Bee Gees: Classic or Dud

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in the 60s, they were twee before, uh, people thought being twee was a good idea; in the mid-70s, they had a brief fling with blue-eyed; by the late 70s, they were kings of the disco, for better or worse, with the pants and tans to prove it. my understanding is that they've also been releasing music in the 80s, 90s, and 00s. good for them!

the bee gees, then, awesome australian auteurs or treacly, trend-hopping trash? i trust that i won't be alone in considering them classic, yet i feel that i'll be made to stand in the corner by myself for suggesting that odessa is better than any beatles album you care to name.

fred "the fourth bee gee" solinger, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

with blue-eyed soul, that should read.

fred solinger, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

The 'Main Course' album is fantastic! Dig that phat bass on "Nights on Broadway" and "Jive Talkin'"!

tarden, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I don't really care for the twee 60s stuff, though I usually am a fan of all things twee. They just don't seem to get it right somehow.

However, their 70's output is pretty awesome, especially the Saturday Night Fever album.

They should have retired or disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle afterwards.

I do hope that The Solinger takes the fourth bee gee title seriously and starts going to tanning booths and getting a beard. Maybe then he'd be cool. Somehow I doubt it though.

Nicole, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

O-ho, you are coming round to beards now are you?

Tom, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Well, when a face has a reason to be obscured, I'm down with beards.

But come to think of it, the Bee Gees looked cool. Bonny Prince Billy looks better furry. So why not? My hostility towards them is fading.

Nicole, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

i sorta like the '60s stuff , but the '70s stuff is mostly fantastic. "Blue eyed soul", yeah okeydoke, right, that was a genre. i recently discovered belatedly what a great song "Sarah Smile" by Hall & Oates is - who else is there tho' ? not bowie 'cause he only had 1 blue eye. Todd Rundgren? ( can i semi-hijack this thread for some blue-eyed-soul-searching?) The Bee Gees now tho', too bad they're still going 'cause I seen 'em on the teev a pile of times lately & really, they were crap.

duane zarakov, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Boz Scaggs and Robert "Numanoid" Palmer

mark s, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

of course. thanks mark.

d. zarakov, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

i think they did the twee thing marvellously. with robin taking leads, i can't imagine a wimpier sounding band. in a fight, i'd take stuart murdoch over robin, though admittedly barry is a swarthy fella and maurice thankfully had the band to keep him from a life of being a creepy guy in a trenchcoat. (maybe robin never grew a beard because he couldn't, he was far too feminine.)

actually, there were four bee gees at one point, one glance at their first best of cover will tell you that much. who he was is a question that remains unanswered for me. the brothers gibb are hanging out and then there's this other guy, like father gibb paid him to be in the band so the guys would have friends who weren't family members.

as for blue-eyed soul, yeah, hall & oates, bowie (on young americans and elsewhere), the righteous brothers, the rascals, rundgren, DUSTY!, van the man (on moondance, at least), the box tops, mitch ryder, the soul survivors, the average white band, etc.

fred solinger, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Truly dire, for all the reasons you list and more. They're not even one of those bands that I can take the "No, but their early, 60s psych stuff was good!" high road on. (eg Status Quo)

Did you really think I was going to say anything else?

masonic boom, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

*sticks a finger down throat*

*gags uncermoneously*

*leaves room to put on GOOD music, not this Bee Gees rubbish*

Sums it up nicely.

Ally, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

1970s tasteful man "The Bee gees suck!" 1980s everyone "Bee Gees suck!" 1990s ironic "The Bee Gees rule!" 2000s man lookin g back in anger "The Bee gees suck!"

-- Mike Hanley, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

"You Could Be Dancing" and "Stayin' Alive" are classics for sure but for all Fred's attempts I've not had much luck with the rest of the Bee Gees' stuff. "To Love Somebody" he's convinced me is good, but the 60s stuff....eeeh.

Tom, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I like "I Started a Joke," but I would. I do have to say that "Tragedy" is way overrated, though, the sound of someone burning out on a sound, and badly.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

CLASSIC. They blow Abba away, IMHO (and I like Abba.) I have a best- of from the 60s, but it doesn't do much for me. All those mid-to-late 70s singles are fucking incredible, though. Great melodies, good dancing groove, very unique sound (you can tell immediately when a song is the Bee Gees; which seems a clue to turn off the radio to many here.) All you haters will come around eventually.

