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Reply #210 posted 05/22/12 9:09am


The Death of Robin Gibb

May 22, 2012

Robin Gibb, one-third of the Bee Gees, died Sunday after a long battle with cancer, his spokesperson has confirmed via a statement. Gibb was 62 years old.

"The family of Robin Gibb, of the Bee Gees, announce with great sadness that Robin passed away today following his long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery," reads the statement. "The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time."

Two years ago, Gibb battled colon and liver cancer, but despite making what he called a "spectacular recovery," a secondary tumor recently developed, complicated by a case of pneumonia in April. The singer was hospitalized last month and fell into a coma at one point, although he was later said to have regained consciousness and communicated with family members.

Gibb was born in the Isle of Man in 1949, along with twin brother Maurice. (Maurice died in 2003 of complications from a twisted intestine; eerily, Robin had surgery for the same medical issue in 2010.) Along with their older brother Barry, the brothers began harmonizing as a trio in Australia, where the family moved in 1958. Although the Bee Gees had some success in Australia – they hosted a weekly variety show there – they didn't truly arrive until they returned to England and signed with manager Robert Stigwood.

Robin's quivering, vulnerable voice was featured prominently on several of the group's earliest and most Beatles-eque hits, including "New York Mining Disaster 1941," "I Started a Joke," "Massachusetts," and "I've Gotta Get a Message to You."

Although he looked and sounded like the meekest Bee Gee, Robin grew into the family rebel. By 1969, he and Barry were feuding over whose song should be singles, and Robin, then 20, was declared a "ward of the state" by their father when his drinking and partying seemed to take over his life. "It happened so fast that we lost communication between us," Gibb later recalled. "It was just madness, really."

But it was also Robin who, in 1971, made the first call to Barry to reunite with his brothers. Robin's solo career had stalled, and Barry and Maurice's attempts to continue the Bee Gees as a duo had floundered as well. "If we hadn't been related, we would probably have never gotten back together," Robin said at the time. Robin's voice was heard, beautifully, on the chorus of their minor 1972 hit "Run to Me."

The Bee Gees' massive second wind arrived with their proto disco hit, "Jive Talkin'," in 1975; two years later, their contributions to Saturday Night Fever made them bigger stars than ever. Most of the hits from that era featured Barry's falsetto voice, but the brothers' vocal blend remained an indelible part of their sound.

The group entered another fallow period during the early Eighties, although during this time, Robin produced a semi-hit album by Jimmy Ruffin, brother of the Temptations' David Ruffin.

The last Bee Gees album, This Is Where I Came In, was released in 2001. Two years later, Maurice died, and with his passing the Bee Gees ended. (Their other, younger brother Andy died in 1988.)

Robin and Barry reunited periodically – in 2010, they made an appearance on American Idol and inducted ABBA into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – and talked about a duo tour, but nothing materialized. Robin, though, kept his hand in music. With his son Robin-John, he wrote an ambitious piece, The Titanic Requiem, a mix of orchestral and vocal pieces telling the story of the doomed liner on the 100th anniversary of its sinking. "It's a serious subject and it's not a rock opera," Gibb said before its debut. "There are no backbeats. This could have been written 300 years ago."

Featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the work had its world premiere in London on April 10th. But in a sign that Gibb's health had taken a turn for the worse, he wasn't able to attend.


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Reply #211 posted 05/22/12 2:49pm



one of their later songs, very overlooked track but very fitting now

Smoke & Mirrors

"We went where our music was appreciated, and that was everywhere but the USA, we knew we had fans, but there is only so much of the world you can play at once" Magne F
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Reply #212 posted 05/22/12 3:58pm


“We always thought we were writing R&B grooves, what they called blue-eyed soul,” Robin said in 2010. “We never heard the word disco; we just wrote groove songs we could harmonize strongly to, and with great melodies.''

- Robin Gibb, 2010

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Reply #213 posted 05/22/12 4:05pm



Identity said:

“We always thought we were writing R&B grooves, what they called blue-eyed soul,” Robin said in 2010. “We never heard the word disco; we just wrote groove songs we could harmonize strongly to, and with great melodies.''

