The Bee Gees were nothing if not resourceful. First tagged as the next big thing in psychedelic pop in the late ‘60s, the young Brothers Gibb—Barry, Maurice and Robin— were on the road to stardom. When their commercial success started the dwindle, they did what any smart businessmen would do: They decided to explore a new market. Disco was the next big thing, so the Bee Gees decided they would be, too.
But just before they were swept up in the sequined world of Saturday Night Fever, the Bee Gees were testing the disco waters out on their own. On this day (Dec. 20) in 1976, the Bee Gees—with drummer Dennis Bryon and a mighty team of other musicians—performed some of their early disco classics, as well as some pre-disco hits, at a concert at the Los Angeles Forum.
The band opens this show with “I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You,” a soft-rock tune from their 1968 LP, Idea. But the real action begins about halfway through the set when they croon out “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” a 1971 hit that spent four weeks on the U.S. charts that year. They follow with “To Love Somebody,” perhaps their most well-known hit from their pre-disco days. The end of the set looks to the band’s then-future: They round out the show with the groovy “Nights On Broadway” and “Jive Talkin’,” which would later appear on the soundtrack for the aforementioned hit John Travolta film. While the band would begin to slip from the public conscious after disco fever died out, they sound immortal on these recordings. Time to find your favorite pair of bellbottoms and indulge in this funky, economical dance party.
Listen to the Bee Gees’ 1976 concert in L.A. below. While you’re here, revisit our 2014 interview with Barry Gib.