Monday, July 01, 2013

Another list of 10 Great Movies

Few weeks back I wrote about the most influential movies ever, itgenerated good discussion. I am giving another list of 10 moviesproduced outside Hollywood/US.All of these movies had huge impact onfilm trade and audience world over. You may not agree with the listbut if you haven't seen these movies,believe me you have missedsomething for these are definitive expression of human creativity.any feedback?

1. THE BATTLESHIP POTYOMKIN-1925 by Sergei EisensteinIt is from silent era and is a fictional narrative of a real-lifeevent that occurred in 1905, the Battleship Potyomkin uprising, whenthe crew of a Russian battleship rebelled against their oppressiveofficers during the Tsarist regime. Eisenstein's recreates the mutinyby sailors of the battleship Potyomkin and in the process pushes theexpressive potential of cinema to its limit.Battleship Potemkin has been called one of the most influential filmsof all time, and has been in the many critics and viewers list as thegreatest film ever.Those who are interested in cinema history might know; The OdessaSteps sequence, which remains one of the most memorable set-pieces incinema. Sergie Eisenstein also pioneered the `Russian montage'technique for action sequences. I have personally used it, and itworks wonderfully well.As the movie is from no voice period, the highlight of the movie isthe original score which was composed by Edmund Meisel. I am notaware of any of his other work, but music score is brilliant.Composer/conductor Mark-Andreas Schlingensiepen has reorchestratedand improved the score based on the original piano score and hasadjusted it to fit the reconstructed version of the film availabletoday.In order to make the film relevant for the 21st century, Pet ShopBoys composed a new soundtrack in 2004 based on the original byMeisel. The DVD which I have contains new sound track composed by PETSHOP BOYS accompanied by pieces of classical music.

2.LA RÈGLE DU JEU/ RULES OF THE GAME-1939 by Jean Renoir.

This one also is considered to be one of the greatest films of alltime. The film is about upper-class French society and set in theperiod just before the start of World War II.I have read that the film was initially condemned for its satire onthe French upper classes and was greeted with derision by a Parisiancrowd . The French upper class is depicted in this film as capriciousand self-indulgent, with little regard for the consequences of theiractions. (Which reminds me of our upper class in Pakistan)I have seen this movie recently on DVD and was extremely impressedwith its simplicity of production and great storytelling technique.Technically it pioneered the use of deep focus to highlight theevents going on in the background are as important as those in theforeground.


The Bicycle Thief is an all time classic and a master piece ofItalian director Vittario DeSica.The movie is based on the novel byLuigi Bartolini .The film tells the story of an unemployed workerAntonio, who gets a job that requires that he must have a bicycle. Onthe first day on the job, the bike is stolen and the rest of the filmis a frantic pursuit of the bicycle thieves. Along the way heencounters injustice and apathy. From beginning to end, his small butfierce son is his companion. At the end of the film Antonio,desperate to keep his job, attempts to steal a bicycle himself. He iscaught and humiliated in front of his son.The Bicycle Thief is representative movie of neo-realism movement.Majority of the cast were not professional actors but were peoplefrom real life. The documentary-style camera work helped convey thefeeling that the film is truly about real people. It mixed melodrama,documentary and social commentary. Steven Spielberg used thetechnique for his Schindleir's List.

4. RASHOMON (Japan, 1950)by Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa was cinema's grand samurai and is my favouritefilmmaker. He is arguably the greatest ever as well. His workinspired many filmmakers around the world. Some of the all timeclassics are inspired from his movies. The Magnificent Seven wasbased on his `The Seven Samurai', Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollarswas a remake of his `Yojimbo' and George Lucas gives credit toKurosawa's `Hidden Fortress' for inspiration for Star Wars.Rashomon is Akira Kurosawa at his best. It is a story offering fourdiffering accounts of a rape and murder, all told in flashbacks, agripping study of human behaviour. The theme is the difficulty ofreaching to the truth about an event from conflicting witnessaccounts. In English "Rashomon" has become a word for any situationwherein the truth of an event becomes difficult to verify due to theconflicting accounts of different witnesses. In psychology, the filmhas lent its name to the `Rashomon effect'. In the nutshellKurosawa's parable said; life has many meanings or maybe none atall.Technically also Rashomon was a ground breaking production. Useof close ups, contrasting shots and innovative use of direct sunlightand reflectors gave an interesting and different look to the film.

