BEE GEES Bee Gees’ 1st (1967/2006)

Bee Gees’ 1st (1967/2006)
Deluxe – Mono/Stereo/Bonuses

Don’t look here for a critical assessment of Bee Gees’ 1st. It was the band’s first worldwide release, and it was also among a handful of my first albums, so objectivity is out the window on this one. Surely you remember what it was like to have ten or twenty albums… and the tone arm time each got as a result. I’m still convinced it’s an outstanding album and, to this day, I’ve never tired of it. The inner critic that eventually festered within, however, knows that elements of this whimsical, part-Revolver, slightly psychedelic slice of London-via-Australia-via-London pop must have its issues – chirpy vocals, time-stamped arrangements, way too much Hollies and Beatles paraphrasing (“In My Own Time” is a virtual carbon copy of “Taxman”)… but, I just can’t seem to fault any of it. Living with something for 40+ years can do that. Besides, “To Love Somebody” is still unchallenged as one of the great pop songs of its day. This expanded 2CD set is the whole shebang. Outstanding remastered sound, stereo & mono versions and fully satisfying outtakes & rarities, “comprising some of the most fascinating material of their history,” according to The All Music Guide. This all may sound like some colorful, ancient artifact to those that weren’t there, but Bee Gees’ 1st still reverberates with crisp songwriting, pro harmonies and a smart simplicity that’s too often AWOL these days. Bias is bliss. Amazon.


ONE (Stereo & Mono Versions)
Turn of the Century [Stereo]
Holiday
Red Chair, Fade Away
One Minute Woman
In My Own Time
Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You
Craise Finton Kirk Royal Academy Of Arts
New York Mining Disaster 1941
Cucumber Castle
To Love Somebody
I Close My Eyes
I Can’t See Nobody
Please Read Me
Close Another Door
Turn of the Century
[Mono]
Holiday
Red Chair, Fade Away
One Minute Woman
In My Own Time
Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You
Craise Finton Kirk Royal Academy Of Arts
New York Mining Disaster 1941
Cucumber Castle
To Love Somebody
I Close My Eyes
I Can’t See Nobody
Please Read Me
Close Another Door

TWO (Outtakes & Alternates)
Turn of the Century [Early Version]
One Minute Woman [Early Version]
Gilbert Green
New York Mining Disaster 1941 [Version One]
House of Lords
Cucumber Castle [Early Version]
Harry Braff [Early Alternate Version]
I Close My Eyes [Early Version]
I’ve Got to Learn
I Can’t See Nobody [Alternate Take]
All Around My Clock
Mr. Wallor’s Wailing Wall
Craise Finton Kirk Royal Academy of Arts [Alternate Take]
New York Mining Disaster 1941 [Version Two]

 

48 Comments

  • 1
    JR Heat Warp
    March 26, 2010 - 14:29 | Permalink

    Excellent post, Capt. I've never given the early Bee Gees much of a chance beyond Odessa. This sounds like a perfectly logical next step. Thanks for the share.

  • 2
    Ken K.
    March 26, 2010 - 16:41 | Permalink

    Excellent album, from the best year in pop music history, 1967

  • 3
    Anonymous
    March 26, 2010 - 18:10 | Permalink

    I think all of their early albums are great. Sort of baroque-and-roll, English whimsy. Robin Gibb's solo album 'Robin's Reign' is also monstrously good.

    I'm afraid they lost me after 'Jive Talking', but anything prior is worth an hour of anyone's time, and don't be put off by what your brain tells you how to approach them (in the light of those wretched disco years).

  • 4
    ElementaryPenguin
    March 26, 2010 - 19:26 | Permalink

    Any insight on the mono vs. stereo front in this instance. I understand that it's never black and white, but let's just say that I wanted to get the definitive version, which would you pick. (I'm just going to take a stab at 'mono' because that's probably what your first was).

  • 5
    Capt. Willard
    March 26, 2010 - 19:44 | Permalink

    No choice on this one. The mono & stereo are both on Disc 1. I still have the LP with my name and the date scribbled on the back. It's stereo, by the way. I read the liners for the first time this century and it reminds us that Maurice and Robin were 17 years old, and Barry 19, when they recorded this. Cover design is by Klaus Voormann.

  • 6
    AussieJohn
    March 26, 2010 - 21:01 | Permalink

    A friend had the original album when it was released and we thought it was an absolute classic.
    Can't wait to hear it again to see what it sound like to 21st century ears – thanks for putting this up!