Mark, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Never! Is 'Pitchfork' symbolic of the fact you are clearly in league with the Devil? And no, he doesn't have the best tunes in this case.

DG, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

just the other day, a co-worker was saying, "man, that mark is an ASSHOLE." and i leapt to this defense, saying, "oh, he is NOT." and then he asked, "why not?"

and i froze, i really had no answer for him. that is until now! mark, you singlehandedly redeem all of pitchfork. surely, the bee gees aren't greater than abba -- hardly a crime! -- even though they have more great songs. abba's best songs are better than the bee gee's best, that's all. however, if you take "world" off of the first best- of and replace it with "melody fair," you've got an album that'll give gold a run for its money.

what's funny is how it all used to be, "many are quick to judge the bee gees based on their disco work, but few are aware of the classic pop they churned out in the 60s." but now it's "that 60s stuff really isn't my thing, but the saturday night fever soundtrack is great!"

fred solinger, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Admit it, Fred, you think "The Woman in You" from 1984 or so is their best song.

And, alas, you and Mark are both wrong in my eyes, because you are making the wrong claims. You don't want the songs, you want the image, the beards, tans and gold medallions, as Nicole indicated. Admit you are both Lotharios.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

What a disturbing image that is, Ned.

Ally, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I forgot to mention the teeth.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

DAMN YOU NED.

Ally, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

THey sing like wussies.

-- Mike Hanley, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

ned, you and nicole say all of this like this isn't what i'm doing, like this isn't who i already am.

fred solinger, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I already let the cat out of the bag and told Josh what you really looked like, Fred: an indie boy.

Ally, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

All I know is that ANY discussion of the Bee Gees & their chest hair must include unabashed praise of "How Deep Is Your Love". God damn it, any of those fucking Swedes crapping out synth ballads for the next Lou Perlman Production should listen to this song and just GIVE UP.

If I could rescue that song from the disco hell that is the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, I'd be very, very, very, very happy. Two, twice, two times.

So, Fred, you're saying that someone with interest in the Gibb's frilly baroque pop period should start with Odessa?

David Raposa, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I was about to say, Fred. I've seen your sweet limpid eyes -- you're not *man* enough to be from Australia.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I see where Tom is coming from. "Massachussetts", "Words", "World" and "First of May" all make me feel sick. I like "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?" though.

Classic Bee Gees singles: "Jive Talkin'", "You Should Be Dancing", "Stayin' Alive", "Tragedy". "Night Fever" just isn't strong enough, "Spirits (Having Flown)" is just too twee, all the singles from 1987 onwards are execrable AOR.

Robin Carmody, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

david, yes. it's a concept album about love and loss at sea at the turn of the century (20th, that is). lots of strings and horns and some psychedelia and mercifully only one "joke" track (about squaredancing!). title track is probably the most ambitious thing they've ever done and it works.

robin, i have to admit that i'm a sucker for "first of may," especially in the context of odessa where it's theme of young love lost forever is amplified to the nth degree. and "night fever" is FABULOUS, the string arranging is brilliant and it's so well composed (with three distinct parts).

fred solinger, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Swedes?

-- Mike Hanley, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Oh, I like "Night Fever" *objectively*. It just doesn't do as much for me as I always feel it should.

"First of May" is such a sad whinge for Innocence Lost, though ...

Robin Carmody, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Fucking classic - because they grew up in my state's capital city, because they met my mum when she was but a wee teenage whore, and because they along with air supply make the best australian music to be lonely to.

Geoff, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

oh, and i only dress like barry gibb when i go to work. someone stands at the entrance of the floor ready to cue "staying alive" so that i may strut my way into the office. when i leave, the top four buttons get buttoned and the gold medallion hidden.

fred solinger, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

classic, they are not australian though as they were all born in the uk and all of their success came while they were in the uk. andy gibb was silly. maurice married lulu, lucky guy. barry's pants had very severe crotch cuts.

keith, Wednesday, 6 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

yeah but keith _we_ gave them their first break with Spics & Specks. (no disrespect to the hispanics on board.)

Geoff, Thursday, 7 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

There's a heap o'way cool moms connected to this forum. (And Clarke's Dad, also...)

(Geoff, you're not actually hinting you're a Bee Gee by Blood, are you?)

mark s, Thursday, 7 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

not unless the beegees were two alcoholic depressed pseudo catholics living in Toowoowmba for all of their lives. Dad did have a really bad beard from 1976-89 though.

