Bee Gees' 1st - Bee Gees

Date: 1967
Label:
Polydor
Click here for full track listing

Where to Buy
Buy 'Expanded and Remastered' version (released January 2007)
Buy original CD version (released 1995)
Buy original CD version on import (released 1995)

Reviews
Nicholas James

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 Brilliant 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 1941' 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.

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Where to Buy
Buy 'Expanded and Remastered' version (released January 2007)
Buy original CD version (released 1995)
Buy original CD version on import (released 1995)


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