Friday, April 16, 2010

Bee Gees

4-16-10 Bee Gees

When I last wrote about the Bee Gees in 2004, the deluxe 2CD versions of their first three albums did not yet exist. In 2006, Reprise US released the material licensed directly from the Gibb family. They wisely gave us both the mono and stereo versions of each album, along with B-sides and out-takes. For a Bee Gees fan, these 2CD volumes are miraculous.


1967 42 TRKS ('06 issue) (28 x bonus tracks) Deluxe edition


1968 37 TRKS ('06 issue) (25 x bonus tracks) Deluxe edition


1968 39 TRKS ('06 issue) (26 x bonus tracks) Deluxe edition

I have long sung the praises of the first three Bee Gees albums. I guess I first heard “Holiday” on the AM radio in 1967/8. I asked for and received a US pressing of their debut album (a stereo copy!) and was surprised at how much some of it sounded like The Beatles! Did I even know what a mellotron was when I first heard this album?

I have no idea how / why – but one could easily find copies of “Horizontal” and “Idea” in cut-out bins in 1968/9 – for considerably less than the $4.98 each these albums would’ve cost at Wallach’s Music City.

As I have also previously revealed, it was within these very albums that I began a life-long habit of staring at Atco Records LP inner-sleeves, picturing the various titles that were then available. Tom Sankey! Chickenman! Claude Borly & His Percussions!

All three of these albums are glorious 1967/8 British pop music. If you are a Beatles fan, you need to know and hear these LP’s/CD’s! They would be considered the classics they are, even if they had never released anything else afterwards!

It was never particularly fashionable to listen to the Bee Gees, and even less so once they got super-popular. I have remained a Bee Gees fan for over 40 years, not caring what the next person thinks of “Saturday Night Fever” or even the soundtrack to “Staying Alive” (which I happen to really like the Bee Gees material on).

“Sir Geoffrey Saved The World” is one of my all-time favorite English-language pop songs, full stop. I like it as well as “Dandelion” by the Rolling Stones or “My White Bicycle” by Tomorrow – and it belongs with those two songs!

I was lucky enough to have seen the Bee Gees perform live, I think I have at least one version of each of their (released) full-length group titles. R.I.P., Maurice Gibb. I sure wish Barry & Robin Gibb would consider making some more music using the Bee Gees name. I am a Bee Gees fan then, and a Bee Gees fan now.

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