2008


Robin wrote and recorded a new album this year, but released only three songs: ‘Alan Freeman Days’ (recorded in 2007), ‘Wing and a Prayer’ (later retitled ‘Wherever You Go’), and a new mix of ‘Ellan Vannin’. He also recorded backup vocals for Russian pop star Valeriya’s cover of ‘Stayin’ Alive’.

Barry scored the first release of a new Gibb song in 2008 with ‘The Heart Knows’ (written in 2007), a duet with with Olivia Newton-John recorded for a charity disk in Australia. He said in an online chat in April that he won’t do an all-country album after all.

Another year passed without a followup to the 2006 reissue box. In January 2008 all of the Bee Gees album cuts were made available as digital downloads. Odessa was finally released in January 2009.

January marked the fifth anniversary of Maurice’s passing, with still no collection of his work made available.


songs


REUNION
Barry Gibb, Ashley Gibb, Stephen Gibb, Douglas Emery
no record. US copyright August 2008

LIGHT
Barry Gibb, Ashley Gibb, Stephen Gibb, Douglas Emery
no record. US copyright September 2008

SHADOWS
Barry Gibb, Ashley Gibb, Stephen Gibb, Douglas Emery
no record. US copyright September 2008

EVERY LITTLE CHILD
Barry Gibb, Ashley Gibb, Stephen Gibb
no record. US copyright October 2008

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE
Barry Gibb, Ashley Gibb, Douglas Emery
no record. US copyright November 2008

I AM THE WORLD (NEW VERSION)
Robin Gibb, Peter-John Vettese
no record. US copyright November 2008, June 2009

WHEREVER YOU GO
[ WING AND A PRAYER ]
Robin Gibb
digital single by Robin Gibb, 2008

SANCTUARY
Robin Gibb, Peter-John Vettese
no record. US copyright November 2008, June 2009

ANNIVERSARY
Robin Gibb, Peter-John Vettese
no record. US copyright November 2008, June 2009

DON’T CRY ALONE
Robin Gibb, Peter-John Vettese
no record. US copyright November 2008, June 2009

WANTED
Robin Gibb, Peter-John Vettese
no record. US copyright November 2008, June 2009

BROKEN WINGS
Robin Gibb
no record. US copyright November 2008

SORRY
Robin Gibb, Peter-John Vettese
no record. US copyright November 2008, June 2009

INSTANT LOVE
Robin Gibb, Robin-John Gibb
no record. 2008

MY PERSONAL 9/11
Robin Gibb, Peter-John Vettese
no record. 2008, US copyright June 2009

ALL I HAVE IS NOW
Robin Gibb, Peter-John Vettese
no record. 2008, US copyright June 2009

SOLID
Robin Gibb, Peter-John Vettese
no record. 2008, US copyright June 2009

MOTHER
Robin Gibb, Peter-John Vettese
no record. 2008, US copyright June 2009

DON’T GO NOW
Robin Gibb, Peter-John Vettese
no record. 2008, US copyright June 2009

Barry wrote at least three songs this year.

Robin said he wrote a lot of songs in 2008, possibly more than are listed here. He mentioned in November 2008 a song (not identified) ‘that I wrote with Pete’ and as it turns out almost all were copyright with Peter-John Vettese as co-writer.

There are US copyright filings from 2008 and 2009. The latter (not online until 2010) state explicitly that Robin has ‘Authorship: 65%’ and Peter-John 35%. Two old songs are included, of which ‘I Am the World’ (1966) was rewritten by the two and ‘Avalanche’ (1970) was not. Additionally ‘Cherish’ (2005) was written by Robin and Michael Graves.