- Robin Gibb, 2010

That's right! thumbs up!

nothing's forbidden... and nothing's taboo.
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Reply #214 posted 05/22/12 4:20pm



Cloudbuster said:

purplethunder3121 said:

For Robin and the Brothers Gibb:


I'm listening to this album again... It is one of my favorite Bee Gee's albums and it seems especially poignant now... touched hug

nothing's forbidden... and nothing's taboo.
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Reply #215 posted 05/22/12 8:04pm


How Can You Mend a Broken Group? The Bee Gees Did It With Disco

This story is from the July 14, 1977 issue of Rolling Stone.

by Frank Rose

London: 67 Brook Street, Mayfair, is sometimes referred to as the house that Cream built. It predates Cream by quite a bit, actually, but that's not what they mean. What they mean is that this is the house that Cream bought. The man they bought it for is Robert Stigwood.

But Stigwood hasn't spent much time in London lately; the pressures of running an international entertainment empire keep taking him to New York and Los Angeles and Bermuda – places like that. His staff carries on bravely, but there's an emptiness they cannot fill, an emptiness which takes the form of a large rear office on the first floor – the office with the crystal chandelier, the fake fireplace and an inch-thick slab of glass, set atop four stone lions, which serves as a desk. It is Stigwood's office, and it has been mostly empty for about five years now.

At the moment, however, Al Coury, president of RSO (Robert Stigwood Organization, naturally) Records, and Robin Gibb, one of the Bee Gees, are sitting in two of Stiggy's leather chairs having what Robin would call a "chin-wag." This particular chin-wag is focused on the Bee Gees' studio work in progress at the Honky Chateau in France and on the lifestyle that prevails there.

Al Coury, inquisitive on his first visit to London since taking over RSO Records a year ago, stands up to sniff the air in Robert's office. "All those famous albums," he sighs. "All those deals..."

"You must find yourself spending a lot of time on the music," Coury observes. "Well," Robin retorts, "there's nothing else to do."

It is now early February; since the beginning of January the Bee Gees have been polishing their new album, Here at Last... Bee Gees... Live, and writing material for Saturday Night Fever, a film Stigwood is producing for Paramount. In July they will go to Toronto to record the soundtrack. In September, October and November they'll be on location for the filming of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, an RSO musical extravaganza in which they'll costar with Peter Frampton.

The demand on the Bee Gees for recorded product has been strong. Children of the World, their last album, is very close to going double platinum, and to intensify the action RSO recently released two oldies albums – a greatest-hits package and a one-disc version of Odessa, their commercially unsuccessful concept album recorded in 1969. Bee Gees... Live, recorded in L.A. in December, is their only live LP, but it was required by their new five-year, eight-album contract with RSO – and besides, as Robin puts it, "These particular tapes warranted being brought out."

Clearly, these people are in business – show business. "Show business," says Robin Gibb, "is something you have to have in you when you're born." When Robin and his two brothers, Maurice and Barry, were born on the Isle of Man (their father was the bandleader on the IOM-Liverpool ferry) show business was a grand and glorious tradition.

It isn't the Bee Gees' fault that in the late Fifties, when their act was just getting started in Australia, show business lay dead and pitiful like a fractured racehorse. But you can't fault them for never quite comprehending that. The Bee Gees, after all, were never conscious of what was going on around them; that was part of their appeal. Even in their heyday they were throwbacks, the last of the Sixties innocents.

Actually, it's a little unfair to call 67 Brook Street the house that Cream built. Cream and the Bee Gees together formed the foundation of the Stigwood Organization. The Bee Gees paid for these gracious Regency digs as much as anybody. The Bee Gees just weren't very – noticeable. And it's always been that way.

Robin Gibb is sitting behind Robert Stigwood's desk, looking dwarfed, happy, but also slightly nervous. After 20 years in show business and ten years of international stardom, it is still characteristic of him to be uncomfortable about interviews.

I mention songwriting and Robin breaks in indignantly: "No one has ever talked to us about our songwriting! That's always amazed me. I don't think people even realize that we write our own songs.

"It doesn't bother, me, but – you know that Playboy poll? It has a songwriting section, and this year we're not even in it. There's people in there who haven't had any success for the last two years. We've had two platinum albums, all our own music, and three hit singles practically at one time on the Hot 100. At this moment we stand to be given the, uh, whatever that award is for songwriting. It's just that they don't know their business. They don't make it their business to know how many records the Bee Gees have written. I call it just – musical ignorance!"

