1976


At the end of 1975, RSO changed its North American partner from Atlantic, its home since 1967, to the European-based Polygram, which had long handled RSO products in most of the world. This business deal had a profound effect on the Bee Gees’ music: it meant that Atlantic’s house producer Arif Mardin was no longer available to continue the reinvention of the group. As an alternative they started work in Los Angeles for three days with top producer Richard Perry. But the Bee Gees said he did not understand why they wanted to record ‘You Should Be Dancing’, and he was otherwise not in tune with their agenda, so they gave that up, and returned to Miami.

At Criteria, which was not an Atlantic-owned studio, they resumed work with engineer Karl Richardson. Adding young musician and arranger Albhy Galuten to the control room as musical adviser, the Bee Gees produced themselves with Barry taking the lead role. The new team saw the group through a series of top selling recordings over the next four years.

Most of the work in 1976 was on one project, an album called Children of the World. It is the one really ‘disco’ Bee Gees album, with mostly dance and funk tracks and falsetto vocals. Although the idea now was to create songs that could be done on stage, still they used a lot of overdubs, particularly voices and synthesizer. For the first time since 1966, no strings were used, but there is a horn section and a few guest players, and Blue Weaver contributed about as much as could be done at the time with synthesizer strings. The leadoff single ‘You Should Be Dancing’ is one of the top songs of the disco era, and also exemplifies the high falsetto by Barry Gibb that became the standard Bee Gees voice of the ‘helium years’.


songs


YOU SHOULD BE DANCING
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A side by Bee Gees, June 1976; album cut by Bee Gees, 1976

LOVE SO RIGHT
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A side by Bee Gees, September 1976; album cut by Bee Gees, 1976

SUBWAY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
B side by Bee Gees, June 1976; album cut by Bee Gees, 1976

LOVE ME
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1976; A side by Yvonne Elliman, October 1976

YOU STEPPED INTO MY LIFE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
B side by Bee Gees, September 1976; album cut by Bee Gees, 1976

REST YOUR LOVE ON ME
Barry Gibb
B side by Bee Gees, November 1978

THE WAY IT WAS
[ THE RESTLESS YEARS ]
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Blue Weaver
album cut by Bee Gees, 1976

WALK BEFORE YOU RUN
Barry Gibb, Stephen Stills
no record

THE FEEL
probably Barry Gibb
no record

LOVERS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1976

BOOGIE SUMMER
probably Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
no record

TOMORROW NIGHT
probably Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
no record

CHILDREN OF THE WORLD
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1976

I THINK I’M LOSING YOU
probably Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
no record

CAN’T KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1976

BOOGIE CHILD
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1976

LET IT RIDE
Barry Gibb, Vince Melouney
no record

MORNING RAIN
Barry Gibb, Vince Melouney
no record

I JUST WANT TO BE YOUR EVERYTHING
Barry Gibb
A side by Andy Gibb, May 1977; album cut by Andy Gibb, 1977

(LOVE IS) THICKER THAN WATER
Barry Gibb, Andy Gibb
A side by Andy Gibb, September 1977; album cut by Andy Gibb, 1977

Most of the known songs were for the Children of the World album. During the summer, Barry met up with Vince Melouney (Bee Gees lead guitar in 1967 and 1968) and wrote two songs that were never recorded. Later in the year in Miami, Barry wrote two songs for Andy Gibb to record.


recording sessions


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal, bass
Blue Weaver — keyboards, synthesizer, piano
Alan Kendall — lead guitar
Dennis Bryon — drums
Joe Lala — percussion
Gary Brown — sax
George Perry — bass (‘Subway’, ‘The Way It Was’)
Stephen Stills — percussion (‘You Should Be Dancing’)
The Boneroo Horns
  Peter Graves
  Whit Sidener
  Kenny Faulk
  Neil Bonsanti
  Bob ?
  Bill Purse
  Debbie ?
engineer: Karl Richardson; John Blanche, Ed Marshal
producer: the Bee Gees, Albhy Galuten, Karl Richardson
January to March 1976, Criteria Recording Studios, Miami

YOU SHOULD BE DANCING
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1976)
19 January, 1, 8 February, 6 May 1976
stereo 4:16, lead vocal Barry Gibb
A side, June 1976; Children of the World, 1976
stereo 4:47, lead vocal Barry Gibb
promo single, 1978; Tales from the Brothers Gibb, 1990
stereo 6:01, lead vocal Barry Gibb
promo single, 1976

LOVE SO RIGHT
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1976)
21, 30 January, 6 May 1976
stereo 3:34, lead vocal Barry Gibb
A side, September 1976; Children of the World, 1976

As improbable as it might seem, the first two songs recorded would become the first two singles from these sessions. Not only that, but the next three too would comprise the two B sides and a song to be made a single by another artist. Apparently this much had all been planned ahead of time.

In the ten months since ‘Baby As You Turn Away’ Barry had developed his falsetto to an incredible degree. There it was still breathy and tentative. Now it was loud and clear, a very expressive instrument that he began to prefer to his natural voice. The first song he did in full-force falsetto, the classic ‘You Should Be Dancing’— also the first one the world heard— could not have been done any other way. Blue recalls that Maurice created the bass line and sang the horn parts to the brass players, while Barry sang parts for Blue to play. Alan got in a short guitar solo. It was all still real rhythm section, drums, bass, and guitar. The 4:47 version that first appeared on a promo LP and then on Tales from the Brothers Gibb appears to be edited with repeats, and so does the even longer 6:07 version that appeared on a radio promo single, the same mix but with the intro 15 seconds longer and many repeats of of the title phrase at the end.

‘Love So Right’ by contrast is a more traditional kind of Bee Gees song that could easily have been done the old way had Barry been inclined to do so. The falsetto makes it sound more new and different than it is. The question of how much falsetto is enough has caused much friendly argument among fans.

Stephen Stills was at Criteria in February recording the album Long May You Run with his band and Neil Young. It was probably February 1 or 8 when he added percussion to ‘You Should Be Dancing’. Stills’s band members George ‘Chocolate’ Perry and Joe Lala also played on some of the Bee Gees’ songs.

Note the several dates listed. The Bee Gees had long had a habit of tinkering with recordings. They would now do so more and more. The dates shown may not be all the days these songs were worked on.

SUBWAY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1976)
27 January, 6 May 1976
stereo 4:24, lead vocal Barry Gibb
B side, June 1976; Children of the World, 1976

And now the B side of the first single. Chocolate Perry played bass here instead of Maurice.

LOVE ME
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1976)
30 March, 23, 25 April 1976
stereo 4:01, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
Children of the World, 1976

Robin illustrates why he didn’t sing much of this material with his ducklike voice on ‘Love Me’, a song that seems much more suited to Barry’s natural or falsetto voices. Barry does come in with a very high middle section. At any rate this one was given away to RSO artist Yvonne Elliman, whose single of it appeared a couple of weeks after the Bee Gees’ album.

YOU STEPPED INTO MY LIFE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1976)
3 February, 7 May 1976
stereo 3:25, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Children of the World, 1976

And, the B side of the second single! Barry in falsetto again, with a real stop-and-go funk beat that was more radical for the Bee Gees than any of these except the thumping beat of ‘You Should Be Dancing’.

Around this time ‘You Should Be Dancing’ was completed with the percussion by Stephen Stills and Joe Lala. That same day, Barry followed up by having the assembled musicians play something completely different, the natural-voice country ballad ‘Rest Your Love on Me’, with Stills on bass. Barry was either making it up as he went along (as some have said) or just revealing it for the first time. The song would be properly recorded in May.

THE WAY IT WAS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Blue Weaver (1976)
23 February, 12 April, 6 May 1976
stereo 3:19, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Children of the World, 1976

WALK BEFORE YOU RUN
Barry Gibb, Stephen Stills (1976)
26 February 1976
stereo, instrumental
unreleased

For the second time Barry took a melody from Blue Weaver and turned it into a song, ‘The Way It Was’ (known as ‘The Restless Years’ during production). A piano ballad made a nice contrast with the other songs they had, and so did singing only part of it in falsetto. This is just Barry, Blue, and Chocolate Perry. Robin and Maurice were away on break, Maurice present on the Isle of Man for the birth of his first child.

The next new song was ‘Walk before You Run’ credited to Barry and Stephen Stills, never released by either artist. Blue remembers playing piano on it, and says it was a jam session.

THE FEEL
probably Barry Gibb (1976)
6 March 1976
stereo, lead vocal unknown
unreleased

Unknown. Maurice was still away at this date, maybe Robin too.

