1979


Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb held a press conference in May 1978 at the United Nations headquarters in New York in which they praised the work of UNICEF and spoke about wanting to give back something to the world. They spoke of donating the income from a hit song, and of possibly doing something else as well to raise money for children in need. This led to two things: late in the year they donated to UNICEF the income from the song on their new single ‘Too Much Heaven’, and they put together an all-star concert at the United Nations. The concert on January 9, 1979 raised a hundred million dollars for the cause.

The Bee Gees spent most of 1979 rehearsing and playing live shows in large venues. It was their farewell tour. They anticipated that their time in the spotlight was up, and they were right about that. The ‘disco sucks’ movement took hold in mid-America in the summer. This should not necessarily have doomed artists as musically diverse as the Bee Gees, but the public have a short memory and disco was what they were identified with. Their success was their weakness. Barry’s music had dominated the charts, so he was a prime target.

The Bee Gees’ plan for the future— and they had decided this by late 1978, before the backlash took hold— was to be songwriters and producers. Toward the end of 1979 Barry and Robin started on three projects.

The high-profile project was an album of songs for Barbra Streisand, proposed this year after she saw them perform in Los Angeles, or possibly a year earlier— accounts differ. In the second half of 1979 Barry and Robin wrote the first set of songs together, followed by another set by Barry and Albhy, and lastly a song by the three brothers.

At the same time Barry wrote and recorded a third Andy Gibb album, and Robin and Blue Weaver started recording an album for Jimmy Ruffin.


songs


WOMAN IN LOVE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
A side by Barbra Streisand, August 1980; album cut by Barbra Streisand, 1980

RUN WILD
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
B side by Barbra Streisand, August 1980; album cut by Barbra Streisand, 1980

PROMISES
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Barbra Streisand, 1980; A side by Barbra Streisand, May 1981

LIFE STORY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Barbra Streisand, 1980

SECRETS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Elaine Paige, 1981

WHAT KIND OF FOOL
Barry Gibb, Albhy Galuten
album cut by Barbra Streisand, 1980; A side by Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb, January 1981

NEVER GIVE UP
Barry Gibb, Albhy Galuten
album cut by Barbra Streisand, 1980

MAKE IT LIKE A MEMORY
Barry Gibb, Albhy Galuten
album cut by Barbra Streisand, 1980

CARRIED AWAY
Barry Gibb, Albhy Galuten
album cut by Olivia Newton-John, 1981

GUILTY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A side by Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb, October 1980; album cut by Barbra Streisand, 1980

AFTER DARK
Barry Gibb
album cut by Andy Gibb, 1980

WHEREVER YOU ARE
Barry Gibb
album cut by Andy Gibb, 1980

DREAMIN’ ON
Barry Gibb
album cut by Andy Gibb, 1980

FOR YOU
Barry Gibb
no record

I CAN’T HELP IT
Barry Gibb
A side by Andy Gibb, March 1980; album cut by Andy Gibb, 1980

ONE LOVE
Barry Gibb, Andy Gibb
album cut by Andy Gibb, 1980

SOMEONE I AIN’T
Barry Gibb, Andy Gibb
album cut by Andy Gibb, 1980

HOLD ON (TO MY LOVE)
Robin Gibb, Blue Weaver
A side by Jimmy Ruffin, February 1980; album cut by Jimmy Ruffin, 1980

NIGHT OF LOVE
Robin Gibb, Blue Weaver
A side by Jimmy Ruffin, 1980; album cut by Jimmy Ruffin, 1980

SEARCHIN’
Robin Gibb, Blue Weaver
album cut by Jimmy Ruffin, 1980

TWO PEOPLE
Robin Gibb, Blue Weaver
album cut by Jimmy Ruffin, 1980

CHANGIN’ ME
Robin Gibb, Blue Weaver
album cut by Jimmy Ruffin, 1980

JEALOUSY
Robin Gibb, Blue Weaver
album cut by Jimmy Ruffin, 1980

All known songs known from 1979 were for the three projects as producers.


recording sessions


Barry Gibb

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Blue Weaver — keyboard
Albhy Galuten — synthesizer
drum machine
engineer: ?
producer: Barry Gibb about October 1979, Criteria Recording Studios, Miami

Not intended for release, these are demos of songs submitted to Barbra Streisand for her upcoming album. Barry sings all the vocals in falsetto so that they are in Barbra’s range, with instrumental support from Blue and Albhy. These recordings were a new middle stage in the record-making process, between the rough work tapes by the songwriters and the finished recordings.

