When I was in primary school they were all over the place. Hit after hit after hit. Then disappeared for a while in the first half of the seventies, reappearing as a disco act and scoring major hits again in the Saturday night fever and Grease John Travolta craze, assuring the band hits for more than a decade to come. Robin Gibb co-wrote this string of hits encompassing four decades, including five number ones, with his brother Barry and twin brother, the late Maurice and had one solo number 1, 'Saved by the bell', in 1969 as well.
|Dutch TV show 1968|
Listening now to these songs in order to get in the mood for this in memoriam, I notice that they all are fairly guitarless songs. Certainly not rock or blues based. Keyboards and loads of strings. And that is what sets Bee Gees songs so far apart from what was the common form of that day. They created a universe of their own with a large audience of fans which are in there till this day. What I also notice is that they only started discovering true harmonising on the 1970, more hippy infused, 'Lonely days'. It is also their most The Beatles/John Lennon inspired song. It's on this hit single that there is a first inkling on what's to come later in that decade: 'Staying alive' is the best, totally faulty record ever off course. They found the (even) higher registers of their voices and made a billion probably.
Despite the fact that after the demise of Maurice the band pensioned itself off, although there were recent rumours of Barry and Robin working together, nothing they could have done would have mattered to their legacy. That is firmly in place, schmalzy ballads or not. Bee Gees are a part of the sixties and seventies pop pantheon.
Thank you for the music, Robin.
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