DON'T FORGET TO REMEMBER: The Official ILM Track-By-Track BEE GEES 1968-1981 Listening Thread

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Put on your 18th century frock coat and/or satin windbreaker and pull up a chair as we explore the dizzying highs and breathtaking lows of over two-decades of the Brothers Gibb! This will probably take the better part of a year, even doing a song a day, so let's get this party started.
https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-Nae4_TVLdGI%2FTS6nJi6S9EI%2FAAAAAAAABFY%2FYSpEBCMmgjI%2Fs1600%2FDSCF3356.JPG&f=1
(not pictured: the best Bee Gee)

Οὖτις, Friday, 14 December 2018 16:42 (three months ago) Permalink

shit this should be 1967-1981 d'oh

Οὖτις, Friday, 14 December 2018 16:49 (three months ago) Permalink

first up, from Bee Gees 1st, "Turn of the Century". In the vein of other late 60s chamber-pop psych pining for bygone eras, fashions, and manners (The Association's "Wasn't It a Bit Like Now", The Hollies "Ye Olde Toffee Shoppe", Tomorrow's "Auntie Mary's Dress Shop" etc.) and yet I think this one harkens *back* the farthest - not just to the 20s or pre-war UK but actually to the previous fucking century. For who among us has not longed for hoop skirts, unwieldy bicycles, and oversized cravats. As with many other tracks on this album, it sounds hastily composed and is not particularly complex and has daft lyrics - but the eerie orchestration, harmonies and finely tuned melodies ultimately sell it. The teary-eyed nostalgia for a vanished British Empire was a mode Robin would return to again and again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P9COyXDe4g

Οὖτις, Friday, 14 December 2018 17:38 (three months ago) Permalink

*crickets*

Οὖτις, Friday, 14 December 2018 19:08 (three months ago) Permalink

Not a great idea to launch this when (seemingly) 90% of ILXors are getting all giddy and light-headed over an indie band from Glasgow.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christ (Tom D.), Friday, 14 December 2018 19:12 (three months ago) Permalink

But, yes, "Turn of the Century", much better than those other songs you cited, not as good as the Bonzos' "The Equestrian Statue" though, which resembles this.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christ (Tom D.), Friday, 14 December 2018 19:19 (three months ago) Permalink

huh didn't know that particular Bonzos track

Οὖτις, Friday, 14 December 2018 19:30 (three months ago) Permalink

so many harpsichords, when is someone gonna bring back the harpsichord in pop music

Οὖτις, Friday, 14 December 2018 19:30 (three months ago) Permalink

A concert favourite for over 30 years, Maurice Gibb often provided the audience with comedic antics by attempting many failed attempts to join Barry and Robin while singing this song. Evidence of this can be seen in the 1989 "One For All" concert video where Maurice takes a camera from a film cameraman standing nearby and films Barry and Robin as they sing the song.

Who knows what this song is about, really. Beautifully eerie.

https://youtu.be/_hQ1HQh9_JM

Οὖτις, Saturday, 15 December 2018 16:30 (three months ago) Permalink

i’m in !!

budo jeru, Saturday, 15 December 2018 16:56 (three months ago) Permalink

I'm in too. Coincidentally, I'm writing about these dudes tonight.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 15 December 2018 17:00 (three months ago) Permalink

FUCK YES I'm so glad I suggested this

"Who knows what this song is about" is an excellent question about so many bee gees songs

resident hack (Simon H.), Saturday, 15 December 2018 18:02 (three months ago) Permalink

god some of these early songs should really be licensed out for horror soundtracks

resident hack (Simon H.), Saturday, 15 December 2018 18:04 (three months ago) Permalink

they have to be the weirdest looking gaggle of freaks ever to become oversexed pop stars

resident hack (Simon H.), Saturday, 15 December 2018 18:07 (three months ago) Permalink

"Who knows what this song is about" is an excellent question about so many bee gees songs

I think a lot of them are about fitting any old words that'll do to a good tune, they have written some very weird lyrics over the years.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christ (Tom D.), Saturday, 15 December 2018 18:28 (three months ago) Permalink

I think they were quite good lyricists from time to time, but it’s clear from their demos and recording habits that their overriding priority was always melodies (and harmonies) first and foremost

Οὖτις, Saturday, 15 December 2018 19:37 (three months ago) Permalink

imho this is an excellent approach to lyric creation

resident hack (Simon H.), Saturday, 15 December 2018 19:43 (three months ago) Permalink

so many harpsichords, when is someone gonna bring back the harpsichord in pop music

something something indie band from Glasgow...

