(Barry Gibb/Robin Gibb)
This song was written in the matter of an hour when the Bee Gees were in the middle of writing the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. The singer Samantha Sang had flown to Miami with her manager and just turn up unannounced requesting a new song and she was offered this one or “Our Love (Don’t Throw It All Away)”. She took “Emotion” away with her but went back again about 6 months later saying that no-one would produce it for her as it was so “Bee Gees influenced”. It was agreed that they would produce it and Barry Gibb and Samantha Sang recorded it as a duet with Robin and Maurice Gibb singing background vocals. Many labels refused the master copy because they felt that Samantha Sang could not make it without the Bee Gees link in future recordings, but eventually Private Stock took her on and the single reached No. 3 on the Billboard chart in 1977 and remained on the best-selling list for the next 6 months. This version of it was featured in the film The Stud starring Joan Collins.
In 1978 Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams used a cover of it as the B-Side of their No. 1 hit “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late” which had been co-written by the Bee Gees’ former producer who had looked after them in Australia in the 1960s. In this version it is called “Emotions” rather than just the singular “Emotion” and appears on their album You Light Up My Life.
23 years after seeing its first chart success the Bee Gees finally recorded their own version of it and included it on their 2001 The Record. The group Destiny’s Child also covered it in 2001 and took it to No. 3 in the UK and No.10 in the US. Because of the song coinciding with the tragedy of 9/11 it was given a lot of radio play and used as a tribute to the families of the victims. It was covered again in 2001 by Wild Orchid for their album Fire, but was unreleased.
Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams recordings
S CBS 6164B (UK 45)