The Bee Gees' songwriting talent is quite extraordinary. They write hits the way most people write postcards. They write them on demand – any time, anyplace, on any subject. They've written a lot of them while sitting on staircases. "Jive Talkin'," one of their latest hits, was written on a causeway between Miami and Miami Beach. "I Can't See Nobody," one of their early hits, was written in the dressing room of a club. The Bee Gees were in their midteens at the time, sharing the dressing room with a stripper.

When they were all at the Honky Chateau, Stigwood rang up with instructions for the theme song he wanted written for Saturday Night Fever. According to Barry Gibb, the instructions went like this: "Give me eight minutes – eight minutes, three moods. I want frenzy at the beginning. Then I want some passion. And then I want some w-i-i-i-ldfrenzy!" They wrote the song "Stayin' Alive" in two hours; it fills the bill. A disco tune, it has real jive precision, like a sleek black Mercedes with an ashtray full of coke. Saturday Night Fever is about the night life of some Italian disco dudes in Brooklyn, but the Bee Gees didn't know that when they wrote "Stayin' Alive."

They say it was just an accident that the song they came, up with is as well-tailored lyrically as it is musically: Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother/You're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.

They've written four other tunes for the film – "quite staggering," says Stigwood, "particularly as they did it all in a week." Robin is nonchalant. "It's obviously easy," he says. "We did it." They did it the way they always do: sitting down together, throwing out lines, not writing anything down – none of them read or write music – storing it in their heads until they're ready to record. "We've all got the same kind of brain wave," Robin explains.

Stigwood has that kind of brain wave too, although his seems to be tuned to a slightly finer signal. After the band sent him demo tapes of "Stayin' Alive," for example, he wanted to know if they could stick a brief, slow piece in the middle of the wild frenzy. "Robert has this thing about songs that break up in the middle with a slow piece," says Robin. "He did the same thing with 'Nights on Broadway.'" Stigwood is as modest as the brothers themselves. "I can't claim any contribution to their songwriting," he smiles. "I wish I could. I'd be taking their royalties, I assure you."

Stiggy is right to be modest. The Bee Gees have been writing songs that way since Robin was seven years old. They were living in Manchester then – twin brothers Robin and Maurice, older brother Barry, older sister Lesley and baby brother Andy, all living with their mother and dad, the bandleader. They were part of a little singing troupe that came on in a Manchester cinema before the queen – before the picture of the queen they show between movies, that is.

They picked their name in 1958. Gibb père had moved his family to Brisbane earlier that year in an attempt to escape the grim lot of a working-class bandleader in postwar England. The brothers moved on to bigger Australian venues – places like army clubs, where they performed as a novelty act.

Their father, Robin says, didn't push them into show business – but once he saw they had it in their blood, he threw himself behind them. Barry and the twins quit school; their father abandoned his career; and the Bee Gees got serious about what they were doing.

Harmonies they already had. Their father taught them how to work the audience. He was good at reading people, too; he could tell if somebody was up to no good. He took care of them. "If he would've had his opportunity in his own life," says Barry, "he would have been a big star. But he didn't, so it was through us that he was going to make it."

In August 1962 the brothers signed with Festival Records, one of Australia's major labels. A few months later the family moved to Sydney, the center of the record industry. Over the next four years Festival released a dozen Bee Gees singles and one greatest-hits album. They all flopped. Finally, the label boss told them they'd have to go. But then they met a fan named Ozzie Byrne who owned a recording studio. Ozzie gave them unlimited studio time – unlike Festival, which typically whisked them in and out in 30 minutes – and the band came up with "Spicks and Specks," their first Number One single in Australia.

"It doesn't matter if you become the biggest thing in Australia," Maurice says now, "because the furthest away you're known is New Guinea and Tasmania." "Spicks and Specks" was released in November 1966; in January, the Bee Gees booked passage with Ozzie Byrne to England. Their parents went along as well. "They wanted to stay in Australia," Robin says, "but we said no."

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Reply #216 posted 05/22/12 8:07pm


Part II

Before they left, the Gibbs had sent some of their records to NEMS Enterprises – Brian Epstein's company, the one that managed the Beatles. The family arrived in London on a Tuesday, moved into a house on Friday, and the following Monday received a call from Robert Stigwood, managing director of NEMS. He wanted to see them immediately.