Geoff, Thursday, 7 June 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...
Please check out Trafalger (spelling?), Bee Gees First, Cucumber Castle, etc... They are all amazing. The pre-disco Bee Gees is the best parts of Bowie, Walker, Lennon/McCartney, and early Elton John. They were total pop gods. That stuff even gets you into liking the disco stuff as you see where it came from.

Mark, Sunday, 30 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

2 years pass...
what was I saying upthread all that time ago??? "World" is extraordinary!

robin carmody (robin carmody), Saturday, 15 November 2003 03:22 (10 years ago) Permalink

and I was way too hard on "Spirits (Having Flown)"

robin carmody (robin carmody), Saturday, 15 November 2003 03:22 (10 years ago) Permalink

the song, that is, not the LP (which I haven't heard in full)

robin carmody (robin carmody), Saturday, 15 November 2003 03:23 (10 years ago) Permalink

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a song being "twee". "Twee" is a sign of quality.

Geirvald Hongfjeld jr., Saturday, 15 November 2003 03:29 (10 years ago) Permalink

Classic from 1967 until roughly 1970. Dud in the early 70s. Classic around "Main Course". Dud around "Saturday Night Fever". Neither after that.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Saturday, 15 November 2003 03:47 (10 years ago) Permalink

And, no, I doubt Sigvald Grøsfjeld would have said that. He probably hasn't even heard the term..

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Saturday, 15 November 2003 03:52 (10 years ago) Permalink

5 months pass...
A student has just thoughtfully burned me disc 2 of Their Greatest Hits - The Record. Surely I cannot be convinced that "More Than A Woman" is not the best song ever written (or at least under that title. Sorry A, we'll always have "Can I Come Over") (actually I REALLY blame this on Neil and Rachel's Comic Relief dance). My parents had the SNF sndtrk and Abba Greatest Hits Vol. 2 on vinyl, but sadly Pearl Jam never covered either and they grew dust.

Wait, I had a question... *rummages around in bag* Should I buy albums or just stick with singles comps?

Dave M. (rotten03), Monday, 26 April 2004 05:27 (10 years ago) Permalink

My first reaction on seeing this thread was GOD NO! But I had the misfortune to be a teenager when they were at their height and they stood for everything I hated about the 70s. I suppose they are serviceable pop. but I just can't shake them out if their cultural context as hedonistic coke-disco-culture icons.

Orbit (Orbit), Monday, 26 April 2004 05:31 (10 years ago) Permalink

I thought so as well, but I was totally and ecstatically wrong. The route through is as follows: Luomo => Frankie Knuckles mix sets off deephousepage => Donna Summer: On The Radio => Bee Gees => open collared shirts / hedonistic coke disco EXCELSIOR

Dave M. (rotten03), Monday, 26 April 2004 05:33 (10 years ago) Permalink

11 months pass...
Bad style, sure, but so, so classic. Serious props to "(Our Love) Don't Give It All Away" — just a gorgeous chorus. Among the better known songs, "Too Much Heaven" was a #1, I believe, but what a remarkable homage to The Delfonics it is...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 25 April 2005 13:32 (9 years ago) Permalink

I heard "One" the other day at Wal-Mart. I'd forgotten what a good song it is – and what great production.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Monday, 25 April 2005 15:32 (9 years ago) Permalink

I came across this last week and thought it was pretty interesting.

Ken L (Ken L), Monday, 25 April 2005 15:36 (9 years ago) Permalink

I admire them. "Mr. Natural" is a great album, their first with Arif Mardin. Their later "disco" stuff is better than their late-'60s music, they adapted. I mean you can't say that about the Easybeats, who were probably better in the '60s. I don't think "Odessa" or "Two Years On" are really great records, but they're real interesting. Robin Gibb's "Robin's Reign" is one of the better oddities of 1970, and I've been listening to the unreleased album he did after that one, "Sing Slowly Sisters," which is truly fucking weird. I like the way the Bee Gees were out in the ether, it sort of doesn't relate to anything and that's always a goal worth striving for.

My pals and I made the trek to Memphis to interview Alex Chilton once, back before he was really famous, and he was living with his mom down there and had no money. We're sitting in this biker bar and he goes off about Gibb's "Robin's Reign," very amusing:

"I mean, I like everything, you know, but then again what I would do would be something different. But Robin Gibb’s solo album, this is before the Bee Gees went disco, he had quit the group, he though he was too great to be in it. I didn’t find it until 1977. I was in New York. I was going through this record store and I always kind of liked Robin Gibb the way he’d stand there like Bette Davis (puts finger in cheek). You know, I thought his songs were the best songs they had done and I saw this album and had to buy it and took it home and it was really great."

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Monday, 25 April 2005 16:07 (9 years ago) Permalink

Funny, I always hated "One".

Interesting about Chilton — Robin's stuff is fantastic. Say what you will, but nobody sounds like him, and Sing Slowly Sisters is really quite a remarkable example of 60's orchestral pop at its most expansive.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 25 April 2005 17:40 (9 years ago) Permalink

Regarding their pre-Arif Mardin stuff, I haven't really heard near enough to comment. Either it doesn't get very much airplay at all, or I just coincidentally manage to switch to oldies stations immediately after they've just been played.

As for their disco-era stuff, specially their "Saturday Night Fever" contributions: Classic. But I'm reminded of an accurate comment Matty made recently on the "Supertramp's Breakfast In America: C or D? thread. An unflattering comparison was made between both groups and their over-reliance on "mewling" falsetto lead vocals. A complaint I can totally relate to, despite my giving both groups "classic" status.

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Monday, 25 April 2005 17:54 (9 years ago) Permalink

"Massachusetts" and "Lonely Days" were hits from that era. Even I, a fan of all things baroque-pop and so forth, find "Odessa" and "Trafalgar" and "Two Years On" tough going, like I can't really sit thru the whole album, altho individual songs are wrong/interesting/about something completely bizarre/stupid enough/enough strange mediated pop tricks in them, etc., to make me listen.

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Monday, 25 April 2005 18:19 (9 years ago) Permalink

There's not really a weak track on Odessa, is there?

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Monday, 25 April 2005 18:23 (9 years ago) Permalink

Oh, I don't know, like I say, I have a high tolerance for this kind of thing, but I find the title track of "Odessa" pretty much unlistenable. Big inspiration on the Decemberists, I'd say. It just sounds wrong to me, even I as admire the skill involved, I just don't see the point. I like "Suddenly" a lot. I much prefer the "Horizontal" album.

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Monday, 25 April 2005 18:29 (9 years ago) Permalink

Whatever happened to the fourth bee gee, I wonder?

Leon Future Coffee (Ex Leon), Monday, 25 April 2005 18:31 (9 years ago) Permalink

The Bee Gees never ever surpassed their 1967 debut. Remains the best thing they ever did.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Tuesday, 26 April 2005 10:56 (9 years ago) Permalink

their '70s, disco music is better than "Bee Gees' 1st."

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Tuesday, 26 April 2005 14:16 (9 years ago) Permalink

Debatable when the record in question contains "Holiday"...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 26 April 2005 14:54 (9 years ago) Permalink

Also "Odessa" has "Lamplight" and "Edison" and "First of May" on it, it should be noted. "Odessa" is not their first album.

A Viking of Some Note (Andrew Thames), Tuesday, 26 April 2005 14:56 (9 years ago) Permalink

How's thehir '80s output – "E.S.P." and all that stuff? Those records were big in Europe, whatever that means.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 26 April 2005 15:10 (9 years ago) Permalink

Well put — and I have no idea.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 26 April 2005 15:15 (9 years ago) Permalink

I like the early hits a lot but there is something a little thin and samey sounding about the production and arrangements so I can't bear to listen to them all in a row. We should really start a Bee Gees POX and put money where mouth is. I'd do it but I don't have my ten picked out yet.

Ken L (Ken L), Tuesday, 26 April 2005 15:25 (9 years ago) Permalink

"ESP" has "You Win Again" on it at least (I'm pretty sure), that song's up there w/anything they did

A Viking of Some Note (Andrew Thames), Tuesday, 26 April 2005 15:32 (9 years ago) Permalink

I'm making a bestof Bee Gees (and Robin Gibb, too) CD for my girlfriend--the early stuff. "Mr. Natural," the more I listen, is really incredible, maybe their best single album-as-album...

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Tuesday, 26 April 2005 15:42 (9 years ago) Permalink

2 years pass...

this box set is amazing

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 5 July 2007 16:07 (7 years ago) Permalink

Which -- Tales?