  • 7
    ElementaryPenguin
    March 27, 2010 - 03:29 | Permalink

    Good old Klaus, eh. A lot of history to this thing; at least more than I thought.

  • 8
    Art Ducko
    March 27, 2010 - 04:07 | Permalink

    Always a treat, Willard. Looking forward to some pop bliss.

  • 9
    The PopCulturist
    March 27, 2010 - 05:33 | Permalink

    Thanks Captain, I wanted to hear this before deciding whether to buy it or not.

    I appreciated your recent comments at my The Rare Stuff blog. I link to your fabulous blog from mine; if you would consider reciprocating I'd be honored.

    http://therarestuff.blogspot.com

  • 10
    Capt. Willard
    March 27, 2010 - 12:15 | Permalink

    Had you linked since Feb. Thanks for the comment.

  • 11
    La Piazza Gancio
    March 27, 2010 - 12:33 | Permalink

    Your comments are half the fun of this blog, Captain. Love reading them, even if I don't D/L the album they're talking about.

    Did you know 'To Love Somebody' was written for Otis Redding?

  • 12
    akashaman
    March 27, 2010 - 12:47 | Permalink

    LOVE the bee gees – i agree with earlier post , their early stuff is gorgeous ! also robins solo – which is at my blog ,ha – cant wait to hear mono versions , thanks much !

  • 13
    Argantonio
    March 29, 2010 - 06:30 | Permalink

    Thanks for this, man.
    There's nothing like a band with superb harmonies.

    I used to listen to Rob's album too.

    Sir Jeffrey saved the world?
    Well, Sir Willard saved the day!

    I'm going to enjoy this once and again.

  • 14
    Anonymous
    March 30, 2010 - 08:05 | Permalink

    I have always had a problem with these chaps after being subject to over hyped film scores they were involved with at the end of the 70's totally away from the music I was listening to at the time it certainly moved my ears away from any commercial Radio stations (so that was a good thing) and the obvious trappings of fashion and polished teeth Its hard to imagine these chaps were topping the charts when the Pistols Clash and Damned were in full flight! I'll stick to guitars I think…Please don't post any mid period Dexy's Midnight Runners..they caused a similar reaction…..Metal Machine Music should clean my ears…here we go then……6pt

  • 15
    Tulloch
    March 31, 2010 - 19:45 | Permalink

    Many thanks for this one, Cap'n, nice upgrade from a much loved mono LP.

  • 16
    Paul McClelland
    April 2, 2010 - 01:31 | Permalink

    I can take barry gibb in just about any decade..nice to hear him this young on "I close my eyes"

  • 17
    Timmy
    April 2, 2010 - 15:44 | Permalink

    One of the all-time best bands of Pop music. They should be revered, rather than ridiculed by Rock snobs. Even thier "disco" stuff transends that genre. Excellence in whatever they did. Thanx…….

  • 18
    Capt. Willard
    April 2, 2010 - 15:49 | Permalink

    Have to agree. I never cared for the disco stuff and never really heard any of their albums from that period (just what was on the radio), but it was still a cut above what everyone else was doing. Smart and professional. They were handsomely rewarded for their hard work, too, with the biggest selling soundtrack album of all time (for a while).

  • 19
    Gurning Man
    April 2, 2010 - 16:25 | Permalink

    Quite a fine set – many thanks Captain – great production, fine arrangements, though the "Taxman" lift is a bit of a cringe :-) Regardless, stay the course, do try the shrimp, and cheers!

  • 20
    W
    February 10, 2011 - 14:58 | Permalink

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Find it HERE.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

  • 21
    Anonymous
    February 11, 2011 - 03:01 | Permalink

    Hi, I'm new here having just found your blog. It looks like a fun place. I played the grooves off my copy of the Bee Gees 1st. This re-issue looks like a great find. Thankyou for posting it. cheers…..JeffH

  • 22
    W
    February 11, 2011 - 04:28 | Permalink

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Jeff.

  • 23
    The PopCulturist
    February 11, 2011 - 04:39 | Permalink

    Hi Willard,

    Believe me, I really, really want to like the early Bee Gees. I love psych-pop of this era, and I happen to love the Gibbs' disco-era hits. But try as I might — and I have, I bought a copy of the box set of this and the next two albums' reissues, I tried giving Odessa another listen… but it just does not come across to me.