The chronology here is uncertain. Barry has said that first they sent in the five songs he wrote with Robin. This much can easily be dated between the end of touring (October 6) and the time Robin left Miami to stay for a few months at his house on Long Island (New York). The next batch, written with Albhy Galuten instead of Robin, might reasonably be dated after Robin left Miami. However this may not be the case. Albhy recalls Barry writing all the songs very fast, in a week or so, and taking only a little longer to record the demos. The demos all sound consistent as if they were recorded around the same time. Additionally Blue Weaver thinks he plays on all of them, and Blue left Miami with Robin. Tentatively, the date for all the demos is here given as October.

Demos of ten songs were released on iTunes in 2006. ‘Never Give Up’ was missing but ‘Carried Away’ and ‘Secrets’ were included. Curiously these were the same ten available to fans years earlier on traded tapes and bootlegs. Did something happen to the demo of ‘Never Give Up’?

WOMAN IN LOVE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 3:53, lead vocal Barry Gibb
The Guilty Demos, 2006

RUN WILD
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 4:22, lead vocal Barry Gibb
The Guilty Demos, 2006

PROMISES
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 4:14, lead vocal Barry Gibb
The Guilty Demos, 2006

LIFE STORY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 4:56, lead vocal Barry Gibb
The Guilty Demos, 2006

SECRETS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 3:50, lead vocal Barry Gibb
The Guilty Demos, 2006

This is the group of five songs by Barry and Robin that Barry recalled as the first ones submitted to Barbra and her manager Charles Koppelman. The running order is unknown. Four of the five songs were accepted for the album. ‘Woman in Love’ would become the very successful first single off the album. ‘Secrets’ was as good as any and may have been dropped simply because it was too similar to the others.

The demos were carefully made, with Barry overdubbing two guitars and two vocal tracks at times. Barbra’s final vocals followed these models closely. For example the sustained note into the second chorus of ‘Woman in Love’, very much in Barbra’s style, is sung the same way by Barry on the demo.

WHAT KIND OF FOOL
Barry Gibb, Albhy Galuten (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 4:04, lead vocal Barry Gibb
The Guilty Demos, 2006

NEVER GIVE UP
Barry Gibb, Albhy Galuten (1979)
undated 1979
stereo, lead vocal Barry Gibb
unreleased

MAKE IT LIKE A MEMORY
Barry Gibb, Albhy Galuten (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 6:34, lead vocal Barry Gibb
The Guilty Demos, 2006

CARRIED AWAY
Barry Gibb, Albhy Galuten (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 3:51, lead vocal Barry Gibb
The Guilty Demos, 2006

These four songs were by Barry and Albhy. Three were accepted and ‘What Kind of Fool’ would become another top selling single off the album. They sound different from the songs Barry wrote with Robin. As would be seen in their separate work to come, Robin likes clear song structures, a song like ‘Woman in Love’ with its formal verse and chorus and repeat chorus to fade. Working with Albhy, Barry began to write more complex verse melodies that are harder to follow on one listen, although he still put in the catchy chorus hooks he was known for. Barry’s songwriting was beginning to change.

Another factor possibly influenced by Albhy is that these demos were not so very closely copied on the finished recordings. In ‘What Kind of Fool’ for example the Barbra version has a few additional lines sung by Barry in falsetto before the second verse. Later on the section starting ‘was there a moment’, a little weak in falsetto in the demo, gets its proper impact from Barbra singing it full force.