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 5 July 2007 18:30 (7 years ago) Permalink

The Studio Albums: 1967-1968
6 CDs, the first three full lengths (First, Horizontal, and Idea) + loads of extras, b-sides, ad jingles, alternate versions. Could do without the mono mixes (who gives a shit) but the rest is great.

what a strange band.

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 5 July 2007 18:33 (7 years ago) Permalink

I am a bird; watch me go drifting by.
With my feathers of power I laugh as the hours go slowly by.
That could mean ev'rything.
I am a street watching the people walk.
As I listen their conversations glisten as they start to talk.
Then I hear ev'rything.

Little white jug, me and Kilburn Towers,
as we sit on the hill and we drink and we swill
till the early hours,
Then I am ev'rything.
Little white jug and me and Kilburn Towers

Tim Ellison, Thursday, 5 July 2007 18:40 (7 years ago) Permalink

anybody else diggin' the Barry Gibb 80's demos currently found on iTunes?

henry s, Thursday, 5 July 2007 19:08 (7 years ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

Odessa was one of these instances of just attaining this tremendous pinnacle. It's almost ridiculous to see how far they came down with Cucumber Castle and Robin's Reign.

Robin's vocal on "Black Diamond" is so virtuosic. When he shifts into his throat and then does that fake soul impression on the repetition of the "He wa' leavin' in the morning" line - that's really something else.

Tim Ellison, Friday, 20 July 2007 02:12 (7 years ago) Permalink

And then the chorus is...country? But maybe like the Band were country - it sounds ancient.

Tim Ellison, Friday, 20 July 2007 02:16 (7 years ago) Permalink

Some kind of archetype you can't quite put your finger on but which seems to hit the nail squarely on the head.

Tim Ellison, Friday, 20 July 2007 02:18 (7 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

man I cannot stop listening to this stuff - Trafalgar is such a beautiful album, way underrated.

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 20 September 2007 21:35 (7 years ago) Permalink

me like the unreleased "A Kick in the Head..."

dell, Thursday, 20 September 2007 22:57 (7 years ago) Permalink

5 months pass...

They should have retired or disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle afterwards (after the SNF Soundtrack).

No. Spirits Having Flown had some good songs on it.

On a whim, I just bought the Greatest Hits, then immediately regretted it, then decided some of the songs are really stellar, then decided I couldn't listen to them without the baggage, then . . . Ahh, Schizoid I am.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 9 March 2008 16:24 (6 years ago) Permalink

What "baggage"?

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 9 March 2008 16:39 (6 years ago) Permalink

All the ridicule I remember them taking when I was growing up.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 9 March 2008 16:41 (6 years ago) Permalink

The new "remixes" on the Greatest Hits really breathe new life into a few of their songs, e.g., the Supreme Beings of Leisure's remix of How Deep Is Your Love, The Teddybears' remix of Stayin' Alive.

I wish they had more of these remixes on The Greatest Hits.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 9 March 2008 16:43 (6 years ago) Permalink

I do have to say that "Tragedy" is way overrated, though, the sound of someone burning out on a sound, and badly.

Sort of true for the whole Spirits Having Flown, but that's part of what makes those songs so compelling.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 9 March 2008 17:25 (6 years ago) Permalink

"ESP" has "You Win Again" on it at least (I'm pretty sure), that song's up there w/anything they did

cosign

tremendoid, Sunday, 9 March 2008 20:16 (6 years ago) Permalink

yeah, it is the best bee gees song, hands down

remy bean, Sunday, 9 March 2008 20:19 (6 years ago) Permalink

i also thing tragedy is pretty great

remy bean, Sunday, 9 March 2008 20:20 (6 years ago) Permalink

I've been listening to Spirits Having Flown this afternoon (the single), and it's pretty great.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 9 March 2008 20:24 (6 years ago) Permalink

it is a surprisingly sweet song, with unexpected folksiness that i think is lacking from the rest of the album ... a stripped-back cover could be a great single

remy bean, Sunday, 9 March 2008 20:29 (6 years ago) Permalink

Agreed, I think the title track is my favorite song from that album. Yeah, Tragedy sounds kinda...overcooked? Too Much Heaven's great, though.

dell, Sunday, 9 March 2008 20:39 (6 years ago) Permalink

"Tragedy" is a good tune with a sub-Moroder production. Because it's a good tune, some believe it's classic.

Anyway, that "beating" they took was, like, 20 years ago in the decade following disco's demise. Since that time they've been pretty well re-established as pop royalty.

