.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/f7940cff5b27001fff5553f3d7d10e963c29f5c8.jpg The Studio Albums 1967-1968

Bee Gees

The Studio Albums 1967-1968

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 2.5 0
March 10, 2007

At the beginning of 1967, the three Gibb brothers got on a boat and left behind a marginal Australian career with hopes of making it big in England. By April they had an international hit with "New York Mining Disaster 1941," which established their formula for the next few years: melodic ballads frosted with inscrutable lyrics, orchestral arrangements and precise, high-pitched harmonies. At the time, rumors circulated that the Bee Gees were the Beatles recording under a pseudonym (the Bee Gees' name was supposedly code for "Beatles Group") — hard to believe, considering this was the same band that would go on to sell 15 million copies of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Take that as evidence either of the public's hunger for anything vaguely Beatlesque or that a whole generation really was stoned beyond all comprehension. The 1960s Bee Gees were polished, technically gifted — and, it must be said, a bit priggish. "I'm afraid that I can't agree with the Beatles' recording of 'I Am the Walrus,' " said Barry Gibb in 1967. "They never had to use dirty words before, but they are using them now. What's the point?"

With stereo and mono mixes of their first three albums — 1967's Bee Gees 1st and 1968's Horizontal and Idea — plus three extra discs of B sides and outtakes, this lovingly compiled box set is the holy grail for the sort of Bee Gees fanatic willing to argue that 1st is marginally better than its two successors. The rest of us are better off enjoying individual tracks: "I Started a Joke" (from Idea) is the best word salad here, with lead vocals by Robin Gibb — it seems evocative but actually makes no sense. Other highlights include the more direct "To Love Somebody" (from 1st), intended for Otis Redding before his fatal plane crash. But far too many tracks bog down in syrupy strings and sodden tempos — listeners today may find themselves wishing that disco had come ten years earlier.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    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

    “Money For Nothing”

    Dire Straits | 1984

    Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com