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Sunday, 16 December 2018 11:25 (three months ago) Permalink

Oh ffs.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christ (Tom D.), Sunday, 16 December 2018 12:26 (three months ago) Permalink

yknow, I'll be interested when you guys get to tunes that Maurice sang…like I have the 1990 box set, but I can't tell the difference easily between his voice and Barry's, at least in the early years…like what's the most prominent tune he sang? or what's the song that's most his but one of the other two sang? My understanding is that he was the boffin of the three, but there must be something else noteworthy about him…it does seem that Barry was the massively talented one, and Robin was notably toothsome, charmingly awkward…

veronica moser, Sunday, 16 December 2018 13:24 (three months ago) Permalink

He only very occasionally had a lead vocal - and I don't think he sounded much like Barry, he didn't have a particularly distinctive voice, he did a good John Lennon impersonation though! I would say the title track of "Trafalgar" is his most prominent vocal?

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christ (Tom D.), Sunday, 16 December 2018 13:50 (three months ago) Permalink

I know him best as keyboarist and harmonist.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 16 December 2018 13:50 (three months ago) Permalink

did maurice do lead on "have you heard the word?"

errang (rushomancy), Sunday, 16 December 2018 13:53 (three months ago) Permalink

(xp) Bass player!

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christ (Tom D.), Sunday, 16 December 2018 13:55 (three months ago) Permalink

Of course. Less so on later albums.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 16 December 2018 13:58 (three months ago) Permalink

One odd thing about Barry Gibb, of course, is that he plays in Open D tuning. Worth remembering if you're trying to learn Bee Gees songs on guitar!

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christ (Tom D.), Sunday, 16 December 2018 14:07 (three months ago) Permalink

Today’s entry, more flutes and mellotron and some nonsense lyrics about childhood (afaict). A goat appears to have snuck into the studio towards the end. To me, this one always feels a little bit of a piece w Syd Barrett’s similar obsession w fairytales, nursery rhyme sorta stuff (albeit w out the same level of creepy undertow)
https://youtu.be/AldVXUgCY1Q

Οὖτις, Sunday, 16 December 2018 16:06 (three months ago) Permalink

This possibly their most psychedelic track, though there's a lot of them - it's brilliant anyway.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christ (Tom D.), Sunday, 16 December 2018 19:23 (three months ago) Permalink

By the way, to return to the earlier discussion on Maurice's contribution to the band, I believe he's responsible for the mellotron on this and other tracks.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christ (Tom D.), Sunday, 16 December 2018 19:26 (three months ago) Permalink

Yeah his bass and keyboard playing is p distinctive. Not sure what his first lead vocal is - one of his tracks from odessa or cucumber castle maybe?

Οὖτις, Sunday, 16 December 2018 19:59 (three months ago) Permalink

And four songs into the first album we finally get something with a relatively conventional lyrical POV, and one the bros would mine extensively - the pleading lover. Musically I don't think it's that distinctive from other orchestral balladry of the era, but it's not bad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuvGSWU5xw0

Οὖτις, Monday, 17 December 2018 16:28 (three months ago) Permalink

Who are those other 2 rando's on the cover of this album? Also, is Maurice getting a message on one of those secret service earpieces, or did he just have a toothache?

enochroot, Monday, 17 December 2018 18:45 (three months ago) Permalink

the other two are the drummer (Colin Petersen) and the lead guitarist (Vince Melouney)

Οὖτις, Monday, 17 December 2018 18:46 (three months ago) Permalink

wiki implies that Maurice's first solo vocal turns are on Odessa ("Suddenly", where you can definitely tell him apart from Barry and Robin; less so on "I Laugh in Your Face")

Οὖτις, Monday, 17 December 2018 18:48 (three months ago) Permalink

(xp) Yes, they were a fully-fledged band by the time they got (back) to the UK.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christ (Tom D.), Monday, 17 December 2018 18:51 (three months ago) Permalink

Could "In My Own Time" be them at their most beatlesque? The bass line definitely bears a strong resemblance to Taxman.

enochroot, Monday, 17 December 2018 18:53 (three months ago) Permalink

no skipping ahead!

