April 19, 2017 In A Pickle

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The Bee Gees, Cucumber Castle, Atco SD33-327, 1970

Much like The Beatles, The Bee Gees were breaking up in early 1970.  Brother Robin quit the group just as the recording of this album began, and halfway though the sessions, Barry & Maurice fired the rest of the original band.  You might guess that all that drama would leave to a bitter recording experience full of unhappy songs, and guess what?  That’s what this album is!  The cover art even shows two very confused Bee Gees looking in opposite directions for some kind of sign of a brighter future.

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The whole experience was so rotten that Barry announced he was leaving the group before the record even came out, leaving Maurice as the only Bee Gee left.  Had they not been brothers, that would have been it, and Disco might never have happened.  But this crummy album did just well enough to keep the public’s interest in the group going in parts of the world (#7 in Italy!) that there was demand for more Bee Gee music.  Much more than there was from Robin or Barry Gibb solo records anyway.

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I’d say that this record is really only for all the Bee Gee crazed people out there, and both of them already have their copy.  That means I was able to get this near-mint copy for $2, and it’ll occupy my shelf until I have a “name that group” contest.  This just doesn’t sound at all like a Bee Gees record at all, but it’s perfect for your next Game Of Thrones watch party.

Today’s Summary:
Cost: $2, $214 Remaining

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December 28, 2016 Career Having Flown

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The Bee Gees, Spirits Having Flown, RSO 1-3041, 1979

IF you’re the biggest group in the world, and you’ve just released the bet selling album up to that point, you don’t really change up the formula too much for the follow up.  Even if it brands you as only capable of being a disco artist at a time when the genre was dying.  The Bee Gees sold more copies of this record in 1979 than they did of all albums in the 37 years since.

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It’s not like it wasn’t a heck of a run.  From 1977-79 they wrote and produced two platinum albums for their younger brother Andy, two multi-platinum soundtrack albums for Grease and Saturday Night Fever, and capped it all off this 20 million selling album.  The three singles from it all hit Number One, giving them six straight chart toppers.

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But that was it.  Branded a disco act, this was probably the last true disco album to hit Number One.  They complained about it, and they had major hits as songwriters for other acts, but The Bee Gees only had one more top ten single, and that was in the 1990s.  I don’t think this is a cautionary tale for a young band not to emulate, though.

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $1, $532 Remaining