Archive for the ‘The Bee Gees’ Category

The Bee Gees

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Listen: (The Lights Went Out In) Massachusetts / The Bee Gees

Recalling the first time The Bee Gees got played locally, the disc jockeys at WNDR were promoting the record’s 7PM unveiling for a solid day or two prior. The implication being a new double sided single from The Beatles. Instead, we got The Bee Gees US debut: ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941 (Have You Seen My Wife, Mr. Jones)’ / ‘I Can’t See Nobody’. In the end, a much better result.

Other than an unfair comparison to The Beatles, from that US premier until taking a dreadful left turn into disco during the mid 70′s, the band had a nice run of British sounding hits, despite growing up and starting their musical career in Australia. Nothing wrong with that by the way, but given they were originally the UK, it was clearly in their water.

During the late 80′s, while working at Island, I often tried to convince Marianne Faithfull to cover ‘(The Lights Went Out In) Massachusetts’. The song just seemed made for her timbre. At the time, she was living in Boston, but despite using that logic as ammo, she never did get round to it.

‘(The Lights Went Out In) Massachusetts’ is neck in neck with their UK only single, ‘World’, also from ’67, as my favorite. A slight embarrassment, this one only reaching #11 on BILLBOARD’s Hot 100, while achieving #1 pretty much around the world. Both a big accomplishment and a contributor to their astonishing, career spanning sales of 220 million records worldwide.

The People’s Choice

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Listen: I Likes To Do It / The People’s Choice PeoplesChoiceLikesToDoIt.mp3

Listen: Big Ladies Man / The People’s Choice PeoplesChoiceBigLadies.mp3

You may remember ‘Do It Anyway You Wanna’ form ’75. It got The People’s Choice to #11 on the Billboard Top 100, the closest vocalist Frank Brunson got to a Top 10 with his band of rotating members.

This was the record that started it for he and them in ’71, when the lineup included some infamous Philadelphia names from the local soul scene: David Thompson, Darnell Jordan, Johnnie Hightower, Stanley Thomas, Valerie Brown and Marc Reed.

Despite it too, shockingly, reaching Billboard’s Top 100 (#38), ‘I Likes To Do It’ has become a hard to get, Philly soul template, right down to the song title. Very nice recent garage sale find amongst a stack of John Denver, Olivia Newton-John and Bee Gees disco era singles. How did it get there, once again reinforcing the garage sale rule: don’t judge a stack of unsleeved singles by the top record.

Tin Tin

Monday, May 10th, 2010

TinTinToast, Robert Stigwood, Tin Tin, Maurice Gibb, Atco, Bee Gees

Listen: Toast And Marmalade For Tea / Tin Tin TinTinMarmalade.mp3

Not to be confused with the solo artist from the early 90′s – although both acts were UK based. This is the band from late ’69, managed by Robert Stigwood, who had a belated hit in early ’71 with ‘Toast And Marmalade For Tea’, even reaching the US Top 20.

Truth be told, they were originally from Australia, but good sense ruled and they relocated to England – just as I should’ve done already. Next life.

A slight wonder of the world this single is in actuality. Like Jonathan King’s ‘Everyone’s Gone To The Moon’ and The Lightning Seeds ‘Pure’, it was SO British sounding that I was never quite sure how it became big in the US. Just goes to show, if when given airplay, people’s tastes aren’t as stubbornly narrow as programmers smother them into appearing.

I liked this one from the title alone, even before that first spin. I couldn’t believe when months later it starting popping up on US Top 40 playlists. Possibly due to the Bee Gees connection and management clout (Maurice Gibb produced). Whatever, a sweet result.
TinTinEngland,  Robert Stigwood, Tin Tin, Maurice Gibb, Atco, Bee Gees

Listen: Set Sail For England / Tin Tin TinTinEngland.mp3

A few singles later, ‘Set Sail For England’ was a nice enough song, a bit lightweight on the lyrics, but a what a message. It’s the thought that counts after all.