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BEE GEES vs. The BEATLES


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Initial post: Apr 29, 2007 11:50:20 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2007 1:07:08 AM PDT
I want to give the Gibb brothers their due.
The Bee Gees first charting songs were in 1967, when the Beatles were at the top of their game. I think in many ways, the Bee Gees had as strong a showing in their first decade or so as any who came before or since. Consider the songs these three guys released that received airplay back then:
1967--
HOLIDAY
NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941
TO LOVE SOMEBODY
I CAN'T SEE NOBODY
WORDS

1968--
I'VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU
WORLD
MASSACHUSETTS
KITTY CAN
I STARTED A JOKE

1969--
LAMPLIGHT
FIRST OF MAY

1971--
LONELY DAYS
HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART?

1972--
RUN TO ME

1975--
NIGHTS ON BROADWAY
JIVE TALKIN'

1976--
YOU SHOULD BE DANCING
LOVE SO RIGHT

1977--
HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE

1978--
STAYIN' ALIVE
NIGHT FEVER
IF I CAN'T HAVE YOU
LOVE IS THICKER THAN WATER

(Those 24 songs would make an excellent "Best Of" compilation, IMO)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2007 7:45:29 AM PDT
Good post Annie....Unfortunately you probably will not get many people who will put them in the same "field" as the beatles, though in my book, they are not far behind. The sad thing is that a good majority of people only know them by their "disco" hits and don't know the greats they produced in the late 60s/ early 70s per your list. Anybody not familiar with the wide scope of great music from these brothers could do no wrong getting either the CD or DVD of "One Night Only"....STUNNING show that is a nice overview of their career!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2007 1:31:18 PM PDT
Wayne Klein says:
The amazing thing about the Brothers Gibb was their versality and ability to adapt to current musical trends. Although I'm not a huge fan of disco generally speaking, the Gibbs turned their terrific pop craftsmanship to the genre just as they had pop-rock and created a number of compelling hits.

There were few bands in that era that could easily slip and slide from one genre of music to another as readily as they did. Besides, Barry was always their secret weapon even when the fallsetto wasn't in play, he demonstrated a melodic sense second only to McCartney (but he actually adapted better to the confines and demands of disco better than McCartney or any other contemporary pop-rocker did at the time).

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2007 12:39:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2007 1:04:55 AM PDT
Jeffrey-- What I learned in my research is that the BEE GEES are in the top five for all time record sales (over 180 million units to date). The song "How Deep Is Your Love" has been covered 400 times! Barry Gibb produced fourteen #1 hits, which in itself is incredible and ranks him as the #3 most successful producer of all time.

These guys can't be dismissed lightly. HOLIDAY is one of the loveliest records ever, IMO (just to name one).
So, which Top 40 hit from 1967 was better: HOLIDAY or PENNY LANE? NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941 or BABY YOU'RE A RICH MAN?
In 1968: I STARTED A JOKE or HEY JUDE?
From 1971: LONELY DAYS or UNCLE ALBERT/ADMIRAL HALSEY?
On these head to head choices, I prefer the Bee Gees every time.

(I'm looking at buying the two-CD set THE BEE GEES - THEIR GREATEST HITS: THE RECORD which has all their best songs on it.)

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2007 10:15:13 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2009 8:03:14 AM PDT
ImEzekiel65 says:
Annie, if you're referring to the two-disc set with the red and black cover, you can't go wrong there. It has nearly every hit from their heyday. But it leaves out "The Woman In You" from the "Staying Alive" soundtrack. That was, I think, the only omission I know of.

I'd actually like to hear the new collection of re-releases recently put out by Rhino. I'm thinking they are the first three Bee Gees albums, back when they were a band, and not strictly The Brothers Gibb. You can buy them as a six-disc set or as three individual two-disc sets. If they didn't cost so much, I might be a little more inclined to purchase them.

Though I'm far and away more of a Beatles fan, I still like the Bee Gees. They've weathered a lot of storms, but they still forged ahead. They definitely have my respect.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2007 11:14:55 AM PDT
The Beatles and The Bee Gees were both masters at their game - uncomparable - however - I have one Beatles CD and over 40 Bee Gees CD's, so I guess I have a strong preference.

