Bee Gees On The Front Line With Falsetto

Bee Gees

Sometimes, rock music can not represent some certain moods. In the early 1970's, after people consume too much trippy, rock songs, fed by overrated rock bands, unconsciously musicians and music lovers need new sounds. They craving for more harmonies. Geniusly, Bee Gees who gain international fame by 1967, are capable to capture sentimental mood with their falsetto voice in R&B, soul, and disco. They wrote all of their own hits, as well as writing and producing several major hits for other artists. Before recording the first album, the brothers Gibb added Colin Petersen (drum) and Vince Melouney (guitar) to the group. 

Long before disco, they undergo up and down with rock and pop ballads. As in the songs New York Mining Disaster 1941, To Love Somebody, Words, and I Started a Joke. Although those songs became hits, actually they released a lot of songs which did not reach the top chart. Vince Melouney left the group in 1968. Feeling that he wanted to play more of a blues style music than the Gibbs were writing. And then in mid-1969, Robin quit the group to pursue his solo career.


Tomorrow Tomorrow was the first Bee Gees single released after Robin had quit the group. Barry, Maurice, and Petersen continued on recording their next album, Cucumber Castle. Petersen played drums on the tracks recorded for the album, but was fired from the group. Pentangle drummer Terry Cox was recruited to complete the recording of songs for the album. After the album was released in early-1970, it seemed that the Bee Gees were finished. On 1 December 1969, Barry and Maurice parted ways.

Barry, Robin, and Maurice finally got back together again in August 1970. Barry announced that the Bee Gees "are there and they will never, ever part again". Then, they made an album, 2 Years On, which released in October in the US and November in the UK in 1970. The lead single Lonely Days reached at No. 3 on the United States.


For the next album, Mr. Natural, Bee Gees recorded songs with famed soul music producer Arif Mardin. It included fewer ballads and foreshadowed the R&B direction of the rest of their career. But when it too failed to attract much interest, Mardin encouraged them to work within the soul music style. The brothers attempted to assemble a live stage band that could replicate their studio sound. Lead guitarist Alan Kendall had come on board in 1971, but did not have much to do until Mr. Natural. For that album, they added drummer Dennis Bryon, and they later added ex-Strawbs keyboard player Blue Weaver, completing the Bee Gees band that lasted through the late '70s. Maurice, who had previously performed on piano, guitar, harpsichord, electric piano, organ, mellotron, and bass guitar, as well asmandolin and Moog synthesiser, now confined himself to bass onstage.

The brothers then relocated to Miami, Florida, early in 1975 to record. They crafted more dance-oriented disco songs, including their second US No. 1, Jive Talkin.


Jive Talkin combined funk and disco with psychedelic tunes. The scratchy guitar intro was done by Barry and the funky bass line by Maurice. The pulsing synthesiser bass line, which featured in the final recording, was one of the earliest uses of "synth bass" on a pop recording. It was overdubbed by keyboardist Blue Weaver using a then state-of-the-art ARP 2600, which producer Arif Mardin had brought in for the recording of the Main Course album.

Bee Gees found their identity with this new sound. This time the public agreed by sending the LP Main Course up the charts. This album included the first Bee Gees songs where Barry used falsetto. Something that would later become a trademark of the band. This was also the first Bee Gees album to have two US top-10 singles since 1968's Idea. Main Course also became their first charting R&B album.

Following a successful live album, Here at Last... Bee Gees... Live, the Bee Gees agreed with their manager, Robert Stigwood to participate in the creation of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. It would be the turning point of their career. The cultural impact of both the film and the soundtrack was seismic throughout the world, prolonging the disco scene's mainstream appeal. Bee Gees songs in the soundtrack are: Stayin' Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever, More Than A Woman, Jive Talkin', and You Should Be Dancing.


Fuelled by the movie's success, the soundtrack broke multiple industry records, becoming the highest-selling album in recording history to that point. With more than 40 million copies sold, Saturday Night Fever is among music's top five best selling soundtrack albums. As of 2010, it is calculated as the 4th highest-selling album worldwide.


The Bee Gees' follow-up to Saturday Night Fever was the Spirits Having Flown album. It yielded three more hits: Too Much Heaven (US No. 1, UK No. 3), Tragedy (US No. 1, UK No. 1) and Love You Inside Out (US No. 1). This gave the act six consecutive No. 1 singles in the US within a year and a half, equaling the Beatles.


Maurice died in January 2003 at the age of 53. Barry and Robin retired the group's name after 45 years of activity. In 2009 Robin announced that he and Barry had agreed that the Bee Gees would re-form and perform again. 

Robin died in May 2012 at the age of 62, after a prolonged struggle with cancer and other health problems, leaving Barry as the only surviving member of the group's final line up.