Monday, July 01, 2013

Something about BEE GEES

BEE GEES are arguably the most durable band in the history of pop music. No other popular music act can claim of attracting audience across decades the '60s, '70s, '80s, or '90s. Bee Gees started in the mid '60s with a Beatlesque sound and quickly developed as songwriters in their own right and style, perfecting in the process a progressivepop sound all their own. They were at the zenith of popularity in thelate 70s. Their popularity faded with the passing of disco's appeal,but they reinvented themselves and transformed to the most successfulwhite soul band of all time. No wonder Bee Gees have following invirtually every corner of the globe.

The Bee Gees are three brothers: Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, and Maurice Gibb. In 1970, while Robin pursued a solo career, the album "Cucumber Castle" was released with just Barry and Maurice as the Bee Gees. After the death of Maurice Gibb, Barry and Robin have stopped performing, however it is said that their music remains on air somewhere around the globe round the clock.

The brothers Gibb were born in the Isle of Man. Barry was born onSeptember 1st 1946. Robin and Maurice, twins, were born on December22nd 1949. The family later on moved to Manchester, England. In 1958 the Gibb family moved to Australia. It was there that the brothers started pursuing professional careers as musicians. Their father, Hugh Gibb had been a professional drummer and band leader in his youth. He guided them well and soon they were performing on local radio and TV broadcasts. Around that time they named themselves the Brothers Gibb, and later, the Bee Gees. Previously they called themselves "The Rattlesnakes".

In 1966 the Bee Gees had their first number one single inAustralia, "Spicks and Specks." The following January the Gibb family boarded a ship back to England. The 1967 album "Bee Gees First" was a tremendous debut. However they sounded so Beattlesque that the single, "New York Mining Disaster 1941", was believed by many to be recorded by the `Beatles' under a different name. With thesuccess of "Holiday" and "To Love Somebody", people soon knew quite well who the Bee Gees were. Later that year, the Bee Gees released the album "Horizontal" which had an amazing single "Massachusetts"which topped the UK charts. Next year in 1968, the "Idea" album followed having classics like "I Started a Joke" and "I've Gotta Get a Message To You". Despite being brothers and years of performing together, the sudden rise to fame overwhelmed the Bee Gees. In 1969, with the releaseof "Odessa" album, Robin departed to pursue a solo career. Meanwhile,Barry and Maurice continued together as the Bee Gees. Their next album, "Cucumber Castle",was a modest success. Soon after, however,Barry and Maurice went their separate ways as well.

Thereconciliation was slow and gradual. Barry once remarked that if they hadn't been brothers, they probably never would have gotton backtogether. Their get together "Two Years On" album seemed more likean anthology of three soloists than a group effort. This album had "Lonely Days", another huge hit. On their next album, "Trafalgar", the reconciliation process continued.

Bee Gees finally had their first #1 single in theUS, "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart". The success of this classic showed that the brothers were far more successful as a group than they would ever be as soloists."Trafaglar"and their next effort, the 1972 album "To Whom It May Concern", demonstrated that Bee Gees were best doing soft ballads.The songs "Run To Me" and "My World" were typical of the group's sound of that time.Bee Gees decided to move to United States and find new directions musically. Unfortunately, Bee Gees were not successful in US initially but they recovered and in 1974 Bee Gees recorded "MainCourse", featuring "Jive Talkin", "Nights on Broadway", and "Fanny(Be Tender With My Love)". The sound of the album was intrinsically different and far more intense.

The 1976 "Children of the World" album was a true test of their talents. The album's first single, "You Should BeDancing", quickly rose to success as the dance clubs latched on to its intense rhythms and falsetto harmonies. Among the trendy night clubs and discotheques, the song became an anthem. Other songs from thealbum,"Boogie Child" and "Love So Right", also did very well.

And then came "Saturday Night Fever". Robert Stigwood, their manager and friend requested some songs for a movie soundtrack he was producing-a low budget dance movie set in Brooklyn. He persuaded brothers to give him the songs that were already recorded for their next album. These recordings eventually became the soundtrack of "Saturday Night Fever". In late 1977, the film "Saturday Night Fever" was released. Three songs from the soundtrack -- "How Deep Is Your Love", "Stayin Alive", and "Night Fever" -- instantly climbed to the top of the singles charts. The soundtrack album stayed at #1 for24 weeks, becoming the all time top selling album up to that time, and remains even now one of the best selling album in history of pop music.

