In 2010 and 2011 Robin worked on and off on a long-form piece called ‘The Titanic Requiem’, which is described on the 2011 page. He was also active in non-musical affairs, including leading a campaign to create a monument to World War II veterans of the Royal Air Force, which was completed in 2012.
Robin made no move to release the songs he recorded in 2008, though he did incorporate one of the songs, ‘Don’t Cry Alone’, into the ‘Requiem’, either this year or next. Barry continued his years of inactivity.
The likely future seemed to be that they would re-sort the usual hits in different packages each Christmas as long as there was a market for CDs. This year’s installment was a Starbucks CD in October and the delayed Mythology set in November.
Barry almost appeared on the Gorillaz album Plastic Beach, released in March, but he backed out of it, according to their musical director Damon Albarn. There was talk of Barry having hearing problems, which if so would go a long way to explaining his limited activity.
ONE WAY LOVE
[ NO NO NO ]
Robin Gibb, Mike Read
album cut by Robin Gibb, 2014
Robin told his mailing list in October that he ‘just wrote and demo-ed’ the two titles listed above. Simon Henderson says that in May 2012 he produced an unfinished track of ‘One Way Love’ for Peter Andre.
Barry Gibb — vocal (‘The Greatest Ears in Town’,
‘All My Friends Are Here’)
Robin Gibb — vocal (‘All My Friends Are Here’)
producer: Arif Mardin, Joe Mardin
THE GREATEST EARS IN TOWN
Bette Midler, Marc Shaiman ()
stereo, lead vocal Bette Midler
All My Friends Are Here, 2010
ALL MY FRIENDS ARE HERE
Arif Mardin ()
stereo, vocals by many artists
All My Friends Are Here, 2010
Two songs from a tribute album for Arif Mardin, a project started before his death in 2006. The Bette Midler title song has backing vocals by Barry and the duo Polygraph Lounge. For the big multi-artist number ‘All My Friends Are Here’ Barry and Robin both recorded vocal tracks, separately, but not only are they lost in the mix, neither is even in the credits that list 17 other singers on the song.
Arif Mardin : All My Friends Are Here
US: Nunoise, June 2010
THE GREATEST EARS IN TOWN
ALL MY FRIENDS ARE HERE
This tribute CD for Arif Mardin includes a small amount of vocals by Barry and Robin on two tracks.
R P A and the United Nations of Sound : single
UK: Parlophone, April 2010. US: Razor and Tie, March 2011.
ARE YOU READY?
R P A and the United Nations of Sound
UK: Parlophone, July 2010. US: Razor and Tie, March 2011.
ARE YOU READY?
Richard Ashcroft, sometimes of the band The Verve, wrote and recorded a song called ‘Are You Ready?’ based on a riff from Maurice’s 1971 song ‘On Time’, which got Maurice a co-writer credit. In the past Barry Gibb has spoken of writing songs based on something Maurice played ; someone else’s turn, here. The recording appears to include a sample loop from the Bee Gees version under the added instrumentation and vocals.
The song got extensive television airplay in the US before its release there— in a Volkwagen commercial, in ESPN promos for the FIFA World Cup games in June 2010, and during Major League Baseball post-season coverage in October 2010. US release coincided with its appearance in the film The Adjustment Bureau in March 2011.
Bee Gees : Opus
US: Starbucks, October 2010
02 TO LOVE SOMEBODY (1967)
03 NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941 (1967)
04 I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU (1968)
05 EVERY CHRISTIAN LION HEARTED MAN WILL SHOW YOU (1967)
06 I STARTED A JOKE (1968)
07 WORDS (1968)
08 YOU’LL NEVER SEE MY FACE AGAIN (1969)
09 LONELY DAYS (1970)
10 JIVE TALKIN’ (1975)
11 HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART (1971)
12 NIGHT FEVER (1977)
13 HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE (1977)
14 STAYIN’ ALIVE (1977)
15 YOU SHOULD BE DANCING (1976)
16 ISLANDS IN THE STREAM ()
This year’s hits collection was issued by the Starbucks coffee bar company. Nothing new, but a sometimes peculiar choice of songs.