Οὖτις, Monday, 17 December 2018 18:54 (three months ago) Permalink

(but yes)

Οὖτις, Monday, 17 December 2018 18:54 (three months ago) Permalink

My bad - i have no idea how these listening threads work... someone mentioned "One Minute Woman" already, but there was no mention of "Holiday".

enochroot, Monday, 17 December 2018 18:56 (three months ago) Permalink

They're not exactly short of Beatleseque tracks.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christ (Tom D.), Monday, 17 December 2018 18:58 (three months ago) Permalink

"Holiday" was posted on Saturday
xp

Οὖτις, Monday, 17 December 2018 19:31 (three months ago) Permalink

Missed it too, great song, great non-ovine vocal from Robin too.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christ (Tom D.), Monday, 17 December 2018 19:35 (three months ago) Permalink

Ah, so it's a track a day. Got it.
(i'll save my Taxman/Doctor Robert comparisons for tomorrow)

enochroot, Monday, 17 December 2018 20:41 (three months ago) Permalink

I can skip tracks on weekends, if ppl aren't around as much

Οὖτις, Monday, 17 December 2018 20:53 (three months ago) Permalink

I almost missed this! Yay! Bookmarking so I can join in. Thanks for starting this up Shakey... we are in for QUITE a journey I think! :D

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 17 December 2018 20:55 (three months ago) Permalink

I missed the start of this as well. Cool idea – tho maybe we should name the song explicitly? Esp. since the song titles don’t show up if using the app and they’re embedded in videos.

Anyway...

Turn of the Century – not much I have to add to Οὖτις’s take on this.

Holiday –

Who knows what this song is about, really. Beautifully eerie.

Yeah no idea but Robin singing about puppets and repeating “Throwing stones” in a descending melodic turn defines melancholy. The first Robin classic if not a three-hanky one.

Red Chair Fadeaway – I love the “IIIIII can feel/The speaking sky” twist of the chorus. There are bits here near the end of the choruses where the melody drops away and the drums and bass keep pounding away and there are little trumpet flourishes that have, yeah, a real Revolver/the tape is still rolling feel. But the whole thing feels a little too “psychedelia for your auntie” to be mistaken for that record.

One Minute Woman – not sure I have much to say beyond that it’s one of Barry’s earliest soul tunes and fairly successful for what it is.

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 17 December 2018 21:25 (three months ago) Permalink

Great thread. I don't expect to add much but will listen with pleasure.

Ned Trifle X, Monday, 17 December 2018 21:28 (three months ago) Permalink

yeah sorry, I will add the songtitles in posts from now on!

Οὖτις, Monday, 17 December 2018 21:34 (three months ago) Permalink

so.

much.

harischord

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 17 December 2018 22:50 (three months ago) Permalink

robin's greatest, i think

"Black Diamond" coming up, though.

timellison, Thursday, 14 March 2019 00:50 (one week ago) Permalink

"Lamplight" kills, too

Simon H., Thursday, 14 March 2019 00:52 (one week ago) Permalink

weird and mannered and wimpy

Ladies and gentlemen, Robin Gibb *applause*

The Vangelis of Dating (Tom D.), Thursday, 14 March 2019 00:58 (one week ago) Permalink

Robin was tough, you gotta be to sing "Black Diamond" the way he does.

timellison, Thursday, 14 March 2019 01:07 (one week ago) Permalink

Track No. 48: You'll Never See My Face Again ("Odessa", 1969)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFQ5yndB8WY

Barry delivers an uncharacteristically bitter broadside. The incongruity of the instrumentation and vocal delivery to the lyrical sentiment tends to make certain lines leap out ("it makes me laugh/you've got no friends", for example). I don't think any of the Bee Gees were particularly suited to conveying anger via song. That being said, there's lots of nice countermelodies in the orchestration, and for such a rich production the arrangement doesn't feel fussy or cluttered - just Barry, some multi-tracked 12-strings, and the orchestra, Melouney and Pedersen thankfully absent. The opening of this song always makes me mix it up with "Sinking Ships" from Horizontal.

