observations and opinion
The Bee Gees were the best thing ever to come out of Australia. Or at least, were tied for “best thing” along with koala bears, the Sydney Opera House, the Olympics, Olivia Newton John, Iggy Azalea. Or kangaroos. Definitely up there.
The four Gibb brothers – Barry, Robin, Maurice and the non-Bee Gee, Andy – were among the biggest pop music stars of the 1960s and 1970s. They are most famous now for their disco anthems, which they brilliantly deployed on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, but the Bee Gees’ catchy tunes, sentimental lyrics and totally unique harmonies were deeper and lovelier than that.
Barry Gibb, the oldest brother and musical leader of the group throughout its many years, is the only one left now. He wrote many fine songs (apparently he penned at least one #1 song in each of the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s.) More people ought to listen to what he and his brothers did, so here are some of their pre-disco hits.
Some of these songs, wistful and mopey though they may sometimes be, catch the sadness in the air. So listening to them is more than musical. It can be very personal, if you let it.
Words – it’s only words, and words are all I have…the most Sixties pop ballad you’ll ever put your ears on.
New York Mining Disaster – a rare pop hit about industrial accidents.
To Love Somebody – you don’t know what it’s like, to love somebody, the way I love you.
Massachusetts – they hadn’t been there, so far as I know, when they wrote this.
I’ve Just Gotta Get a Message to You – oh I, oh I…
Lonely Days – Good morning Mr. Sunshine, you brighten up my day…
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart – how can a loser ever win?
Jive Talkin’ – an precursor to what was about to happen
Nights on Broadway – with their prettiest bridge, I think: I will wait, even if it takes forever…
And because sometimes, you just have to hear it: