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Pop - Released November 3, 2009 | Bee Gees Catalog

Functioning as something of a replacement for the 2001 collection Their Greatest Hits: The Record, The Ultimate Bee Gees covers much of the same ground as that double-disc set, albeit in not quite so linear a fashion. The Record marched through its 40 tracks chronologically, opening with the stately baroque Beatlesque pop of the '60s and then winding through the '70s, whereas this opens with the bright, fabulous blast of "You Should Be Dancing" and remains in their late-'70s heyday for a while before fast-forwarding to such latter-day adult contemporary hits as "One." We don't get to "I've Gotta Get a Message to You" and "I Started a Joke" until halfway through the second disc, and this jumbled, almost haphazard sequencing is a little disconcerting since it appears to follow no true rhyme or reason. Nevertheless, scattershot is still plenty entertaining when the music is as good as this, and this does have all the Bee Gees' big hits, plus live versions of songs they gave to others, so it's a good, swift way to get all this stuff at once -- at least for those who don't already have The Record or some other Bee Gees hits collection. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released April 21, 2017 | Bee Gees Catalog

Most bands are lucky to get a single hit, much less a couple songs people will remember. The bands that do have a run of charting songs usually fade away after making a splash, never to be heard from again except on nostalgia tours and cruises. The Bee Gees were impressive enough to have two amazing stretches when they not only topped the charts, but helped define the music of the era. Timeless: The All-Time Greatest Hits collects the cream of the crop from both their late-'60s/early-'70s baroque pop and brilliant mid-'70s funk and disco-pop periods. Starting with their early hit from 1966, "Spicks and Specks," then ending with 1987's "You Win Again," the collection gives definitive proof that the brothers Gibb were geniuses at both songwriting and making records. The baroque pop sounds were lush and moving, equally melodramatic ("New York Mining Disaster 1941"), painfully romantic ("To Love Somebody"), and emotionally devastating ("I Started a Joke"). The shift to the dancefloor and bedroom meant that the songs were lighter and slicker, with Barry's sleek falsetto taking the lead on most of their hits. All the biggies are here from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, plus proto-disco jams like "Nights on Broadway," "Jive Talkin'," and one of their slightly under-the-radar classics, "Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)." No pop band of the past 50 years had a more impressive chart run -- both commercially and artistically -- than the Bee Gees, and Timeless does a fine job laying out the facts and not muddying the waters with rarities. It's just the hits, one brilliant track after another. There are other Bee Gees collections that dive more deeply into their career, but as far as single-disc sets go, you can't do better than this. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Pop - Released November 20, 2001 | Bee Gees Catalog

Their Greatest Hits: The Record stands as the best Bee Gees hits package available, assembling both vital European and American hits from their early-'60s period all the way through to 2001. Disc one includes their major '60s and early-'70s hits, up to "You Should Be Dancing." Included are their major American hits, such as "New York Mining Disaster 1941," "Massachusetts," "To Love Somebody," "Lonely Days," "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart," "Jive Talkin'," "Nights on Broadway," and "Words," as well as major European hits, such as "World" and the gorgeous "Don't Forget to Remember." Also included on disc one is the former B-side "If I Can't Have You" (popularized, of course, by Yvonne Elliman). Disc two continues the formula, beginning with the cultural phenomenon that was "Stayin' Alive" and continuing with "How Deep Is Your Love," "Night Fever," "Too Much Heaven," "Tragedy," and "Love You Inside and Out." Disc two also includes Barry Gibb's hit duet with Barbra Streisand, "Guilty," as well as major European hits such as "You Win Again" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls," and later American hits such as "One," "Alone," and their superb 2001 single "This Is Where I Came In." As a bonus treat, the album includes four newly recorded versions of Bee Gees songs which became hits for other artists. These include "Emotion," which was popularized by Samantha Sang and later Destiny's Child; "Heartbreaker," which was a comeback smash for Dionne Warwick; the chart-topping "Islands in the Stream," which was a hit for Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton; and "Immortality," a European hit for Celine Dion. A wonderful, stellar collection through and through from one of the rock era's biggest, brightest, most influential, and most exciting acts. As a final note, the European version of this collection includes two songs which were annoyingly left off the American version: "Jumbo" and "My World." © Jose F. Promis /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1979 | Bee Gees Catalog

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Pop - Released June 1, 1969 | Bee Gees Catalog