    There's something in the liner notes to this reissue where Barry (I think) talks about how the brothers would joke, "Let's write the next Beach Boys single! Let's write a new Hollies song!" (I'm paraphrasing). There's nothing wrong with being inspired by other artists, that was what made '60s pop such an exciting ferment. But that statement conveys what this music has always seemed like to me — a calculated, almost clinical exercise in constructing popular songs with all the hitmaking production and arrangement trappings of the era, rather than songs generated from an honest emotional or artistic impulse. (Well, "To Love Somebody" would be one clear exception.)

    True, you could say they did the identical thing in the late '70s with catering their songs to the sound in vogue. But by that era, against a disco backdrop, the Bee Gees come across to me as relatively sincere, somehow. Here, to me, it's the opposite; the pop milieu of the time was much more naive and innocent, and against that backdrop, they just seem a bit too calculated, if not quite cynical.

    Plus the vocals are just a touch too twee for me, and the lyrics lack much intellectual heft. I don't mean to offend any fans by saying all this, just sharing my opinion. Thanks.

    • 24
      Moarie
      July 26, 2012 - 16:37 | Permalink

      What you say is perfectly legit. I’m only reminded of the bros’ defense of MJ’s “Bad” – nobody really believed MJ was streetwise tough guy, able to take down a gang with…West Side Story-by way of James Brown/Fosse-filtered choreography. So it’s pop as fantasy narrative, a story on par with Hollywood productions – in the grand way the fictional world was engaging and enveloping enough you can get lost in, so you aren’t quibbling that MJ isn’t singing about a page from his therapist’s log as the Only Truth That Matters in Song.

      The Gibbs also lived in a vacuum of showbiz (from the bottom-most rung like Diana Ross & co. on the chitlin circuit), before even hitting puberty. Much of their pre-split stuff therefore was inter-/meta-textual as breathed by such showbiz creatures (from which derived IRL tension, pains started to rear themselves in subsequent material starting with solo – especially those of despairing Robin’s, right through the fallow years before Mardin appeared.)
      There’s no two ways about the ambivalent tension between Show and Personal Truth, a far more complex interplay than a quickie blog comment can do justice. I’d only say if you already buy into the bros’ sense of truth (their ideals of what constitutes pop, their all-important impositions of That Religion of Melody-Harmony-Organic Groove upon all they came across, its ever-expanding boundaries corroding culture, ethnicity, age, gender, “respectability/good taste” etc.), and particularly their rather “eternal goofy child” sense of naivete/whimsy (intermittently feeding and ignored by their chart-driven “hunger”), that lends to both musical wonders and blunders, then it’s not an all or nothing proposition (i.e. their excursions into Sounds Started By Other People, that is.)

      • 25
        Moarie
        July 26, 2012 - 17:33 | Permalink

        P.S. And as I’m just finding out, some sentiments like the inescapable loneliness despite the group insularity (from which an awkward “outsider on the inside” like Robin derived much eerie melancholy of “existential angst” with more romanticism than Ian Curtis cared to wallow), on Down to Earth and NY Mining Disaster, actually served as blueprints to Bowie’s Space Oddity. For such a distinctive stylist, you could say Bowie took someone else’s personal truth, and incorporated it into his own theatrical calculation.

  • 26
    keef
    September 29, 2011 - 02:09 | Permalink

    horizontal was one of the first albums i bought-it was a choice between that and john wesley harding[i was 14 and the bgs had more hit singles on it including a paul jones one]i liked it and knew the 1st would be good and it included iconic songs[then]like to love somebody[which was being covered by everyone]yet there was so much exciting new stuff coming out so it was never considered-traffic s&g 4tops cream and byrds used up my pocket money initially…oh and got jwh pretty soon too.
    many thanks i know it’s very very good.

  • 27
    furrball
    December 17, 2011 - 20:24 | Permalink

    Any chance we can get “Horizontal” and “Idea”? (ihopeIhopeIhope…) :D

    • 28
      Willard
      December 19, 2011 - 18:36 | Permalink

      All I could get was Horizontal Deluxe – get it HERE. I ran into a half a dozen single file versions of Idea, but nothing usable, sorry.

  • 29
    Willard
    December 19, 2011 - 08:14 | Permalink

    Give me a few more days on those. In the meantime, HERE’s the 3CD Odessa (mono/stereo/rarities).