LOVERS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1976)
29, 30 March, 6, 26 May 1976
stereo 3:36, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
Children of the World, 1976

The group finished off recording at Criteria with another funk number, with more of a group vocal sound featuring Barry and Robin singing lead on different lines. Contrary to some opinions it is Barry doing the growl, not Maurice, who is not clearly heard singing on the whole album.


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal, bass
Blue Weaver — keyboards, synthesizer, piano
Alan Kendall — lead guitar
Dennis Bryon — drums
The Boneroo Horns
  Peter Graves
  Whit Sidener
  Kenny Faulk
  Neil Bonsanti
  Bob ?
  Bill Purse
  Debbie ?
engineer: Karl Richardson; Nick Blacona
producer: the Bee Gees, Albhy Galuten, Karl Richardson
April and May 1976, Le Studio, Quebec

Everyone relocated on April 1 to Quebec, Canada. The reason the Bee Gees left Criteria had to do with citizenship and taxes: the Englishmen had to limit their hours of work in the United States, and Barry and Maurice were also staying out of the United Kingdom for tax reasons. Le Studio was just about the top place to go in Canada, so they went there. It was booked by other artists, so the Bee Gees fit in their sessions on evenings and Sundays (April 18, 25, May 2).

BOOGIE SUMMER
probably Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1976)
2 April 1976
stereo, lead vocal unknown
unreleased

TOMORROW NIGHT
probably Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1976)
8 April 1976
stereo, lead vocal unknown
unreleased

The first two new songs were never released, and are unknown, unless they are ‘Boogie Child’ and ‘Can’t Keep a Good Man Down’. The only other thing the Bee Gees definitely did in the first two weeks there was to add something to ‘The Way It Was’ on April 12.

CHILDREN OF THE WORLD
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1976)
18 April, 6 May 1976
stereo 3:07, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Children of the World, 1976

I THINK I’M LOSING YOU
probably Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1976)
25 April, 2 May 1976
stereo, lead vocal unknown
unreleased

‘Children of the World’ would become the title song of the album. A week later they did yet another unreleased song. Between these they added something to ‘Love Me’.

REST YOUR LOVE ON ME
Barry Gibb (1976)
2 May 1976
stereo 4:20, lead vocal Barry Gibb
B side, November 1978

The Bee Gees now made a proper recording of Barry’s country ballad ‘Rest Your Love on Me’. Its style did not fit at all into the album— even ‘The Way It Was’ found its way in— so it was set aside and finally appeared in 1978. ‘Rest Your Love on Me’ would become a number 1 country hit for Conway Twitty in 1981. At this point a month of work in Quebec had produced only one more song for the new album.

CAN’T KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1976)
6 May 1976
stereo 4:43, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
Children of the World, 1976

BOOGIE CHILD
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1976)
6 May 1976
stereo 4:12, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Children of the World, 1976

May 6 was an astounding date, if the documentation can be trusted. The record shows that the Bee Gees recorded two new songs, the last ones for the album, ‘Can’t Keep a Good Man Down’ and ‘Boogie Child’, and also added something to five songs recorded at Criteria and ‘Children of the World’. More likely, May 6 was devoted to finishing touches, and ‘Can’t Keep a Good Man Down’ and ‘Boogie Child’ are new titles for two songs previously started.

The only remaining dates known are the next day, adding to ‘You Stepped into My Life’, and May 26, adding to ‘Lovers’. Otherwise, May was devoted to mixing and otherwise preparing the songs for release.


Andy Gibb

Andy Gibb — vocal, guitar
others unknown
engineer: ?
producer: Col Joye
1976, ATA Studio, Sydney

CAN’T STOP DANCING
Ray Stevens, John H Pritchard Jr (1976)
undated 1976
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

IN THE END
Andy Gibb (1976)
undated 1976
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

FLOWING RIVERS
Andy Gibb (1974)
undated 1976
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

COME HOME FOR THE WINTER
Andy Gibb (1976)
undated 1976
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

LET IT BE ME
Andy Gibb (1976)
undated 1976
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.

Andy recorded further songs in Australia in 1976, two of which were expected to be released on a single around September 1976. This time the A side was not an original by Andy but a cover of country singer Ray Stevens’s ‘Can’t Stop Dancing’. Promo copies of the single were pressed, and Andy sang ‘Can’t Stop Dancing’ on television, but like his album recorded in 1975 this single was not released. Instead Andy was off to Miami to record for RSO. (The hit version of ‘Can’t Stop Dancing’ by The Captain and Tennille was released after this, in May 1977.)

