October 02, 2007

Album Review

The Bee Gees had their first record deal with Festival Records, and beginning in 1962 they released several singles and an album on that label in Australia before leaving for England and a deal with Polydor Records in 1966. This two-disc set combines the trio's one official Festival album, 1966's Monday's Rain, with a second album, Spicks & Specks, also released in 1966, that Festival cobbled together when the Bee Gees left for Polydor. Most of the songs that are collected here were written by the then-teenaged Barry Gibb, and they exhibit a strong Beatles influence, almost working tangibly as parodies of "the Fab Four." Except they weren't parodies, and this is the dilemma the Bee Gees struggled with all through their long career: a tendency to undercut brilliance with blandness, to hamstring innovation with cliché. Robin Gibb's truly odd "I Am the World" from this period is a case in point. Bold and unique, "I Am the World" sinks almost immediately under the weight of its own melodrama, and it borders on pathos. In a lot of ways, it is the precursor to "I Started a Joke," which works from the same overblown corner, although a bit more successfully. But there are solid songs here, too, including "Monday's Rain," "How Many Birds," "Spicks & Specks," and "Second Hand People," among others, and the wonderful "In the Morning" is a great song by anyone's standards. These recordings were just the opening act, however, and the Bee Gees went on to bigger and better things. A slightly more complete set, the two-disc Brilliant from Birth, collects all of their Festival recordings.
Steve Leggett­, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Monday's Rain
  2. Big Chance
  3. Claustrophobia
  4. Could It Be I'm in Love with You
  5. Everyday I Have to Cry
  6. Follow the Wind
  7. Glass House
  8. How Love Was True
  9. How Many Birds
  10. I Am the World
  11. I Don't Know Why I Bother with Myself
  12. I Don't Think It's Funny
  13. I Want Home
  14. I Was a Lover, a Leader of Men
  15. Spicks and Specks
  16. And the Children Laughing
  17. Playdown
  18. Second Hand People
  19. In the Morning
  20. Take Hold of That Star
  21. The Battle of the Blue and Grey
  22. Theme from Jamie McPheeters
  23. Three Kisses of Love
  24. To Be or Not to Be
  25. Turn Around, Look at Me
  26. Wine and Women
  27. You Wouldn't Know