THE LOVE INSIDE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Andy Gibb (1978)
undated 1979
stereo 4:47, lead vocal Barry Gibb
The Guilty Demos, 2006

‘The Love Inside’ was written during the Spirits Having Flown sessions but not used. It may have had an Andy Gibb vocal during development, because Barry sings the first few lines sounding uncannily like Andy. He sings the rest crossing awkwardly between quiet natural voice and falsetto. A beautiful ballad, the song needed a great singer to give it its full impact.

GUILTY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1979)
late 1979
stereo 4:02, lead vocal Barry Gibb
The Guilty Demos, 2006

‘Guilty’ was the only song for Barbra credited to Barry, Robin, and Maurice. The demo however sounds like the others, and since Barry sings it in falsetto throughout he had probably not yet decided to make it a duet. (By contrast parts of ‘What Kind of Fool’ are natural voice.) It was said to have been the last song submitted for the album. This was Maurice’s only songwriting credit in 1979.


Andy Gibb

Andy Gibb — vocal
Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar, synthesizer
Joey Murcia — guitar
George Terry — guitar
George Bitzer — keyboards
Harold Cowart — bass
Ron Ziegler — drums
The Boneroo Horns
  Peter Graves
  Whit Sidener
  Kenny Faulk
  Bill Purse
  Neil Bonsanti
  Dan Bonsanti
Olivia Newton-John — vocal (‘Rest Your Love on Me’, ‘I Can’t Help It’)
Michael Brecker — sax (‘After Dark’)
Randy Brecker — trumpet (‘After Dark’)
Joe Lala — percussion
Tom Roadie — percussion
Tim Renwick — guitar
Hugh McCracken — guitar
Albhy Galuten — synthesizer
‘Bernard Loop’ — drums
Charlie Chalmers, Sandy Rhodes, Donna Rhodes — vocal
orchestra arranged by Barry Gibb and Albhy Galuten; concertmaster Gene Orloff
engineer: Karl Richardson; Dennis Hetzendorfer
producer: Barry Gibb, Karl Richardson, Albhy Galuten
May, October, November 1979, Criteria Recording Studios, Miami

The order of recording is not known. The songs are listed here in groups for discussion. Barry must have been working on these songs and recording sessions at about he same time he was doing the Barbra Streisand songs. No wonder he told reporters in November that he spent all his time in the studio.

After Dark was a Barry Gibb project propping up Andy’s career and fulfilling Andy’s contractual obligation. By this date Andy’s drug use had spiralled out of control. His voice was in bad shape, he was barely writing songs, and he could not be counted on to appear for sessions. Barry created new songs, found old ones, and sang vocal tracks. Barry could do a good impression of Andy’s voice, and some of what sounds like Andy is in fact Barry, filling in lines or phrases Andy missed. Andy himself admitted this in 1985. Still it is not a Barry Gibb solo album but his concept of an Andy Gibb album.

DESIRE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1978)
undated 1978, 30 May 1979
stereo 4:24, lead vocal Andy Gibb
A side, January 1980; After Dark, 1980

This is an Andy Gibb lead vocal laid on a track recorded by the Bee Gees for the Spirits Having Flown album. For instrumental credits see that album in 1978. Any sense that Andy was channelling the Bee Gees rather than finding his own way would be confirmed here. ‘Desire’ sounds a lot like ‘Too Much Heaven’. This was Andy’s last top ten hit in America, reaching number 4 in Billboard.

The US copyright for this song gives the artist as ‘Bee Gees’ and is titled ‘Desire : 5/30/79’. This was registered 11 July 1979.

BACK TO THE WIND
Andy Gibb (1979)
undated 1979
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

WARM
Andy Gibb (1979)
undated 1979
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

The only two songs written for the album by Andy alone were recorded but not used.

