Although this album is called 'Bee Gees
1st', it isn't actually their first album.
They had spent much of the 1960s living in
Australia, signed to independent label
Festival Records. Many of the songs from
this era are available on the album
from Birth, and show that their
songs had a maturity well beyond the group's
teenage years. The early songs also showed
the ability of the brothers to write
well-crafted pop songs with enigmatic
lyrics, a talent that was comparable to the
Beatles, despite the fact that Barry, Robin
and Maurice Gibb were much younger.
Bee Gees 1st is their first album with
Polydor Records, and the three brothers are
supported by Vince Melouney on guitar and
Colin Peterson on drums. The brothers were
clearly inspired by their new recording
contract, as this album marks a step change
in the self-confidence of their song
writing. Several songs make use of Robin's
haunting vibrato ('Holiday', 'Craise Finton
Kirk' and 'I Can't See Nobody'), whilst a
number of songs with Barry on lead show a
developing understanding of R&B styles ('One
Minute Woman', 'To Love Somebody'). Of
course, the Beatles influence is strong ('In
My Own Time', 'New York Mining Disaster', 'I
Close My Eyes'), but with a fresh, new Bee
Gees twist. 'Every Christian Lionhearted Man
Will Show You' is a masterpiece of 1960s
psychedelia and 'New York Mining Disaster'
tells of the impending deaths of trapped
miners in up-state New York. The themes of
death and love that the brothers begin to
explore in this album would be themes that
would run throughout virtually their entire
careers. And as the Bee Gees' career would
take them into the arms of lost love and
tragedy in almost equal measure, they would
write on these themes better than perhaps
any other songwriter.
This album works best as a showpiece for
their early talents; every album from this
point on would be a progression on these
early themes. For the listener these albums
are, without a doubt, the musical trip of a
lifetime. Bee Gees 1st is the best place to
start that trip.
The 'Expanded and Remastered' version,
released January 2007, includes a bonus CD
with previously unreleased tracks and demos.
Why Buy Bee Gees 1st?
It is the Bee Gees' first major album and it
is rather good!
Click here to buy 'Expanded and Remastered' version (released January 2007)
Click here to buy original CD version (released 1995)
Click here to buy original CD version on import (released 1995)
available as part of the box set The Studio