I don't doubt that for a while it was weird to say you liked the Bee Gees or anything. It's just weird for someone to talk about feeling guilty for liking them today, as if it were still 1989 or something.

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 9 March 2008 21:05 (6 years ago) Permalink

Well, I'm old. And I'm over it. These songs are great.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 9 March 2008 21:07 (6 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Tragedy sounds kinda...overcooked?

Yeah, desperate somehow. Like what Ned said above: It's the sound of a band trying too hard to squeeze one more song from a genre that they knew had overstayed its welcome (commercially, at that time). But like I said, I think that's precisely what makes the song compelling.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 9 March 2008 21:32 (6 years ago) Permalink

That's a nice theory ("burning out on a sound") but it seems to miss the fact that they actually hadn't tried that sound before. As I said above, the only thing they're trying too hard at on "Tragedy" is to mimic Giorgio Moroder's computer disco style, which was never their thing before or after "Tragedy." I think reading this "Their moment had passed" thing into it is a little melodramatic. Granted it's the Bee Gees, but still.

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 10 March 2008 08:13 (6 years ago) Permalink

10 months pass...

So I see that a 3-cd box set rerelease of Odessa was released today. Any thoughts on this from people who've heard it? Is it worth seeking out? I love the album despite its lyrical inanity; the vocals are so gorgeous, esp. "Melody Fair". And "Seven Seas Symphony" is stupendous, the kind of tender symphonic pop of which I wish I knew more good examples.

Euler, Tuesday, 13 January 2009 20:34 (5 years ago) Permalink

Apparently released here tomorrow. I will pick it up. Only know the album, but will not own an original version until I have this.

Geir Hongro, Wednesday, 14 January 2009 00:38 (5 years ago) Permalink

honestly, who gives a shit about mono mixes? never understood why those are "bonus tracks"... curious to hear the other stuff though

There was even a brief period when I preferred Sally Forth. (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 14 January 2009 00:44 (5 years ago) Permalink

Yeah it looks like there's more than mono mixes thankfully.

Euler, Wednesday, 14 January 2009 01:50 (5 years ago) Permalink

When they embraced disco they embraced their inanity more, emblematic of the nineteen seventies as a decade.

Dan Landings, Wednesday, 14 January 2009 02:15 (5 years ago) Permalink

uh for me, they have a select few excellent singles. plowing through a mountain load of their material in search of goodness, as i was recently, proves a cumbersome task, however.

Charlie Howard, Wednesday, 14 January 2009 08:58 (5 years ago) Permalink

^^^so wrong

There was even a brief period when I preferred Sally Forth. (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 14 January 2009 16:52 (5 years ago) Permalink

honestly, who gives a shit about mono mixes?

some guys. i like them when it's one of those "band were involved with the mono mix, label just paid some dude to do the stereo mix" situations. also bee gees' 1st sound better blasting in mono for some reason.

HELPING CHILDREN THROUGH RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Wednesday, 14 January 2009 16:55 (5 years ago) Permalink

HELPING CHILDREN THROUGH RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Hahaha. "Hi everyone, let's pitch in 'n get cracking..."

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 14 January 2009 16:57 (5 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, sometimes the mono mix is the better sounding. I think that's the only reason. I certainly prefer the mono of SF Sorrow. I don't think I need a 3cd version of Odessa. I bet the public library will get a copy of it eventually.

Trip Maker, Wednesday, 14 January 2009 16:58 (5 years ago) Permalink

yeah, I'm hoping to hear more about what this beast offers, before buying or rejecting it. The packaging sounds great: a red velvet box (get your mind out of the gutter) like the original vinyl release. But are the demos etc gorgeous? And how's the remastered sound?

Euler, Wednesday, 14 January 2009 17:00 (5 years ago) Permalink

8 months pass...

anyone know where i can get the original bee gees recording of "emotion?" (not the samantha sang version). downloaded "their greatest hits: the record" which has an AWFUL remix/rerecording of the song.

akaky akakievich, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 20:53 (5 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

The song "ESP" is great! I've been listening through the Tales box this morning, and it's a pretty strange listen: from the string-laden Beatlesque pop of the late 60s, to the country rock of the early 70s, to the r&b and disco of the mid 70s, to the gloss of the 80s. It all works, somehow; these were guys with great voices and even better connections, and between those they tapped into various zeitgeists that allowed them to make timely pop records in several different eras without sounding silly like, I dunno, the Monkees in 1987.