Οὖτις, Thursday, 14 March 2019 15:25 (one week ago) Permalink

just Barry, some multi-tracked 12-strings, and the orchestra

I like that for this era of the Bee Gees, this actually counts as "stripped down"

Simon H., Thursday, 14 March 2019 15:26 (one week ago) Permalink

haha yeah

for half a second I considered making an argument that this album isn't so much their "Sgt Pepper" (as is sometimes claimed) as much as it is their White Album

Οὖτις, Thursday, 14 March 2019 15:34 (one week ago) Permalink

double album, band is starting to seriously fray, a bunch of weird genre exercises

Οὖτις, Thursday, 14 March 2019 15:35 (one week ago) Permalink

member quits halfway through, goofy country song, iconic sleeve design

no massive avant-garde noize jam tho

Οὖτις, Thursday, 14 March 2019 16:58 (one week ago) Permalink

member quits halfway through

I wish this literally happened with band splits, like one member just drops out of the mix at a certain point on the album

Simon H., Thursday, 14 March 2019 17:14 (one week ago) Permalink

Notorious Gibb Brothers

buzza, Thursday, 14 March 2019 17:29 (one week ago) Permalink

Straight up beautiful song.

timellison, Thursday, 14 March 2019 22:48 (one week ago) Permalink

This may be the instant at which they unknowingly invented The Clientele.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Friday, 15 March 2019 01:48 (one week ago) Permalink

Track No. 49: Black Diamond ("Odessa", 1969)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHgAHcD_r9w

The gradual build in the arrangement is beautifully done here, from Robin's fully committed vibrato to the backing harmonies-as-orchestra on the verses to where the strings come in for the choruses. Very much of a piece with the title track, albeit here the similar tragic-lost-love narrative is much more compact and pop-oriented, with a great vocal hook. I have no idea what black diamonds are, or which white mountains are being referred to, and the vibrato is a bit over the top in my opinion, but otherwise this is Robin at the top of his game during this period.

Οὖτις, Friday, 15 March 2019 16:02 (one week ago) Permalink

Track No. 50: Marley Purt Drive ("Odessa", 1969)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nwHz79Aoik

Their first of several forays into the sounds of American country, complete with American session musicians including Bill Keith of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys. Which is a little odd, since the song isn't structured or performed like a country song at all - its leaden tempo and lack of swing make it a far cry from its ostensible source material. Nonetheless, the track *sounds* great, a number of cool sonic touches like Melouney's chiming guitar part and the swaying string section. The lyric doesn't make a whole lot of sense (no idea where all those extra children come from in the last verse), and I don't think there were any orphanages in LA by the 60s, and there's definitely no road named Marley Purt Drive. Not a bad track, but not a great one either, and I feel like it could've been shortened by a verse or two.

Οὖτις, Monday, 18 March 2019 15:22 (one week ago) Permalink

I don't know why they didn't just call it "The Weight" and be done with it. The lyric is nonsense, even by Bee Gees standards.

Lammy's Show (Tom D.), Monday, 18 March 2019 15:24 (one week ago) Permalink

I got some serious "Stone Me" vibes from this one, also like a weird refracted take on CCR/Band style rural rock

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Monday, 18 March 2019 15:27 (one week ago) Permalink

This seems like a step down from the first three tracks. (Which after a few listens each had me thinking "Jesus, I think I understand Odessa's cult following")

Can't get past that leaden tempo, I'm afraid. Resume the orchestral florishes and vibrato overdose whenever you're ready chaps.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Tuesday, 19 March 2019 03:52 (one week ago) Permalink

Track No. 51: Edison ("Odessa", 1969)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExHvAH3PiLo

One key figure in this period we haven't talked about much (at all?) so far in this thread is the Bee Gees' orchestra arranger/conductor, Bill Shepherd. "Edison" is a prime example of what he brought to the table, cloaking fairly simple material with creative arrangements and countermelodies, and blending the boys' backing harmonies as if they are a part of the string section. The melody and song structure here are nursery-rhyme level basic, but the way the different elements are woven in and out of the mix - the farfisa piping in here, the backing vocals underpinned by the seesawing cello there, the pounding compressed piano on the bridges - keep the song moving and engaging. Apparently this song originally had different lyrics and was called "Barbara", the switching of subject matter to the world's most famous inventor seems like a total Robin move that adds to the song's overall baroque charm.

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 19 March 2019 15:27 (one week ago) Permalink

Love this song.

