Bee Gees Demos – Part 18

Barry Gibb – Hawks demos

The complete Hawks demos came my way in the form of “Moonlight Madness”, which was the original title of the album when Barry started it back in 1986.

For the pedantic amongst you, I do realise that this places it before the E.S.P. demos but I felt it made more sense to put it here because the final 2 songs were recorded in 1988.

I have listed the songs here as they appear on the demos CD.

1. Moonlight Madness

Written by Barry Gibb, George Bitzer & Alan Kendall

This demo at 5 mins 17 secs is some 5 seconds longer than the released version.  However, it’s not easy to see where that time was removed from because there are no discernable differences between the two!

Barry uses a normal voice for the song, saving the falsetto for the ad-libs.

2. My Eternal Love

Written by Barry Gibb & Richard Powers

Again the demo is longer, this time 7 seconds and once more the two are so similar finding the lost time is not easy for a non-musician like me!

A nice falsetto love song that builds up for the chorus.

3. System Of Love

Written by Barry Gibb & Alan Kendall

This one has an extra 17 seconds over the released version!

An up-tempo, funky number that has Barry mixing normal voice verses with a falsetto chorus and ad-libs. Definitely one of my favourites from this album.

4. Where Tomorrow Is

Written by Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb

For once we have a song with the same timing as the final version, suggesting that this wasn’t ‘tinkered’ with.  The music track sounds a bit different on the demo, but that may just be because it isn’t as complete as the others.

5. In Search Of Love

Written by Barry Gibb & Richard Powers


The first of five unreleased tracks and it’s a slow(ish) falsetto love song, with some great rolling overdubs into the fade.  Like many Bee Gees demos it’s difficult to see why this was never released – it could have made a bonus CD track or a single B-side.

6. Cover You

Written by Barry Gibb & Karl Richardson

The unreleased version is around 30 seconds longer.

A great song with some guitar affects throughout the track that are reminiscent of the Shaft theme!  Very much ‘as-is’ in terms of comparison with the finished track, it has a longer fade but this doesn’t account for the full 30 seconds difference.

7. The Savage Is Loose

Written by Barry Gibb, Randy Jackson & George Bitzer


The second unreleased track is another fine song that never got to see the light of day!  It sounds like some of the lyrics are incomplete, but it’s difficult to tell due to the flat mix whether some of the lyrics are actual words!

8. Not In Love At All

Written by Barry & Maurice Gibb and George Bitzer

Another one with an extra 5 seconds over the final track and it’s another solid love song.  Sung mostly in falsetto the song is very much the album version, complete with all the overdub vocals.

9. Words Of A Fool

Written by Barry Gibb


Unreleased track number 3 is a solid country-esque love song with some fine lyrics and a great vocal.  Barry has been known to perform this during sound-checks, as proven by the existence of bootleg videos and audio.

10. Distant Strangers

Written by Barry Gibb, Carlos Vega, Steve Farris & Neil Stubenhaus


The fourth unreleased song is a funky rocker that should have been released in some form.  It has a toe-tapping beat and some brilliant vocals  Despite it not being the kind of thing Barry (or the Bee Gees) are known for I don’t think it would have done Barry any harm at all to release a song like this.

11. Change

Written by Barry Gibb, George Bitzer & Alan Kendall


The final unreleased track and, if I could refer to another artist for a second, the start of this reminds me of Japan / David Sylvian.

Sung in normal voice, it’s another fantastic song that deserves a wider audience.

12. Letting Go

Written by Barry Gibb & George Bitzer

A beautiful song with a sentiment that I’m sure we’ve all felt at some time or other.  Trademark Barry ‘breathy’ vocal on the verses, flowing into falsetto as he moves into the end of the chorus, highlighting the emotion of the lyrics nicely.

13. Celebration De La Vie (Theme From Hawks)

Written by Barry, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb

The demos CD contains three alternate versions of this instrumental track.

Whether these are Barry’s efforts or whether they are completely unrelated is anyone’s guess.

The first is an electric guitar-based affair and sounds like an early attempt; the second is short and sounds like an attempt at a different guitar refrain for the intro; the third version has a keyboard replacing the guitar.

It’s possible that one (possibly all) of them is Barry’s ‘work-up’ to give the general sound ideas he was looking for.

14. Childhood Days

Written by Barry & Maurice Gibb

This track was recorded in 1988 at the same time as “Celebration”.  The track included on the demos CD is actually an extended version that was available on the 12 inch version of the single.

Next up: the ‘One’ demos

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