Bee Gees/Number Ones

Number Ones

Number Ones is a greatest hits album by the Bee Gees released in 2004. It includes 18 of their greatest hits and a tribute to band member Maurice Gibb, who died in 2003. It is the final Bee Gees album released by Universal Records.

Rhino Records is re-releasing Number Ones worldwide in 2008 using the European track list. [Wikipedia]

Massachusetts—-Delving back into the early days of the band, this was a beautifully orchestrated song that featured Robin on vocals…the result was literally fantastic…you can not deny the pop sensibilities that this band had from the very beginning. This is literally a tour de force of sounds that defined the realm of pop music at the time. Melancholy yet bright and poppy….this remains a masterpiece of harmonies.

World—-From the onset, you know that you are being treated to a masterful delivery from some of the masters of pop music…this is genius…the mood swings and the harmonies are some of the most brilliant ever written…this song just builds and builds until your heart is left in a heap on the outside of your body…masterful…exquisite and delicois…I have to listen to this again……

Words—-This remains one of the really great minute pop classics that the band recorded. The vocal with Barry in a relatively ‘normal’ tone…the band creates a landscape that allows for emotions bleeding all over the place…this is so intense…the music builds and builds until the climax…you are left in a heap on the floor trying to move on to the next song…good luck…this will stick with you for a while.

Gotta Get A Message To You—-Wonderfully orchestrated and featuring the vocal of robin that is just a little less than the usual spastic delivery, this song is layered with wonderful melodies that really paints a picture right before your very ears…this is magical…the way the song builds and builds until the climax again leaves you almost frained…yet wanting so much more…this is fantastic…you connot deny the genius or pop sensibilities of this band…and this was way before the falsetto days!!! Wonderful!

I Started A Joke—-With a beautiful acoustic guitar delivery the song lets you know from the onset that this will become a weper…and indeed it does…but not really until Robin enters with his somewhat schizophrenic and emotional vocal…the song becomes a real song then and you are wrapped in the pain and the emotion of the song…this is tremendous…don’t listen to this if you are sad!!!

Don’t Forget To Remember—-Well….let me say that I’m not familiar with this track…it has a wonderful Country lean that makes you think about all of the pain that this family as a whole has encountered in its time…this is masterful…showing the diversity and the scope of the musical abilities of the band….this is heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time….wow!!!!…….did I say Wow???? I meant WOW!!!!!

Lonely Days—-This track allows all three Brothers to harmonize in a way that is seldom heard…the result is a perfect landscape of pop music. The track builds and builds instrumentally and vocally until you are singing at the top of your lungs and hoping that no one can hear you. This is fantastic…a band at their creative best.

How Can You Mend A Broken Heart—-Yet another track that attempts to reach inside you chest and rip you heart out…leaving veins and arteries exposed and only allowing healing from the slight falsetto vocal of Barry. What is a broken-hearted song at the onset becomes a joyous rendition of redemption by the end…this is literally genius…where do all of these feelings come from????

Jive Talkin’—-This marked the time period when the band, under the direction of Rod Stigwood, literally transformed their sound and became the band that defined the 70’s decade and at the same time became the scourge of many music listeners. this produced the greatest success possible for the band, but also invited the disdain of many music listeners all over the world as the ‘disco curse’ took its toll. None the less, you can not deny the instant catchiness and contagious sound of this song…this was only the beginning of the time when the Bee Gees ruled the world.

You Should Be Dancin’—-Steeped deeply in the Disco grooves of the late 70’s, the falsetto made the appearance and swept the entire world in a dance craze that would last for a good five years or so before obscurity would sink the band once again…this is undeniably catvhy…magnificent and full of the excess that anyone that rallied the dance floors in this time period can relate to. The orchestration is huge…Donna Summer type beats…the falsetto leaves room for imagination and the groove is irresistable…tell me you did not love this???

Love So Right—-This is really the turn of things…Barry discovered the falsetto and that it was very powerful in displaying the realm of emotion that he was feeling. this is literally brilliant…the song is full of layers and emotions that are so deep that it still after all of these years makes me think of things that are better left alone. This is the point when the band went from big…to superstardom…..this track will never grow old for me…the feeling just seems to real for me…wow…I love this. This still makes me think of Brian!

How Deep Is Your Love—-Steeped in the sounds of late 70’s. early 80’s AOR radio, the melodies and harmonies of the Brothers Gibb have never sounded better…yet another track from one of the best-selling soundtracks of all time, this is a magnificent version that features the Brothers harmonizing and for the most part leaving the falsetto crap far behind….natural always worked better for them and this remains proof positive…this is a great memory for me and it remains so to this day.

Stayin’ Alive—-Little did the Brothers know that this little soundtrack recording would change their lives and careers forever. The song defined the band and left a bad taste in many people’s mouths….rarely allowing themselves to delve into the magnificent harmonies and melodies that made the band a powerhouse everywhere but in the US. Stigwood manufactured the soundtrack and th band and to me, he did a mis service to the Brothers…they were so much more than this. None the less, this is a high point in their career and it still plays very well on the dance floor today…give me some poppers and a good partner and I’m in heaven…okay!!!!

Night Fever—-Even a bigger hit than the previous track, this eclipsed any song on the charts at the time….this was played on top 40 along side Pink Floyd and I remember the incredulous narration of Kasey Kasem at the time juggling the song between the number 1 and 2 spots from week to week. You cannot deny the feel good mood of this track…it just makes you want to look a certain way, walk a certain way and dance in a certain way…this is the epitome of Disco and it will live….infamoulsy or otherwise forever!!!!

Too Much Heaven—-This track caught me at my most turmoil adolescent best….it resonated with me in every way and I felt, of course, that the song was written especially for me. This finds Barry at his falsetto best…the band works in beautiful harmony together…gone are the heavy beats replaced by wonderful orchestration that melts your heart…this defined my generation…thanks guys!!!

Tragedy—-I remember the power of this track for me…hitting at the time in my life as it did…I also remember that all of the proceeds from this track went to UNICEF….a wonderful organization that benefited greatly from the timely release. The orchestrated build up of this song will make you weep…this is masterful…away from the Stigwood influence, the band flourished with harmonies and melodies that would melt a caveman heart….wonderful!!!

Love You Inside Out—-Kind of hit and miss for me, this track did have a nice bluest feel that veered away from the direct dance groove that the band had been steeped in…the falsetto is at an all time high and for some reason it really worked for me at the time. The vision of the band was lost at this point, with Barry controlling everything…Robin and Maurice were so important to the sound and i always though that they were almost ignored at this point in the band…just an opinion…as usual.

You Win Again—-Coming much later in the band’s career, this may be one of the best songs that the group ever recorded together. This is minus any falsetto…full instead of harmonies and a feeling of joyous empowerment that makes you push repeat over and over again…this will make you feel so strong  and full of emotion that it will become a Monday Morning song no matter what your regiment…trust me, this is powerful!!! 

Man In The Middle—-Written and released as a tribute to Maurice, this is classic yet almost devestaing in its tenderness….this marked the end of a dynasty and you can sense the emptiness…..sad!!!

***** out of 5


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