ONE LOVE
Barry Gibb, Andy Gibb (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 4:07, lead vocal Andy Gibb, Barry Gibb
After Dark, 1980

SOMEONE I AIN’T
Barry Gibb, Andy Gibb (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 3:08, lead vocal Andy Gibb
After Dark, 1980

Two soft ballads credited to Barry and Andy were Andy’s only songwriter credit on the album as released. Both are good songs, especially the ironically titled ‘Someone I Ain’t’, and Andy sings them with feeling. They have some of the same mood as the Andy-written songs on his previous albums.

REST YOUR LOVE ON ME
Barry Gibb (1976)
undated 1979
stereo 4:53, lead vocal Andy Gibb, Olivia Newton-John
After Dark, 1980

I CAN’T HELP IT
Barry Gibb (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 4:07, lead vocal Andy Gibb, Olivia Newton-John
After Dark, 1980

Andy and Olivia Newton-John had done a nice duet version of ‘Rest Your Love on Me’ at the UNICEF show in January, so she agreed to record it and a new song for Andy’s album. Albhy Galuten winces recalling the session years later. Andy showed up late with his voice so shot that he couldn’t hit all the notes. They had started the session with Barry singing the duets with Olivia, and the contrast in quality was all too clear.

AFTER DARK
Barry Gibb (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 4:21, lead vocal Andy Gibb, Barry Gibb
After Dark, 1980

WHEREVER YOU ARE
Barry Gibb (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 4:27, lead vocal Andy Gibb, Barry Gibb
After Dark, 1980

DREAMIN’ ON
Barry Gibb (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 3:51, lead vocal Andy Gibb
After Dark, 1980

Three more songs from Barry were highlights of the album. Barry is very clearly singing together with Andy on ‘After Dark’ and ‘Wherever You Are’, two well crafted but somewhat generic uptempo dance songs. The quiet rhythm of ‘Dreamin’ On’ closed the album. Andy handles the tricky rhythm of the verses quite well.

FOR YOU
Barry Gibb (1979)
undated 1979
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb
unreleased

FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU
Barry Gibb, Albhy Galuten (1977)
undated 1979
stereo 4:12, lead vocal Andy Gibb, Barry Gibb
After Dark, 1980

These two plus the songs listed previously would make twelve, two more than the usual total for an LP in 1979. ‘For You’ was a new song by Barry, filed at the US copyright office in the form of a recording sung by Andy, but not clearly part of the album. It may have been dropped early in the process. ‘Falling in Love with You’ was a song from 1977 that had not yet been recorded. Barry sings throughout.

WARM RIDE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1977)
undated 1977, undated 1979
stereo 3:30, lead vocal Andy Gibb
After Dark, 1980

This song was an outtake from Saturday Night Fever. Years later Albhy said of it, ‘I don’t know how that got on there’. A reading of the tea leaves of copyright filings suggests that ‘Falling in Love with You’ and ‘Warm Ride’ may have been late replacements for the songs by Andy solo.


Jimmy Ruffin

Jimmy Ruffin — vocal
Blue Weaver — keyboards, synthesizer
Bobby Cadway — guitar
Alan Kendall — guitar
Dennis Bryon — drums, vocal
George Perry — bass, vocal
Yvonne Lewis, Krystal Davis, Janet Wright — vocal
orchestra arranged by Blue Weaver, Mike Lewis
engineer: Glen Kolotkin
producer: Robin Gibb and Blue Weaver
about November 1979, Kingdom Sound Studios, Syosset NY

The order of recording is not known except that these were the first songs recorded for the album. Robin’s web site dates his vocal of ‘Hold On’ to January 1980, which seems too close to its release date on a single (February 1980), but January may be the right date for the second sessions that completed the project.