"I loved their composing," Stigwood recalls. "I also loved their harmony singing. It was unique, the sound they made; I suppose it was a sound only brothers could make." He gave them a five-year contract to sign, then took them to a studio to make some demos. When the power went off, they sat down on a staircase and wrote "New York Mining Disaster, 1941." Stigwood immediately booked time in a studio with juice.

"New York Mining Disaster" was released two months after the Bee Gees arrived in England. It became an instant hit – not only in Britain but in the States as well. In July – a month after the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band – they put out "To Love Somebody"; in September, "Holiday"; and in October, Bee Gees' First. By the end of the year, the Bee Gees, none of them yet 20, were major stars.

Stigwood calls this "round one" in the Bee Gees' career. It involved a lot of ballads, a lot of strings, a string of hits, too much speed and a long period of craziness at the end. The craziness was a predictable result of their short-order stardom, but it was also a pattern for late-Sixties rock groups. The Bee Gees simply did what everybody else was doing: they split up and started recording solo albums. Unlike everybody else, however, they were unable to get away with it. They were different. When they squabbled and put out lousy records, people simply forgot about them.

The breakup came early in 1969, just after the release of Odessa: Robin announced his plans to pull out and record a solo album, and Maurice, Barry and Stigwood announced their plans to sue him. All kinds of weird things happened after that. Their drummer left and claimed the right to their name. Barry and Maurice countered Robin's solo album with an album and a TV special. More than a year went by before Robin, at Stigwood's urging, called his brothers – and it was another six months before they all got together. "It was a pride thing," Robin says now.

With Robin, discussing the breakup can still be like poking about in an open wound. Maurice and Barry seem more objective. "It was basically immaturity," says Maurice. "We weren't cut out to be solo stars," Barry adds. "We were cut out to be the Bee Gees. Somebody in his almighty wisdom knew that, whether we did or not."

Round two of the Bee Gees' career looked fairly promising at first: there was a lot of bad press, especially in Britain, but there were also some hits – like "Lonely Days" and "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?" Then their singles started dying, and round two began to stall.

The problem, they realize now, was simple: they'd gotten into a rut. Nobody wanted their ballads anymore. Their initial reaction, naturally, was to record more of them, in an album called Mr. Natural. When that didn't work, they tried it again. But when they sent the tapes for their next album to Stigwood, he became angry. "I got the feeling they weren't really listening to what was happening in the industry anymore," he says. "So I flew down and had a confrontation with them."

Stigwood's confrontation must have worked, because the next tapes they sent up were for Main Course. The Bee Gees credit producer Arif Mardin with the breakthrough. "He showed us the right track," says Maurice. "This was the track leading to R&B and hits, and that was the track leading to lush ballads and forget it, and he just shoved us off that track and right up this one."

The Bee Gees had first worked with Mardin on Mr. Natural, the stiff of '74, but it wasn't until Main Course that people noticed they were teamed with the man who'd made it work for the Average White Band. The brothers have easily accepted the sound he led them to: Maurice is delighted; to Barry it's "pleasant and energetic"; Robin sees it as a form they've helped inject with quality.

And, of course, it was a real smart marketing move. It gave them a completely new audience and it gave them a dynamic new tag for their old one.

The Bee Gees have this theory that the disco switch wasn't really a switch, just a refinement. "We were always writing the kind of music we do now," Robin says, "but we weren't putting it down right. We were writing R&B, but we weren't going in an R&B direction." Other times, however, they are more direct. "Who says you can't play different kinds of music?" Barry demands. "You just do what you want to do. We play different kinds of music because we put our hearts into different kinds of music."

The Bee Gees received a jolt last year when they returned to Miami to record the followup to Main Course. A day or two after they arrived at Criteria Studios, they got a call from Atlantic Records in New York. It was bad news: Mardin wouldn't be able to produce the record. "That really broke us up," says Maurice. Says personal manager Dick Ashby, "It struck us that Atlantic was trying to use us to get to Robert."

Some months earlier, Al Coury, newly appointed to his post as president of RSO Records, had announced a worldwide distribution/marketing pact between RSO and Polygram, Inc., the giant German-based multinational record corporation.

