Tuesday, August 08, 2017

2012: Robin Gibb's death reminded us of The Bee Gees' first international hit

Back in May 2012, Robin Gibb died of cancer.  He was 62.   

In early '67, the brothers left Australia and moved to London to seek a recording contract.  They had enjoyed success down under but understood that it was time to hit the US through London.

Barry was 20.  Maurice and Robin were 17.

They met Robert Stigwood, a producer, and he fell in love with their harmonies & songs.  It was a very fortunate meeting because it opened the door to a recording contract.

The first single was "New York Mining Disaster 1941", a song about a mining accident.  Didn't you think of this song during the Chilean accident a couple of years ago?  ("Have you seen my wife Mr Jones"?)

The song sounded a lot like The Beatles.  In fact, many radio stations in the US thought that the whole thing was a prank.    They thought that Bee Gees was really Beatles Group!

It didn't take long for the world to learn that the Gibb brothers were a real group and rather talented as well.

The first sign was "I can't see nobody", the incredible B-side.  I remember hearing that song and being overwhelmed.

A few weeks later, they released their first international album.  It included "To love somebody", one of the group's classics, and the totally beautiful "Holiday". 

It also featured "Turn of the century", the song that sealed the deal and made me a huge fan of The Bee Gees. 

I always loved the idea that they were brothers and could write such wonderful songs.  How often do you find 3 brothers who can harmonize and compose like this?

Rest in peace Robin.  Thanks for all of those great melodies.




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