1975


The Bee Gees moved to Miami Beach on a temporary basis at the start of 1975 to work on the Main Course album with Arif Mardin at Criteria, nicknamed ‘Atlantic South’ by this time. They loved the location on the beach that reminded them of their early days in Surfers Paradise, Queensland. Barry, Robin, and Maurice bought houses about a year later and would continue to maintain residences in the Miami area for decades. They built their own recording studio Middle Ear in Miami Beach in 1980.

The team that made the classic 1970s albums formed during this time. The band now consisted of the brothers, Blue Weaver on keyboards, Alan Kendall on guitar, and Dennis Bryon on drums. Karl Richardson engineered some of the 1975 sessions, and Albhy Galuten, while not credited, was around at some point. The Boneroo Horns— brought to Criteria in 1973 by Dr John, who called them ‘bonnaroo’, Cajun for ‘really good’— appear here and for years afterwards. Blue Weaver was a strong influence on the band. He not only contributed his expertise on electronic keyboards and synthesizers, but did some writing and production, a rarity for a non Gibb band member.


songs


WAS IT ALL IN VAIN?
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
no record

COUNTRY LANES
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1975; B side by Bee Gees, January 1976

WIND OF CHANGE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
B side by Bee Gees, May 1975; album cut by Bee Gees, 1975

YOUR LOVE WILL SAVE THE WORLD
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Percy Sledge, 1994

NIGHTS ON BROADWAY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1975; A side by Bee Gees, September 1975

COME ON OVER
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1975

JIVE TALKIN’
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A side by Bee Gees, May 1975; album cut by Bee Gees, 1975

SONGBIRD
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Blue Weaver
album cut by Bee Gees, 1975

FANNY (BE TENDER WITH MY LOVE)
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1975; A side by Bee Gees, January 1976

ALL THIS MAKING LOVE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1975

EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1975

BABY AS YOU TURN AWAY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1975

SUB CUTANEOUS
Maurice Gibb
US copyright April 1975

DREAM THEME
Maurice Gibb
US copyright April 1975

AIN’T GOT NO MONEY
Maurice Gibb
US copyright April 1975

FOOT LOOSE AND FANCY FREE
Maurice Gibb
US copyright April 1975

BETTER LEAVE TODAY
Maurice Gibb
undated

R S O
Maurice Gibb
undated

MCCLEAN’S JINGLE
Maurice Gibb, C Cooke
undated

The four songs by Maurice dated 1975 are probably instrumentals for a film. Nothing else is known. The last three noted as undated are known only from a copyright transfer in 1981. They are probably from some time between 1970 and 1975.


recording sessions


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal, guitar, bass
Blue Weaver — piano, keyboard, synthesizer
Alan Kendall — guitar, steel guitar
Dennis Bryon — drums
Joe Farrell — sax (‘Wind of Change’)
Ray Baretto — percussion (‘Wind of Change’)
Donny Brooks — harmonica (‘Songbird’)
orchestra arranged by Arif Mardin; concertmaster Gene Orloff
engineer: Karl Richardson (Criteria), Lew Hahn (Atlantic)
producer: Arif Mardin
January and February 1975, Criteria Recording Studios, Miami;
undated, Atlantic Recording Studios, New York

WAS IT ALL IN VAIN?
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1975)
6 January 1975
stereo, lead vocal unknown
unreleased

COUNTRY LANES
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1975)
7 January 1975
stereo 3:29, lead vocal Robin Gibb
Main Course, 1975; B side, January 1976

WIND OF CHANGE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1975)
8, 10 January 1975
stereo, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
unreleased

YOUR LOVE WILL SAVE THE WORLD
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1975)
9 January 1975
stereo, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
unreleased

Was it all in vain? Almost. After almost a year off the Bee Gees started the sessions with ballads more or less in their old style. Of the first four recordings only ‘Country Lanes’ was ever released. After hearing these, Robert Stigwood urged them to do more rhythm and blues. ‘Wind of Change’ would be re-made in a new arrangement, and the two others were dropped.