The announcement followed several months of negotiations between Stigwood and Polygram on the one hand and Stigwood and Warner Communications, Inc., on the other. It meant that Atlantic Records, a Warner subsidiary, would lose U.S. marketing rights to RSO product – rights it had enjoyed since 1974, when RSO Records had been created as an Atlantic custom label.

After an unsuccessful tryout with Richard Perry, the Bee Gees decided to return to Miami, where they could at least use the same studio and the same engineers they'd had on Main Course. It was a good idea; in fact, one of the engineers, Karl Richardson, and Albhy Galuten ended up as coproducers. The album they produced was Children of the World.

Mardin, meanwhile, was rooting from the sidelines. Says Maurice, "Everybody at Atlantic was telling him, 'They won't do anything without you,' and Arif was saying, 'Don't worry, these guys will do it.' He told us all this on the phone. We were saying, 'Can we send you the tapes to see what you think?' He said, 'Well, I have to hear them some time, but don't tell anybody.' So we sent him the tapes and he sent a note back saying, 'They're fantastic – don't do a thing to them.'"

The Bee Gees' next studio production is not likely to be as traumatic, since the Galuten-Richardson partnership proved so felicitous. Sgt. Pepper should make up for it, however. Stigwood has already fired its first director, Australian-born TV whiz kid Chris Beard, one of the creators of The Gong Show. "Actually, I'm having a spate of that," he says. "The other night I fired the Saturday Night director" – John G. Avildsen, who later won an Oscar for Rocky. "It was a terrible coincidence, too. When I was firing him, the message came through that he'd been nominated for an Academy Award – I had to break off and congratulate him in the middle and then carry on with the foul deed."

The problem was the same with both directors: they wanted to make something different from what Stigwood had in mind.

The Sgt. Pepper envisioned by Stigwood and scriptwriter Henry Edwards is a Hollywood musical in the grand tradition, only with Lennon and McCartney where Cole Porter would have been. It's about Billy Shears (Peter Frampton) and his band (the Bee Gees) and their search for the stolen magical instruments which belonged to Shears' grandfather – the legendary Sgt. Pepper, whose Lonely Hearts Club Band established the tradition of instant joy Shears' outfit strives to follow. "It's a fable," says Edwards, "about the redeeming power of music."

Sgt. Pepper is only one of four films Stigwood has slated for production this year, although its $6 million budget commands the biggest bucks. The others are Saturday Night ($3 million), starring John Travolta; Grease ($4 million), number two in Travolta's three-picture deal with Stigwood; and The Geller Effect – not yet budgeted – which will star key-bender Uri Geller in a dual role that's part autobiography, part fiction. This represents a sizable jump in film activity for Stigwood, whose previous productions consist of Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy, Bugsy Malone and Survive!

"It was a combination of good things coming up," Stigwood explains. But many good things have been coming up for RSO lately, and not just in the film division. RSO Records has been following a "controlled expansion" policy which was not so controlled as to preclude its recent $7 million bid for the Rolling Stones. Major action also seems imminent on the television front, which has been quiet since the failure of Beacon Hill, and Stigwood also holds out the possibility of a leap onto the Broadway stage.

RSO's metamorphosis from rock management concern to multimedia entertainment empire began in 1968, when Stigwood saw Hair on Broadway and decided to produce it in London. What followed was a string of West End stage productions, two of which – Oh! Calcutta! and Jesus Christ Superstar – are still running after more than five years. In the early Seventies, as the fortunes of his two leading rock acts waned, Stigwood purchased a production company, Associated London Scripts – the people who subsequently developed All in the Family and Sanford & Son. (Producer Norman Lear pays RSO episode fees.)

What Stigwood sees ahead is balanced expansion with all sectors interacting – but not expansion beyond the family-company stage.

"Family company" is a term you hear frequently at RSO. At times it seems quite literal: the Bee Gees' father still handles their lights. Everywhere you look an unusual camaraderie is evident. The people who work here share an enthusiasm that is less than a cause but more than just a well-paying job. It seems to be a cult of personality attached to Robert Stigwood himself.