5.SMULTRONSTÄLLET /WILD STRAWBERRIES-1957 by Ingmar Bergman. (Sweden)

This is my personal favourite. Written and directed by IngmarBergman, It is a story of a medical doctor and teacher who re-evaluate his life due to his old age, his impending death, hisnightmares and daydreams. It was a complex character performed ablyby Victor Sjöström. The film contains many themes and subtle nuanceswhich later became Ingmar Bergman's artistic trademarks. Many filmcritics and film historians consider the film to be one of Bergman'sbest, despite having been made relatively early in his career.Woody Allen's 1997 film `Deconstructing Harry' is loosely based uponBergman's Wild Strawberries. Bergman stated in an interview that thefilm had helped him overcome his fear of death.

6. 8 ½ /THE BEAUTIFUL CONFUSION-Federico Fellini-Italian

This is a 1963 film written and directed by Italian director FedericoFellini. It is acclaimed by film critics as one of the finest filmsever made and is considered Director's movie. The Beautiful Confusionis a seminal movie about film-making and the agonies and ecstasies ofthe creative process. The film is a free-floating tale often blurringreality and fantasy. The story revolves around a film director,played by Marcello Mastroianni, who is suffering from `creativeblock'. He is supposed to be directing a science fiction film but haslost interest and suffers creative confusion due to maritaldifficulties. No wonder the movie is so popular with directors. Ihave seen this movie several times and each time I was able to enjoyit.

7. DET SJUNDE INSEGLET / THE SEVENTH SEAL-1957, Ingmar Bergman.(Sweden)

Another brilliant Ingmar Bergman movie. The title is a reference tothe passage from the Book of Revelation. The protagonist of the movieis a knight (played by Max von Sydow) returning from the Crusades andfinds that his home country is ravaged by the plague. To his dismay,he discovers that Death has come for him too. In order to buy time hechallenges Death to a chess match, with his life resting on theoutcome of the game, which allows him to reach his home and bereunited with his wife. An image of a man playing chess with deathin the form of a skeleton actually existed in a medieval churchpainting from the 1480s in Täby kyrka, Täby, north of Stockholm.Bergman has referred to this painting as the inspirational source forthe movie. The film was the winner of the Special Jury Prize at theCannes Film Festival, in 1957. Irish pop musician Chris De Burgh haswritten and composed a great song `Spanish train' based on this theme.

8. FIST OF FURY (Hong Kong, 1972)

This is an action packed Bruce Lee movie. I saw this in Shaheen Cinema Sargodha,Pakistan on a weekend book out with my friend in 1979.At that time I was not aware of its merits. It was just a rip-roaringkung-fu action for us. It is story of a student who returns to HongKong to avenge death of his dead teacher. Bruce Lee proved that anintense young man could kick the bad guys, the audience as well asbox office the way he liked. Directed by Lo Wei's, it is one of thefinest Bruce Lee films, which made him an international sensation.The film had a huge impact and launched Hong Kong cinema world over.A wave of martial arts movies followed, Bruce Lee himself starred inseveral but Fist of Fury was his finest.

9. SHOLAY; by Ramesh Sippy (India)

"Sholay "arguably is the finest bollywood movie-great script,outstanding direction, superlative performances and magnificentmusic. So much has already written and talked about this movie that Imight not be able to add to it, yet, one can always talk somethingabout "Sholay".It is an evergreen classic. Sholay took inspirationsfrom various films including `Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid', ` TheProfessionals' even `Seven Samurais' and many other buddymovies .Sholay is a masala film but with all the right ingredients injust the right quantities. Salim-Javed are at their best in Shoaly,direction by Ramesh Sippy is crisp as well as seminal. Casting issuperb and movie features some of the biggest stars and the finestactors of Bollywood cinema, yet a debutant Amjad Khan steals theshow. Gabbar Singh is the singular most important character evercreated in sub-continent. Salim-Javed wrote great lines for him, butAmjad Khan immortalizes them.

