibb brothers. While the band became well-known in another year ending in 7, 1967, thanks to the global #1 smash Massachusetts – it is this Soundtrack that secured their spot in the music industry hall of fame. If they struggled for a few years, from Jive Talkin‘ in 1975 to their input on Barbra Streisand’s 1980 Guilty album, the Bee Gees sold an insane amount of records with ABBA being the only act coming close to their pace. From there, their popularity had various ups and downs with several revivals happening, with the last hype being generated by Robin Gibb’s sad passing in May 2012.
With a career spanning 45 years, and such an irregular trajectory, it is difficult to accurately establish the group’s success during each period of their career and their overall success. Are they in Nirvana’s league, or closer to the Beatles? Do they challenge solid acts a la Celine Dion, or not even close? Of course, as they are responsible for the biggest selling album ever up to 1983, Saturday Night Fever, this study ends up being absolutely mandatory to check the overall position of this record among the all-time album eras list. A strong question will be about whether it tops its label partner the Grease Soundtrack, which amassed an impressive 51,9 million equivalent album sales.
As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge their results. The concept will not only bring you sales information for all Bee Gees albums, physical singles, download singles, music videos and streaming, but it will also accurately weight all this information to conclude their true popularity. If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC idea, the next page explains it with a short video. I fully recommend you to check it out before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to jump straight into the sales figures. Let’s go!
MJD, is there any particular reason why disco acts like Bee Gees or ABBA has pretty strong streamings yet somebody who is known as the biggest Disco singer of that era like Donna Summer seems to have very weak streams. I always wonder.
It depends on where you are from. Donna Summer was huge in the US, while ABBA weren’t. Globally though, there have been no match even during the disco era, the Bee Gees and ABBA were simply way, way bigger than her. US media tag lines (like the “Disco Queen”) often disturb the perception of the reality in the long run.
Thank you MJD. I guess it make sense. Often times this Queen Of… makes you think they are bigger than people thought they are when it is not always the case.
PLEASE ,one more time ,again and again, the BEE GEES are NOT a disco group ,they are talented songwriters and performers , they wrote more than 1040 songs for them as a group and solo efforts ,their brother Andy Gibb and other artists ( Warwick ,Dion , Streisand , Kenny Rodgers and Dolly Parton ,Ross , and hundred of artists covering their songs from Presley to Al Green ,Bolton, ,Bubble ,etc… etc…) , their dance oriented period and style ( in fact rnb blue eyed soul ) was from 75 to 79 , the Fever soundtrack contains only 5 new… Read more »
Any chance to also include solo albums from Barry and Robin?
For sure they sell lesser than Bee Gees album, but I have never seen any estimation.
The Top 100 Most Streamed Songs, By Decade in the USA
Stayin Alive the most Streamed song of the 70s in the US.
1950s Mack The Knife, Bobby Darin 24.03 M
1960s Hey Jude. The Beatles 84.74 M
1970s Stayin Alive The Bee Gees 244.37 M
1980s Billie Jean Michael Jackson 450.72 M
1990s I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston 315.17 M
Source: On- Demand U.S Streams (Audio and video combined) According to Nielsen Music
Stayin Alive has reached over 400 million views on YouTube since 2009
Collecting all the potential “feat” instances will be quite a task, so I will not expect it. You’ve already done a lot. Starters would be the Barry and Robin solo albums at least. Most of the “feat” I can think of would be just 1 or 2 brothers, so whether that counts as Bee Gees, I am just not sure. You have to draw a line somewhere. One thing I would have put in are the pre-1967 Australian albums, but since they were almost exclusive to Aus and sales were not much, they would not make much difference in what… Read more »