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Reply #217 posted 05/22/12 8:09pm


Part III

The sun rarely sets on Stigwood. He is a constant traveler, a bachelor with homes in Los Angeles, New York and Bermuda (alas, the one in London had to be sold for tax reasons), a peripatetic power broker with a penchant for style and a fondness for life in the grand manner.

Like Brian Epstein before him, he lives in the Noel Coward tradition – but where Brian pioneered in translating the Coward style to the purposes of the businessman, Stigwood adds a crucial refinement: it is not sufficient just to be a businessman; one must also be a good businessman.

"We believe in working hard and having fun at the same time," he says. "It's a way of life for me, and I feel tremendous. I feel very lucky to have the freedom to do the things I want to do. And as I say, my clients are all my friends as well."

Maurice has this story about how he and John Lennon became friends. "Robert introduced us. He said, 'John, this is Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, a new group I just signed up,' and I said, 'It's nice to meet you, John,' and he said, 'Naturally.' Right? So I said, 'Oh, stuff you!' Then a little bit later he came over and offered to buy me a drink. He said, 'I like you, you know.' I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I like the way you answered that.' I said, 'Does that mean we're friends then?' And he said, 'You bet.'"

This transpired at the Speakeasy one night when Cream was playing, not long after the Bee Gees had arrived from Australia. As Maurice sat there, with Cream onstage and John Lennon on one side and Keith Moon on the other, he felt very much a part of things. As he tells it now, sitting in the living room of his house on the tax-haven Isle of Man, he still doesn't seem ready to relinquish the thrill.

Maurice lives with his wife, his children and his wife's parents in a large gray farmhouse on the edge of a working-class beach resort in the middle of the Irish Sea. Barry and his wife and family live nearby. They plan to move to Miami soon. (Robin will remain in Surrey.)

Although they are all family men, the Bee Gees are not without their little idiosyncracies. Maurice has this fantasy thing about cops, for example. Once he got busted by the Miami police because he tried to make a citizen's arrest in a bar. He likes to fire a pistol during his interviews. He collects police memorabilia. "The cops in America weren't safe when we were on tour," laughs one of the band members. "They were liable to lose their clothes."

"Nobody has ever matched the Beatles," Maurice announces, apropos of nothing in particular. "I don't think anybody ever will. It's very bad taste to compare anybody with the Beatles at this point – and especially the Bay City Rollers. If I were them, I'd be embarrassed.

"We were compared with the Beatles at first," he continues. "Most of the publicity we had was actually true. But the Beatles never had one publicity stunt. You could see people working behind us – but the Beatles, all they had to do was say, 'Oh, people seem to think we're bigger than God,' and all of a sudden – boom! They're burning their records in America!" There is awe in Maurice's voice, an awareness that he is talking about a level of stardom he will never experience.

If the Bee Gees spend any time brooding about the ironies of their appearance in a Hollywood-revival Beatles musical about the redeeming power of music, they don't show it.

They seem much too absorbed in their work for that. They take their work very seriously, but they maintain perspective. They need perspective; they are craftsmen. Back in Australia, when they were first writing songs, they spent hours and hours listening to the radio, trying to figure out what people like. They found several kinds of music that always held up: ballads, soul, country... "You study your craft," Barry says. "You find out what moves people, where you rise and fall."

The Bee Gees maintain no illusions. "We're fully aware that our music is almost totally commercial," says Barry. "We write for the present." That's part of their secret: the Bee Gees know who they are and who they aren't. They ought to; they went through enough trouble, back when they broke up, to find out. Odd, then, that they never quite figured out the proper stance.

There was always something awkward about them, even when they were fresh and tender. They were rock stars, but they weren't really a rock band; they were a showbiz family in an age when rock was king. Thirty years earlier, they might have complemented the Andrews Sisters; but it was 1967 when they came along, and they were compared to the Beatles.

You might think now, with showbiz on the rebound and disco in the air, that the Bee Gees feel more comfortable. But no; now that it's fashionable to wear white shirts and spiffy suits onstage, they no longer do so. "It's too hot up there," says Barry – and so once again the Bee Gees look slightly out of synch with the times. They also look as if they don't care. In fact, nothing about these boys looks calculated. They may be older, but they're still natural, still innocents. That could be why people like them so much.

http://www.rollingstone.c...z1vetdf3Nu" target="_blank">Link

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Reply #218 posted 05/22/12 8:17pm


Robin's Best Musical Moments

May 2012


Before the Bee Gees spread disco fever across radio waves, dance floors and movie screens, they were somewhat less known for their exquisite pop ballads. And they had a different lead singer: Robin Gibb.