Euler, Saturday, 7 November 2009 10:34 (4 years ago) Permalink

"Nights On Broadway" remains the best thing they ever did (to my ears).

Alex in NYC, Saturday, 7 November 2009 13:54 (4 years ago) Permalink

"Lonely Days" has always been my go to Bee Gees tune. Rhyming nonchalant with restaurant gets me every time.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 7 November 2009 14:02 (4 years ago) Permalink

That's an outstanding one, yes.

I wrote an passionate piece about the `Gees on this blog not too long back.

Alex in NYC, Saturday, 7 November 2009 19:17 (4 years ago) Permalink

an passionate!

Alex in NYC, Saturday, 7 November 2009 19:17 (4 years ago) Permalink

11 months pass...

The Samantha Sang album is all kinds of awesome

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Sunday, 31 October 2010 19:56 (4 years ago) Permalink

6 months pass...

BBC doc available until Sunday and bloody brilliant:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b010tbk5/Bee_Gees_In_Our_Own_Time/

piscesx, Saturday, 30 April 2011 13:25 (3 years ago) Permalink

11 months pass...

Unlycky bastards. The Kennedy family of pop? :(

The GeirBot (Geir Hongro), Saturday, 14 April 2012 16:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

afaik, none of the Bee Gees were assassinated. So, no.

Dancing with Mr. T (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 14 April 2012 17:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

Robin out of his coma now, apparently...?

heavy is the head that eats the crayons (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 23 April 2012 01:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

I had a dream of a place far away.
I followed a river where the dead man would play.
And I'm leaving in the morning.
And I'm leaving in the morning.
And I won't die, so don't cry. I'll be home.

buzza, Monday, 23 April 2012 01:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

I am going to pretend that all the devotional Bee Gees listening I've done in the past week have had a hand in this

heavy is the head that eats the crayons (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 23 April 2012 01:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

what he said. robin still has rough road ahead of him, but still. love these guys so fucking much.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 01:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

Another one bites the dust ...

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 20 May 2012 22:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

man...

dell (del), Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

Wow. Just re-discovering their music...of course I knew he was sick, but this might affect my enjoyment. Bee Gees music is eternal and not something one associates with cancer.

I remember struggling with brother Andy's death as a child. RIP.

โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Bulgarian Tourist Chamber (Mount Cleaners), Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

Sisig Steve (stevie), Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

rip robin my favourite bee gee

Sisig Steve (stevie), Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

i know he was really ill but this one hurts

buzza, Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

a sad week for disco (and other genres)

Lee971 (Lee626), Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

jesus, fuck this. g'night, Robin

Stormy Davis, Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

Awesome live vocal of a very underrated song:

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 21 May 2012 14:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

I love bustin' out classic Bee Gees for those (most?) that only know their disco stuff:

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 21 May 2012 15:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

Mr. Natural is all time

RIP Robin

Roger Barfing (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 21 May 2012 15:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

If we had someone who was willing to run the poll, I'd say we should bump this one up a la Beasties...

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 21 May 2012 15:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'd be happy to do it but I kinda doubt we'd get many votes...

Roger Barfing (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 21 May 2012 15:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah nobody has heard those early-mid 70s records. well not nobody but... can't imagine we'd get too many folks repping for deep cuts from 'life in a tin can'

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Monday, 21 May 2012 16:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

I've got all kinds of love for Trafalgar, Mr. Natural, and To Whom it May Concern myself, but yeah these are not popular opinions

Roger Barfing (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 21 May 2012 16:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Monday, 21 May 2012 16:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

big o has this pretty good unreleased solo album from 1970. http://bigozine2.com/roio/?p=1101
RIP. unmistakeable style and voice.

tylerw, Monday, 21 May 2012 16:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

tyler, watch that video above. beautiful footage. beautiful song.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Monday, 21 May 2012 16:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah that is wonderful

tylerw, Monday, 21 May 2012 16:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

I've got all kinds of love for Trafalgar, Mr. Natural, and To Whom it May Concern myself, but yeah these are not popular opinions

IF ONLY THERE WERE A WAY TO FIND OUT.

Seriously, Shakey, why don't we suggest this in the poll thread! If there's any time we could maximize votes, it would be now.