  • 30
    Willard
    February 29, 2012 - 17:12 | Permalink

    Hey PC. It’s only a year later. I can’t disagree with anything you said, and it sounds pretty on the money. Though… that’s the way I also hear the disco stuff, too. It suffers from the same clinical professionalism as the early years. That’s not a knock, of course. The disco hits were a cut above the rest, not to mention clever and timely. I can always return to the early stuff because I grew up with it. I’m betting you grew up with the 70s stuff. We’ll fall for big toothy pros in any generation.

  • 31
    KDNYfm
    April 27, 2012 - 12:34 | Permalink

    The first album was/is a classic. I then ignored the BGs for a couple years, but came back to the sway off and on. Still have Odessa (with Velvet cover), 2 Years On and Trafalgar which is my fave BGs album. One of my favorite concert memories is from between 2YO and Trafalgar seing them in Torotno with the symphony perforing some of their clasics and some tunes from the upcoming album.

    Thanx for sharing!

    Al

  • 32
    lanzarishi
    May 20, 2012 - 17:39 | Permalink

    I totally agree. I have never tired of this after 40 plus yrs. Same goes for Horizontal only more so. Its a shame it doesn’t really get the praise it deserves. Ah well, such is life.

  • 33
    Grateful
    July 5, 2012 - 00:02 | Permalink

    Idea(2disc)@320w/scans:
    part 1: http://www.mediafire.com/?52f2ij5uvk2umew
    part 2: http://www.mediafire.com/?f5nvabxdnkziz1g

    • 34
      Willard
      June 9, 2014 - 16:40 | Permalink

      NOTE: ALWAYS try Mediafire links 2 or 3 times. They often give false negatives!

  • 35
    Willard
    July 5, 2012 - 12:09 | Permalink

    Many thanks Grateful.

  • 36
    Bob
    July 6, 2012 - 08:24 | Permalink

    I’m grateful for the chance to re-hear this, thanks Grateful.

  • 37
    Jon
    July 6, 2012 - 11:11 | Permalink

    One of my first albums, too. I’m curious to see if it holds up. — Jon

  • 38
    Kwai Chang
    July 7, 2012 - 00:37 | Permalink

    To Whom It May Concern,
    this is one of their best albums. When taken together with ‘Trflgr’…Probably their strongest stuff. It never gets old. I wish there were deluxe versions of the 70-73 albums. until then:

    http://www.mediafire.com/?1gv71uj7ig96li3

    • 39
      Willard
      June 9, 2014 - 16:40 | Permalink

      NOTE: ALWAYS try Mediafire links 2 or 3 times. They often give false negatives!

  • 40
    Duncan Walls
    July 7, 2012 - 07:47 | Permalink

    Great to see these brought up again (I’ve DL’ed them up to 329 the last time you did this Willard, but I had to check it again anyway). I don’t think they get the respect they deserve. I’ve been a fan since day one when I heard 1941 Mining Disaster and got the 45 then the LP. It was one of the first CDs I got back in the Mid-80s when there was SO little available and I snatched the only copy that came in from Germany back then, and still have it. I was looking at what I still have on LP the other day. I used to have EVERYTHING released up until 1990 on vinyl then sold off all but the first LP and TWO copies of the Velvet -covered Odessa. Over the years it’s been pretty easy to find quite a bit of their catalog at Thrift Shops and yard sales so now I have THREE Robin’s Reign and practically all the original vinyl again plus most of the solo LPs Robin did and Barry’s AND Maurice’s rather rare solo LPs. But here I am again, 20 years after the LAST big vinyl sell-off, getting ready to do it again and getting brutal in my choices of ALL my current collection. Definitely the First LP and Odessa and Robin’s Reign are staying. I have to be able to cue them up one more time at least before the Earth spins off the axis later this year. The first LP is timeless and for me Odessa is , too. I DO have one fuzzy Odessa (and two Robin’s Reign (plus nearly everything else in their catalog and about 6000 OTHER LPs) I’d be willing to part with for a reasonable offer.. VG++ to near mint in a plastic sleeve…sorry, haven’t got the patience for eBAY…send me an email of your must have lists; lots of classic pop (I’m keeping all my Harry Nilsson!), americana, folk blues, soundtracks hundreds of 1980s 12″ singles of pop, new romantic, hip hop and such….[almost] goodbye to vinyl after 55 years of collecting…downsizing for the future [or lack thereof depending on your beliefs in the Mayan Calendar] making way for something new thank god for mp3s so I can still listen to music until the world falls apart…now about that solar panel…

  • 41
    Willard
    July 7, 2012 - 09:08 | Permalink

    So… you are saying you’re a Bee Gees fan? Seriously… don’t sweat the vinyl purge. The great thing about doing it when you’re old is you quickly forget what you used to have. When I did mine, you couldn’t immediately find it on line the next day, so these ARE the glory days.