Marty From SF

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2007 3:03:40 PM PDT
The Bee Gees and The Beatles were both equally talented. As far as whose songs I prefer the most, the winner would be The Bee Gees.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2007 3:49:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2007 4:14:12 PM PDT
Stef says:
I more f eatles an lso, ut I think The BG's earlier stuff should be better known. Those were some great songs.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2007 3:50:33 PM PDT
M. Spencer says:
Bee Gees, by a landslide.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2007 3:57:23 PM PDT
W.J. Tjaden says:
The Beatles changed the face of pop culture. Their influence is still felt today. The Bee Gees? I enjoy them very much. But, they were a vocal group and nothing more.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2007 9:39:29 PM PDT
WJ --
I can't agree they were "just a vocal group." The BEE GEES record sales are phenomenal. Some of their songs are absolutely gorgeous. Even the disco stuff, like STAYIN' ALIVE-- how can you resist that song? Even 30 years later it's compelling. The Bee Gees are not just another pop group-- they're one of the best of all time. That's worth something.

(Note to Jeffrey: Seems a lot more than we expected are willing to give the Gibb brothers their "props.")

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2007 7:06:57 AM PDT
Yes Annie....who would have guessed!?! Oh, neat facts on record sales and Barry's songwriting/producing!

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2007 4:16:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 2, 2007 4:18:53 PM PDT
How can you compare the Bee Gees to The Beatles? Number of successful singles does not make someone great, is Britney Spears an all time great? The impact that The Beatles had on popular music cannot be matched, with only one person coming close and that would be Bob Dylan. The Bee Gees added nothing to music. The Beatles were the first group to write their own songs, the first concept album, etc. In one group they had 3 of the greatest songwriters of all time. Also consider the social impact of The Beatles, "Beatlemania" and the British Invasion that followed. Sgt. Pepper's, Abbey Road, The White Album, Rubber Soul, and Revolver have amazing songs that could be a greatest hits album (since that is how we are judging here). To compare the Bee Gees to The Beatles is an insult. Better people would be Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, and Jimi Hendrix (the greatest guitarist to ever walk the Earth).

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2007 8:50:53 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 2, 2007 11:03:05 PM PDT
CRF--
Well, if they "added nothing" to music, then those 180 MILLION records and CDs were flukes. And don't compare the Bee Gees to Britney, whose sales don't come CLOSE to them.

Nobody is saying the Beatles are crap-- why are you so defensive?
If you look at my first post, what I said was: "I want to give the Gibb brothers their due." I DID NOT say: I want to totally dismiss the Beatles, who BTW never had as many #1 hits as the Bee Gees. But being #1 only counts in sports, I suppose....
Go ahead, be insulted if it makes you feel better, Hon.

Oh, BTW-- The Beatles were NOT the first group to "write their own songs." The Beach Boys did it before them, the Cadillacs, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers-- just about EVERY group from the '50s did. Louis Jordan and the Tympany Five wrote some of their own stuff, way back even to the late 1930s. Songwriter/performer is not the exclusive bailiwick of the Fab Four.

Jimi Hendrix the GREATEST guitarist? Hmmm.. He was certainly the flashiest, anyway....
OK-- the three GREATEST songwriters of all time? By who's standards? See, the problem with making absolute type of statements as you have, is you tend to sound absolutely ill-informed.

BTW-- the first "concept album" could be ONE STORMY NIGHT (1966), by the Mystic Moods orchestra. This one mixed music with a thunderstorm. Then there's Herb Alpert's WHIPPED CREAM & OTHER DELIGHTS (1965), where every title is food-related. OR it could be "TIME OUT" from 1959, by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. In that classic, only highly unorthodox time signatures were used-- that being the "concept."

According to WIKIPEDIA-- the first concept album was released in the late 1930s. It was a collection of showtunes sung by Lee Wiley. But to stick to a more modern era, in the rock format Sergeant Pepper's was preceded by the Beach Boys PET SOUNDS and Zappa's FREAK OUT, which are both accepted as concept albums by the definition:

"an album which is "unified by a theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, narrative, or lyrical"

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2007 2:55:06 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2007 9:11:45 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 9, 2010 3:18:22 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2007 9:18:18 AM PDT
C. Hesting says:
Bee Gees songwriting is sterling. A lot of great singers find their way to Bee Gees songs when they want something to cover, and the results are often very memorable. (Al Green iis my favorite example.) Their disco period, though maligned, was packed with great songs under the swishy-swishy beats. Their 2-cd collection "The Record" makes the best case for their skills. Comparisons are pointless, but Bee Gees songs are up there with the best of them...

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2007 9:36:16 AM PDT
Stef says:
Lonely Days is one of my favorite songs!

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2007 1:27:11 AM PDT
John Smith says:
The Bee Gees may be underated but they can't touch the Beatles

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2007 12:15:19 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2007 1:06:05 PM PDT
I agree with WJ Tjaden. They were pretty light weight tunes, nothing experimental or groundbreaking like nearly everything the Beatles released. To M. Spencer, you may prefer the Bee Gees by a landslide, but ask any music critic or music historian or anyone with real knowledge of music and the answer will always be: The Beatles, of course. They arent called "the most innovative and genius band in the history of music" for nothing!