Andy had got the call from Barry in June 1976, so he and Col Joye’s company ATA had proceeded with the new single knowing that Andy would go to Miami later in the year. They must have planned to release Andy’s Australian recordings followed by whatever he did with RSO. No other explanation makes sense. But for some reason the plan was suddenly changed. The four Andy songs here would be re-recorded for RSO.


Andy Gibb

Andy Gibb — vocal
Joey Murcia — guitar
Tim Renwick — guitar
Paul Harris — piano, keyboards
Albhy Galuten — synthesizer
Harold Cowart — bass
Ron ‘Tubby’ Ziegler — drums
John Sambataro — vocal
Barry Gibb — vocal (‘I Just Want to Be Your Everything’, ‘(Love Is) Thicker than Water’)
George Terry — guitar
Joe Walsh — guitar (two songs)
Don Buzzard — steel guitar
Nelson Pedron — percussion
orchestra arranged by Albhy Galuten, conducted by Mike Lewis
engineer: Karl Richardson; Steve Gersky
producer: Albhy Galuten, Karl Richardson, Barry Gibb
about October 1976, Criteria Recording Studios, Miami

Andy Gibb recorded an album of songs at Criteria around October 1976. The exact dates are not known, but the range of possible dates is very limited. Andy came to Miami in September, and the sessions at Criteria are known to have coincided with the Eagles recording their album Hotel California there, which they completed in October. Eagles member Joe Walsh plays on two tracks (not named) and Andy said that listening to some of the Eagles’ songs influenced the sound he wanted on his album (although he had shown country influences before).

The sessions were produced by Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson, and with Barry on two songs. Albhy chose the experienced musicians who play on the album. The core group was Joey Murcia and Tim Renwick on guitars, Paul Harris and Albhy himself on piano and keyboards, and Harold Cowart and ‘Tubby’ Zeigler on bass and drums. For some songs they were joined by other top session players. Barry was very impressed with the polished sound of the session players.

I JUST WANT TO BE YOUR EVERYTHING
Barry Gibb (1976)
undated 1976
stereo 3:45, lead vocal Andy Gibb
A side, May 1977; Flowing Rivers, 1977

(LOVE IS) THICKER THAN WATER
Barry Gibb, Andy Gibb (1976)
undated 1976
stereo 4:15, lead vocal Andy Gibb
A side, September 1977; Flowing Rivers, 1977

Barry was present to record only two songs, the two that he wrote for Andy. These were in Albhy Galuten’s words Barry’s idea of what would be good songs for Andy to sing, both of them in the dance music style of the Bee Gees. ‘(Love Is) Thicker Than Water’ is credited to both Barry and Andy, and although Andy said it was almost entirely Barry’s work, it does sound a little closer to Andy’s style.

These two songs were probably recorded around the same time as each other. Barry is listed as a producer for the two, but only executive producer for the rest of the album. They are shown here before the rest of the songs for Andy’s album, but none of the recording dates are known.

WORDS AND MUSIC
Andy Gibb (1974)
undated 1976
stereo 4:38, lead vocal Andy Gibb
Flowing Rivers, 1977

DANCE TO THE LIGHT OF THE MORNING
Andy Gibb, Albhy Galuten (1976)
undated 1976
stereo 3:19, lead vocal Andy Gibb
Flowing Rivers, 1977

TOO MANY LOOKS IN YOUR EYES
Andy Gibb, Albhy Galuten (1976)
undated 1976
stereo 4:10, lead vocal Andy Gibb
Flowing Rivers, 1977

STARLIGHT
Andy Gibb (1976)
undated 1976
stereo 3:32, lead vocal Andy Gibb
Flowing Rivers, 1977

FLOWING RIVERS
Andy Gibb (1974)
undated 1976
stereo 3:37, lead vocal Andy Gibb
Flowing Rivers, 1977

COME HOME FOR THE WINTER
Andy Gibb (1976)
undated 1976
stereo 4:05, lead vocal Andy Gibb
Flowing Rivers, 1977

LET IT BE ME
Andy Gibb (1976)
undated 1976
stereo 3:30, lead vocal Andy Gibb
Flowing Rivers, 1977

IN THE END
Andy Gibb (1976)
undated 1976
stereo 3:16, lead vocal Andy Gibb
B side, May 1977; Flowing Rivers, 1977

For lack of information, the rest of the songs for Andy’s album Flowing Rivers are shown here in the order they appeared on the album. No additional songs are known.

