6 songs we bet you didn't know the Bee Gees wrote
You probably know the Bee Gees' classic hits such as "Stayin' Alive," "Night Fever" and "How Deep Is Your Love," but did you know the Bee Gees also penned huge hits for other artists? Indeed, the Bee Gees' impressive songcraft has earned praise as being on par with the likes of the Beatles. From Barbra Streisand to Diana Ross and Frankie Valli, we've gathered six classics you just might be surprised to learn were written by the brothers Gibb — Barry, Robin and Maurice.
Barbra Streisand, "Woman In Love"
Streisand's signature No. 1 smash hit "Woman In Love" wasn't the only song on its accompanying album, 1980's Guilty, written by the Bee Gees. In fact, the entire chart-topping album was co-written and produced by Barry Gibb, with songwriting assists from his brothers on "Woman In Love" and the album's title track (a duet with Barry Gibb).
Dionne Warwick, "Heartbreaker"
A peerless interpreter of song, Warwick turned in a heart-wrenching vocal on this Gibb brothers-penned Top 10 hit. Taken from her 1982 album of the same name, "Heartbreaker" may sound like an obvious home run but, believe it or not, the Bee Gees had to convince her it would be a hit record. Giving the track up, however, was a little heartbreaking for some. "I cried my eyes out after we wrote it," remarked Maurice Gibb. "I drove home and thought, 'We should be doing this one,' and when she did it, it was brilliant. We sang on it, and it still became like a duet between the Bee Gees and Dionne Warwick."
Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, "Islands In The Stream"
When you think of the Bee Gees, country music probably isn't the first thing to come to mind. But the brothers had their hands in this breezy No. 1 hit for country superstars Rogers and Parton. According to Robin and Barry Gibb, the song was originally conceptualized as an R&B tune for Marvin Gaye. A testament to the Gibbs' songwriting prowess, it was ultimately countrified and released as the first single from Rogers' 1983 album, Eyes That See In The Dark.
Celine Dion, "Immortality"
Featured on Dion's 1997 album, Let's Talk About Love, "Immortality" was written by the Bee Gees with the golden-voiced Canadian singer in mind. And who are the background vocalists you hear on the track? The Gibb brothers themselves. They also made a cameo appearance in the second music video released for the track in 1998. Thanks to strong songs such as "Immortality," which was a U.K. Top 5 hit, Let's Talk About Love reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
Diana Ross, "Chain Reaction"
Released via Ross' 1985 album, Eaten Alive, this eventual No. 1 hit single nearly didn't make the final cut. "'Chain Reaction' was never originally meant to be on the album," Barry Gibb later revealed in 1000 UK Number One Hits. "We'd done the whole album and Diana said, 'Well, we still need one more song from somewhere.' We had 'Chain Reaction' all along but didn't have the nerve to play it to her because it was so Motown-ish that we were scared she wouldn't go back there." The song charted on the Billboard Hot 100, but was especially popular in the U.K. and Australia, reaching No. 1 on the charts.
Frankie Valli, "Grease"
Written entirely by Barry Gibb as the title track for the 1978 film of the same name, "Grease" earned Valli the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for his most recent Top 40 hit. Grease director Robert Stigwood was hesitant at first, concerned that the song didn't fit the '50s vibe of the film, but cooler heads prevailed. "'Grease' was one of the biggest records I ever had in my career," Vall later exclaimed. Barry Gibb can be heard singing backup vocals on the recording, which also features Peter Frampton on lead guitar.