Bee Gees Demos – Part 5

Robin Gibb, Sing Slowly Sisters

In January 1970 Robin began recording the proposed follow-up to his first solo project “Robin’s Reign”.  The album was never released because of the Bee Gees reunion.  Robin recorded a new track in 2008 named Wing And A Prayer which featured some of the lyrics from the title track of this album.

Ladybird bootleg

Life – a nice, up-beat track with some fine vocal and an interesting orchestral arrangement.

I’ve Been Hurt – A moody number, with some flirty flute-type arrangements which puts one in mind of butterflies flittering around on a spring day. Not really something associated with being hurt!  An emotional number, which is enhanced with the fading vocal at the end of the song – almost as if the singer is walking away into a tunnel of despair.  There seems to be a theme of this type of emotion as we work through the rest of the tracks. Maybe he was pining for the good old days before the break-up of the group?

Irons In The Fire – This is one of those almost ‘bland’ numbers.  Whilst I can appreciate the emotional element from the lyrics, I find the same backing arrangement playing all the way through monotonous and boring.  This isn’t helped by the extraordinarily flat, deep, vocal. The end of the song is a complete contrast to this – we’re treated to an almost ‘fairground’ type piano refrain.

Cold Be My Days – Very similar-sounding to Irons In The Fire.  In fact, it sounds as though it may have been written as a follow-on track (one blending into the next kind of thing).  The vocal is similar, too, almost all of it just ambles along with not much feeling despite some emotional lyrics.

Avalanche – Finally we have something sounding like it wants to go somewhere. There is a lot more feeling in the vocals and the whole thing sounds much more alive.

Make Believe – And here we are back to the monotone vocal, although it does pick up for the chorus, which is its only saving grace. Robin must have been going for a certain kind of sound with these tracks but I can’t see that would have been popular. Having said all that, though, it actually ‘almost’ works here, if only due to the chorus being in a different key!

All’s Well That Ends Well – This is more like the Robin we know.  The lighter vocal works much better in conveying the feeling of the lyrics. If anything this one is too short!

Very Special Day – The piano accompaniment helps the fine vocal convey the emotion of the lyrics. Robin did some multi-tracking of the vocal to try to create a harmonic feeling and it works well here.

Sky West And Crooked – A jaunty number, this one, with a catchy chorus.  The song has those deeper vocals but it works much better than on the slower numbers.  Some strange lyrics but overall a nice song.

Sing Slowly Sisters – Easily one of the stand-out tracks from this album.  It’s another slow one but Robin’s vocal is in fine form.  Robin uses a mix of the lighter and deep vocal which works – maybe if he’d done this on some of those previous numbers I may have enjoyed them more.

C’est La Vie, Au Revoir – An orchestral opening breaking into a guitar refrain.  This is one of my favourite songs; it’s Robin at his most brilliant. The vocal is almost perfect for the song and it conveys the lyrics with a passion.

Everything is How You See Me – This is completely different to what’s come before. The intro could almost be a theme for a cowboy t.v. series or movie and the whole song is lot lighter, in subject matter, feeling and sound.

The Flag I Flew – More plaintive Robin vocals in the deeper range coming up to a higher range for the chorus.  I prefer this mix of vocal to those songs where the low range is used all the way through.

Return To Austria – Another lower-key, slow number with an orchestral backing track.  This vocal is just about the right side of the lower range that works for Robin’s vocal (at least for me!).  Maybe this is what he was aiming for the final versions of the other songs?

Engines, Aeroplanes – Another of the stand-out tracks and another up-beat song. I like this a lot – it has great vocals, quirky lyrics and a catchy tune to back it all up.

Great Caesar’s Ghost – Ooh!  I’m not sure if this is just my version of this track but Robins’ vocal sounds really strange, almost like his voice is coming down from having breathed in helium!!  Or maybe it’s supposed to sound like that – whichever it is, I can’t listen to this properly because it’s off-putting, which is a shame because it sounds like it could be a good song.

High Quality demos

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