NIGHTS ON BROADWAY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1975)
20, 30 January 1975
stereo (slow) 4:31, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
Main Course, 1975
stereo (fast, edit) 2:52, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
A side, September 1975
stereo (fast) 4:25, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
Tales from the Brothers Gibb, 1990

‘Nights on Broadway’ was the first song with some falsetto vocal by Barry, just some backing vocal in the chorus. But did he record that now, or ten days later? January 30 might be more likely. But the basic tracks certainly have a nice funk beat, and the hard-hitting main song contrasts well with a quieter harmony section. This was a landmark recording for the Bee Gees. They had finally broken through to the rhythm and blues sound they loved.

‘Nights on Broadway’ was edited for radio by removing the slow section, just to bring it to a more acceptable length of 2:52. It was also speeded up— or was it? The version on Tales from the Brothers Gibb is also faster than the album, and fades a little later despite a 4:25 running time. That appears to be the correct speed. If so then ‘Nights on Broadway’ was slowed down for the album, presumably to make ‘Jive Talkin’’ sound faster by contrast.

COME ON OVER
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1975)
23 January 1975
stereo 3:26, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
Main Course, 1975

ONLY ONE WOMAN
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1968)
25 January 1975
stereo, lead vocal Barry Gibb
unreleased

And then they took one step back before taking two more steps forward. The country song ‘Come On Over’ would become a hit later for Olivia Newton-John but it does not follow up the new sound of ‘Nights on Broadway’. And why did they do a new version of the Marbles’ hit ‘Only One Woman’?

JIVE TALKIN’
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1975)
30 January, 2 February 1975
stereo 3:43, lead vocal Barry Gibb
A side, May 1975; Main Course, 1975

SONGBIRD
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Blue Weaver (1975)
30 January 1975
stereo 3:35, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Main Course, 1975

FANNY (BE TENDER WITH MY LOVE)
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1975)
30 January, 17, 19 February 1975
stereo 4:02, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Main Course, 1975; A side, January 1976

ALL THIS MAKING LOVE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1975)
30 January 1975
stereo 3:03, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
Main Course, 1975

EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1975)
30 January 1975
stereo 5:21, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
Main Course, 1975

This seems like too much for one day as stated in documentation, and besides the five above ‘Nights on Broadway’ was finished on this date, January 30.

‘Jive Talkin’’ now continues on from ‘Nights on Broadway’ as another funk song, but there is no falsetto. Barry’s scratchy guitar rhythm came from the thumps they heard one day while driving on a bridge across Biscayne Bay, and it is supplemented by Alan’s funk guitar and a bass line played by Maurice on bass and Blue on synthesizer. This was another groundbreaking track, and it became the first single from these sessions.

If Barry surprised himself here on January 30 doing falsetto backing vocal on ‘Nights on Broadway’, then he probably did the falsetto lead vocal on ‘Fanny’ on February 17 or 19. ‘Fanny’ repeats the idea of a contrasting quieter section as in ‘Nights on Broadway’.

The others here are again older-style Bee Gees. ‘Songbird’ is a piano-based Barry ballad based on a good melody from Blue Weaver, who gets his first Bee Gees writer credit. Blue makes his presence known also in the banging piano of ‘All This Making Love’ and the synthesizer backing on ‘Edge of the Universe’, a science fiction song with classically odd Gibb lyrics.

WIND OF CHANGE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1974)
17 February 1975
stereo 4:54, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
B side, May 1975; Main Course, 1975

The re-make of ‘Wind of Change’ has a great dance groove to it that makes it really the first ‘disco’ song the Bee Gees did. It is hard to imagine what the ballad version was like. It would be coupled with ‘Jive Talkin’’ to form the important first single from this series of sessions.

Also on January 17 and 19, ‘Fanny’ was completed.

