Wednesday, April 22, 2009


The Bee Gees started the second phase of their extraordinary careers with 1975s stellar "Jive Talkin'" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1975) a song that heralded the beginning of their rule as disco masters. They continued their ascent with the equally danceable "You Should Be Dancing" (#1 for 1 week in 1976) and peaked a few years later with their trio of #1 hits from "Saturday Night Fever" - "How Deep Is Your Love" (#1 for 3 weeks in 1977), "Stayin' Alive" (#1 for 4 weeks in 1978), and "Night Fever" (#1 for 8 weeks in 1978). The brothers managed to stay on top of the music world with their next CD, "Spirits Having Flown," which yielded 3 more #1 hits - "Too Much Heaven" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1979), "Tragedy" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1979), and "Love You Inside Out" (#1 for 1 week in 1979). "Greatest" was released in 1979, on the heels of this phenomenal late 70s success. In addition to these great #1 songs, the set includes their two other Top 10s from the period - "Nights on Broadway" (#7 in 1975) and "Love So Right" (#3 in 1976). One of my favorite songs here is "Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)" which only went to #12 in 1976 but is a beautiful ballad worthy of greater attention. The Bee Gees were so huge at the time that they even managed to score a hit on the country chart: "Rest Your Love on Me," the b-side of "Too Much Heaven," peaked at #39 in 1979. I also really enjoy the non-hits, some of which were singles for others. "(Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away," for example, peaked at #9 in 1978 for their brother, Andy Gibb. In addition, two other songs from "Saturday Night Fever" are included: "If I Can't Have You" (#1 for 1 week in 1978 for Yvonne Elliman) and "More Than a Woman" (#32 in 1978 for Tavares). I particularly like "If I Can't Have You": their version adds some fantastic urgency to the lyrics - a really great song. Finally, some top-notch album cuts are here: "Love Me," "You Stepped Into My Life," and "Children of the World" (from 1976's "Children of the World"); "Spirits (Having Flown)" (from 1979's "Spirits Having Flown"); "Wind of Change (from 1975's "Main Course"). I'm really surprised that "Love Me" was never released as a single, as it sounds like a sure-fire hit. I really love "Greatest," and the Bee Gees have been enjoying a critical and popular rediscovery in recent years; they were even inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. This collection, however, has gone out of print and been replaced by the subsequent "The Bee Gees - Their Greatest Hits: The Record," a 2-disc set with 40 songs. That collection comprises hits from their entire career, from "New York Mining Disaster" (#14 in 1967) to "Alone" (#28 in 1997). However, "Greatest" is much more focused on their disco era success and thus sounds very cohesive. -AMAZON.COM


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A Beatles fan since December 1980.Now an oral surgeon and music journalist.He lives in Bangkok.