Those who know me well know that my two favorite bands are the unlikely combination of Pink Floyd and the Bee Gees. Now surely, neither of these bands are well understood by the majority of my friends—as they are far too preoccupied with whatever pre-fabricated beats and hot-bodies they hear and see on MTV to worry about any music made before last year. This obsession with modern “music” bothers me quite a bit, because although certain modern bands are worth listening to (Matchbox Twenty, Wallflowers, Linkin’ Park, others) the fact is that older music was more consistently memorable, interesting, and most importantly REAL.
Pink Floyd, which is my favorite band by far, does maintain a significant young following today despite this MTV oriented era (and despite the fact that VH1 doesn’t play much of their material either). After all, they hold the best and 2nd-best selling album of all time slots last I checked, and their smash-hit “The Dark Side of the Moon” holds the world record for longest-run on the Billboard Top 200 Albums list (over 13 YEARS consecutively). Most everybody owns or knows many people who own at least one Pink Floyd album/cd, and that’s sure to increase with the upcoming release of “Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd”.
Needless to say, my second favorite band did not fare so well. The Bee Gees were victim-number-one of the so called Disco Backlash, where all of a sudden dancing wasn’t cool anymore and tons of bands that once rode on top of the wave of popularity in the late-seventies were ridiculed and bad-mouthed left and right for decades to come. Now, I like disco music myself, in fact it was their disco-era hits “Staying Alive” and “Night Fever” and “You Should Be Dancing” that initially got me into the works of Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb.
But what began as an appreciation of the goofy pointlessness of The Bee Gees’ disco work (which actually is more meaningful upon a serious listen than many would think) soon grew into an entirely serious appreciation of the groups entire work. Little do people know that they were actually an accomplished oldies band in the 60’s, with their first album in the late-mid 60’s coming on the heels of later Beatles work. In the 70’s the Bee Gees experimented in psychedelic music, hard rock, country, funk, and of course their famed disco. After the disco era they went on be typical 80’s artists with a somewhat typical 80’s sound, but emerged in the 90’s as a semi-prominent soft-rock band. In 2001 (that’s THIS YEAR kiddies!) they released their newest album, “This is Where I Came In”, which provides a quality mix of acoustic guitar rock, synthesizers dance, soft-rock, and even alternative rock.
So understand this people, the Bee Gees are not a disco band. They are a band that did two disco albums in the late 70’s, and over 13 OTHER albums in the years before and since of varying styles. You might give them a listen, download some songs, and try to open your minds—I know it’s hard. Feel free to ask me for some recommendations ;-)
Oh, and as an added bonus I think it’s worth mentioning—”Ghetto Superstar” is a remake of the Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers song “Islands in the Stream”, which was written by the Bee Gees. The “Grease Theme Song” was written by the Bee Gees. If you remember when Oscar De La Hoya released an album about a year ago and his single “Run To Me” was on the radio briefly, well that was a cover of a song by the Bee Gees. LFO did a cover of Yvonne Elliman’s “If I Can’t Have You”, which was written by the Bee Gees. I’m sure you’ve heard the love song “To Love Somebody” . . . no? Here let me sing it . . . ”You don’t know what it’s like / Baby, you don’t know what it’s like / To love somebody / To love somebody / The way I love you” . . . yeah! That one! That’s a remake of a Bee Gees song.
Oh believe me I could go on, but I’ll just let you keep believing your rap and pop people wrote all those songs you hear on the radio ;-) After all, the Bee Gees are just some disco band.