Listening to only these Andy-written songs gives a somewhat different impression than listening to the singles. They are a mix of country and ballads. Six are new recordings of songs Andy wrote in Australia, and two are new. The title song ‘Flowing Rivers’, recorded here for the third time, could have been a single had Andy’s handlers been willing to show this side of him, and ‘Words and Music’ (another old song), ‘Too Many Looks in Your Eyes’ (written with Albhy), ‘Starlight’, and ‘In the End’ were good ballads that deserved more attention than they got.


selected record releases


Bee Gees : single
US: RSO, January 1976; UK: RSO, February 1976.

A FANNY (BE TENDER WITH MY LOVE)
B COUNTRY LANES

The last single from Main Course. Significantly for the future, they chose the track with the most falsetto. It went top twenty in the United States, now looking like their main market, and did nothing across the Atlantic.

CD: Both on Main Course.


Bee Gees : single
US: RSO, July 1976; UK: RSO, June 1976.

A YOU SHOULD BE DANCING
B SUBWAY

The first single from the new album Children of the World shot to number 1 in the United States, and even made top ten in Britain and top twenty in Germany.


Bee Gees : Children of the World
US: RSO, September 1976; US: RSO, September 1976.

A 1 YOU SHOULD BE DANCING
A 2 YOU STEPPED INTO MY LIFE
A 3 LOVE SO RIGHT
A 4 LOVERS
A 5 CAN’T KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN

B 1 BOOGIE CHILD
B 2 LOVE ME
B 3 SUBWAY
B 4 THE WAY IT WAS
B 5 CHILDREN OF THE WORLD

Peaking at number 8 on Billboard’s chart, Children of the World was the Bee Gees’ highest-charting album in the United States since Bee Gees’ First, but it did nothing in Britain and Germany. The heavy dose of falsetto and funk did not go over well with fans of the group’s older style.

CD: All on Children of the World.


Bee Gees : single
US: RSO, September 1976; UK: RSO, September 1976.

A LOVE SO RIGHT
B YOU STEPPED INTO MY LIFE

Number 3 in the United States, barely top forty in Britain and Germany.


Yvonne Elliman : single
US: RSO, October 1976; UK: RSO, October 1976.

A LOVE ME
B I DON’T KNOW WHY I KEEP HANGIN’ ON

Yvonne Elliman had almost the first release of ‘Love Me’, and its top twenty placing in the United States showed that the Bee Gees’ newfound chart magic could translate to other artists.


Bee Gees Gold volume 1
US: RSO, November 1976.

A 1 HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART (1971)
A 2 HOLIDAY (1967)
A 3 TO LOVE SOMEBODY (1967)
A 4 MASSACHUSETTS (1967)
A 5 WORDS (1968)
A 6 LONELY DAYS (1970)

B 1 RUN TO ME (1972)
B 2 I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE YO YOU (1968)
B 3 MY WORLD (1972)
B 4 I CAN’T SEE NOBODY (1967)
B 5 I STARTED A JOKE (1968)
B 6 NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941 (1967)

A new collection of old songs for the American market. None of the hits from 1975 or 1976 were included.

Although this set seems intended to replace Best of Bee Gees, that and not Bee Gees Gold was reissued many times later on, and there was never a Bee Gees Gold volume 2. It repeats the bad stereo mix of ‘Words’ from Best of Bee Gees, but the sound quality of the other songs is improved here, most noticeably in the case of the songs from Bee Gees’ First. The song selection is very much geared to the US charts and omits some songs well-known in other countries that missed in the US.


All This and World War II
US: 20th Century, November 1976; UK: Riva, 1976.

  GOLDEN SLUMBERS / CARRY THAT WEIGHT
  SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW
  SUN KING

The Bee Gees sang three songs on the two-LP set soundtrack album of this film.


Maurice Gibb : Bee Gees Information
Germany: New Blood, 1976

A 1 LAUGHING CHILD
A 2 SOLDIER JOHNNY

B 1 SOMETHING’S BLOWING
B 2 JOURNEY TO THE MISTY MOUNTAINS

A limited edition disk (believed to be 200) for the fan club Bee Gees Information, not released to the public. All four cuts are from the album Maurice recorded in 1969-1970, but the source appears to be an acetate, not the master tapes. The songs have never been released.

The EP has no title. The picture sleeve has the club name ‘Bee Gees Information’ in large letters, ‘Maurice Gibb’ under that, and the names of the songs.