.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/c4de2ece556e5f461325436c9edbc834d1079fed.jpg One

Bee Gees

One

Bee Gees/Reprise
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 4 0
September 21, 1989

Is it possible that we live in a country that can forgive Richard Nixon but not his fellow Seventies superstars the Bee Gees? Unlike Dick, after all, the Bee Gees never actually did anything wrong. Most Bee Gee-bashing is based on the fact that the trio has been forever linked with disco — that most undeservedly dreaded of genres — and this has somehow obscured another fact: that the Bee Gees are one of the great pop bands of all time.

For more than twenty years, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb have created timely pop music of transcendent beauty — not every time out, mind you, but with a consistency that's still remarkable. The Bee Gees' early records — though occasionally marred by a tendency to slip into the saccharine — were moving pieces of Beatles-influenced pop that gained immeasurably from the trio's breathtaking, brotherly harmonies and infallible taste for elegant hooks. And by the time of their mid-Seventies Saturday Night Fever-fueled resurrection, the Bee Gees were able to merge successfully their pop strengths with a new-found flair for funk and R&B that drove the world to the dance floor.

One — even more than the underrated 1987 album E.S.P. — finds the brothers back at the top of their game, meshing the sounds of both of their past hitmaking eras into an impressive album that still feels quite contemporary. (If you think the Bee Gees' influence doesn't persist, listen one more time to your George Michael and Fine Young Cannibals records.) The title track, which is the first single from the album, is polished pop soul that effortlessly combines sonic bite and rhythmic seduction.

Though songs like "Ordinary Lives" and "Will You Ever Let Me?" may be little more than expertly crafted vehicles that highlight the brothers' harmonies, songs like "Wish You Were Here" (a moving tribute to the late Andy Gibb) and the erotically charged "House of Shame" show that they still have a way with a hook. And the crack rhythm section of drummer Steve Ferone and bassist Nathan East helps keep things soulful and tough. Give One a chance — it ain't no party, it ain't no disco, it ain't no fooling around.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “You Oughta Know”

    Alanis Morissette | 1995

    This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com