HOLD ON (TO MY LOVE)
Robin Gibb, Blue Weaver (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 3:32, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased
stereo 3:32, lead vocal Jimmy Ruffin
A side, February 1980; Sunrise, 1980

NIGHT OF LOVE
Robin Gibb, Blue Weaver (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 3:50, lead vocal Jimmy Ruffin
A side, 1980; Sunrise, 1980

SEARCHIN’
Robin Gibb, Blue Weaver (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 2:54, lead vocal Jimmy Ruffin
Sunrise, 1980

TWO PEOPLE
Robin Gibb, Blue Weaver (1979)
undated 1979
stereo 4:07, lead vocal Jimmy Ruffin
Sunrise, 1980

Robin and Blue Weaver, based at Robin’s new Long Island home, decided to start their downtime from the Bee Gees by doing an album of soul music, and got together with veteran Jimmy Ruffin, whose big hit had been ‘What Becomes of the Brokenhearted’ in 1966. Jimmy had the kind of rough soul voice that Robin sometimes wished he had. The first songs for his album Sunrise were recorded at a small studio in Syosset that was convenient to Robin’s house in Lloyds Neck.

Robin recorded a vocal track to ‘Hold On (to My Love)’ but there are no other demos or Robin-sung versions of the songs. Jimmy was taught the rest of them without demos. ‘Hold On’, which became the lead single, was also the only ‘disco’ song, so it was an odd choice if the idea was to escape the disco label. ‘Searchin’’ in particular is a classic soul ballad that deserved more attention than it got, sung with a lot of feeling.


selected record releases


Bee Gees : single
US: RSO, February 1979; UK: RSO, February 1979

A TRAGEDY
B UNTIL

Bee Gees : Spirits Having Flown
US: RSO, February 1979; UK: RSO, February 1979

A 1 TRAGEDY
A 2 TOO MUCH HEAVEN
A 3 LOVE YOU INSIDE OUT
A 4 REACHING OUT
A 5 SPIRITS (HAVING FLOWN)

B 1 SEARCH, FIND
B 2 STOP (THINK AGAIN)
B 3 LIVING TOGETHER
B 4 I’M SATISFIED
B 5 UNTIL

The second single ‘Tragedy’ became the Bee Gees’ fifth number 1 in a row in America, and went number 1 in Britain. It was more or less a disco single, possibly not what they should have put out at this date thinking long-term, but in the short term its popularity is obvious. An early fade 4:10 version was sent to disk jockeys since the full length of five minutes was still long for a single at this time.

The album Spirits Having Flown met expectations in the marketplace, following the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack to the number 1 album spot in the United States and United Kingdom, the only original Bee Gees album ever to do so. (Later this year Greatest also reached number 1 in the United States.)


A Gift of Song: Music for UNICEF
US: Polydor, 1979; UK: Polydor, 1979.

  Bee Gees : TOO MUCH HEAVEN
  Andy Gibb : I GO FOR YOU
  Andy Gibb and Olivia Newton-John : REST YOUR LOVE ON ME

From the live show of January 9. For ‘Too Much Heaven’ the Bee Gees lip-synched the single, possibly adding a live vocal over the pre-recorded tracks. However Andy did a good live version of ‘I Go for You’, an interesting choice since it was one of his own songs rather than one of his singles. He then joined with Olivia Newton-John to do ‘Rest Your Love on Me’, first released just two months earlier as the B side to ‘Too Much Heaven’.

All four brothers sang together with the other performers on the finale, ‘Put a Little Love in Your Heart’ (Jackie De Shannon, 1969), but it was not on the album. The album was rush-released and its proceeds were part of the gift to UNICEF.


Osmonds : Steppin’ Out
US: Mercury, March 1979.

A 1 STEPPIN’ OUT
A 2 EMILY
A 3 YOU’RE MINE
A 4 BABY’S BACK
A 5 LOVE ON THE LINE

B 1 RAININ’
B 2 I’ I’ I
B 3 LOVE AIN’T AN EASY THING
B 4 HOLD ON
B 5 REST YOUR LOVE ON ME

Osmonds : single
US: Mercury, March 1979.

A I’ I’ I
B YOU’RE MINE

Maurice produced but did not sing or play on this album. It was almost the first release of ‘Rest Your Love on Me’, which had now been heard recently as a Bee Gees B side and in the UNICEF concert.

Following the lack of success of this album and its single, the Osmonds switched to country music.


