by Robert Wilkinson
Here's a great Solstice/Christmas gift! Today we continue our musical holiday birthdays by honoring the life and music of Maurice and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees. These twins, with their Virgo genius songwriting brother Barry, gave us tunes that have echoed across time, and been some of the most memorable in history.
While most remember them as the soundtrack for the disco era, today we'll go much farther back to the era of the 1967 Summer of Love and 1968 for some of the most amazing and haunting tunes ever crafted, sung by Robin Gibb, and bring you up through “Stayin’ Alive.”
Though Maurice Gibb (22 December 1949 – 12 January 2003) died a while ago, and twin brother Robin (22 December 1949 – 20 May 2012) left the building last year, Robin's vibrato, Maurice’s harmonies, and Barry’s falsetto will echo forever in some of the most deeply moving and memorable songs of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. So on with the birthday celebration!
We begin with some very early clips of the Bee Gees performing on Australian television! First, from 1960, the Bee Gees 1st Television Performance! Here's "Time Is Passing By."
As if they could resist a "song with good atmosphere" (as George Martin put it), here are the boys in 1963 performing the smash Beatle hit Please Please Me."
Also from 1963, the Bee Gees doing the Dylan classic, "Blowin' In The Wind."
We now fast forward to the band that took the world by storm in the late Sixties and Seventies!
Here’s one of my favorites off the first album, a live performance of the haunting and beautiful “Holiday”
Here are a couple of studio pieces from that first album! You can definitely hear the Beatle "Revolver" influence! “In My Own Time” and “Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Tell You”
Here's a gem from the "Top Of The Pops" television show in 1967 with the Bee Gees performing their 1968 smash hit from their second album, ”Massachusetts.”
Here’s another early performance in b/w video of “Holiday”
Unfortunately, some of the best performance clips come from their 1971 live performance at Festival Hall, and almost all of them have been bombed since last year. Still, enjoy the two I found!
Still rocking strong, a 1975 performance by the Bee Gees doing their gigantic 1971 hit, ”Lonely Days.”
Here are a few hits spanning their 1968 2nd album through their 1971 6th album!
From 1972, a live performance of "Run to me"
From 1975, “Run to Me” and “World”
From Soundstage in Chicago 1975, “I Can’t See Nobody”
Also from the Midnight Special in 1975, "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart."
For those who want the entire 1975 Soundstage show, here’s the full 60 minutes! Bee Gees Full 1975 Soundstage Concert (Set list: “Got to Get a Message to You,” “Edge Of The Universe,” “New York Mining Disaster 1941,” “Run To Me,” “World,” “I Can't See Nobody,” “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart,” “Q & A with the audience,” “Lollipop,” “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen,” “Bye Bye Love,” “Nights On Broadway,” “To Love Somebody (Duet with Yvonne Elliman),” “Steady as You Go (Yvonne Elliman Band),” “Road To Alaska,” “Lonely Days,” and “Jive Talkin'.”)
From LA in the 70s, here's "Jive Talkin.'"
Here’s a great set of the Bee Gees doing a 1989 live performance in Melbourne of their very first hit from September 1966, “Spicks and Specks” which we’ll follow with one of their last hits from 1989, “One”
From the same concert, a three song medley of "Too Much Heaven," "Heartbreaker," and "Islands In The Stream." We'll finish this Melbourne show with "Holiday," "Stayin' Alive" and "Nights On Broadway."
And of course, after assembling the above clips, I found the entire 1 hour 47 minute concert! For your extended viewing enjoyment, here’s an amazing set list that blends the old and the new sound of The Bee Gees Live in Melbourne, 1989 (Set list: “Ordinary Lives,” “Giving Up The Ghost,” “To Love Somebody,” “I've Gotta Get A Message To You,” “One,” “Tokyo Nights,” “Words,” “Juliet,” “New York Mining Disaster 1941,” “Holiday,” “Too Much Heaven,” “Heartbreaker,” “Islands In The Stream,” “Run To Me,” “World,” “Spicks And Specks,” “Lonely Days,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “It's My Neighborhood,” “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart,” “House Of Shame,” “I Started A Joke,” “Massachusetts,” “Stayin' Alive,” “Nights On Broadway,” “Jive Talkin',” “You Win Again,” “You Should Be Dancing.”)
From the 1987 Prince's Trust, a live performance of "You Win Again.”
Live on French television in 1997, here are all three Gibb brothers doing one of their last big hits, released that same year! Enjoy the easy groove of “Alone”
This one’s an interesting 2004 live 1 hour 15 minute video featuring Robin Gibb and the Frankfurt Neue Philarmonie Orchestra
Inn this BBC one hour documentary, Robin gives us the inside story of the Bee Gees from childhood performers to adult superstars titled Robin Gibb – Who Do You Think You Are?
We close today's Bee Gees Birthday party with performances from late in their career!
From their last global tour (“One Night Only”) in 1997, I found an entire 1 hour 36 minute concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas! Enjoy the Bee Gees still rocking at their best in a live performance of Bee Gees – One Night Only at the MGM Grand - 1997
For our final encore, I found a rare performance of one of their biggest from the Disco era. Here are all 3 Bee Gees joined by younger brother Andy in "You Should Be Dancing." I found another live version here. As the great Frank Zappa once told us, Sheik Yerbooti!!
It was the world's loss that Barry and Robin decided to dissolve the Bee Gees with the death of Brother Maurice. Then they reconsidered, and the world was briefly blessed with more of the amazing songs and performances they've given us for decades. RIP Maurice and Robin. The world misses you and is a richer place for the musical legacy you gave us all.
© Copyright 2013 Robert Wilkinson