Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Forgotten Hits Salutes The Bee Gees

Almost exactly three years ago to the day we ran a tribute to The Bee Gees on The Forgotten Hits Website, saluting some of their career highlights.  During the (main) course of this series, we featured some of their long, lost Forgotten Hits not played on the radio anymore as well as a few of our personal favorites that you may not be overly familiar with ... or very well may have never heard before ... simply because radio hasn't afforded much of their more recent material much in the way of airplay.

With Robin Gibb in a coma and near death, I thought it would be fitting to revisit some of this material this week. 

I'm not the least bit embarrassed to admit that Frannie and I have been life-long Bee Gees fans ... and we spent a good chunk of this weekend listening to their music and watching old videos and biographies of the band.  We are truly saddened by the imminent loss of yet another member of the talented Gibb family.

While they certainly have their legion of loyal fans, it is also safe to say that The Bee Gees have not been treated well by radio and the media over the years.  Despite this sad state of affairs, I am happy to report that as many times as they've been counted out, they have managed to come back with a great new sound that has captured our hearts time and time again.

If losing Robin proves to be the last chapter in The Bee Gees' legacy, they can go out knowing that they provided a lifetime of timeless, memorable music.

In one of the interviews we watched this weekend, it was a choked up Robin Gibb who told the camera that way back in 1967, when they were first being coached by new manager Robert Stigwood, they were advised not to write for today, but rather to write for 40 years from now.  "Don't focus on the current trend or fad in music," Stigwood told his young proteges, but "concentrate instead on a timeless sound that will still sound fresh and touch hearts many years from now."

Nearly five decades later, it is safe to proclaim that The Bee Gees have achieved this goal.  Their International Hit List rivals the very best that music has ever had to offer.  (We'll wrap this piece up later in the week with a recap of just how incredibly impressive this list really is.)

In 1998, The Brothers Gibb were asked to write a new song for the stage musical version of "Saturday Night Fever" ... something that could stand as the finale to the entire production.

What they came up with was a song called "Immortality" ... a song title all that more fitting today in light of Robin Gibb's current health condition.  Barry has already seen his younger brothers Andy and Maurice leave us ... and with a family bedside vigil now entering into its fifth day, we can only hope that he is at peace with Robin's current state of affairs.

Gibb says that the song had always been written with Celine Dion in mind to sing it ... and she recorded her version (with the three Bee Gees on backing vocals) later that same year.  Incredibly, it never even charted here in The States ... yet it seems more powerful than ever in light of Robin's current health situation.  (Celine's record went to #5 in Great Britain, where The Bee Gees continued to chart throughout their career ... I guess the fans there aren't quite as fickle as they are here in America!)

If you know this song, you already know just how powerful it is.  And, if you're not familiar with this song, you're in for an incredible performance.  Either way, just try to keep a dry eye.  The Bee Gees themselves couldn't do it during the recording session ... they had to stop the session numerous times because they were in tears ... it's that powerful of a tune. 

Immortality ... by Celine Dion (with The Bee Gees):