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 21 May 2012 16:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oddly, the only three Bee Gees albums I've ever owned were To Whom, Tin Can and Mr. Natural; radio promos I brought home. Sold 'em, and honestly can't remember much of any of them, but that clip of Mr. Natural brought the memory of that one back big time.

Soccer mom, hopeless and lost, in utter despair (Dan Peterson), Monday, 21 May 2012 17:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

Tin Can is pretty crap

Roger Barfing (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 21 May 2012 17:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

I was just spinning some Bee Gees and 'Nights on Broadway' came up, which I love...and I remembered Fallon & Timberlake used it as the SNL Barry Gibb Talk Show theme song and I got SO teary and then I had to laugh at myself and ugh I'm just so bummed

I know Robin was sick but still, I really hate not having him anymore. I loved them for so long.

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 21 May 2012 17:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

every time I watch a live clip I still get blown away by how there's barely any drop-off between them in the studio and them on stage...

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 21 May 2012 17:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

that's what happens when you've been performing since you were like 6 years old. they were pros.

barry sometimes seems to be fake-playing guitar in live gigs.

robin looks almost normal there.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Monday, 21 May 2012 18:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah I've noticed the fake-playing too

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 21 May 2012 18:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

Had no idea the Bee Gees completely missed the UK album charts from late 1970-76. Main Course was huge in the US.

Conversely, they were all but banned from US radio in the early to mid 80s, the Bee Gees having been the biggest target of the disco backlash. I doubt many Americans have heard "You Win Again".

I really like Mr. Natural, a transitional album that catches them just as they were starting to search for a new sound.

Lee971 (Lee626), Monday, 21 May 2012 21:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

My pals and I made the trek to Memphis to interview Alex Chilton once, back before he was really famous, and he was living with his mom down there and had no money. We're sitting in this biker bar and he goes off about Gibb's "Robin's Reign," very amusing:

"I mean, I like everything, you know, but then again what I would do would be something different. But Robin Gibb’s solo album, this is before the Bee Gees went disco, he had quit the group, he though he was too great to be in it. I didn’t find it until 1977. I was in New York. I was going through this record store and I always kind of liked Robin Gibb the way he’d stand there like Bette Davis (puts finger in cheek). You know, I thought his songs were the best songs they had done and I saw this album and had to buy it and took it home and it was really great."

<3 alex chilton

buzza, Monday, 4 June 2012 06:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

2001 ilx vmic

buzza, Monday, 4 June 2012 06:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

attention ye robin gibb mourners -- bee gees polling in effect, 10 ballots received and we would love more contributions :D

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 9 June 2012 04:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

Do your civic duty people.

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 9 June 2012 12:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

6 months pass...

Robin's vocal on "Black Diamond" is so virtuosic. When he shifts into his throat and then does that fake soul impression on the repetition of the "He wa' leavin' in the morning" line - that's really something else.

― Tim Ellison

so otm

buzza, Saturday, 15 December 2012 11:08 (1 year ago) Permalink

Not enough love here for the 60s stuff, which is my favourite Bee Gees. It wasn't all twee; some of it kinda rocked (the Earnest of Being George, In My Own Time, Idea). There's some great McCartney-inspired bass playing on some of that stuff, clearly Maurice really dug Revolver. Robin was one helluva vocalist - actually, singer. We can call him a singer. Listen to "Really and Sincerely", wow. Even his emoting in "I Started A Joke" can move you if you let it.

Plus, they were funny. Stuff like "I've Decided To Join The Airforce" and "Craise Finton Kirk" are wonderfully sardonic in a somewhat cheerier-than-Ray-Davies mold.

Classic, no question. Even before they became Kings of Disco. Even if they never did that thing.

Doctor Flange, Sunday, 16 December 2012 23:55 (1 year ago) Permalink

all their mid-'60s to early '70s albums bursting with great deep cuts, and sometimes outtakes.

Lee626, Monday, 17 December 2012 23:04 (1 year ago) Permalink

am thinking of picking up the Mythology box set

any naysayers out there?

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 27 December 2012 16:34 (1 year ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

^ by bob stanley

just sayin, Monday, 14 July 2014 20:37 (3 months ago) Permalink

nice, thank you.

I dunno. (amateurist), Tuesday, 15 July 2014 04:03 (3 months ago) Permalink

Yes, very nice, thks. Guess I should go ahead and get the book.

I Need Andmoreagain (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 15 July 2014 10:23 (3 months ago) Permalink


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