BABY AS YOU TURN AWAY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1975)
21 February 1976
stereo 4:23, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb
Main Course, 1975

‘Baby As You Turn Away’ completed the Main Course album. This has the whole verse in falsetto, but not the strong high voice Barry would use the next year. The natural voice sections sound like Barry and Maurice.


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb — vocal
Nicky Hopkins — piano
Les Hurdle — bass
Barry Morgan, Ronnie Verrell — drums
orchestra arranged by Wil Malone
orchestra conducted by Harry Rabinowitz, David Measham
engineer: Keith Grant
producer: Lou Reizner
1975, Olympic Sound Studios, London

GOLDEN SLUMBERS / CARRY THAT WEIGHT
John Lennon, Paul McCartney (1969)
undated 1975
stereo 2:03, lead vocal Barry Gibb
All This and World War II, 1976

SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW
John Lennon, Paul McCartney (1969)
undated 1975
stereo 1:54, lead vocal Barry Gibb
All This and World War II, 1976

SUN KING
John Lennon, Paul McCartney (1969)
undated 1975
stereo 2:03, lead vocal Maurice Gibb
All This and World War II, 1976

SHE’S LEAVING HOME
John Lennon, Paul McCartney (1967)
undated 1975
stereo, lead vocal unknown
unreleased

LOVELY RITA
John Lennon, Paul McCartney (1967)
undated 1975
stereo, lead vocal unknown
unreleased

LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS
John Lennon, Paul McCartney (1967)
undated 1975
stereo, lead vocal unknown
unreleased

The Bee Gees recorded vocals to six Beatles songs at an undocumented date for a strange feature film called All This and World War II. It consisted of documentary footage of World War II and Hollywood movie clips depicting the war, accompanied by new versions of Beatles songs sung by various artists. Producer Lou Reizner had recorded a Barry Gibb song in 1971. Only the Bee Gees and Leo Sayer had three songs in the film. The other three songs the Bee Gees did were in the film (and therefore on the soundtrack album) but sung by other artists.

The film uses Elton John’s version of ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’, which was a hit at at the start of 1975. That the Bee Gees recorded it at all indicates that the filmmakers did not originally expect to get the rights to Elton’s version. In the film ‘She’s Leaving Home’ was sung by Bryan Ferry and ‘Lovely Rita’ by Roy Wood.

The recording date was late in 1975. The only known date checks are that film research was underway in October 1975, and that the first cut included the Bee Gees and only instrumental backings for some of the other songs. The brothers knew the songs well and may have done all the vocals in as little as one day. Barry sang lead on two songs. ‘Sun King’ is mostly three-part harmony but Maurice got a chance to do his John Lennon imitation for a short section of solo vocal.

The soundtrack album was an elaborate package of two LPs in a gatefold sleeve together with a booklet, all inside a slipcase. It was much more popular than the movie. The album was reissued in 1977 as The Songs of John Lennon and Paul McCartney Performed by the World’s Greatest Rock Artists.


Andy Gibb

Andy Gibb — vocal, guitar
others unknown
arranged by Billy Weston
engineer: Ron Patton
producer: Col Joye
1975, ATA Sound Studio, Sydney

WORDS AND MUSIC
Andy Gibb (1974)
undated 1975
stereo 3:35, lead vocal Andy Gibb
A side, November 1975

TO A GIRL
Andy Gibb (1974)
undated 1975
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

TAKE HOLD OF YOURSELF
Andy Gibb (1975)
undated 1975
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

WESTFIELD MANSIONS
Andy Gibb (1974)
undated 1975
stereo 3:16, lead vocal Andy Gibb
B side, November 1975

MADMAN IN THE NIGHT
Andy Gibb (1975)
undated 1975
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

YOU’VE GOT TO LIVE YOUR LIFE
Andy Gibb (1974)
undated 1975
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

TURN ME ON
Andy Gibb (1974)
undated 1975
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

WALKIN’ ALONE
Andy Gibb (1975)
undated 1975
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

TOO MANY PEOPLE
Andy Gibb (1975)
undated 1975
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

MISTER MOVER
Andy Gibb (1974)
undated 1975
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

BLACKBUSH CITY LOST
Andy Gibb (1975)
undated 1975
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

GONE WITH THE WIND
Andy Gibb (1975)
undated 1975
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

WINTER HAS ME IN ITS GRIP
Don McLean (1974)
undated 1975
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

Barry, Robin, and Maurice had absolutely no involvement in these recordings, which are shown here only to fill in Andy’s musical career.

