After nearly 18 months I’ve recently started listening to the Bee Gees again after loading up my MP3 player with 30+ albums, including all the solo stuff and the stuff they wrote for other artists.
Coming back to the after all that time is as much of a revelation as hearing them for the first time. It also prompted me setting up this blog.
So, where did I start? From memory I think it must have been 1975 or 1976. I hadn’t heard of them at this point – I don’t remember being that into music at that time because I was far too busy out with my mates playing football.
I had been given some money for my birthday, along with a record player so I decided I’d go out and get some records. Of course being only 9 or 10 I wasn’t allowed into town on my own so I had to go with my parents on the weekly shopping trip. It turned out the only records I could afford were in the bargain bin and I eventually decided on the first two “In The Beginning … The Bee Gees … The Early Days” and the “Massachusetts” compilation album.
Over the following days I played those records over and over again, especially the Massachusetts album. I learnt later that most of the tracks on that album were classics – On Time, Lamplight, NY Mining Disaster, to name a few. The other two records weren’t so good in my mind but, again, at this point I was aware of the significance of these songs. I know now that they represent some of the earliest recordings by these talented brothers and, given their ages at the time, they show an already growing talent for song writing.
Since then I have been lucky enough to get hold of a lot of demo recordings, as well as official records. Like many fans that have heard the demos of unreleased material, I find it hard to understand how they remain unheard by the masses. Many of them are as good, and in some cases better, than the songs have made it into general release.
This has, in part, been rectified in recent years with the release of a lot of the sixties demos with the reissue by Rhino Records of the first 4 (non-Australian) albums, as well as Barry’s release of the demo songs for his collaborations with Diana Ross, Kenny Rogers, Dionne Warwick and Barbra Streisand. However, Rhino now seem to have given up on releasing the remaining Bee Gees albums and so a lot of demos continue to remain in the wilderness, including the infamous “A Kick In The Head Is Worth Eight In The Pants”. I’m lucky that I have a fairly decent recording of this album so I get to listen to it to my heart’s content, but there are many out there who haven’t heard it.
Here’s hoping someone has some good sense to get this stuff out there … it might just help to show to the doubters that these boys really do know what they’re doing.