If anyone needs conclusive proof that the brothers Gibb weren't always the chest-medallion-flashing kings of mainstream disco or, since about 1980 on, meaningless AOR washouts, the nearly 40-minute collection of the Bee Gees' earliest hits will suffice in spades. At their (perhaps, in hindsight) surprising best, the threesome, along with capable if generally unremarkable rhythm section members Melouney and Colin Peterson, created a slew of tender, affecting, and quite lovely hits. While the Stones/proto-metal crowd of the time probably thought them unbearably wimpy, their songwriting acumen, combined with their harmonies, fine production by Robert Stigwood, and ace orchestral/band arrangements by Bill Shephard, holds up astonishingly well. For all that the band clearly was often following the lead of the more elaborate Beatles songs of the same time -- consider the watery piano line opening "Words" as one example of many -- the Bee Gees didn't so much ape as they did come up with their own flavor. Considering that everyone from Catherine ("Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You") and Jimmy Somerville ("To Love Somebody") to Low ("I Started a Joke") and Jose Feliciano ("I've Gotta Get a Message to You") has covered something from this collection is testimony to the songs' continuing influence. Other times the connections to the future are subtler but still present -- "I Can't See Nobody," sonically and lyrically, has the same deep blue/string-backed feeling as Verve's "History." Sometimes the line between emotion and deep schmaltz is pretty fine, admittedly. However, when Robin's lead vocal on "I Started a Joke" hits the high notes while his brothers add soft backup as the music swells, it's just one example of many why the Bee Gees deserved their long overdue induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1998 | Bee Gees Catalog

On November 14, 1997, the Bee Gees reunited for a concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This was the Gibb brothers' first show in ten years, and the concert sold out in a hurry. The burning question was whether or not the chemistry would still be there, and thankfully, it was. After being aired on HBO on Valentine's Day 1998, the Vegas performance found its way onto CD when One Night Only was released in the fall of 1998. The Bee Gees generally sound inspired during their performance, which ranges from gems from their late-'70s disco period (including "Stayin' Alive," "You Should Be Dancin'," "Nights on Broadway," and "Tragedy") to early hits like "New York Mining Disaster 1941," "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart," and "Massachusetts." While their band could have been a lot grittier and less precise and clean-sounding -- especially on the funkier material -- the Bee Gees distinctive vocals aren't anything to complain about. Although not perfect, One Night Only is a release that Bee Gees enthusiasts will definitely want. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Pop - Released November 7, 2006 | Bee Gees Catalog

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Pop - Released November 1, 2004 | Bee Gees Catalog

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Pop - Released January 1, 1997 | Bee Gees Catalog

As if they finally realized that they couldn't quite compete with contemporary musical fashions any more, the Bee Gees moved firmly into "mature" territory with Still Waters. However, they are canny enough to realize that they shouldn't abandon the frothy disco that made them superstars in the late '70s -- they should merely temper it with measured rhythms and tasteful melodies. Consequently, nothing on Still Waters is infectious, but it is pleasant, and while only a handful of singles stand out -- "I Could Not Love You More" is a sweet ballad -- it is still a fine, professional effort from these consummate professionals. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released February 5, 1979 | Bee Gees Catalog

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Pop - Released March 30, 1969 | Bee Gees Catalog

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Pop - Released January 1, 1967 | Bee Gees Catalog

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Pop - Released January 1, 1993 | Bee Gees Catalog

By the time the Gibb brothers rolled into the '90s, they'd been through everything from Beatlesque baroque pop to disco and Philly soul. There are elements of all these styles in the eminently adaptable band's sound on SIZE ISN'T EVERYTHING, but the overriding feel is one of high-production '90s pop, with smooth layers of synthesizer and generous amounts of reverb. Those who remain fixated on the days of "To Love Somebody" might not find a point of entry here. However, Bee Gees fans whose raisons d'etre are the group's distinctive three-part harmonies and subtly inventive songwriting will have no trouble discerning in this album the stylistic thread linking it to the band's glory days. © TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1971 | Bee Gees Catalog

The Bee Gees had entered the early '70s with a roaring success in the guise of "Lonely Days" and its accompanying album, which established their sound as a softer pop variant on the Moody Blues' brand of progressive rock. Trafalgar, which followed, carried the process further on what was their longest single LP release, clocking in at 47 minutes. The music all sounded meaningful, much of it displaying the same kind of faux-grandeur that the Moody Blues affected on their music of this era, the core group (playing pretty hard) acompanied by either Mellotron-generated orchestra or the real thing, with the group's soaring harmonies and Robin Gibb's quavaring lead vocals all over the place. As with 2 Years On's "Man for All Seasons," there was also one title ("Lion in Winter," featuring a startling falsetto performance) lifted from a recently popular film and play having to do with English history. It was all very beautifully produced and, propelled into record-store racks by the presence of "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart," the group's first No. 1 single, Trafalgar shipped very well initially. Nothing else on the record was remotely as memorable as the single, however, and its sales were limited. Trafalgar was also the handsomest and most elaborately designed of their albums, its cover reprinting Pocock's painting "The Battle of Trafalgar" and the interior gatefold containing a shot of the brothers enacting the scene of the death of Lord Nelson. It all imparted the sense of a concept album, though nothing in the music said so, except perhaps the finale, "Walking Back to Waterloo." Despite the hit single, the album showed the limits of the Bee Gees' talents as songwriters and of their appeal as album artists. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Pop - Released November 7, 2006 | Bee Gees Catalog

