The Bee Gees were a pop music group formed in 1958. The group’s line-up consisted of brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. The trio were successful for most of their decades of recording music, but they had two distinct periods of exceptional success: as a rock act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and as prominent performers of the disco music era in the late 1970s. The group sang recognisable three-part tight harmonies; Robin’s clear vibrato lead vocals were a hallmark of their earlier hits, while Barry’s R&Bfalsetto became their signature sound during the late 1970s and 1980s. They wrote all of their own hits, as well as writing and producing several major hits for other artists.
Born on the Isle of Man to English parents, the Gibb brothers lived in Chorlton, Manchester, England, until the late 1950s, and formed the Rattlesnakes. The family then moved to Redcliffe, in Queensland, Australia, and then to Cribb Island. After achieving their first chart success in Australia as the Bee Gees with “Spicks and Specks” (their 12th single), they returned to the UK in January 1967 where producer Robert Stigwood began promoting them to a worldwide audience.
The Bee Gees have sold more than 220 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997; the presenter of the award to “Britain’s first family of harmony” was Brian Wilson, historical leader of the Beach Boys, a “family act” also featuring three harmonising brothers. The Bee Gees’ Hall of Fame citation says “Only Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold the Bee Gees.”
Following Maurice’s sudden death in January 2003 at the age of 53, Barry and Robin retired the group’s name after 45 years of activity. In 2009 Robin announced that he and Barry had agreed that the Bee Gees would re-form and perform again. Robin died in May 2012 at the age of 62, after a prolonged struggle with cancer and other health problems, leaving Barry as the lone surviving member of the group.
Ordinary Lives—-Before I even get started with this, let me say…this is really one of my very favorite Bee Gee’s releases. There are no false pretenses…little or no falsetto’s….only straight forward miraculous pop music that still resonates with me today…on with the show! This track…with some spoken word and huge harmonies is a focal point of this release…Barry sings in lower tones….Robin and he harmonize in a miraculous way…this is soft and syrup filled…but sticks in your head and makes you wake in the middle of the night screaming lyrics because it will not leave you alone…. this is pure masterpiece crafting…the loss of this band is sad….I miss them.
One—-Meant to be the center[piece of this release, make no doubt…this is pure pop craft…but in my humble opinion…not the best track on this release. This is strong…a huge chorus that begs for repeated listens…a bass line that sticks in your brain….harmonies that are amazing…a bit of falsetto…but nothing to overt. This is a masterpiece.
Bodyguard—-With a revolving vocal line that was Robins, there is a bit of falsetto here…but nothing to detract from the wistful harmony and beautiful arrangement. This has a real 70’s throwback feel to it…the harmonies just make me want to cry. This is a masterpiece…a very unappreciated release…this is one classic song after the other.
It’s My Neighborhood—-Although this rather beefy song was played lots live, it never brought the attention that the Brothers intended….this is a great track…funky with horns and a huge bass line. This was written by Maurice…it is pleasant….but it never materialized the way it was intended. This is so underrated!
Tears—-Full of the plush and luxurious sound that the trio were known for, this is a tear jerk-er at it’s finest. When the three voices combine…you are transported to a better time and place. This is like velvet that rubs your skin on cold nights…I could never ask for more…this is just a fantastic release!!!
Tokyo Nights—-Written and primarily preformed by Robin, this is one of the most addictive tracks on this release. This is full of classic sounds…Robins odd vocals…a nice instrumentation and a god damn addictive melody that stays in your brain for DAYS! If you are a fan…you must own this release!
Flesh And Blood—-From the onset, a rather quiet song….perhaps this was a throw away track…it falls a bit flat when stood up next to the previous track…but once that huge chorus hits…you will sing along to it. Not a failure…but not huge either.
Wish You Were Here—-Another slower 70’s inspired ballad…but that is not to say this is a bad recording. I love the harmonies…the bring immediate comfort and a warm feeling to me. The falsetto in the far background adds to the depth of the song. This is remarkable…never heard…but really appreciated among true fans.
House Of Shame—-Another track penned by Maurice, this is really nice. The beats are huge and remind you of glory days. Of course it is keyboard inspired. You almost never hear Maurice sing…so this is a real treat. The chorus is literally HUGE…it has that recipe…it will stay in your brain.
Will You Ever Let Me—-Rhythmic and horn laden, this is a nice track….Barry has never sounded better. This is fantastic….the refrain is catchy…but the chorus takes you over…reminding you of a long lost Michael Jackson track. Nice!
Wing And A Prayer—-Ending the release with a strong finish, the melodies that these Brothers produced are incredible. The falsetto is hear and the catchy melody is already living in your brain….this is truly a fantastic release.
****1/2 out of 5