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In retrospect, it's easy to assume that the Beatles existed in an artistic vacuum, with no musical peers. In fact, 1960s groups like the Beau Brummels, the Zombies, and Australia's Bee Gees were proponents of a style that owed much to the Fab Four, but they were also artists with a unique and distinctive vision. Early Aussie forays aside, BEE GEES 1ST is the international debut of Barry, Maurice, and Robin Gibb, three brothers whose trademark was a high, quavery, three-part harmony. Songs like "Please Read Me" and the much-covered "To Love Somebody" combined a soul influence with ornate, Beatlesque arrangements and dark, angst-ridden lyrics. The baroque-pop carousel of "I Close My Eyes" and the moody folk-rockballad "New York Mining Disaster 1941" showed that the Gibbs had several tricks up their Edwardian sleeves.
Like most early Bee Gees albums, IDEA is remember chiefly for it's hit singles; in this case "I've Gotta Get a Message to You" and "I Started a Joke". As usual, the rest of the album is full of equally impressive popcraft. In 1968, the BeeGees were still in their Beatles-influenced mode, and IDEA,like HORIZONTAL and 1ST, deserves a place on the historicalshelf right alongside British pop legends like the Fab Fourand the Zombies. Things start out expansively, with the orchestrated, celebratory "Let There Be Love". The group's trademark high three-part harmonies spice up the unassuming folk-pop of "Kitty Can" and the Dylan-meets-Simon & Garfunkel "Such A Shame". The aforementioned "I Started A Joke" is one of Robin Gibb's finest moments, as he delivers one of the most tortured, angst-ridden vocals (and lyrics) in all of pop history. IDEA is essential for fans of the early Bee Gees, and for aficionados of '60s British pop in general.
Functioning as something of a replacement for the 2001 collection 'Their Greatest Hits: The Record', 'The Ultimate Bee Gees' covers much of the same ground as that double-disc set. However, this collection opens with the bright, fabulous blast of 'You Should Be Dancing' and remains in their late-'70s heyday for a while before fast-forwarding to such latter-day adult contemporary hits as 'One'. Along the way we hear Beatlesque, 60s-era singles - such as 'To Love Somebody' and 'Massachusetts' - making this record a must for lovers of slick and classic, harmony-based pop.
Not to be excluded from the list of other artists that have released compilations containing only #1 songs, the Bee Gees have no problems. Although some of the hits didn't actually make #1 in the UK, some may have been #1 in several other countries, prompting it to be thankfully included here.
The song "Man in the Middle" is included as a tribute to the late Maurice Gibb. "Number Ones" features 20-tracks, adding cuts such as "More Than a Woman" and "Islands in the Stream," a 1983 No. 1 hit for Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. If you buy this early, you'll get the limited-edition CD/DVD combo which includes rare footage of the Bee Gees performing "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart," "How Deep Is Your Love," "Jive Talkin'," "Massachusetts" and "I Started a Joke" (from the U.K. TV show "An Audience With").
In this version, "More Than A Woman" replaces the USA versions "Lonely Days" and adds the tracks, "Immortality" and "Islands In The Stream", which are the same versions that are on "The Record".
In Our Own Time is the compelling story of the Bee Gees career. From their roots in the North West of England, through their early career in Australia, their return to England and international breakthrough in the late sixties and then on to global superstardom with Saturday Night Fever and beyond. Alongside the success there is the heartache of the tragically early deaths of first their younger brother Andy and then later Maurice. The story is told in their own words through in depth new interviews with Barry and Robin Gibb and through extensive interviews with Maurice filmed shortly before his death in January 2003. These are lavishly illustrated by live performances, TV and film clips and home movies of their early days.
In Our Own Time features clips of many of their greatest hits including: You Should Be Dancing , New York Mining Disaster 1941, Massachusetts , Run To Me , Jive Talkin , Stayin Alive , Night Fever , How Deep Is Your Love , Tragedy and You Win Again and their collaborations such as Guilty with Barbara Streisand and Immortality with Celine Dion.
For One Night Only
Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb were performing together from childhood but it was in Australia in 1960 that they were first billed as the Bee Gees. The band went on to become one of the most successful performing, recording and songwriting acts of all time. This full-length concert was shot at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on November 14,
1997 and is one of very few Bee Gees performances ever filmed. It has consistently been one of Eagle Vision s biggest selling titles. Now the DVD has been reauthored, with a revised sleeve and additional content to celebrate 50 years of the Bee Gees.
Taken pretty much for granted during their first taste of 1960s' fame, the Bee Gees have enjoyed many highs and endured equal lows on their musical journey through life. Perhaps undervalued by the music industry during their first incarnation, recent years have seen tributes to Manchester's Brothers Gibb grow larger and louder, as new generations applaud the ingenuity--and longevity--of their music. In keeping with this trend, the newly published Tales Of The Brothers Gibb should fill a long empty gap in the chronicle of modern music.
Te authors faced a mammoth task in researching 50 years of musical history and condensing it into one volume. Sensibly, the three main authors enlisted the help of ¨berfans Joseph Brennan and Mark Crohan to ensure their investigation was exhaustive. Every Bee Gees trivia fan can be assured that the factual content here is remarkably thorough; for example, a-sides and b-sides are named for every single, and the engineer for each recording is also given credit.
Written for fans of the Bee Gees music (more than fans of the brothers themselves) the book's tone is informative and impartial, steering away from faux-personal "fan-speak" and choosing instead to straddle the markets of reference and biography. The authors do touch on the personal lives of the Bee Gees--telling of Robin's ghoulish escape from the Hither Green Train Disaster, brother Andy's death and Maurice's off/on relationship with Lulu. However the emphasis here is on how those personal events changed the dynamics of the group's career, leading to the break up of the band, and the thawing of attitudes which brought about their reunion.
Following years of being discussed in tones between derision and comedy banter, Tales Of The Brothers Gibb treats the brothers with staid reverence. Luckily the self-effacing and unexpectedly jokey Barry, Maurice and Robin add a lighter touch from time to time. Those hoping for a cover mount gift of facial hair, chest wig, or a win-a-Barry-Karaoke-Night-competition had better look elsewhere; this is a respectful biography with high production values. Aside from a few well-chosen photos, and the odd appendix table of hits, the 678 pages consist mainly of text. That's right, it's only "Words. Cos Words are all they have...." (ahem). --Helen Lamont --
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