Lammy's Show (Tom D.), Tuesday, 19 March 2019 18:34 (one week ago) Permalink

Track No. 52: Melody Fair ("Odessa", 1969)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34wjlmNNuMQ

Not released as a single for some inexplicable reason, this baroque pop gem was (according to Barry) intended to be in the style of "Eleanor Rigby". But where McCartney was disarmingly somber, the Gibbs come across as more wistful and dreamy. Overall the track reminds me a lot of "Massachusetts" just in sound and technique. The orchestration is perfect right from the start, with the intro's interwoven melodies gradually ascending in octaves, concluding with the trumpet line that is later echoed on the turnaround after each chorus. The melodic leap in the chorus is also impressive, with Barry (possibly for the first time?) deploying the falsetto that would serve them so well commercially nearly a decade later. Robin is apparently not on this track at all, but Barry and Maurice demonstrate they are still capable of delivering their trademark harmonies. The patronizingly sexist lyric is a bit much, although not especially egregious for its era.

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 15:33 (six days ago) Permalink

Catching up:

"Marley Purt Drive" - There has to be some country tradition of songs at this tempo, no? It certainly seems to be hitting at some archetype. The nonsense words work for me more than some of the abstractions on previous albums...Basically love this song!

"Edison" - Agree, brilliant arrangement, great contrast between their two main lead singers' voices. Serious craft, love this one.

"Melody Fair" - Agree that it starts out beautifully and certainly has beautiful moments, but I think the chorus is a little static. My least favorite of the songs so far.

timellison, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 16:34 (six days ago) Permalink

I love Melody Fair; it turns up as the title track of a surprisingly good Lulu LP, keeping it in the family. (She had signed to Atlantic and was doing a kind of Dusty In Memphis thing, Swamp Dogg covers and suchlike; the following LP, "New Routes" was of a piece and had two Bee Gees covers, Marley Purt Drive and In The Morning".)

Tim, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 16:37 (six days ago) Permalink

There has to be some country tradition of songs at this tempo, no?

Bill Keith certainly didn't play anything like that with Bill Monroe - slower bluegrass songs tend to be either in waltz time or blues shuffles, def not the straight 4/4 they employ on "Marley Purt Drive". That kind of rhythm is def a rock thing.

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 16:39 (six days ago) Permalink

I can think of plenty of slow country songs but they don't use *that* rhythm

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 16:41 (six days ago) Permalink

Yeah, listening to "The Weight" right now and thinking...maybe that beat just comes from R&B.

timellison, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 16:47 (six days ago) Permalink

yeah I was trying to think of late 60s R&B that uses that rhythm, it's kind of a slow proto-funk thing. was obviously all over the place by the early 70s.

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 16:50 (six days ago) Permalink

"Melody Fair" is kinda gorgeous.

Lammy's Show (Tom D.), Wednesday, 20 March 2019 17:50 (six days ago) Permalink

dunno how I never noticed "Marley Purt Drive's" resemblance to "The Weight" before, but now that it's been noted I can't unhear it. Pedersen was no Levon Helm, that's for fucking sure.

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 21:38 (six days ago) Permalink

"Melody Fair" is luvly if I don't dwell too long on the chorus. Which I, unfortunately, keep doing. She's 'only' a girl/woman, rather than...what?

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 22:41 (six days ago) Permalink

a well coiffed and hairy chested manly man, presumably

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 22:45 (six days ago) Permalink

I mean in the first verses you could forgive the narrator for talking down to a child but then he throws down with "woman" so

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 22:46 (six days ago) Permalink

I think Melody Fair is my favorite Odessa track so far, even though it loses some steam when it gets to the chorus (only to pep back up with each subsequent verse)

enochroot, Thursday, 21 March 2019 00:44 (five days ago) Permalink

I think the chorus is great but I guess I’m in the minority.

Οὖτις, Thursday, 21 March 2019 00:55 (five days ago) Permalink

ok, edison... i'm gonna go out and say it, the bee gees had some fucking weird songs

neither "melody fair" nor "marley purt drive" grabbed me the same way, it's that casual misogyny that doesn't come close to robin channeling his inner they might be giants (?!?) for a baroque pop song

the scientology of mountains (rushomancy), Thursday, 21 March 2019 01:14 (five days ago) Permalink

jesus christ, "HUMPY BONG"? after leaving the bee gees colin petersen was in a band called humpy fucking bong? i think we have a new contender for worst band name ever

their single a-side is fucking awful too

the scientology of mountains (rushomancy), Thursday, 21 March 2019 01:23 (five days ago) Permalink

I like that "MF" chorus from a musical point of view. It's one of the prettiest previously-unknown-to-me-before-this-exercise tracks. I'm going to try to convince myself he means something like "you're only human [in this case a female human]" :)

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Thursday, 21 March 2019 01:28 (five days ago) Permalink

