BEE GEES
The Music History’s most successful brother act; Barry Gibb and his fraternal twin brothers Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb gravitated towards music, encouraged by their father. The three Gibb brothers made their earliest performances at local movie theaters in Manchester in 1955, singing between shows. The family moved to Australia in 1958, resettling in Brisbane. Around the time getting their own local television show, they took on the name the “Bee Gees”. The trio was astoundingly popular in the press and on television. By late 1966, they'd decided to return to England and do demo recordings ahead of them, and "Spicks & Specks" -- which became their first Australian hit while they were in mid-ocean -- had attracted the interest of manager Robert Stigwood. The trio was signed by Stigwood upon their arrival, and began shaping their sound in the environment of Swinging London. Barry and Robin Gibb alternated the lead vocal spot, harmonizing together and with Maurice. Barry played rhythm guitar, while Maurice played bass, piano, organ, among other instruments.
They had successful follow-up singles with "Holiday" and "To Love Somebody," the latter actually written for Otis Redding to record, and "Massachusetts," which topped the U.K. charts. After Bee Gees' 1st Chart topping hit, the Gibb brothers took over producing their own records In 1970. They related to each other better and had also evolved musically, creating a progressive pop/rock sounds. They came back on a high note with two dazzling songs: the soulful "Lonely Days," the group's first number one hit in America; and the achingly lyrical "Morning of My Life" which proved so popular with fans that the group was still doing it in concert decades later.
The trio was falling into a deep creative and commercial hole. Then, in 1977, their featured numbers on the soundtrack to the Robert Stigwood-produced Saturday Night Fever, "Stayin' Alive," "How Deep Is Your Love," and "Night Fever," each topped the charts, even as the soundtrack album stayed in the top spot for 24 weeks. In the process, the disco era in America was born -- Saturday Night Fever, as an album and a film, supercharged the phenomenon and broadened its audience by tens of millions, with the Bee Gees at the forefront of the music.
By the end of the '70s, the disco era was waning from a combination of the bad economy and political chaos domestically. In America, the Bee Gees were virtually invisible for most of the '80s. Instead, Barry Gibb pursued work as a producer for other artists, creating hits for Barbra Streisand and Diana Ross. By 1987 and the E.S.P. album, their sales had rebounded everywhere but the United States, yielding a number one single (outside of the U.S.) in "You Win Again." Their 1989 album, One, got a good reception around the world and generated a Top Ten U.S. single. And in the '90s, PolyGram Records released the four-CD anthology Tales from the Brothers Gibb, which sold well around the world.
The Bee Gees remained active until the January 2003 death of Maurice from cardiac arrest during surgery. Following his death, Robin and Barry decided to cease performing as the Bee Gees. Their recorded legacy, however, subsequently became more visible.The latter company began the long-awaited upgraded CD reissue of the Bee Gees' post-1966 library, including the first-ever release of outtakes and rehearsal versions of songs. Robin was diagnosed with and underwent treatment for cancer in 2011. He died in London in May 2012 due to complications from cancer and intestinal surgery at the age of 62 years. In the wake of tragedy, Barry kept working, appearing on other people's records, playing concerts, and releasing a solo album titled In the Now in 2016. The next year the Bee Gees were honored at the 2017 Grammys; then their music was featured in the star-studded concert Stayin' Alive: A Grammy Salute to the Music of the Bee Gees, which was broadcast by CBS in April.
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