10. Olympia - Pt. 1 & 2 (1936) Lenni Riefenstahl.

An absolute gem, no greatest movie list can be considered authenticwithout mentioning Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia or Triumph of Will.Olympia is Leni Riefenstahl's documentary about the 1936 BerlinOlympics. It consists of two parts. Olympia Part 1: "The Festival ofthe Nation" includes the lighting of the torch ceremony, and thetrack and field events in which Jessie Owens won four Gold Medals.Olympia Part 2: "The Festival of Beauty" includes field hockey, polo,soccer, aquatics, bicycling, sailing, rowing, the marathon race,and the decathlon. This is a groundbreaking and landmark documentaryfilm and was made specifically at Hitler's request.The movie is filmed in blank and white. Leni is an absolute master ofcinematography. The angles she used and her blending and fading fromone scene to the other along with the experiments with outdoorfilming, extremely effective use of dramatic music and depiction ofhuman emotion all make this an extra-ordinary viewing experience.I have read that Leni spent several years personally editing Olympia.She only slept a few hours per nights during those years as she wasobsessed with creating a masterpiece. And her masterpiece ismesmerizing indeed.

10 most influential movies

It's hard todetermine a "most influential film", unless you categorize in whatarea the decision rests i.e technology, storyline or script,production values or performances. I tried to combine all theseareas. These ten movies may not be greatest ever made but undoubtedlythey contributed to the progress of cinema. I have restricted my self to English/Hollywood cinema and feel guilty for not including such masters like Akira Kurosowa, Ingmar Bergman, Sergie Eisenstein and Vitario DeSica even Alfred is my list of tenifluential movies ever produced.

1.The Great Train Robbery (1903):-Directed by Edwin S. Porter, GreatTrain Robbery was the first, what we call a feature film narrating astory. It was a silent film had lot of action and gun fights. Beforethis pioneering western, films were shot and produced placing camerain the centre like a spectator in a theater. Porter pioneered cameramovements like pans and medium close-ups etc. He also experimentedwith parallel story telling, that is, action occurring in differentplaces at the same time and drawing it together at the conclusion. Tothis day, it remains one of the basic story telling tool in cinema.(I have seen only glimpses of this movies-some totas)

2.Birth of a Nation (1915):-This movie set the production grammar.Master craftsman D.W. Griffith directed this epic movie. He was anactor but very soon realized that the creative potential in cinemaexisted behind the camera. He turned cinema to an art form almostsingle-handedly. With his cameraman,legendary Billy Blitzer hepractically invented film production. In `Birth of a Nation, heexperimented with lighting, framing, camera movements etc. The moviehad cuts,dissolves and many other techniques like 'montage'notproperly understood then. Most of production techniques are stillvalid today. In my humble opinion `Birth of a Nation' is the singlemost important and influential movie ever made. I could not get holdof this movie and have seen just few sequences still what everportions I could muster were amazing.

3.The Jazz Singer (1927). It was the first talkie and arguably, themost influential film for the whole industry. The film changed theworld of silent motion pictures. A new era began, and initiated asearch for pleasing, acceptable stars whose voices would sound normaland believable on film. Al Jolson immortalized these words," you aintheard nothing yet".

4.Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937) .This animated productionwas Disney's first full length feature. It is as fresh and delightfulas when it was made. What is so special about it. well let meexplain. In a one second movie length there are 24 frames, when youare doing an animated movie you have to draw each and every frame.This means, if you have to produce around 90 minutes long movie, youare talking about more than 100,000 drawings. Only an eccentric likeWalt Disney could have thought about it. Besides the excellence ofproduction, the superb filming and wonderful music, movie had greatdramatic tension between Ms.White and her little friends and thevillains.

5.Citizen Kane (1941):- Orson Wells co-wrote directed and stared inthis magnificent production, it is his masterpiece. The story isabout a domineering newspaper publisher who builds a vast empire.Citizen Kane broke new grounds in cinematic craftsmanship andpioneered many modern day lighting, shooting and productiontechniques. It is said that the story was based on the life of W.Randolph Hearst and surely remains a gem among Hollywood offerings.

6.Dr No(1962):- It was directed by Terrence Young who was a an ex-airforce flyer. This first James Bond super spy thriller is one ofthe best of the Bond series. Sir Sean Connery made his debut andplayed secret agent 007,who saves the world from a powerful fiend.James Bond movies are tell-tale of western popular culture. Thesefilms sparkle with fabulous humour, thumping music, snappy action,gorgeous girls, exotic gadgets and beautiful locales. Bond moviespioneered marketing gimmicks like product placement. This series hasalso influenced film trade and evolved a winning formula- Car chase,super stunts, martinis shaken not stirred and off course lusciouswomen-What else would you like to see on the screen?