Robin put clips on his web site of ‘Instant Love’, ‘Cherish’, and ‘My Personal 9/11’ (under the title ‘911’).


recording sessions


Valeriya

Valeriya — vocal
Robin Gibb — vocal
Hazel Kaniswaren — vocal
George De Angelis — keyboards
engineer: George De Angelis, Savvas Iosifides (Spirit Studio)
producer: George De Angelis
January 2008, Soniczoo, London, and Spirit Studio, London

STAYIN’ ALIVE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1977)
undated, 19 January 2008
stereo, lead vocal Valeriya
Out of Control, March 2008

Valeriya, a top-selling recording artist in her native Russia, enlisted Robin as backup singer on a new recording of ‘Stayin’ Alive’ for her album Out of Control, released in March in Russia and scheduled for August 2008 in Britain. The song with video appeared on her MySpace page in April 2008.

Robin’s vocal was done January 19 at Spirit Studio. The rest was done previously at Soniczoo.


Olivia Newton-John and Barry Gibb

Olivia Newton-John — vocal
Barry Gibb — vocal
Stephen Gibb — guitar
Doug Emery — keyboard
Hal Roland — keyboard
Lee Levin — drums
engineer: Ethan Carlson
producer: Barry Gibb
probably January or February 2008, Crompton Songs Studios, Miami Beach

THE HEART KNOWS
Barry Gibb, Ashley Gibb, Stephen Gibb (2007)
undated 2008
stereo 3:28, lead vocal Olivia Newton-John, Barry Gibb
A Celebration in Song, May 2008

Olivia Newton-John recorded an album of duets with various singers to raise funds to create the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne, Australia. Barry sings on ‘The Heart Knows’, a new original song. Olivia also put together a charity event called the Great Walk to Beijing that took place throughout April.

Cliff Richard recorded a duet with Olivia for the same project at Barry’s studio Crompton Songs Studios in Miami Beach, but the song, ‘Find a Little Faith’ is by project producer Amy Sky.


Robin Gibb

Robin Gibb — vocal
others unknown
producer: Savvas Iosifides
early 2008, England

WING AND A PRAYER [WHEREVER YOU GO]
Robin Gibb (2008)
undated 2008
stereo 3:12, lead vocal Robin Gibb
digital single, December 2008

‘Wing and a Prayer’ is not the 1988 song of the same title by Barry, Robin and Maurice, but it does include part of an earlier composition, namely a few lines of Robin’s unreleased 1970 song ‘Sing Slowly Sisters’. In 2014 the title was changed to ‘Wherever You Go’ to avoid confusion.

Robin wrote in December 2008, ‘It had originally been intended for a third party project but I eventually abandoned the idea, and I did not submit the track for my new solo album either.’ Instead he released it on his web page in December as a digital single for fans. This recording is considered a demo or home recording, and it is not part of the set Robin recorded with Peter-John Vettese for a proposed album.


Robin Gibb

Robin Gibb — vocal
Peter-John Vettese — guitar, keyboards, programming, vocal
others unknown
engineer: Mark ‘Tufty’ Evans
producer: Peter-John Vettese
March 2008 to mid 2008, England

SANCTUARY
Robin Gibb, Peter-John Vettese (2008)
undated 2008
stereo, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased

ANNIVERSARY
Robin Gibb, Peter-John Vettese (2008)
undated 2008
stereo, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased

DON’T CRY ALONE
Robin Gibb, Peter-John Vettese (2008)
undated 2008
stereo, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased

I AM THE WORLD (NEW VERSION)
Robin Gibb, Peter-John Vettese (1966, 2008)
undated 2008
stereo, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased

WANTED
Robin Gibb, Peter-John Vettese (2008)
undated 2008
stereo, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased

CHERISH
Robin Gibb (2005)
undated 2008
stereo, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased

BROKEN WINGS
Robin Gibb (2008)
undated 2008
stereo, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased

SORRY
Robin Gibb, Peter-John Vettese (2008)
undated 2008
stereo, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased

Robin revealed in March that he was working with Peter-John Vettese, the keyboard player, songwriter, and producer with whom he worked in 1999 on his songs for This Is Where I Came In. The sessions started in 2007, when they recorded the very nice ‘Alan Freeman Days’, released in 2008. Later Robin said that he had spent most of April in the studio. He told the press in July that he was preparing an album to be called 50 St Catherine’s Drive, the address of a house on the Isle of Man where the Gibb family lived in his childhood. In October he said that the collection was done and that his people were arranging for release.