Unlike big brother Barry's smooth, seductive falsetto – which propelled Seventies strobe-light classics like "Stayin' Alive," "Jive Talkin'," and "Night Fever" Robin's lead vocals were warbly, yet soulful, elevating woeful anthems of sinking ships, collapsing caves and lovers strolling to the electric chair. Morrissey fans, recognize!

Aside from providing the Bee Gees his signature lead and harmony vocals for five decades, Robin served as a key songwriting partner for bandleader Barry and albeit to a lesser extent than his twin brother and gifted musician Maurice a multi-instrumentalist, chipping in on guitar, organ and harmonica.

But here are some of Robin Gibb's most transcendent moments from his reign as Bee Gees lead singer.

"New York Mining Disaster 1941"

The Bee Gees' first U.S. hit. This 1967 tearjerker with the catchy refrain "Have you seen my wife, Mr. Jones?" sounded so much like the Beatles that rumors spread that it actually was the Fab Four performing under a cryptic name meaning "Beatles Group." As for the song title, nope, this disaster never happened. Robin plucked the date and locale out of the air to give the song added substance.


The Bee Gees were a three-man songwriting factory (Frankie Valli's title track from the movie Grease, Dionne Warwick's "Heartbreaker," and Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's "Islands in the Stream" were but three of their later exports). The brothers penned this ode to homesickness no, they'd never even been to Massachusetts, just liked how it rolled off Robin's tongue for fellow Australians the Seekers. The Seekers passed, and the Bee Gees got their first U.K. Number One.

"I've Gotta Get a Message to You"

In just over two minutes, the Bee Gees encapsulate the history of rock & roll from Hank Williams' doomed heartache to Phil Spector's Wall of Sound production to James Brown's sweet soul and might have accidentally invented emo. If this death-row march doesn't move you, check your own pulse.

"I Started a Joke"

In this maudlin ballad, Robin created a world where humor is a weapon, tears ensue, and the protagonist imagines his own death in a sea of dramatic wails and strums. See "Smiths, The."

"Odessa (City on the Black Sea)"

Like any late Sixtiess band worth its salt, the Bee Gees needed a majestic concept album. Originally conceived as Masterpeace, the 1969 double album Odessa wasn't the commercial success of the Bee Gees' mid-Sixties or Seventies output, but, artistically, it still lives up to its early billing. On this, the seven-minute opening track, a shipwrecked Robin tries to sail home to his love, who may have run off with a member of the clergy, on an iceberg he may have sculpted into a ship. There's Bee Gees vocal swells bigger than any Black Sea waves, Maurice's nifty flamenco guitar and, naturally, geographic and historic lyrical references that match no map or calendar.


This is the song that temporarily split the Bee Gees. When Barry relegated this luminous piece of Robin longing to the B-side of his own "First of May," Robin quit the band. Odessa never yielded another single and remains one of rock's under-discovered treasures.

"Saved by the Bell"

On the single from his ironically titled solo album Robin's Reign (it would tank on both sides of the Atlantic), Robin croons, "I cried for two." The song didn't exactly yield Robin's desired answer to his "Who needs the other Brothers Gibb?" question, but this story would end happily with Robin returning to the group to begin the Seventies.

"How Can You Mend a Broken Heart"

With his brief solo career behind him, Robin would use the new decade to transition into one of the world's most successful backing vocalists (and songwriting team members). But, before he did, he gave the mic all he had on this soul classic, which was cool enough for Al Green.

[Edited 5/23/12 6:50am]

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Reply #219 posted 05/23/12 6:47am


Barry, Maurice and Robin.

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Reply #220 posted 05/23/12 8:41pm


I was out of town this past week and just now have a chance to post.

Being born in 1963, I grew up with the Bee Gees music and have been a huge fan my whole life. They had a slogan once that said "Three voices. One microphone. Magic." which perfectly summed up their music. The 3 of them together were simply brilliant.