At some date in 1975 Andy recorded thirteen songs, enough for an album, under Col Joye’s direction. A single was issued in Australia of ‘Words and Music’ / ‘Westfield Mansions’, and a second unreleased single was assigned a catalog number, ‘To a Girl’ / ‘Walking Along’ [sic]. This recording of the hard-rocking ‘Turn Me On’ was played once on radio. But the album (which would have appeared early in 1976) was never released.

The order above is from the US copyrights of Andy’s songs, and it may possibly indicate a sequence for the album or the recording order or neither of those. It does not show how the Don McLean song would have fit in to the album.

Andy’s backing band Zenta did not record with him. They were: Rick Alford (guitar), Paddy Lelliot (bass), Trevor Norton (drums), and Glen Greenhalgh (vocals). The musicians on the record may have been a band called Crossfire, who were: Mick Kenny, Jim Kelly, Tony Buchanan, Phil Scorgie, Ian Bloxom, and Steve Hopes. The released single has rock band, brass, and strings.


selected record releases


Bee Gees : single
UK: RSO, May 1975; US: RSO, July 1975.

A JIVE TALKIN’
B WIND OF CHANGE

A very important single. It went to number 5 in Britain, and then after a delayed release number 1 in the United States. This is usually considered the first of the Bee Gees’ ‘disco’ singles but it is interesting to note that neither side, both very good songs, has the falsetto for which they would be so well known.

CD: Both on Main Course.


Bee Gees : Main Course
UK: RSO, June 1975; US: RSO, August 1975.

A 1 NIGHTS ON BROADWAY
A 2 JIVE TALKIN’
A 3 WIND OF CHANGE
A 4 SONGBIRD
A 5 FANNY (BE TENDER WITH MY LOVE)

B 1 ALL THIS MAKING LOVE
B 2 COUNTRY LANES
B 3 COME ON OVER
B 4 EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE
B 5 BABY AS YOU TURN AWAY

Main Course brought the Bee Gees many new fans when the singles combining soul beats with their gift of melody became their first hit records in years. In retrospect, this album is transitional to the disco boom of the late 1970s. It has real strings and a real rhythm section, more like a rock band than the synthesized sound that was to come. The Bee Gees characteristically were a bridge between different musical styles.

As popular as it was in the United States, Main Course would be the Bee Gees’ third best showing in the album charts, after Bee Gees’ First and Best of Bee Gees. However in absolute numbers it sold more units (LPs) than any Bee Gees album up to this date, more than Bee Gees’ First. It was less of a seller in Britain and Germany, which had once been their core markets.

Some publicity materials showed an alternate sequence.

NIGHTS ON BROADWAY
FANNY
ALL THIS MAKING LOVE
WIND OF CHANGE
SONGBIRD

BABY AS YOU TURN AWAY
JIVE TALKIN’
COUNTRY LANES
COME ON OVER
EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE

CD: All on Main Course.


Bee Gees : single
UK: RSO, September 1975; US: RSO, September 1975.

A NIGHTS ON BROADWAY
B EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE

Another top ten in the United States, and nothing in Britain or Germany.

CD: Both on Main Course.


Andy Gibb : single
Australia: ATA, November 1975

A WORDS AND MUSIC
B WESTFIELD MANSIONS

The first record release by Andy Gibb. It was never reissued on LP or CD. The song ‘Words and Music’ was recorded again for his first album Flowing Rivers.