Bee Gees Reinvented

How they went from this…

…to this

Background

•1955 Started a Skiffle band in Manchester with two other members called ‘The Rattle Snakes’ they then go to Austrailia.

•1958 Whilst in Austrailia they re named themselves as the Bee Gees and got their first chart success in 1967.  They only found out about their success on the voyage back to England where they had decided to return to live.

•1967 – Before they had left Australia they had sent demo tapes to Brian Epstein (Beatles Manager) he had passed them to Robert Stigwood who, as soon as they returned to Britain, signed them to Polydoor in the UK and Atco in the USA. They release their first album called Bee Gees 1st.

•Over the next 7-8 years they released a series of albums based on ballads written by themselves with reducing levels of success.  By the mid 70’s music had moved on.

Change to disco

•In 1975 Robert Stigwood guided the band towards disco resulting in the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever.

•Looking back Barry reflected on their pretention of the songs written for the film soundtrack when handed over to the producers……

“They flipped out and said these will be great. We still had no concept of the movie, except some kind of rough script that they’d brought with them. … You’ve got to remember, we were fairly dead in the water at that point, 1975, somewhere in that zone—the Bee Gees’ sound was basically tired. We needed something new. We hadn’t had a hit record in about three years. So we felt, Oh Jeez, that’s it. That’s our life span, like most groups in the late ’60s. So, we had to find something. We didn’t know what was going to happen.”

Saturday Night Fever

•The sound track to Saturday Night Fever was the major success and turning point in their career.  It marked a dramatic change, with Barry now singling falsetto leading to what we now know as the Bee Gees ‘sound’.  The album came out in 1977 they had  three hit singles from the album and launched them back into mainstream music.  The following period saw huge success.

1977

•During a nine-month period beginning in the Christmas season of 1977, seven songs written by the brothers held the No. 1 position on the US charts for 27 of 37 consecutive weeks: three of their own releases, two for brother Andy Gibb, the Yvonne Ellimen single, and “Grease”, performed by Frankie Valli

Fall Again

•“The Bee Gees’ overwhelming success rose and fell with the disco bubble. By the end of 1979, disco was rapidly declining in popularity, and the backlash against disco put the Bee Gees’ American career in a tailspin. Radio stations around the US began promoting “Bee Gee-Free Weekends”. Following their remarkable run from 1975 to 1979, the act had only one more top 10 single in the US, and that did not come until the single “One” reached number 7 in 1989.” 

Collaborations

•Early 80’s they are writing and producing for other people including Barbara Streisand’s album Guilty .  Disco had died!!  They were also following their own careers independently.  In 1987 they released their first album in 6 years and a hit single marked the start of their comeback. 

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