7.Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) :- By seventies, cinema pretty muchgot settled and most of genres were defined. After Vietnam War andWatergate scandal spirits in US were quite low. Americans lost faithin their political system. There were oil shortages, inflation, highunemployment and a sense that American dream was fading away.Hollywood was churning out hippy movies, and than came Star Wars.George Lucas provided a perfect happy ending fantasy. From theopening scroll it touched audience hearts world over. It was amagnificent adventure for a kid in everyone. The movie was part FlashGordon, part Wizard of Oz and had a simple good guys vs bad guysplot . However it changed film trade forever. Before `Star Wars'nobody knew about merchandising, toys, posters, tee-shirts, videocassettes sales etc etc. George Lucas also employed dazzling specialeffects, fantastic Graphics and very believable puppeteering. It alsolaunched Harison Ford ,Mark Hamil and Carrie Fisher to unparallelstardom however R2D2 and C3PO stole the show.I have heard theserobots have been placed in Smithsonian institute.

8.Saturday Night Fever (1976-77):-This movie was based on a newspaperarticle about Brooklyn youth and disco scene of 1970s. Though thescript was loaded with clichés yet it conveyed a convincing statementabout youth culture. It reminded Hollywood about musicals andreignited interest in musicals and dance movies. It was forerunner tomany dance movies including Grease, Flash dance, Fame, StayingAlive , Dirty Dancing and so on. Directed by John Badham, JohnTrovolta debuted as a young disco stud and brought enoughcreditability to the otherwise dark role. And his dancing was a crazeworld over. It was a stunning film debut. Some of the songs by BeeGees like `You should be dancing', `how deep is your love', 'Nightfever' and `Staying Alive' have become pop culture anthems. The moviesound track album remains one of the highest selling albums ever.

9.Pulp Fiction –I have very fond memory of this movie. Back in 90s, Iwent to my video rental shop in F-8 Islamabad which was owned by aretired Chief Tech.I asked for some latest good movie. he said thatthere was a movie which nobody liked but he was sure I wouldappreciate. I was amused by his remarks, still rented it out. and Ihated its every frame and cursed its director as well as my friendchief tech who rented the movie to me. However by concluding sequenceI realized I was watching a new type of cinema. Undoubtedly `PulpFiction' generated a new level of cinema where the film consisted ofnumber of stories which linked into one final outcome. Directed byQuinten Tarintino ,Pulp Fiction is episodical story telling. It isfull of shocking and lyrical violence. The movie turned aroundsagging career of John Travolta and gave Samuel L. Jackson a bigbreak. Uma Thurman was the icing on the cake. Quinten Tarintino madeKill Bill Vol-1 and 2 on the similar format but Pulp Fiction remainshis best effort.

10.The Matrix :- Finally The Matrix; so much has been written aboutthis movie that I cannot add anything to it. Matrix changed the waymovies are made and the way audience watch. The script borrowedheavily from mythology, philosophy and religions. Some of the ideaspresented were rage, like Morpheus telling Neo, "what is real, just abio-chemical signal to your brain." The shooting techniques forexample things like `bullet time' were ground breaking, actionbreathtaking and post production out of the box.

About Omar Khayam

About Omar Khayam

Omar Khayyam's full name was Ghiyath al-Din Abu'l-Fath Umar ibn Ibrahim Al-Nisaburi al-Khayyami. A literal translation of the name al-Khayyami (or al-Khayyam) means 'tent maker' and this was the trade of Ibrahim his father. Khayyam played on the meaning of his own name when he wrote:-

Khayyam, who stitched the tents of science,
Has fallen in grief's furnace and been suddenly burned,
The shears of Fate have cut the tent ropes of his life,
And the broker of Hope has sold him for nothing

He was tutored by Sheik Muhammad Mansuri, one of the most well-known scholars of the time. In his youth, Omar Khayyám studied under Imam Mowaffak of Nishapore, who was considered to be one of the greatest teachers of the Khorassan region. According to one account, two other exceptional students began studying under the same teacher at about the same time. One of these rose to become the Vizier to the Seljukid Empire and was famous as Nizam-ul-Mulk Tussi. The other was Hassan-ibn-Sabah, who went on to become the leader of the Hashshashin and created his "janat"(paradise) in Killa al Mout.

