Music Video of the Day: I Started A Joke by Bee Gees (1968, directed by Jean-Christophe Averty)


“This is a very spiritual song. The listeners have to interpret it themselves – trying to explain it would detract from the song.”

— Robin Gibb on I Started A Joke

“When he passed away we went out, they took the equipment away and we came back in. I picked up my phone and found ‘I Started A Joke’ on YouTube and played it. I put the phone on his chest and that was the first time I broke down. I knew that song and its lyrics were perfect for that moment. That song will always have new meaning to me now.”

— Robin-Jon Gibb, son of Robin Gibb, discussing his father’s death

Of course, this song really isn’t about a joke. Instead, it’s told from the point of view of someone who has unintentionally said something so wrong and/or offensive that it has lost him all of his friends. When he tries to laugh it off, they get upset at him for not taking it seriously. When he gets upset over being abandoned, they laugh at his pain.

This music video, from 1968, features Robin Gibb singing the song while surrounded by laughter, tears, and questions marks. The video was filmed in Brussels by French television director Jean-Christophe Averty and originally aired as a part of the Idea TV Special, a Bee Gees-centered program that aired in Europe.

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: Stayin’ Alive by Bee Gees (1989, dir by ????)


Are they Bee Gees or are they The Bee Gees?  I’m not really sure and, quite frankly, I’ve seen it listed as both on several reputable sites.  Regardless, this is a good song.  “The New York Times‘ effect on man” is a nice and random little lyric, even though Tony Manero really didn’t come across like a reader of the Times in Saturday Night Fever.

If you’re ever giving someone CPR, they say that you should do it to the tune of Staying Alive so, if you memorize this song, you’ll be able to save a life.  That’s the type of helpful information that we happily provide to our readers free of charge here at the Shattered Lens.

According to the YouTube description, this from the “One for All Tour” Live concert at the National Tennis Centre in Melbourne 1989, Australia.

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: Stayin’ Alive by Bee Gees (1977, dir. ???)


I did the well-known version of Stayin’ Alive yesterday, so here’s the other version. Going off of Wikipedia again, there were three videos that were shot for Saturday Night Fever (1977). However, they were put aside in favor of reshooting them in California when Barry grew his beard back. That’s why you can see him without his beard in this one.

You can also see him without his beard for Night Fever, which, to the best of my knowledge, is also one of the three original videos.

This is the kind of video you think of when someone tells you there is a music video for Stayin’ Alive. It uses quite a few video effects that I can’t say I care for.

They fit the disco sound, but Bee Gees were always more than disco. Go listen to the song New York Mining Disaster 1941 or Lonely Days. I think the other video fits them better than this one.

If you want to see these kind of effects used well, then I recommend the video for Knock On Wood by Amii Stewart.

Regardless, I’m glad this video is out there. It shows more of the kind of style that was used in the 1970s. It helps one to understand where some directors were coming from when they entered the MTV-era. They did more than just concert videos.

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: Stayin’ Alive by Bee Gees (1977, dir. Bruce Gowers)


It’s hard enough when there are multiple versions of a video. It’s tough dealing with videos–officially posted or not–disappearing. This is a new one on me. Count it off!

1. The official beegees YouTube account posting:

2. The Rhino YouTube account posting:

3. The BeeGeesVEVO YouTube account posting:

They’re all the exact same video–no difference in runtime or quality. And yes, there is a second version of Stayin’ Alive as you might have gathered from the title of the VEVO account posting.

As for the content of the music video…this is a really upbeat song and the title is Stayin’ Alive…have them wander around abandoned sets at MGM Studios??? It reminds me of the video Gowers did for The First Cut Is The Deepest by Rod Stewart except there it made sense for him to be isolated on a staircase. They were probably just opportunistic since they filmed this video on the sets that were next-door to where Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) was being filmed. At least that’s what Wikipedia says.

I do like that whatever the reason, the video is showing us the opposite of what comes to mind when you go to put this video on. Also, it’s a testament to Gowers’ talent as a director. Back in the 1970s, he could do something for the Bee Gees, Journey, The Rolling Stones, and he’s the one who did Bohemian Rhapsody for Queen. Cut to the early-1980s and you can still his style at work. Sometimes it made for a funny, but memorable video, like Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor. Other times you got Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) by Journey. I’ll talk about that video at some point since that also brings in ABBA, a famous Italian director, and Bohemian Rhapsody–at the very least.

Enjoy!

Song of the Day: Stayin’ Alive (by Bee Gees)


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The last week or so we’ve seen Lisa Marie review two films which shares a close connection with the latest “Song of the Day.”

First there was her review of Saturday Night Fever by John Badham. Then she follows it up with the so very awful, but mesmerizing sequel by Sylvester Stallone, Staying Alive. The original film had as part of it’s disco-based soundtrack the song “Stayin’ Alive” by the group Bee Gees. The sequel literally borrows the song’s title and just runs with it.

The song itself has become not just a classic, but has also become part of pop culture both good and bad. It’s been portrayed as a great example of the disco-scene of the mid-to-late 70’s, but also become a sort of a joke to some.

No matter where one stands on the merits of this song it’s one hell of a catchy one. No matter how much we all fail every guy will try to hit the high notes achieved by Barry Gibbs. We never succeed, but we never fail not to try over and over as we sing along.

Stayin’ Alive

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk
I’m a woman’s man, no time to talk
Music loud and women warm,
I’ve been kicked around since I was born

And now it’s all right, it’s OK
And you may look the other way
We can try to understand
The New York times effect on man

Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Feel the city breaking and everybody shaking
And were stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive

Well now, I get low and I get high
And if I can’t get either, I really try
Got the wings of heaven on my shoes
I’m a dancing man and I just can’t lose
You know it’s all right, it’s ok
I’ll live to see another day
We can try to understand
The New York times effect on man

Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Feel the city breakin and everybody shakin
And were stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive

Life going nowhere, somebody help me
Somebody help me, yeah
Life going nowhere, somebody help me
Somebody help me, yeah.
Stayin’ alive