Bee Gees : Mythology
UK: Rhino, November 2010; US: Rhino, November 2010
disk 1 / Barry
01 SPIRITS (HAVING FLOWN) (1979)
02 YOU WIN AGAIN (1987)
03 JIVE TALKIN’ (1975)
04 TO LOVE SOMEBODY (1967)
05 TRAGEDY (1979)
06 TOO MUCH HEAVEN (1979)
07 FIRST OF MAY (1969)
08 MORE THAN A WOMAN (1977)
09 LOVE SO RIGHT (1976)
10 NIGHT FEVER (1977)
11 WORDS (1968)
12 DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER (1969)
13 IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU (1977)
14 ALONE (1997)
15 HEARTBREAKER (2001)
16 HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE (1977)
17 LOVE YOU INSIDE OUT (1979)
18 STAYIN’ ALIVE (1977)
19 BARKER OF THE UFO (1967)
20 SWAN SONG (1968)
21 SPICKS AND SPECKS (1966)
disk 2 / Robin
01 I AM THE WORLD (1966)
02 NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941 (1967)
03 I CAN’T SEE NOBODY (1967)
04 HOLIDAY (1967)
05 MASSACHUSETTS (1967)
06 SIR GEOFFREY SAVED THE WORLD (1967)
07 AND THE SUN WILL SHINE (1968)
08 THE SINGER SANG HIS SONG (1968)
09 I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU (1968)
10 I STARTED A JOKE (1968)
11 ODESSA (1969)
12 SAVED BY THE BELL (1969)
13 MY WORLD (1972)
14 RUN TO ME (1972)
15 LOVE ME (1976)
16 JULIET (1982)
17 THE LONGEST NIGHT (1987)
18 FALLEN ANGEL (1993)
19 RINGS AROUND THE MOON (1997)
20 EMBRACE (2001)
21 ISLANDS IN THE STREAM (2001)
disk 3 / Maurice
01 MAN IN THE MIDDLE (2001)
02 CLOSER THAN CLOSE (1997)
03 DIMENSIONS (1991)
04 HOUSE OF SHAME (1989)
05 SUDDENLY (1969)
06 RAILROAD (1970)
07 OVERNIGHT (1987)
08 IT’S JUST THE WAY (1971)
09 LAY IT ON ME (1970)
10 TRAFALGAR (1971)
11 OMEGA MAN (1993)
12 WALKING ON AIR (2001)
13 COUNTRY WOMAN (1971)
14 ANGEL OF MERCY
15 ABOVE AND BEYOND (1993)
16 HOLD HER IN YOUR HAND (1984)
17 YOU KNOW IT’S FOR YOU (1972)
18 WILDFLOWER (1981)
19 ON TIME (1972)
20 THE BRIDGE
disk 4 / Andy
01 SHADOW DANCING (1978)
02 I JUST WANT TO BE YOUR EVERYTHING (1977)
03 (LOVE IS) THICKER THAN WATER (1977)
04 AN EVERLASTING LOVE (1978)
05 DESIRE (1979)
06 (OUR LOVE) DON’T THROW IT ALL AWAY (1978)
07 FLOWING RIVERS (1977)
08 WORDS AND MUSIC (1977)
09 I CAN’T HELP IT (1979)
10 TIME IS TIME (1980)
11 ME (WITHOUT YOU) (1980)
12 AFTER DARK (1979)
13 WARM RIDE (1979)
14 TOO MANY LOOKS IN YOUR EYES (1977)
15 MAN ON FIRE (1991)
16 ARROW THROUGH THE HEART
17 STARLIGHT (1977)
18 DANCE TO THE LIGHT OF THE MORNING (1977)
19 IN THE END (1977)
A peculiar product, with very little new for fans, the usual target of box sets, and yet maybe a little too much of non-hits for the casual buyer. Mythology is not an expanded edition of the two-disk Ultimate Bee Gees and yet it does repeat many of the songs. The songs are sorted into a disk for each of the four brothers, including Andy (who was never a member of the Bee Gees). While this concept provides space for some deep cuts sung by Robin and especially Maurice, including so many of the usual hits on the Barry and Andy disks leaves little room for their deeper catalog. Much of the booklet is congratulatory comments from other artists. Maybe it’s nice to know that Taylor Swift, Diana Krall, and Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan admire the Bee Gees, but it comes off as a vanity project done by committee.
