2009


The long-delayed reissue of Odessa finally appeared in January. Optimistic fans wondered whether this marked an end to the mysterious logjam in the series and would lead to a box with the next three Bee Gees albums, namely Cucumber Castle, 2 Years On, and Trafalgar, but it was not to be.

Robin completed an album-length collection of new recordings in 2008, but never released it. In August he gave the lame excuse that he was deferring release so that he could concentrate on publicizing the Ultimate Bee Gees package due in November. At the same time he provided his web site members with a clip of a song from his album called ‘Instant Love’ that sounds excellent.

In July fans learned that instead of either the next set of reissues or Robin’s new album, Barry and Robin were arranging the release of two more collections of old material, available in two and four disks respectively. The first one, Ultimate, appeared in November, and the other a full year later.

Warner’s Rhino division, which produced the Bee Gees box sets (despite marketing under the Reprise label), laid off thirty-plus people in September, because of a ‘fundamental transformation of the physical new release and catalog business’, but also stated that the surviving staff ‘remain firmly committed to the core principles that made us the company you know and love’. But they were not able to push the Gibb brothers into getting the reissue series past Odessa.


songs


DREAM THEME (IN MY DREAMS)
Barry Gibb, Ashley Gibb, Douglas Emery
no record. US copyright December 2009, March 2011

THE GRAND ILLUSION
Barry Gibb, Ashley Gibb, Douglas Emery
no record. US copyright January 2010

Another copyright for ‘In My Dreams’ was filed in 2011 with no reference to the 2009 registration, with date of creation as 2011, but it is probably the same song.


recording sessions


Beverley Knight

Beverley Knight — vocal
Robin Gibb — vocal
others unknown
producer: Kevin Bacon, Jonathan Quarmby
possibly first quarter 2009, London

TOO MUCH HEAVEN
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1978)
undated
stereo, lead vocal Beverley Knight
100%, September 2009

Robin sings backing vocals. Beverley Knight is an English singer and songwriter. 100% is her sixth album since 1995.


Valeriya

Valeriya — vocal
Robin Gibb — vocal
others unknown
possibly first quarter 2009, London

BROKEN WINGS
Robin Gibb (2008)
undated
stereo, lead vocal Valeriya, Robin Gibb
no release

As a followup to Robin’s backing vocals on Valeriya’s ‘Stayin’ Alive’ in 2008, they recorded a duet of one of Robin’s new songs no later than April 2009, when Valeriya mentioned it to the press. A so-called ‘pre-release mix’ of that version was leaked in October 2010, but it never appeared as an official release.


Artists Unite to Remember

Hayley Westenra — vocal
Mica Paris — vocal
Michael Bolton — vocal
Paul Rodgers — vocal
Robin Gibb — vocal
Lee Mead — vocal
Natasha Hamilton — vocal
Liz McClarnon — vocal
Carol Decker — vocal
Paul Carrack — vocal
Kenny Jones — vocal
Sam Brown — vocal
Nell Bryden — vocal
The Carmel Thomas Youth Choir — vocal
Army drummers and pipers
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Cliff Masterson
producer: Jim Creegan
November 2009, London

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
Mark Read (2009)
undated
stereo
download, November 2009

Robin is in the chorus of voices on a fund-raiser for The Royal British Legion, recorded at EMI Abbey Road on November 1 for digital release on Remembrance Sunday one week later. Hayley Westenra followed this up by singing ‘We’ll Meet Again’ at the Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance in London.

The song was written by Mark Read, who mentions on his web site that he has worked with Robin Gibb.

For several years Robin worked towards greater recognition of the sacrifices of the British armed forces in World War II, particularly the Royal Air Force. He was instrumental in creation of the RAF Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, London, dedicated in 2012.


selected record releases


Bee Gees : Odessa
US: Reprise, January 2009; UK: Reprise, January 2009.

disk 1
01 ODESSA (CITY ON THE BLACK SEA) (1969)
02 YOU’LL NEVER SEE MY FACE AGAIN (1969)
03 BLACK DIAMOND (1969)
04 MARLEY PURT DRIVE(1969)
05 EDISON (1969)
06 MELODY FAIR (1969)
07 SUDDENLY(1969)
08 WHISPER WHISPER (1969)
09 LAMPLIGHT (1969)
10 SOUND OF LOVE (1969)
11 GIVE YOUR BEST (1969)
12 SEVEN SEAS SYMPHONY (1969)
13 WITH ALL NATIONS (INTERNATIONAL ANTHEM) (1969)
14 I LAUGH IN YOUR FACE (1969)
15 NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (1969)
16 FIRST OF MAY (1969)
17 THE BRITISH OPERA (1969)