Bee Gees : single
US: RSO, April 1979; UK: RSO, April 1979

A LOVE YOU INSIDE OUT
B I’M SATISFIED

This was the Bee Gees’ sixth number 1 single in a row in the United States, but who even remembers it? It seems to have coasted through on their reputation. It was also their last number 1. Top twenty in Britain.

‘Love You Inside Out’ (4:11) was faded early on a promo single at 3:47, labelled as 3:27.

CD: Both on Spirits Having Flown.


Bee Gees : Short Cuts
UK: RSO, promotional only 1979

A 1 JIVE TALKIN’ (1975) 2:43
A 2 STAYIN’ ALIVE (1977) 2:58
A 3 NIGHT FEVER (1977) 2:26
A 4 TRAGEDY (1979) 1:58
A 5 WIND OF CHANGE (1975) 1:54
A 6 YOU SHOULD BE DANCING (1976) 3:09

B 1 HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE (1977) 1:45
B 2 FANNY (BE TENDER WITH MY LOVE) (1975) 1:55
B 3 SPIRITS (HAVING FLOWN) (1979) 2:13
B 4 LOVE SO RIGHT (1976) 2:05
B 5 TOO MUCH HEAVEN (1979) 2:16
B 6 (OUR LOVE) DON’T THROW IT ALL AWAY 2:48

A promo LP released in advance of Bee Gees Greatest. The disk labels have the logo of Bee Gees Greatest and under it the wording Short Cuts / “A Musical History of the 70’s”, and then Fast Side (1) and Slow Side (2) respectively. All songs are short edits unique to this disk, with timings as shown above.

Readers of tea leaves will notice how closely the selections match the first two sides of Greatest and wonder whether this was a proposed lineup for a one-LP version of Greatest.


Bee Gees Greatest
US: RSO, October 1979; UK: RSO, October 1979

A 1 JIVE TALKIN’ (1975)
A 2 NIGHT FEVER (1977)
A 3 TRAGEDY (1979)
A 4 YOU SHOULD BE DANCING (1976)
A 5 STAYIN’ ALIVE (1977)

B 1 HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE (1977)
B 2 LOVE SO RIGHT (1976)
B 3 TOO MUCH HEAVEN (1979)
B 4 (OUR LOVE) DON’T THROW IT ALL AWAY
B 5 FANNY (BE TENDER WITH MY LOVE) (1975)

C 1 IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU (1977)
C 2 YOU STEPPED INTO MY LIFE (1976)
C 3 LOVE ME (1976)
C 4 MORE THAN A WOMAN (1977)
C 5 REST YOUR LOVE ON ME (1978)

D 1 NIGHTS ON BROADWAY (1975)
D 2 SPIRITS (HAVING FLOWN) (1979)
D 3 LOVE YOU INSIDE OUT (1979)
D 4 WIND OF CHANGE (1975)
D 5 CHILDREN OF THE WORLD (1976)

The Bee Gees’ greatest— ignoring everything before 1975! This was the first release of the 1977 Bee Gees recording of ‘(Our Love) Don’t Throw It All Away’ (known by now as an Andy Gibb record) and the first album appearance of the B sides ‘If I Can’t Have You’ and ‘Rest Your Love on Me’. By including all of the Bee Gees songs on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, this set renders that one unnecessary (although few Bee Gees fans would want to be without the most famous album associated with the group). Among the missing from the period covered are the American single ‘Boogie Child’ and anything from Sgt Pepper.

The sides were grouped by themes. Side 1 is five top dance hits; side 2 is love ballads; side 3 is miscellaneous B sides, album cuts, songs covered by other artists; and side 4 is possibly meant to be more serious songs (although ‘Love You Inside Out’ does not seem to fit). On LP, the labels feature headshots of Barry, Maurice, and Robin for sides 1, 2, and 3 respectively, and a group shot for side 4.

Greatest hits albums often mark an end or turning point. With this album the Bee Gees deliberately closed the door on their disco period and signalled a move on to new things.