Omar Khayyam was an outstanding mathematician, astronomer and poet. He wrote several works including "Problems of Arithmetic", before he was 25 years old. In 1070 he moved to Samarkand in Uzbekistan which was at that time one of the most culturally advanced and intellectually stimulating cities of Central Asia. There Khayyam wrote his most famous algebra work, "Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra".

Omar Khayyám was a brilliant astronomer as well. He estimated and proved to an audience that included the then-prestigious and most respected scholar Imam Ghazali that the universe is not moving around earth as was believed by all at that time. By constructing a revolving platform and simple arrangement of the star charts lit by candles around the circular walls of the room, he demonstrated that earth revolves on its axis, bringing into view different constellations through out the night and day (completing a one-day cycle).

All these theories were adopted by later day astronomers. He also came up with a star map (now lost). Khayyam measured, in eleventh century,the length of the year as 365.24219858156 days which is outstandingly accurate.

Outside the world of mathematics and astronomy, Omar Khayyam is best known as a result of Edward Fitzgerald's popular translation in 1859 of nearly 600 short four line poems the Rubaiyat. Khayyam's fame as a poet has caused some to forget his scientific achievements which were much more substantial. Versions of the forms and verses used in the Rubaiyat existed in Persian literature before Khayyam, and only about 120 of the verses can be attributed to him with certainty. Of all the verses, the best known is the following:-

The Moving Finger writes, and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

He had some unorthodox ideas and non-conventional views about religion, which is a natural outcome of intellectual curiosity and searching for answers. It is also said that he converted to Christianity. The myth of his supposed Christian faith was spread by some Orientalists after Fitzgerald's translations. He is buried in Nishapore according to the Muslim custom.

Sources:-Britannica and some other material

Nisar Bazmi passes away

Nisar Bazmi, died after a long illness in Karachi on Thursday March22 ,2007 . He was 82. Bazmi Sahab was a brilliant composer and composed many unforgetable songs. AhmedRushdi's "Aise bhi hain meherban" or "kuchh loag rooth kar bhi", Noor Jehan's "Abhi dhoond hi rahi thi", Runa Laila's "Dil dhadke"or "Kaatay na katay", Mehdi Hasan's "Ranjish hi sahi", Nayyara Noor's "Bol re guriya bol zara", and Alamgir's "Hum chale to humaray"are all his unforgettable hits and demonstrate the quality of his work.

Bazmi was born Syed Nisar Ahmed in Mumbai, India, in 1925 into a religious family, he changed his last name to Bazmi to embark on a film music career in Bombay-India. His first film, Jumna Paar, was released in 1946 which immediately established him as a first-rate composer.Bazmi composed songs for more than 40 films in India.

In Pakistan, he started his career with "Aisa bhi hota hai".He also composed some very popular national songs . PTV played agreat role in popularising Mehdi Hasan's "Yeh watan tumhara hai", "Khayalrakhna",by Alamgir "Hum zinda qaum hain" and "Aae rooh-i-Quaid".

I had the honour to record a PAF song with him in 1994.The song "HumArz-e-Pak kee Hawayee Fauj kay Auqab hain"was written by the famous post Sahba Akhtar.Bazmi Sahab composed it and Muhammad Ali Shayki was the singer. He was very particular to give it a `martial-tune' feeling. We later-on shot its video in Sargodha. AM Mushaf Ali Mir was the Base Commander. I wanted a shot where a close formation of four F-16s was to fly under the hovering helicopter with a cameraman. It was quite a complex sequence. However, Base Commander agreed and we went ahead to shoot it. Also I selected some really rugged, tough looking pilots (Muhammad Iqbal 72nd Rafiqui was there) in the video. I remember Director Public Relations PAF joked," I suppose all these guys are there to scare people" .

Bazmi sahib was a very religious man in his private life.May Allahrest his soul in eternal peace.

This was written in March 2007, for Sargodhian forum.A more detailed version will be part of the book.

Something about BEE GEES

BEE GEES are arguably the most durable band in the history of pop music. No other popular music act can claim of attracting audience across decades the '60s, '70s, '80s, or '90s. Bee Gees started in the mid '60s with a Beatlesque sound and quickly developed as songwriters in their own right and style, perfecting in the process a progressivepop sound all their own. They were at the zenith of popularity in thelate 70s. Their popularity faded with the passing of disco's appeal,but they reinvented themselves and transformed to the most successfulwhite soul band of all time. No wonder Bee Gees have following invirtually every corner of the globe.

