It would of been easy to go with the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever in remembrance of Bee Gee Robin Gibb. Instead I decided to go with the Bee Gees more affectionate and sweeping album Bee Gees’ 1st (though technically their third release). I often get the feeling that many people are unaware that the Bee Gees were already a notable Brit Pop band before their rise to Disco prominence. Perhaps better known in their native Britain, the Bee Gees in their early days were primarily known for their psychedelic brand of folk and tender pop ballads. Highlights on this album include such early Bee Gees’ classics as; “Holiday”, “To Love Somebody”, and “New York Mining Disaster 1941”.
Though it’s always been clear that Barry Gibb was the driving force of the Bee Gees, I’ve always felt that in the early years Robin was the most engaging vocalist of the group. Robin Gibb’s tender and very English delivery was always pitch perfect for the group’s ballads. “Holiday” is his crowning achievement on this album, finding an impeccable balance between beautiful and bittersweet. Of course all three of the Brothers Gibb are consummate vocalists resulting in some of the best harmonies you’d be likely to find in pop, or any genre for that matter. Though that wouldn’t mean anything if wasn’t for the fine songwriting credited to Barry and Robin (though I’ll assume that’s mostly Barry).
I’m gonna go on record and say that “To Love Somebody” is the best pre-1977 Bee Gees’ track. “To Love Somebody” might even be my favorite Bee Gees song period. It’s a lushly produced, catchy, pop ballad that could stand toe-to-toe with the best of any other British Invasion band of the time. Aside from the three most popular tracks I’ve already mentioned the rest of the album is just as enjoyable. The Bee Gees really excelled in the psychedelic pop department. It’s actually puzzling it took them as long as it did to become big in the U.S. Bee Gees’ 1st is an album I’d recommend to both fans of 60s pop and 70s Disco fans. The albums gives some intriguing insight into a band that was probably better than most people gave them credit for. R.I.P Robin Gibb.
Favorite Tracks: “Holiday”, “To Love Somebody”, “Turn of the Century”