  • 42
    Duncan Walls
    July 7, 2012 - 17:25 | Permalink

    Agreed, mon capitan. I think it’s just a major realignment of personal priorities and a nod to changing personal physical inevitabilities (or INabilities) that is ‘forcing’ me to purge again. Not as if I won’t keep collecting vinyl! I’ve already got another collection I’m absorbing on deck in return for access to what I have in digital files. It’s just a self-defining moment where I look at 55 years of collecting a media that literally gave me a local notoriety and letting it go. I still have that ‘local -go-to-guy’ position when it comes to music, but have to relinquish the artifact to those coming up behind me and move on.
    And YES, I am and always have been a Bee Gees fan. I am probably different than most because at the time when they went Disco/Pop I was a very active Club DJ who relished being able to play a band I already loved. Loving the Bee Gees has at times been a ‘closeted’ guilty pleasure, but these days no more. I hold my banner high and just nod knowingly when I hear of folks discovering the immense talent extant in their first arc of LPs before the ‘disco’ years. I have sunk into Odessa since I first had it on LP AND 8 track…in fact I probably listened to it on 8 track more than vinyl at one point (I remember paying 75 cents for it in a remainder bin) in the pre-digital version of repeat in continuous play mode. Ah, 8 track tapes! I once had over 1000 of them, everything from Odgen’s Nut Gone Flakes to Odessa and Family’s Music In A Doll’s House and of course, Harry’s first four records, too. It was so coolm being able to program yer own music back them and fly your freak flag HIGH! Thanks for the supportive words as to my impending divesting.

  • 43
    Willard
    July 7, 2012 - 18:40 | Permalink

    When I did my purge (many years ago now) it was a two step process. My first goal was to break the “collecting” habit. I hated the idea of spending money on stuff I already had because it had a different sleeve or was from another country. I vowed to myself I would only collect the music, and not the “paperwork.” Once I got THAT monkey off my back, the rest came kinda easy. REAL glad, too. Because, as you know… these days there are a million variations of the same shit, so I’m super-glad I made the move when I did. Once it was mostly gone (from 6,000 down to 600), it was out of sight/out of mind (for the most part). These days I don’t think twice, since, if something pops into my head, it’s gettable in minutes online. Not being a “sound” nut (my eardrums lost their finesse at an early Black Sabbath concert, among many others), the vinyl/digital debate was moot to me. 8-Tracks? 1000 of them? That’s a little too serious. Fortunately, I never owned one, though friends did. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida was pointless on 8 track. Cheers.

  • 44
    Duncan Walls
    July 12, 2012 - 01:17 | Permalink

    one last comment…I let my wife know of my ‘life-changing’ quandry and she understood. Great gal, why I love her and married her. THEn she said,”Look, take the money you amke and spend it on the music equipment you want.” Oh, jeez, could I love her more than I already do? Anyway THAT’S helping fuel the purge plus the going price for decent shape records is $1 (as long as they’re not multi-platinum ones too easy to find according to my buyer SOO, NOw I’m looking forward to seeing HOW much I can unload.
    BTW, I have been legally deaf for about 25 years and have worn hearing aids for 49 of my 61 years. I don’t know why quality matters as much as it does. I can HEAR the music. I KNOW I’m missing SOME of the minute aspects but actually I seem to pay more attention than my blessed with great hearing musician buddies. I think this has been more a generational thing and goes into my “why do you want to have hard copy, Grandpa?” file. BUt I’m NOT putting all this stuff on “THE CLOUD” I draw the line at that. And SCREW Spotify! (even if they carry LPS I can’t find ANYWHERE else!

    • 45
      Willard
      July 12, 2012 - 10:01 | Permalink

      ‘Tis why we download.

  • 46
    Reo
    June 9, 2014 - 16:32 | Permalink

    Any chance of a re-up of this one please?

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