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2007 1:29:46 PM PDT
Snow says:
I agree, also, that the Beatles would have to "win" hands down. No other entity in the music biz has left such an impression on us. The fact that Paul McCartney is still putting out new material and will probably tour again successfully says it all. We just cannot get enough. The Bee Gees had their place in music history but that is all in the past. The Beatles' music lives on and on in our everyday life through tv commercials, etc., etc. You cannot turn on the tv or radio without catching a Beatles tune. They left their mark on our lives and their music will always be part of mine.
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In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2007 4:14:13 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 8, 2007 6:32:35 PM PDT
M. Spencer says:
Who called them the most innovative and genius band in the history of music?

You and Rolling Stone magazine, who placed FIVE of their albums in the in their top 10 albums of all time. Gimme a break!!! Most magazines and critics like Rolling Stone magazine,ect. are biased towards r&b bands(and r&b in general), and who saids rascism no longer exist.

True the Beatles were innovative during their eight year tenure, but their have been many bands that have surpassed them in terms of creativity and ingenuity. That's why I have problems with outright proclamations, such as "the most innovative and genius band in the history of music". Says who, you? I'm a 35 year old black man who was raised on classic r&b/soul,jazz,rock, and reggae and I don't know any black people who would say the Beatles are better than, The Isley Brothers,Earth,Wind & Fire,Slave,Commodores,Tower OF Power,Sly & the Family Stone,Graham Central Station,War,L.T.D.,Maze featuring Frankie Beverly,Ohio Players,Gap Band,Bob Marley & the Wailers,Kool & the Gang,The Jacksons,Rufus featuring Chaka Khan,Average White Band, I mean I could go on and on.

Let's get this clear I'm not taking anything away from The Beatles and I own all of their albums released on Capitol Records, but I wouldn't dare say they are the best band ever. I'm just tired of critics like Rolling Stone magazine ect, discrediting black bands while weak,juvenile, and meaningless bands like the Ramones,Guns N' Roses,Nirvana,The Band,Pink Floyd, and The Clash,ect recieve critical acclaim.
I mean how can you put any album by the Clash,Elvis Presley, or Nirvana ahead of Stevie Wonder,Miles Davis, or Marvin Gaye. Do you(Bill Robinson) and most of these rock music critics even listen to r&b bands? And what is so groundbreaking about The Clash,The Band,Ramones,AC/DC,Sex Pistols,The Who,Rush,ect?

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2007 8:55:14 PM PDT
M Spencer--
Well put.
We were listening to some of my soul music various artist CDs in the office today. (I supply the music-- have about 600 various artist CDs in many genres and eras- it's like radio without any commercials.)

I do agree that there is no single GREATEST when it comes to art-- a very individual thing. Nirvana is highly rated on the ROLLING STONE top artists chart. Me-- I wouldn't have gone to one of their concerts if they were playing across the street from my house-- in fact, I'd have closed all the windows and done some vaccuuming. But does that make Nirvana a bad band? No-- it just means one person doesn't care for them-- hardly earth shattering.

So it was BEE GEES night on AMERICAN IDOL this evening-- and the performances nearly all tanked-- which didn't surprise me. Those songs are tricky, and much of the early stuff needs to be harmonized, IMO.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2007 9:46:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 8, 2007 9:49:26 PM PDT
M. Spencer says:
It's nice to see some Bee Gee fans here on this forum! I, for one grew up on their music and realize the vast contribution they made to music in general(they are the one of the most sampled artist all time after James Brown). I own every one of their albums not including their Horizontal album which I just ordered last week from Rhino to complete my collection. Although their early material was great, I believe after they hooked up with the late Arif Mardin they produced some of their best albums in my opinion. I'm tired of the Bee Gees getting a bad rap from rock critics who don't particulary care for dance music or r&b(their biases is obvious).

When the Bee Gees wanted to get away from being compared to the Beatles they reinvented themselves to be one of the most popular groups of all time. Just listen to songs like "Fanny Be Tender With My Love","Jive Talkin","Nights On Broadway","More Than A Woman","Love You Inside Out",ect and you would understand what I'm talking about. If you are a collector of classic albums like I am, their output from 73-79(MR. NATURAL,MAIN COURSE,CHILDREN OF THE WORLD,SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER SOUNDTRACK,and SPIRITS HAVING FLOWN) are must haves!

And although I love the Beatles, there is not a song in their catalogue in my opinion that is as funky,intricate,soulful,melodic,rockin' and as well arranged as the songs I just mentioned along with others that are too many to name right now.

Annie, I also agree that they had some of the best harmonies in any genre of music, PERIOD!
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