|Released June 1976 (UK)
July 1976 (US)|
Format Gramophone record (7" 45 RPM)
Recorded 19 January–1, 8 February 1976 Criteria Studios, Miami, Florida 6 May 1976, Le Studio, Morin Heights, Quebec
"You Should Be Dancing" is a song by the Bee Gees, from the album Children of the World, released in 1976. It hit No. 1 for one week on the American Billboard Hot 100, No. 1 for seven weeks on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart, and in September the same year, reached No. 5 on the UK Singles Chart. The song also peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Soul chart. It was this song that first launched the Bee Gees into disco. It was also the only track from the group to top the dance chart.
It is also one of six songs performed by the Bee Gees included in the Saturday Night Fever movie soundtrack which came out a year later.
"You Should Be Dancing" was recorded 19 January, 1 and 8 February, and 6 May 1976 with Barry Gibb providing lead vocals in falsetto. Barry had developed his falsetto to an incredible degree in the ten months since the release of "Baby As You Turn Away" from the Main Course album on which he sang a full song in falsetto for the first time (except for its chorus). Keyboardist Blue Weaver recalls that Maurice Gibb wrote the bass line and sang the horn parts to the brass players, while Barry sang parts for Weaver to play, while guitarist Alan Kendall got in a short guitar solo for its instrumental break.
Stephen Stills was also at Criteria Studios recording the album Long May You Run with his band and Neil Young. Stills added percussion on the song's February sessions. Members of Stills's backing band, George Perry (bass) and Joe Lala (percussion), also worked with the Bee Gees on some songs.
The song was their third Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 and their sixth No. 1 in Canada. It ended as the No. 31 song of the year. In the '70s some of the Bee Gees' songs were deemed too uptempo for AC/Easy Listening Radio which led to "You Should Be Dancing" only reaching No. 25 on that chart. It also hit No. 4 in Ireland. In Australia, where the brothers spent a number of years in their youth, it managed only to nick the top 20.
"You Should Be Dancing" is known today as the first chart-topper in which Barry Gibb uses his now-trademark falsetto in a lead vocal (he had previously used it on the top 10 "Nights on Broadway" and on "Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)"). Earlier songs, such as "Jive Talkin'", had Gibb use a melodic blue-eyed soul vocal style.
Credits adapted from the album Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track.
Blockster released a cover, titled "You Should Be...", which reached number three in the UK chart in January 1999.
Other cover versions
Blake Lewis, the runner-up on the sixth season of American Idol, performed the song on the show on 8 May 2007. His studio version was later released on the American Idol official website and on American Idol Season 6: The Collector's Edition, a compilation of studio versions of songs performed by Idol finalists.
In 2012, the song was featured in the Glee episode "Saturday Night Glee-ver". The song was sung by Blaine Anderson (portrayed by Darren Criss), Mike Chang (Harry Shum, Jr.) and Brittany Pierce (Heather Morris).
In popular culture
The song was prominently featured in the 1977 movie Saturday Night Fever and appears on its soundtrack album. Live performances of "You Should Be Dancing" during the 1979 Spirits Having Flown tour featured the Bee Gees' younger sibling, Andy Gibb, on backing vocals as a part-time Bee Gee.
The Boston Celtics also play this song when they are about to win a basketball game in a convincing manner accompanied by the ever-popular "Gino Time" video from the television show American Bandstand. Recently, the Tampa Bay Rays have started playing the song at home games between innings.
The song was also featured at the end of the film Despicable Me, in which the minions replace ballet music with the song so everyone can dance.
In November 2010, the song featured in the Christmas advert for British retail store Marks & Spencer.