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Profile: The Bee Gees

By

The Bee Gees

The Bee Gees

postershop.co.uk

Formed:

1958 (Brisbane, Australia)

Genres:

Pop-rock, Pop, British Invasion, Psychedelic, Disco, Funk, R&B, Dance, Soft Rock, Adult Contemporary

Members:

Barry Crompton Gibb (b. September 1, 1946, Manchester, England): vocals, guitar
Maurice Gibb (b. December 22, 1949, Isle of Man, England; d. January 12, 2003, Miami, FL): vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards
Robin Gibb (b. December 22, 1949, Isle of Man, England; d. May 20, 2012, London, England): vocals

Contributions to music:

  • The most successful and consistently innovative of the Beatles-inspired pop bands
  • Singlehandedly brought the flagging disco trend back to popularity
  • The most successful pop group of the Seventies
  • Barry's lead and the brothers' harmonies are recognized as some of the greatest in rock
  • Equally adept at blue-eyed soul, adult contemporary, pop, and funk-inspired dance music
  • Barry is widely recognized as one of pop's greatest songwriters

Early years:

The children of orchestra leader Hugh Gibb and dance band vocalist Barbara Pass actually numbered five -- Barry, the twins Maurice and Robin, a daughter Lesley, and youngest brother Andy, who would have his own successful solo career in the late 70s. It was the famous trio who began performing first, however, first in bands with names like The Rattlesnakes and Barry and the Twins. By 1963 they were performing as the Bee Gees, short for the Brothers Gibb (courtesy of Australian DJ Bill Gates).

Success:

The group scored a hit in their new home, Australia, in 1966 with a single called "Spicks and Specks," and by 1967 they were enjoying hits in England and America as well. Often considered Australia's answer to the Beatles, they gained a rep as one of the era's most delicate, soulful, and inventive pop bands. In 1975, however, flagging record sales led them to embrace R&B fully, resulting in a major career renaissance that led to their participation in a project called Saturday Night Fever.

Later years:

The soundtrack to that film starring John Travolta soon became the biggest-selling album of all time, and the Bee Gees completely dominated pop radio from 1977-1980 in a way that no band except the Beatles ever had. The resulting backlash kept them off the charts for much of the Eighties, but they enjoyed small comebacks in 1989 and 1997. Sadly, Maurice died in 2003 from what his brothers considered medical malpractice; in 2010, Robin received treatment from the same congenital intestinal condition as Maurice, and was discovered to have colon cancer. The disease claimed him in 2012.

Other facts:

  • Other members have included: Colin Petersen (guitar) and Vince Melouney (drums)
  • Barry scalded himself badly with hot tea at the age of two, nearly ending his life
  • The group's first performance was merely a lip-synching novelty act, but a broken record forced them to sing in public
  • Manager Robert Stigwood broke Cream (and therefore Eric Clapton) in the States by making them a package deal with the Bee Gees
  • Barry Gibb wrote "To Love Somebody" for Otis Redding, who died before he could record it

Awards/Honors:

  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1997)
  • GRAMMY Awards (1977, 1978, 1980)
  • Songwriters Hall of Fame (1994)
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame (6845 Hollywood Blvd.)

Recorded work:

#1 hits:
Pop:
  • "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" (1971)
  • "Jive Talkin'" (1975)
  • "You Should Be Dancing" (1976)
  • "Stayin' Alive" (1978)
  • "Tragedy" (1979)
  • "Too Much Heaven" (1979)
  • "Love You Inside Out" (1979)
Top 10 hits:
Pop:
  • "I've Gotta Get A Message To You" (1968)
  • "I Started A Joke" (1969)
  • "Lonely Days" (1971)
  • "Nights On Broadway" (1975)
  • "Love So Right" (1976)
  • "One" (1989)
R&B:
  • "You Should Be Dancing" (1976)
  • "Stayin' Alive" (1978)
  • "Too Much Heaven" (1979)
#1 albums:
Pop:
  • Spirits Having Flown (1979)
  • Bee Gees Greatest (1980)
Top 10 albums:
Pop:
  • Bee Gees' 1st (1967)
  • Best Of Bee Gees (1969)
  • Children Of The World (1976)
  • Here At Last...Bee Gees...Live (1977)
  • Staying Alive (1983)
R&B:
  • Spirits Having Flown (1979)
Other important recordings: "Spicks And Specks," "New York Mining Disaster 1941 (Have You Seen My Wife, Mr. Jones)," "Massachusetts," "To Love Somebody," "Words," "Jumbo," "Barker of the UFO," "Don't Forget To Remember," "First Of May," "Tomorrow Tomorrow," "I.O.I.O.," "If Only I Had My Mind On Something Else," "Don't Wanna Live Inside Myself," "Alive," "My World," "Run To Me," "Mr. Natural," "Fanny (Be Tender With My Love)," "Boogie Child," "Edge Of The Universe," "Rest Your Love On Me," "He's A Liar," "Living Eyes," "Someone Belonging to Someone," "The Woman in You," "You Win Again," "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "Alone," "Still Waters Run Deep"
Wrote or co-wrote: Barry Gibb: "If I Can't Have You," Yvonne Elliman; "Islands In The Stream," Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton; "Heartbreaker," Dionne Warwick; "A Woman In Love," "Guilty," Barbra Streisand, "Emotion," Samantha Sang; "I Just Want To Be Your Everything," "Shadow Dancing," Andy Gibb; "Grease," Frankie Valli
Covered by: Elvis Presley, Faith No More, Al Green, Ozzy Osbourne, Nina Simone, Michael Bolton, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Janis Joplin, The Animals, Kim Carnes, Bonnie Tyler, Donny Osmond, Rod Stewart, Richie Havens, Vonda Shepard, Sarah Brightman
Appears in the movies:"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (1978)
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