Robin Gibb

Robin Gibb — vocal
Robin-John Gibb — vocal
Peter-John Vettese — guitar, keyboards, programming, vocal
others unknown
engineer: Mark ‘Tufty’ Evans
producer: Peter-John Vettese
2008, England

INSTANT LOVE
Robin Gibb, Robin-John Gibb (2008)
undated 2008
stereo 4:08, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased
stereo, lead vocal Robin-John Gibb
Blood Type - The Search film soundtrack, 2009

Word is that after completing the 2008 album, Robin started tinkering with it, adding and removing songs. In August 2009 he put up a clip of ‘Instant Love’ on his web site, calling it a song from 50 St Catherine’s Drive, and the song was dated as 2008. He wrote it with his son Robin-John.

An ‘alternate version’ was made with Robin’s lead vocal replaced by a lead vocal by Robin-John, and this version was slated for a film called Blood Type - The Search which also stars Robin-John. The new vocal might be from 2009.


Robin Gibb

Robin Gibb vocal track from Bee Gees session, 1998
King William’s College choir — vocal
others unknown
engineer:
producer: DAM Productions / Running Media
November 2008, Isle of Man

ELLAN VANNIN
Eliza Craven Green (1854), J Townsend or F H Townend; Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1998)
undated 2008
stereo, lead vocal Robin Gibb
download, December 2008

This new version of the Manx song was made to benefit Hospice Isle of Man. The choir singing with Robin are from King William’s College, a private secondary school corresponding roughly to American middle and high schools. The song is available both as an audio track and as a lip-synch video showing Robin and the choir singing in a church and the choir in scenic locations. The video at least was made in November when Robin visited the Isle, where he officially opened the children’s hospice Rebecca House in Douglas. Profits from downloads go to the hospice.

Robin’s lead vocal track is the same as the 1998 Bee Gees version. This recording is called the ‘Homecoming Mix’ since it is in effect a mix of the 1998 recording, albeit with only the lead vocal the same.

Plans were announced for a DVD to be released in 2009 that would include this video, Manx artists performing other Gibb songs, and more scenery video of the Isle.


selected record releases


Valeriya : Out of Control
Russia : March 2008; UK: August 2008

  STAYIN’ ALIVE

Robin sings backing vocals with Russian pop star Valeriya.


Deal
US: Lightyear, April 2008.

  Barry Gibb : DROWN ON THE RIVER

Deal is a film about poker players starring Burt Reynolds and Bret Harrison. The film was originally scheduled for release in September 2007, weeks after Barry released ‘Drown on the River’ on iTunes. Instead it was released direct to DVD in Europe around February 2008, and to ‘select theaters’ in the United States at the end of April, when the soundtrack CD also finally appeared.

Just over one minute of Barry’s song appears in a poker scene. The ‘river’ is the last card drawn, and it is dealt face up. To ‘drown in the river’ is to lose a hand because of that last card. In the scene, a losing player sees the last card come up an ace, as Barry sings the title line.


Olivia Newton-John and Friends : A Celebration in Song
Australia : WM Australia, May 2008.

  Olivia Newton-John and Barry Gibb : THE HEART KNOWS

This album of duets with Olivia Newton-John, for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Center Appeal, includes Barry singing with her on a new song, ‘The Heart Knows’.


Songs from the British Academy volume 1
UK : Academy Recordings (download), May 2008.

  Robin Gibb : ALAN FREEMAN DAYS

This is a digital-only album of songs by members of the British Academy including Cliff Richard, the Pretenders, Boy George, Peter Gabriel, and K T Tunstall. Robin’s song ‘Alan Freeman Days’ could also be purchased separately.

For some months, an unexpected rights problem to two songs (unrelated to Robin) held up worldwide release of this package and of Robin’s song.