Box sets for many artists would contain details about the recordings, such as personnel and dates, but as usual in Bee Gees projects there is only minimal information, and what’s there is not always correct. For starters, Gerry Shury’s name is misspelled two very different ways (shirley they can’t be serious), Maurice is not credited for production on three of his own songs, Bill Shepherd is credited for accompaniment on two Maurice songs that have no orchestral parts, and Robin credits four songs that were on albums only as A sides including his own ‘Saved By the Bell’.
Musically, only four songs are of special interest to fans:
‘Hold Her in Your Hand’ — its first release on CD
‘Angel of Mercy’ — previously unreleased
‘The Bridge’ — previously unreleased
‘Arrow Through the Heart’ — previously unreleased
Of these, hardcore fans will already have a fairly clean dub from vinyl of ‘Hold Her in Your Hand’ and unofficial but excellent digital copies of the next two. But ‘Arrow Through the Heart’ has previously circulated only in a low quality copy.
Mythology was delayed several times. It was announced in July 2009 for release in November 2009 on the same date as Ultimate Bee Gees. Some number of the packages were manufactured in 2009. In August the release date was pushed back to March 2010, and in February 2010 it disappeared from Rhino’s release schedule. By mid-year it was scheduled for October, and then November 2010, when it finally dropped.
The Maurice disk is the most unusual of the four. This is the first collection of songs with his lead vocals, and none of them are familiar from hits collections, not even fan favorites at concerts like ‘Lay It on Me’. The disk includes two previously unreleased songs recorded in 1999 for what became This Is Where I Came In (2001), and the first CD release of his 1984 single. Considering that Maurice only ever released three solo songs, it’s amazing that one of them was overlooked, namely his 1970 B side, never on CD, ‘I’ve Come Back’. (The B side of ‘Hold Her in Your Hand’ was the instrumental track of the same recording.) This is almost a complete set of his previously released lead vocals, missing notably only ‘Where Are You’ (1966) and ‘My Thing’ (1970). In the case of Maurice though, the emphasis on lead vocals could be misplaced, and a few instrumentally interesting songs might have been included.
If the Barry and Robin disks had been similarly restricted to songs that were not on Ultimate, their disks might have been as interesting as the Maurice disk. The Barry disk is especially disappointing, with only two trivial B-side songs that have not been on Ultimate and other hits collections. The disk could instead have showcased a selection of other fine songs with Barry lead vocal that are less well known. What’s conspicuously absent on both disks are any of their solo recordings other than Robin’s two big hits ‘Saved by the Bell’ and ‘Juliet’. Along the lines of Maurice’s rarities, the disks might been a good opportunity to reissue a couple of Barry’s songs from the Bunburys and Hawks, and anything at all from Robin’s Reign— not to mention one or two songs each recorded in the last decade. Obviously different compilers would make different specific song choices, but a question of overall approach is worth discussion.
The Andy Gibb disk is essentially an expanded version of his previous two hits collections. The additions are mainly from his first album Flowing Rivers. There is one previously unreleased song recorded in 1987, ‘Arrow Through the Heart’. As on the other Andy collections, his 1975 Australian single ‘Words and Music’ and his 1981 single with Victoria Principal are omitted, and the early unreleased Australian recordings are ignored. (The song title colors for the Andy disk, above, follow the usual convention on these pages. Barry, Robin, or Maurice wrote the red songs; recorded but did not write the purple song; and were not involved with the six other songs.)