disk 2
01 ODESSA (CITY ON THE BLACK SEA) (1969)
02 YOU’LL NEVER SEE MY FACE AGAIN (1969)
03 BLACK DIAMOND (1969)
04 MARLEY PURT DRIVE(1969)
05 EDISON (1969)
06 MELODY FAIR (1969)
07 SUDDENLY(1969)
08 WHISPER WHISPER (1969)
09 LAMPLIGHT (1969)
10 SOUND OF LOVE (1969)
11 GIVE YOUR BEST (1969)
12 SEVEN SEAS SYMPHONY (1969)
13 WITH ALL NATIONS (INTERNATIONAL ANTHEM) (1969)
14 I LAUGH IN YOUR FACE (1969)
15 NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (1969)
16 FIRST OF MAY (1969)
17 THE BRITISH OPERA (1969)

disk 3
Sketches for Odessa
01 ODESSA (CITY ON THE BLACK SEA)
02 YOU’LL NEVER SEE MY FACE AGAIN
03 BLACK DIAMOND
04 MARLEY PURT DRIVE
05 EDISON [BARBARA CAME TO STAY]
06 EDISON
07 MELODY FAIR
08 MELODY FAIR
09 SUDDENLY
10 WHISPER WHISPER
11 LAMPLIGHT
12 LAMPLIGHT
13 SOUND OF LOVE
14 GIVE YOUR BEST
15 SEVEN SEAS SYMPHONY
16 WITH ALL NATIONS (INTERNATIONAL ANTHEM)
17 I LAUGH IN YOUR FACE
18 NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN
19 FIRST OF MAY
20 FIRST OF MAY
21 NOBODY’S SOMEONE
22 PITY
23 [ODESSA PROMOTIONAL SPOT]

The 1969 album, originally two LP disks, is reissued in a fuzzy red box containing a 2-CD set of stereo and mono mixes and a third CD called Sketches for Odessa. The Sketches disk includes demos or alternate versions for every song except ‘The British Opera’, and adds the two songs not used on the album, ‘Nobody’s Someone’ and ‘Pity’. The booklet is an essential companion to Sketches since it explains how each track fits in with the album project. It also mentions who plays some of the instrumental parts, highlighting Maurice’s non-vocal contributions as well as those of a few guest musicians. For unexplained reasons Barry and Robin did not contribute comments on the songs as they did for the 2006 box set.

The sound is improved over previous releases, which all sounded a little muffled. Check the clarity of the cello as soon it comes in on the first song. There is some tape hiss here and there, and that it can be heard means the sound has not been overly interfered with in the transfer to digital. Additional good news is that the compression evident on the 2006 box is almost gone.

The very rare mono mixes will probably not get immediate attention, and they show fewer significant differences than on the previous three albums (see the 2006 box), but it is good to have them. As usual the lead vocal and selected tracks are mixed relatively louder to clarify the sound as heard from one speaker. This was the last Bee Gees album with mono mixes. Some of the alternate versions in the Sketches songs were preserved only in mono rough mixes.


Comic Relief : Barry Islands in the Stream
UK: March 2009

A ISLANDS IN THE STREAM

Sung mainly by Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon as their characters Vanessa Jenkins and Bryn West from the British television series Gavin and Stacey, with some vocals added by Tom Jones and Robin Gibb. Robin’s vocal contribution is minimal, but he has a good cameo bit in the video for the song. The disk benefited the Comic Relief charity effort and reached Number 1 on the charts. The title refers to the setting of the show, Barry Island in south Wales.


Robin Gibb : 50 St Catherine’s Drive
proposed, 2009

01 MY PERSONAL 9/11
02 ALL I HAVE IS NOW
03 SORRY
04 CHERISH
05 MOTHER [MOTHER OF LOVE?]
06 WANTED
07 DON’T GO NOW
08 DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES
09 SANCTUARY
10 AVALANCHE
11 ANNIVERSARY
12 DON’T CRY ALONE
13 SOLID
14 I AM THE WORLD

This is the content of ‘Robin Gibb Album Compilation’, a compact disk filed at the US copyright office in June 2009. It is an update of the collection he filed in 2008, with all but one of the same titles plus some new ones. He continued to refer to his album in progress as 50 St Catherine’s Drive. The order shown here is the numerical order of the copyrights, but it might not be the intended playing order.

Missing here is ‘Broken Wings’, probably because of the Valeriya version done earlier this year.

Sources close to Robin say this was never a final cut of songs for the album, and that he continued to add songs and rethink what he wanted on it. By 2010 he became caught up in the Titanic project and almost all the work for this album was set aside.


Bee Gees : Australian Tour 1989
Europe: Immortal, July 2009.

disk 1
01 introduction
02 ORDINARY LIVES
03 GIVING UP THE GHOST
04 TO LOVE SOMEBODY
05 I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU
06 ONE
07 TOKYO NIGHTS
08 WORDS
09 JULIET
10 NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941
11 HOLIDAY
12 TOO MUCH HEAVEN
13 HEARTBREAKER
14 ISLANDS IN THE STREAM
15 RUN TO ME
16 MY WORLD

disk 2
01 SPICKS AND SPECKS
02 LONELY DAYS
03 HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE
04 IT’S MY NEIGHBORHOOD
05 HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART
06 HOUSE OF SHAME
07 I STARTED A JOKE
08 MASSACHUSETTS
09 STAYIN’ ALIVE
10 NIGHTS ON BROADWAY
11 JIVE TALKIN’
12 introducing the band
13 YOU WIN AGAIN
14 YOU SHOULD BE DANCING

Edited from two shows recorded at the National Tennis Center, Melbourne, on November 17 and 18, 1989. The program is an interesting one because of numerous rarely performed songs from the 1980s and the relatively few songs from the disco era.