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Pop - Released June 1, 1975 | Bee Gees Catalog

It may sound silly to call the 12th album by a group with an eight-year string of gold records behind them a "breakthrough," but that's what Main Course was. The group's first disco album -- and, for many white listeners, the first disco album they ever purchased -- Main Course marked a huge change in the Bee Gees' sound. The group's earlier LPs, steeped in a dense romantic balladry, were beautifully crafted but too serious for any but hardcore fans. Main Course had a few ballads, such as "Songbird" and "Country Lanes," but the writing was simpler, and the rest of it was made up of catchy dance tunes (heavily influenced by the Philadelphia-based soul music of the period), in which the beat and the texture of the voices and instruments took precedence over the words. The combination proved irresistible, and Main Course -- driven by the singles "Jive Talkin'," "Nights on Broadway," and "Fanny (Be Tender With My Love)" -- attracted millions of new listeners. It also repelled fans of the group's earlier style, which was a bit ironic. The disco numbers on Main Course displayed the same care and craftsmanship that had characterized, say, "First of May" or "Odessa." Barry Gibb's falsetto voice, introduced on this album, was startling at first, and became an object of ridicule in later years, but the slow break on "Nights on Broadway" and songs like "Fanny (Be Tender With My Love)" and "Baby As You Turn Away" were as exquisitely sung as "Lonely Days" or "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart," and they had the same sense of romantic drama, leavened by a layer of sheer fun; one had less of a sense that the singer was dealing with the love of a lifetime, so much as a conquest for the evening, which was in keeping with the sexual mores of the mid-'70s. And the spirit of fun was no accident -- producer Arif Mardin, seeking to rescue the group's stagnating career, had gotten the Bee Gees to turn their talents in a musical direction that they'd always loved but never embraced. Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb had been fascinated by R&B and soul for years ("To Love Somebody" had been written for Otis Redding to sing), but, as white Britons -- fearing they'd seem ridiculous -- they had never adapted those sounds themselves. Not only didn't they seem ridiculous, but they took to it as easily as they'd absorbed the Beatles' harmony-based rock sounds in the late '60s. It was a liberating experience for the entire group -- Blue Weaver, newly added to the lineup with an array of electronic keyboards and ideas that ended up shaping lots of the songs here; Alan Kendall, playing in a funky guitar style; and drummer Dennis Byron, playing more complicated patterns than he'd been asked to in years, were also delighted with the new direction, and they constituted the instrumental core of the band for the next six years. Years later, Main Course holds up as well as anything the group ever did, and with killer album cuts like "Wind of Change" (featuring a superb Joe Farrell tenor sax solo) and "Edge of the Universe" all over it, demands as much attention as any hits compilation by the group. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1976 | Bee Gees Catalog

The Bee Gees' second R&B album, Children of the World, had the advantage of being written and recorded while the group was riding a string of Top Ten singles and the biggest wave of public adulation in their history off of the Main Course album. The group felt emboldened, but was also hamstrung by the absence of producer Arif Mardin, whose services were no longer available to them now that RSO Records had severed its ties to Atlantic Records. So they produced it themselves, all six bandmembers doing their best to emulate what Mardin would have had them do, with assistance from Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson. The result still sounds a lot like Mardin's production from the previous album, and the group was in very good form -- stretching out not only on disco numbers like "You Should Be Dancing," but also delivering beautiful soul ballads such as "You Stepped Into My Life" and "Love So Right" on side one, while side two featured a last look back at the older, more romantic Bee Gees sound. The album was also somewhat experimental in its way, making more use of synthesizers in a pop music setting than had ever been heard on a mainstream, commercial long-player before; not all of it works, because the technology wasn't quite perfected yet, but "Boogie Child," "Love Me," and "The Way It Was," as well as the title track were quite daring on a production level in their time, for a group shooting for millions of sales. Overall, the album isn't quite as beguiling as Main Course, which was a liberating experiment from start to finish. Children of the World is beautifully sung, but the group's sound changed here as well, Barry Gibb's falsetto now dominating the vocals, with Robin and Maurice Gibb moved out of center stage. But it's still one of the most enjoyably lighthearted albums in the group's history, and the dance numbers provided a fore-taste of their work on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Pop - Released October 1, 1990 | Bee Gees Catalog

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Pop - Released January 1, 2001 | Bee Gees Catalog

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Pop - Released January 1, 1968 | Bee Gees Catalog

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