At one point, Gibb compositions held all the top five slots on Billboard's top ten. With the astounding success of the "SaturdayNight Fever" soundtrack, Disco suddenly was a rage around the globe.This sort of success naturally evokes a wide span of reactions,ranging from blind imitation to outright resentment and loathing and thus an anti-disco backlash began.It was unfortunate and unfair that the Bee Gees were blamed for disco. Had the movie "Saturday Night Fever" never been made, and those same compositions made their way to the Bee Gees' next studio album as originally planned, the whole "disco fever" travesty might have been avoided.

Disco was as much a fashion fad as a music trend and the irony was that the Bee Gees didn't like to dance and didn't even like the movie" Saturday Night Fever ". They took pride in their craft, not in the merchandising of garish disco lifestyle.In their next studio album, "Spirits Having Flown", they sought to be different. The lead single, "Too Much Heaven", was a slow ballad,not a disco dance tune. The "Spirits Having Flown" album had avariety of musical styles, from the Caribbean feel of the title track to the smokey nightclub sound of "Stop, Think Again." "Tragedy", was undeniably disco in style but it was quite rockish.Still everybody blamed Bee Gees for disco.

Early eighties were not agood time for the brothers because of the disco backlash and the emergence of punk rock and new wave groups defining the sound of the80's.the release of "Living Eyes" was hence a huge disaster.For the next 5 to 6 years Bee Gees didn't release any more studio albums. They didn't go on tour. Instead, their efforts were divided between writing and producing for other artists and working on their own occasional solo projects. The lone exception to this period was the soundtrack to the movie "Stayin' Alive". Sylvester Stallone was hired to direct this sequel to "Saturday Night Fever". Looking at the film, it is obvious that this was a work crafted in Stallone's own image. Even John Travolta ended up looking like Rambo.

Barbra Streisand asked the brothers to work with her on her nextalbum. Barry agreed and produced her album "Guilty" which had three top 10 singles in 1980, and has been the most successful album of her career.Later on Barry produced Dionne Warwick's "Heartbreaker" LP, and "Eyes That See In The Dark" for Kenny Rogers. "Islands in the Stream" was a huge country hit for Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. It also crossed over and dominated mainstream pop also one of very few country duets to ever do so. In all the excitement, people didn't seem to notice who wrote and composed the song. The biggest country hit of 1983 was written by the same composers who wrote the disco anthem "Stayin' Alive". Bee Gees had made a most remarkable transition in their music, and hardly anyone seemed to realize it.

As if to emphasize the point, the Bee Gees made another transition.They agreed to work on a R&B album for Motown diva DianaRoss. "Eaten Alive" and the single "Chain Reaction" gave Diana Ross her first major chart success on the both sides of Atlantic. Surprisingly, Bee Gees had proven their worth as songwriters and producers with both country music and R&B acts but at the sametime their own career was going nowhere. In 1987, The "E.S.P." album brought the single "You Win Again", a #1 success in several countries. The USA, however, wasn't one of them.

Following the tragic death of younger brother Andy Gibb in 1988, the Bee Gees started to seriously re-evaluate their careers.Trying to make sense of the tragedy, they also began to feel a needto truly dedicate themselves to what they've always done best; theirmusic-song writing and performing. Regardless of what the criticsthought about Bee Gees, they made a come back with the 1989 album "One" which brought the brothers success in USA and Europe. For the first time in ten years, Bee Gees set forth on a world tour.In 1993, they released the CD "Size Isn't Everything". Appearances on radio and TV brought inevitable one-liners about the meaning of the title. Howard Stern asked them "which one is the 'biggest' Bee Gee? Answer was off course Barry.

In 1997 Bee Gees were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.Their 1997 release, "Still Waters," debuted at #2 on the UK charts.The compilation album "The Very Best of the Bee Gees" also remained in the top ten for quite some time.Despite many ups and downs their extraordinary song-writing, composing and singing-rooted in the voices that are appealing individually as well as melding together so perfectly and naturally-remained a constant through out their history. Their harmonies are so good that they make the Beatles, the Everly Brothers, and Simon &Garfunkel - all famous for their harmonies - almost seem hollow and artificial. After the death of Maurice Gibb they have stopped performing still I am sure they would be planning another album or the next single.

I am also listing my favourite Bee Gees songs:-

1. I started a joke

2. Massachusetts

3. How deep is your love?

4. staying alive

5. Night fever

6. Words

7. Too much heaven

8. Closer than close

9. New York mining disaster

10. Nights on Broadway

Note:-several print and internet sources have been used for the article.


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