Saturday, April 21, 2012

Solo Bee Gees

The Bee Gees seem to be the prime example of the sum being greater than any of the individual parts. NONE of The Brothers Gibb enjoyed much of a solo career ... yet together they've been radio staples for over 40 years.

Brother Barry, most often featured as lead vocalist on The Bee Gees' biggest hits, and certainly the most prolific writer and producer in the bunch, managed a couple of Top Ten Hits thanks to two duets that he recorded with Barbra Streisand ... but these were really Barbra Streisand records. His only Top 40 solo hit, "Shine Shine", crapped out at #37 in 1984.

Shine Shine 

Maurice ... "The Quite One" ... (as Beatles-comparisons followed them throughout their career) never really had a solo hit ... but a while back we featured an INCREDIBLY powerful video of Maurice performing with his ex-wife Lulu on one of her British Television Specials. Sadly, we lost Maurice in 2003, shortly after this was filmed. It's an absolutely BEAUTIFUL version of The Bee Gees' hit "First Of May", which we featured earlier in this series. 
Click here: YouTube - LuLu & Maurice Gibb - First of May 

When it comes to Bee Gees music, Maurice rarely took the lead ... he was more of a musical and vocal arranger for the band ... but in 2001 we were very fortunate to be one of the first in the country to premier the brand new Bee Gees album "This Is Where I Came In" ... and on that CD was a track called "She Keeps On Coming" that I said at the time the band should have sent around to radio stations with a blank label in the hopes of getting them to play it. The reason for this was that it sounded like a VERY contemporary cut ... something along the lines of Talking Heads meets Robert Palmer meets Jeff Lynne of ELO ... what it DIDN'T sound like was ANYTHING else The Bee Gees had ever recorded!!! (Unfortunately, by this time The Bee Gees were pretty much blacklisted by radio ... NOBODY was going to take a chance on playing a new Bee Gees tune ... which is why Forgotten Hits proved to be an interesting outlet to premier this track.) Of course, nobody at the time had any idea that this would be the LAST album The Bee Gees ever recorded ... a couple of years later, Maurice was dead, and Barry and Robin have yet to return to the studio for anything that might be considered a Bee Gees project.

Give a listen to "She Keeps On Coming" and see what you think. My guess is you NEVER would have believed this to be The Bee Gees at the time ... and, in 2001, I'm also guessing that this one could have been a pretty big hit ... and who knows ... maybe even kicked off Phase FIVE of their remarkable career!!!

She Keeps On Coming

Robin tried the hardest to get a solo career off the ground, dating back to the first break-up of the band in 1969. Proof again that the public wasn't accepting ANY of The Bee Gees as solo acts is the fact that Robin's biggest hit was a slowed-down remake of The Beatles / "Abbey Road" song "Oh! Darling" ... which hit #15 in 1978. It came from the soundtrack to the DISASTROUS film "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", which starred The Bee Gees, Peter Frampton and an assortment of other guest stars who have spent the better part of last 35 years trying to forget the whole experience. But in 1984, Robin recorded a techno-pop song called "Boys Do Fall In Love", which I actually LOVED at the time. Unfortunately, not too many other folks out there felt the same way, and "Boys Do Fall In Love" stopped at #37.

Oh! Darling

Boys Do Fall In Love

Baby brother Andy ... we could easily do another week-long feature on the tragedy that was HIS life ... scored nine straight Top 40 Hits written and produced with his brother Barry. "Shadow Dancing" topped the charts for seven weeks back in 1978 at the height of Bee Gees-mania ... and "I Just Want To Be Your Everything" and "Love Is Thicker Than Water" gave him THREE #1 Singles in a row. Other hits included An Everlasting Love (#5, 1978); Our Love, Don't Throw It All Away (#7, 1978); Desire (#4, 1980); I Can't Help It (a duet with Olivia Newton-John that peaked at #12 in 1980); Time Is Time (#15, 1981) and Me Without You (#40, 1981). His duet with then gal-pal Victoria Principal, "All I Have To Do Is Dream", stopped at #51 in 1981. While you still hear "I Just Want To Be Your Everything" and "Shadow Dancing" quite a bit on the radio, two of Andy's BEST ballads have joined the ranks of the forgotten and ignored ... so today we're featuring a couple of OUR favorites, An Everlasting Love and Our Love, Don't Throw It All Away.

(Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away

An Everlasting Love