The Bee Gees are three brothers: Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, and Maurice Gibb. In 1970, while Robin pursued a solo career, the album "Cucumber Castle" was released with just Barry and Maurice as the Bee Gees. After the death of Maurice Gibb, Barry and Robin have stopped performing, however it is said that their music remains on air somewhere around the globe round the clock.

The brothers Gibb were born in the Isle of Man. Barry was born onSeptember 1st 1946. Robin and Maurice, twins, were born on December22nd 1949. The family later on moved to Manchester, England. In 1958 the Gibb family moved to Australia. It was there that the brothers started pursuing professional careers as musicians. Their father, Hugh Gibb had been a professional drummer and band leader in his youth. He guided them well and soon they were performing on local radio and TV broadcasts. Around that time they named themselves the Brothers Gibb, and later, the Bee Gees. Previously they called themselves "The Rattlesnakes".

In 1966 the Bee Gees had their first number one single inAustralia, "Spicks and Specks." The following January the Gibb family boarded a ship back to England. The 1967 album "Bee Gees First" was a tremendous debut. However they sounded so Beattlesque that the single, "New York Mining Disaster 1941", was believed by many to be recorded by the `Beatles' under a different name. With thesuccess of "Holiday" and "To Love Somebody", people soon knew quite well who the Bee Gees were. Later that year, the Bee Gees released the album "Horizontal" which had an amazing single "Massachusetts"which topped the UK charts. Next year in 1968, the "Idea" album followed having classics like "I Started a Joke" and "I've Gotta Get a Message To You". Despite being brothers and years of performing together, the sudden rise to fame overwhelmed the Bee Gees. In 1969, with the releaseof "Odessa" album, Robin departed to pursue a solo career. Meanwhile,Barry and Maurice continued together as the Bee Gees. Their next album, "Cucumber Castle",was a modest success. Soon after, however,Barry and Maurice went their separate ways as well.

Thereconciliation was slow and gradual. Barry once remarked that if they hadn't been brothers, they probably never would have gotton backtogether. Their get together "Two Years On" album seemed more likean anthology of three soloists than a group effort. This album had "Lonely Days", another huge hit. On their next album, "Trafalgar", the reconciliation process continued.

Bee Gees finally had their first #1 single in theUS, "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart". The success of this classic showed that the brothers were far more successful as a group than they would ever be as soloists."Trafaglar"and their next effort, the 1972 album "To Whom It May Concern", demonstrated that Bee Gees were best doing soft ballads.The songs "Run To Me" and "My World" were typical of the group's sound of that time.Bee Gees decided to move to United States and find new directions musically. Unfortunately, Bee Gees were not successful in US initially but they recovered and in 1974 Bee Gees recorded "MainCourse", featuring "Jive Talkin", "Nights on Broadway", and "Fanny(Be Tender With My Love)". The sound of the album was intrinsically different and far more intense.

The 1976 "Children of the World" album was a true test of their talents. The album's first single, "You Should BeDancing", quickly rose to success as the dance clubs latched on to its intense rhythms and falsetto harmonies. Among the trendy night clubs and discotheques, the song became an anthem. Other songs from thealbum,"Boogie Child" and "Love So Right", also did very well.

And then came "Saturday Night Fever". Robert Stigwood, their manager and friend requested some songs for a movie soundtrack he was producing-a low budget dance movie set in Brooklyn. He persuaded brothers to give him the songs that were already recorded for their next album. These recordings eventually became the soundtrack of "Saturday Night Fever". In late 1977, the film "Saturday Night Fever" was released. Three songs from the soundtrack -- "How Deep Is Your Love", "Stayin Alive", and "Night Fever" -- instantly climbed to the top of the singles charts. The soundtrack album stayed at #1 for24 weeks, becoming the all time top selling album up to that time, and remains even now one of the best selling album in history of pop music.

At one point, Gibb compositions held all the top five slots on Billboard's top ten. With the astounding success of the "SaturdayNight Fever" soundtrack, Disco suddenly was a rage around the globe.This sort of success naturally evokes a wide span of reactions,ranging from blind imitation to outright resentment and loathing and thus an anti-disco backlash began.It was unfortunate and unfair that the Bee Gees were blamed for disco. Had the movie "Saturday Night Fever" never been made, and those same compositions made their way to the Bee Gees' next studio album as originally planned, the whole "disco fever" travesty might have been avoided.

Disco was as much a fashion fad as a music trend and the irony was that the Bee Gees didn't like to dance and didn't even like the movie" Saturday Night Fever ". They took pride in their craft, not in the merchandising of garish disco lifestyle.In their next studio album, "Spirits Having Flown", they sought to be different. The lead single, "Too Much Heaven", was a slow ballad,not a disco dance tune. The "Spirits Having Flown" album had avariety of musical styles, from the Caribbean feel of the title track to the smokey nightclub sound of "Stop, Think Again." "Tragedy", was undeniably disco in style but it was quite rockish.Still everybody blamed Bee Gees for disco.

Early eighties were not agood time for the brothers because of the disco backlash and the emergence of punk rock and new wave groups defining the sound of the80's.the release of "Living Eyes" was hence a huge disaster.For the next 5 to 6 years Bee Gees didn't release any more studio albums. They didn't go on tour. Instead, their efforts were divided between writing and producing for other artists and working on their own occasional solo projects. The lone exception to this period was the soundtrack to the movie "Stayin' Alive". Sylvester Stallone was hired to direct this sequel to "Saturday Night Fever". Looking at the film, it is obvious that this was a work crafted in Stallone's own image. Even John Travolta ended up looking like Rambo.

Barbra Streisand asked the brothers to work with her on her nextalbum. Barry agreed and produced her album "Guilty" which had three top 10 singles in 1980, and has been the most successful album of her career.Later on Barry produced Dionne Warwick's "Heartbreaker" LP, and "Eyes That See In The Dark" for Kenny Rogers. "Islands in the Stream" was a huge country hit for Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. It also crossed over and dominated mainstream pop also one of very few country duets to ever do so. In all the excitement, people didn't seem to notice who wrote and composed the song. The biggest country hit of 1983 was written by the same composers who wrote the disco anthem "Stayin' Alive". Bee Gees had made a most remarkable transition in their music, and hardly anyone seemed to realize it.

As if to emphasize the point, the Bee Gees made another transition.They agreed to work on a R&B album for Motown diva DianaRoss. "Eaten Alive" and the single "Chain Reaction" gave Diana Ross her first major chart success on the both sides of Atlantic. Surprisingly, Bee Gees had proven their worth as songwriters and producers with both country music and R&B acts but at the sametime their own career was going nowhere. In 1987, The "E.S.P." album brought the single "You Win Again", a #1 success in several countries. The USA, however, wasn't one of them.

Following the tragic death of younger brother Andy Gibb in 1988, the Bee Gees started to seriously re-evaluate their careers.Trying to make sense of the tragedy, they also began to feel a needto truly dedicate themselves to what they've always done best; theirmusic-song writing and performing. Regardless of what the criticsthought about Bee Gees, they made a come back with the 1989 album "One" which brought the brothers success in USA and Europe. For the first time in ten years, Bee Gees set forth on a world tour.In 1993, they released the CD "Size Isn't Everything". Appearances on radio and TV brought inevitable one-liners about the meaning of the title. Howard Stern asked them "which one is the 'biggest' Bee Gee? Answer was off course Barry.

In 1997 Bee Gees were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.Their 1997 release, "Still Waters," debuted at #2 on the UK charts.The compilation album "The Very Best of the Bee Gees" also remained in the top ten for quite some time.Despite many ups and downs their extraordinary song-writing, composing and singing-rooted in the voices that are appealing individually as well as melding together so perfectly and naturally-remained a constant through out their history. Their harmonies are so good that they make the Beatles, the Everly Brothers, and Simon &Garfunkel - all famous for their harmonies - almost seem hollow and artificial. After the death of Maurice Gibb they have stopped performing still I am sure they would be planning another album or the next single.

I am also listing my favourite Bee Gees songs:-

1. I started a joke

2. Massachusetts

3. How deep is your love?

4. staying alive

5. Night fever

6. Words

7. Too much heaven

8. Closer than close

9. New York mining disaster

10. Nights on Broadway

Note:-several print and internet sources have been used for the article.