On my vacation, I was at a sports bar that had music memorabilia. One of the things they had on the wall was a poster promoting a Bee Gees concert in 1977. The cost for a ticket was $8.50. It just struck me looking at that how ridiculously inexpensive that was and how much things like that are taken for granted. I realized that I'd spend pretty much any amount of money to see Barry and Robin perform together again as they had planned.

The next morning I heard the news that Robin died. I feel bad for Robin and the suffering he had to endure and for the plans he wasn't able to live out. I had a feeling the tracheotomy meant the end was near - taking away his voice had to be devistating. I feel bad for his family and their loss. I feel bad for Barry and all of the heartache he has had to endure, now burying the 3rd of his 3 younger bothers, all at too young of age. All with so much to live for.

It's a tragic loss for the Gibb family, it's a tragic loss for the music industry, and it's another of a far too long list of losses for me personally. I never met Robin, but he and his brothers certainly touched my life for as long as I can remember.

Customized apparel and gifts -
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Reply #221 posted 05/24/12 10:51am


Cloudbuster said:

Identity said:

only Main Course is in my collection...

That's my fave of theirs. Not to take anything away from their other albums but if you only have one then that's the one to go for. nod

Don't forget their ambitious Children of The World album. On that project they demonstrated their complete mastery of pop and R N' B. "The Way it Was" is an incredible song.

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Reply #222 posted 05/24/12 10:55am



‎"The first time I saw the cover of Dirty Mind in the early 80s I thought, 'Is this some drag queen ripping on Freddie Prinze?'" - Some guy on The Gear Page
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Reply #223 posted 05/24/12 11:48pm


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Reply #224 posted 05/26/12 11:18am



Barry Gibb Posts Moving Video Tribute To Late Brother Robin

When Bee Gees legend Robin Gibb passed away on Sunday at the age of 62 following a battle with cancer, fans and the music world were quick to express condolences--many of them directed to Robin's older brother, Barry, who is the sole living brother of the Gibb family.

Barry Gibb has finally responded--not with a formal statement, but with a tender tribute that celebrates not only Robin, but also his other late siblings Maurice (who died in 2003) and baby brother Andy (who passed at age 30 in 1988). The video he's posted on YouTube is titled "Bodding"--a family nickname for Robin--and shows amazing footage of the family growing up, as well as documentation of the various stages of the Bee Gees' record-setting career.

The moving tribute is all set to the Bee Gees ballad "Heart Like Mine." Bee Gees fans will undoubtedly delight in the vintage glimpses of the Gibbs--but just a warning: it's a tearjerker. You may need to reach for your box of tissues.

There still is no official word from Barry Gibb on his younger brother's death. However, it's hard to imagine a more touching record of Robin Gibb's life than this one. R.I.P., Robin, and our heartfelt condolences yet again to the Gibb family.

"Funkyslsistah… you ain't funky at all, you just a little ol' prude"!
"It's just my imagination, once again running away with me."
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Reply #225 posted 05/26/12 11:33am


funkyslsistah said:

Barry Gibb Posts Moving Video Tribute To Late Brother Robin

When Bee Gees legend Robin Gibb passed away on Sunday at the age of 62 following a battle with cancer, fans and the music world were quick to express condolences--many of them directed to Robin's older brother, Barry, who is the sole living brother of the Gibb family.

Barry Gibb has finally responded--not with a formal statement, but with a tender tribute that celebrates not only Robin, but also his other late siblings Maurice (who died in 2003) and baby brother Andy (who passed at age 30 in 1988). The video he's posted on YouTube is titled "Bodding"--a family nickname for Robin--and shows amazing footage of the family growing up, as well as documentation of the various stages of the Bee Gees' record-setting career.

The moving tribute is all set to the Bee Gees ballad "Heart Like Mine." Bee Gees fans will undoubtedly delight in the vintage glimpses of the Gibbs--but just a warning: it's a tearjerker. You may need to reach for your box of tissues.

There still is no official word from Barry Gibb on his younger brother's death. However, it's hard to imagine a more touching record of Robin Gibb's life than this one. R.I.P., Robin, and our heartfelt condolences yet again to the Gibb family.

God bless you Barry...

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Reply #226 posted 05/27/12 12:11pm


Rip, I loved his music
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Forums > Music: Non-Prince > RIP Robin Hugh Gibb (1949-2012)