Bee Gees 1st
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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, January 23, 2007
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Bee Gees 1st, originally released in 1967, is a harmony-heavy, rock flavored masterpiece that instantly put the group in the forefront of hit music coming out of the U.K. The album reached #7 on Billboard's Pop Album chart and delivered a trio of top 20 smashes: "To Love Somebody," "New York Mining Disaster 1941," and "Holiday."
Top customer reviews
I was amazed at how wonderful this album is to listen to all the way through. Sure, they sounded sort of like the Beatles (at one time I actually thought Holiday was a Beatles song) but they were brilliant.
To me the real underrated jewel of this album is "I Can't See Nobody". This was the B-side of "New York Mining Disaster 1941" and is genuinely beutiful in it's own right, and I believe could have been a monster hit. Hearing it remastered through a quality sound system was mind-boggling.
So, my advice is to pay the money and find a place to relax and enjoy this masterpiece. And, if your only impression of the Bee Gees is from the Disco era (ah ah stayin' alive, stayin' alive) then you are in for quite a surprise!
Just thought I'd add that I got around to listening to the bonus disk and it was certainly worth it. Some of the alternate takes are really great.
It occured to me that some of this early Bee Gees sounds a lot like the progressive stuff that The Move was doing around that time. Really interesting.
With an album cover designed by Klaus Voorman (who did the Revolver album cover) it is easy to compare them to the Beatles during this era. But the Bee Gees were definitely unique and had a certain originality of their own with odd time signatures, Renaissance-era cathedral sounds and mellotron, Moody Blues style.
In fact, they had actually been performing and recording music just as long as the Beatles had. In the late 1950's and early 1960's the Bee Gees were performing in Queensland, Australia and were featured on local tv. Between 1963 and 1966 they had released several singles and recorded two albums for Australian labels. It was their successful single "Spicks and Specks" that fueled them to take off for England and become instant stars.
After auditioning for and being signed to Polydor Records, the Bee Gees were hailed as "The Most Significant New Talent Of 1967". They released 3 singles to herald in their new/first international big time album. Classics "New York Mining Disaster 1941", "To Love Somebody" and "Holiday" tore up the singles charts, landing Bee Gees 1st at No. 7 on the U.S. charts and No. 8 in the UK.
The album featured 14 tracks, all originals, chock full of progressive pop, melancholy harmonies, sweet orchestral arrangements and shades of psychedelic rock. Rhythm and blues influences abound as well; "To Love Somebody" was originally written for and intended as an Otis Redding song. The song went on to be recorded by 250 other artists.
How the Gibb's went from these pristine psych-pop songs to the sleazy disco numbers of Saturday Night Fever is a question with many answers, none excusable. To hear what many people consider the true brilliance of the Bee Gees, start at Bee Gees 1st.