Luna Park
download: Mo’s Records, June 2008.

01 SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE
02 TELL ME WHAT YOU LIKE
03 TOMORROW
04 HOW WAS I TO KNOW?
05 PLAY IT UP
06 IT’S OKAY
07 UNTIL YOU
08 ONE BY ONE
09 DANCE WITH ME
10 TAKE A DEEP BREATH
11 I WENT HOME
12 HUMMINGBIRD LOVE

These songs were recorded from 1998 to 2000 by Samantha Gibb, Laz Rodriguez, and Adam Gibb under the group names Luna Park and Skylla. Maurice produced and probably plays on them too, and John Merchant recorded. Laz plays guitar and Adam plays keyboard. Additional musicians (a drummer at least) are unknown.

On the CD and for a while on the download, the song ‘Play It Up’ appeared twice, under its own name and under the title ‘It’s Okay’. The download has been corrected. For those affected, the real ‘It’s Okay’ is available by email request (see www.megmusic.net).

For fanatics, here is a table of Luna Park, Skylla, and MEG recordings arranged by sessions (the only unknown recording date is for ‘I Went Home’), showing where they are available:

Rec Title Releases
 
1998       UNTIL YOU Luna Park
HUMMINGBIRD LOVE Luna Park
HOW WAS I TO KNOW? Luna Park, [98]
PLAYING CUPID —, [98]
 
1998 SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE Luna Park, [98]
IT’S OKAY Luna Park, [98]
BACK WHERE I STARTED AGAIN    
 
1999 TOMORROW I’LL BE GONE Luna Park
ONE BY ONE Luna Park
TAKE A DEEP BREATH Luna Park
 
? I WENT HOME Luna Park
 
2000 DANCE WITH ME Luna Park, [01]
EVIL SIDE —, [01]
WHEN I’M WITH YOU MEG, MEG ep, [01]
TELL ME WHAT YOU LIKE Luna Park, [01]
DON’T LOOK MY WAY MEG, [01]
PLAY IT UP Luna Park, [01]
GIVING IN MEG, [01]
DID I GO TOO FAR —, [01]
INSIDE MY HEAD MEG, MEG ep
 
2002 ON AND ON MEG
TURN AWAY MEG, MEG ep
BABY IT’S YOU MEG
LET GO MEG
NO REASON MEG
 
2004 ALL THE TIME MEG, MEG ep
EYES MEG ep
SIDES TO YOU MEG
CAN’T GO BACK MEG

Releases: [98] = Luna Park, 4 song promo CD, 1998 ; [01] = Skylla, 8 song demo CD, 2001 ; MEG ep = MEG, 5-song EP, 2004 ; MEG = MEG, 12-song CD, 2005 ; Luna Park = Luna Park, 12 song download album, 2008 ; — = not released (promo and demo are not actual releases).

Samantha, Laz, and Nik continue to perform mainly in the Nashville area where they live. The name of the band was changed at the end of 2009 to Samantha Gibb and the Cartel.


Jamie Jo : single
US : Oden Media (download), September 2008.

  U TURN ME ON

Barry sings backing vocals.


Robin Gibb : 50 St Catherine’s Drive
proposed, 2008

01 AVALANCHE
02 SANCTUARY
03 DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES
04 ANNIVERSARY
05 DON’T CRY ALONE
06 MOTHER OF LOVE
07 I AM THE WORLD
08 WANTED
09 CHERISH
10 BROKEN WINGS
11 SORRY

This is the content of ‘RG 2008 Solo Project’, a compact disk filed at the US copyright office in November 2008. This must be the same album that Robin called 50 St Catherine’s Drive in July and that he said was finished in October. However since release has so far been delayed, the final form will probably be different from this.

A recording of ‘I Am the World’ was released by the Bee Gees in 1966, a recording of ‘Avalanche’ was made for Robin’s unreleased 1970 album, and a recording of ‘Mother of Love’ was released by Robin in 2006 (and that may be what is on this album). ‘Cherish’ was copyright in 2005, ‘Mother of Love’ in 2006, and ‘Days of Wine and Roses’ in 2007. The dates of the others are not known but probably they are all from the sessions in 2007 and 2008.

