Wednesday, May 09, 2007
I wish I had downloads for you folks. I really do. If I could, I would give everyone I know a copy of the Bee Gees' first six (or seven or eight or nine) records to prove to them that I'm not crazy when I say that the Bee Gees are one of my favorite bands of all time. When I say that, most people look at me like I just pooped my pants and I haven't noticed the stench yet.
Listen, I know the Bee Gees were cheesy. They were cornballs when they were kids, cheeseballs as teens, and doofuses at the height of their success. But, despite the sibling rivalries and drug use and typical rock star BS, they never once came off as cynical or calculated. Their music is awash in innocence, angst, vulnerability, and mounds and mounds of naivete. The Bee Gees always did what they wanted to do. No one forced them to go disco: they'd been moving in that direction for years. The Sgt. Peppers movie? Why not? They loved the Beatles. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Write a song for Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers? Hell, yeah! These were three guys who truly loved making and performing music. Even though they broke up once in the sixties, they avoided the "tortured artist" schtick and kept putting out records.
And the songs? Man, they wrote some killers. Airtight compositions with little fat and powerful melodies. I figured I had to do something today in honor of American Idol's trashing of the band's catalogue last night (can I just throw out as an aside that we have some of the worst finalists ever in the history of the show, even without Sanjaya? Diana Degarmo looks good by comparison!). Here are some videos and such that I found:
One of the Bee Gees' more psychedelic offerings (along with the even better "Lemons Never Forget" and "Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You"), and one of their best singles. It's got everything that you want in a Bee Gees song: strange chord progression turnarounds, angsty-as-hell lyrics, strange production choices, and an ending that conjures images of jets soaring overhead. They never did it halfway.
A really huge "comeback" hit for them (they had a number of them). For a while, Robin quit and the band put out the great Cucumber Castle LP (don't laugh) as a duo. This comes off the great 2 Years On, probably the band's last "rock record" (check out "Alone Again" if you get the chance). A lot of people think this is a Beatles song. I have no idea why.
Really surprised this didn't show up on American Idol! Great tune: that perpetual Bee Gees anomie gives Conor Oberst a run for his money. It's all kind of creepy. What's the deal with this puppet? Did Robin even eat?
More videos to come...