Track No. 53: Suddenly ("Odessa", 1969)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAb6-WqmVXI

Maurice takes his first turn at lead vocalist. He sounds a lot like Barry, but with a slightly more resonant, deeper range, and he's also prone to goofy asides ("aw yeah!" + assorted chuckles), a propensity which also crops up in other songs he sings lead on later. While this track is not especially remarkable or mind-blowing I do find it charming for all sorts of reasons - the random oboe, the most PKD Bee Gees lyric ever ("How can you tell humans are real?", ref'd upthread a ways), the rolling bassline, the wordless three-part harmony chorus. Pedersen's drumming is characteristically regrettable but everything else really works. Maurice played such a pivotal if unobtrusive role in the band, I kind of think of him as the equivalent of John Paul Jones in Zeppelin - the multi-instrumentalist "secret weapon" that really glued so much of the material together.

Οὖτις, Thursday, 21 March 2019 15:24 (five days ago) Permalink

I was gonna get to the Humpy Bong detail a little later but rusho beat me to it :)

Melouney joined Fanny Adams after ditching the Bee Gees, which is only slightly better

honestly, the 60s psych period stuff is great almost in spite of them. From here on out, the boys were able to hire a much higher caliber of sidemen.

Οὖτις, Thursday, 21 March 2019 15:26 (five days ago) Permalink

i didn't know they lived in chorlton, manchester! - it's where i live. enjoying this thread.

meaulnes, Thursday, 21 March 2019 15:31 (five days ago) Permalink

Petersen and the Gibbs attended Humpybong State School in Queensland. ( https://humpybongss.eq.edu.au ) I guess it's possible that the word means something really, really cool in a local indigenous dialect. Or... not.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Friday, 22 March 2019 00:48 (four days ago) Permalink

Aaaaah...

[Buildings from an earlier settlement] were left standing at Redcliffe and it is claimed that the local Aborigines, with a rather nice sense of irony, called the houses 'oompie bong' meaning 'dead house'. The name stuck and the Anglicised 'humpybong' was applied to the whole of the Redcliffe Peninsula.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Friday, 22 March 2019 00:50 (four days ago) Permalink

Track No. 54: Whisper Whisper("Odessa", 1969)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTOP5ugBiXY

Hard for me to work up much enthusiasm for this one, its apparent sole reason for existing possibly being Barry's interest in having a song that's divided between half-time and double-time sections. Unfortunately, he didn't bother to come up with any other interesting elements to make a decent song. There's no chorus, the verse is a simple melody over two chords interspersed with an instrumental middle 8, and the lyric is garden variety, sexist, "free love" drivel common to the era. The promise of the intro is presumably all Bill Shepherd's doing, creatively orchestrating what is essentially a single chord being strummed for 16 bars, but that peters out once the vocal comes in. The half-time section's drumming is terrible and vocal phrasing feels very forced, although you can hear Maurice trying to make something interesting happening with the two interlocking electric piano parts. When it ultimately shifts to double-time after a typically hamfisted drum fill the vocal melody snaps into focus, but it's still pretty boring, and when the horns come in it's like we're in bumper-music-cue-for-Laugh-In territory. Then we get one more falling-down-the-stairs drum break before the song mercifully cuts out.

Οὖτις, Friday, 22 March 2019 17:01 (four days ago) Permalink

that's the last track until next Wednesday fwiw

Οὖτις, Friday, 22 March 2019 20:29 (four days ago) Permalink

if i was their record company in 1969, that might have been their last track ever. god that's awful.

fact checking cuz, Friday, 22 March 2019 20:30 (four days ago) Permalink

Stigwood had way worse shit than that on his label!

Οὖτις, Friday, 22 March 2019 22:22 (four days ago) Permalink

I'm finding this one hard to hate. There's enough going on in the arrangement to make this mildly satisfying ear candy despite ropey raw material. I should probably look into Bill Shepherd's broader career.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Saturday, 23 March 2019 22:22 (three days ago) Permalink

Wouldn't mind hearing this, tbh.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Saturday, 23 March 2019 22:33 (three days ago) Permalink

Don't the Gibb hardcore consider Odessa their best album? Or have i been misinformed?

piscesx, Sunday, 24 March 2019 13:53 (two days ago) Permalink

idk about that. It’s probably their best album from their early period.

Οὖτις, Sunday, 24 March 2019 14:42 (two days ago) Permalink


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