Surprisingly ‘Alan Freeman Days’, released in 2007 and performed by Robin in 2009, is not listed. At least one additional completed recording, ‘Instant Love’, is not here either.


Bee Gees : Number Ones
US: Reprise, October 2008; UK: Reprise, October 2008

(same as the 2004 release on Polydor UK)

Best of Bee Gees
US: Reprise, November 2008; UK: Reprise, November 2008

(same as the previous CD releases)

Best of Bee Gees, volume 2
US: Reprise, November 2008; UK: Reprise, November 2008

(same as the previous CD releases)

Bee Gees : Love Songs
US: Reprise, December 2008; UK: Reprise, January 2009

(same as the 2005 release on Universal US)

Two years after the well-received box set of First, Horizontal, and Idea, one year after tossing hungry fans the bone of one unreleased song on Greatest, Barry and Robin saw the calendar pages falling and felt moved to authorize... this.

The packages are the same as before, but with Reprise labels. There is almost nothing here for fans, and who else is still buying Bee Gees hits collections? Well, maybe the outlook is not so bleak as that. But most of the hits are now from 30 to 42 years old, beyond the memory of a large chunk of the music buying public, so these disks are not going to sell themselves. It’s time for each one to have a good booklet of liner notes, and, a crazy thought, a fresh look at the song selection.

Best of is the only one that sounds different. Most of the songs are the new masters from the 2006 box set. ‘Words’ is the first remastered release of the bad stereo mix that was used on previous Best of packages but did not appear in the 2006 box. Obviously cleaner sound does not correct its problems. ‘First of May’ is a preview of the remastered Odessa, and the mono mix of ‘Tomorrow Tomorrow’ is a preview of the remastered Cucumber Castle, whenever that is coming. The original LP Best of had ‘Spicks and Specks’ on it, but the CD always had a mono mix of ‘Tomorrow Tomorrow’ instead, so that is what appears here.


Night of the Proms ’08
Germany: December 2008.

01 Angels in Harlem Gospel Choir : I BELIEVE I CAN FLY
02 Dennis De Young : MR ROBOTO
03 Dennis De Young : BABE
04 Kim Wilde : CAMBODIA
05 Kim Wilde : KIDS IN AMERICA
06 Il Novecento : OUVERTURE 1812
07 Tears for Fears : MAD WORLD
08 Tears for Fears : SOWING THE SEEDS OF LOVE
09 Igudesmann & Joo : ALLA MOLTO TURKA
10 Angels in Harlem Gospel Choir : BEETHOVEN GOES JOYFUL
11 10cc : DREADLOCK HOLIDAY
12 10cc : I’M NOT IN LOVE
13 Il Novecento : ADAGIO AUS ‘SPARTACUS’
14 Robin Gibb : JULIET

Night of the Proms is an annual concert series in Europe that has since 1985 featured many top names performing a mixture of pop and classical music. The 2008 series began at the end of October in Belgium and the Netherlands, and continued, with partly different artists, at venues in Germany (November 28 to December 21). This souvenir CD featuring all the artists at the German series was rush recorded to be sold at each show. Robin sings his German hit ‘Juliet’ accompanied by the show’s symphony orchestra, Il Novecento.


Robin Gibb : single
download, December 2008.

01WING AND A PRAYER
02TO LOVE SOMEBODY

This digital single, two songs, is available from Robin’s web page www.robingibb.com. The tracks will not be on the new album he is preparing. The virtual B side, a nice acoustic take of ‘To Love Somebody’, was available for listening on his web page, and it may be the version he recorded in 2005.


Robin Gibb : single
download, December 2008.

 ELLAN VANNIN

A new version with accompaniment from the children’s choir of King William’s College, Isle of Man. The download, in audio and video formats, benefits Hospice Isle of Man.