Although this is not an authorized release, it appears to be legitimate because of provisions in European law about recordings of live shows being protected for only twenty years.


Beverley Knight : 100%
UK: Hurricane, September 2009.

  TOO MUCH HEAVEN

Robin sings backing vocals on this one song.


Artists Unite to Remember : single
UK: Remember Them, November 2009.

  WE WILL REMEMBER

Robin sings as part of the chorus.


Bee Gees : Ultimate Bee Gees
US: Reprise, November 2009; UK: Reprise, November 2009.

disk 1
01 YOU SHOULD BE DANCING (1976)
02 STAYIN’ ALIVE (1977)
03 JIVE TALKIN’ (1975)
04 NIGHTS ON BROADWAY (1975)
05 TRAGEDY (1979)
06 NIGHT FEVER (1977)
07 MORE THAN A WOMAN (1977)
08 FANNY (BE TENDER WITH MY LOVE) (1975)
09 SPIRITS (HAVING FLOWN) (1979)
10 IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU (1977)
11 BOOGIE CHILD (1976)
12 LOVE YOU INSIDE OUT (1979)
13 YOU WIN AGAIN (1987)
14 ONE (1989)
15 SECRET LOVE (1993)
16 ALONE (1997)
17 STILL WATERS RUN DEEP (1997)
18 THIS IS WHERE I CAME IN (2001)
19 SPICKS AND SPECKS (live 1989)

disk 2
01 HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE (1977)
02 TO LOVE SOMEBODY (1967)
03 WORDS (1968)
04 HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART (1971)
05 TOO MUCH HEAVEN (1979)
06 EMOTION (2001)
07 LONELY DAYS (1970)
08 RUN TO ME (1972)
09 LOVE SO RIGHT (1976)
10 FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS (1993)
11 I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU (1968)
12 NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941 (1967)
13 MASSACHUSETTS (1967)
14 I STARTED A JOKE (1968)
15 WORLD (1968)
16 FIRST OF MAY (1969)
17 HOLIDAY (1967)
18 DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER (1969)
19 ISLANDS IN THE STREAM (live 1997)
20 HEARTBREAKER (live 1997)
21 GUILTY (live 1997)

For people who want copies of these songs and do not already have them on the other collections released this decade. There are no new or unusual cuts for fans, and not even one Maurice lead vocal.

The main draw for fans is the ‘box set’ version that has a third disk, a DVD of music clips and videos.

The songs on Ultimate are all overcompressed loud, so it's not for people who want quality listening. It is certainly better than The Record (which is not saying much) and yet not up to the standard of Odessa.

Five songs appear in mono mixes even though good stereo versions exist: ‘Words’, ‘I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You’, ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941’, ‘Massachusetts’, and ‘World’.

‘Spicks and Specks’ appears as a live cut even though Warner owns rights to the original 1966 studio version. This live version from Melbourne, 1989, previously appeared on the Tales from the Brothers Gibb box in 1990.

Although no songs from Gibb solo recordings are included, four songs written for outside artists do appear. ‘Emotion’ is the later Bee Gees studio recording that was on The Record, and the other three at the end of disk 2 are live cuts from One Night Only.

The lineup as originally announced had a different running order, shown below. Notice that each disk had the same songs, but in a different order, except that three songs were dropped from disk 2: ‘The Singer Sang His Song’, ‘Immortality’, and ‘Grease’.

The disks were to be titled A Night Out and A Night In respectively.

YOU SHOULD BE DANCING
STAYIN’ ALIVE
JIVE TALKIN’
NIGHT FEVER
NIGHTS ON BROADWAY
MORE THAN A WOMAN
TRAGEDY
LOVE YOU INSIDE OUT
YOU WIN AGAIN
BOOGIE CHILD
ONE
SECRET LOVE
ALONE
THIS IS WHERE I CAME IN
SPIRITS (HAVING FLOWN)
FANNY (BE TENDER WITH MY LOVE)
STILL WATERS RUN DEEP
IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU
SPICKS AND SPECKS

HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE
EMOTION
TOO MUCH HEAVEN
NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941
TO LOVE SOMEBODY
MASSACHUSETTS
WORDS
WORLD
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS
FIRST OF MAY
I STARTED A JOKE
LOVE SO RIGHT
LONELY DAYS
HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART
RUN TO ME
I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU
THE SINGER SANG HIS SONG
DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER
ISLANDS IN THE STREAM
HEARTBREAKER
GUILTY
IMMORTALITY
GREASE