1981


The Gibb brothers reunited in 1981 to make the follow-up to Spirits Having Flown or to some extent the follow-up to Guilty. No one enjoyed making it, and the public ignored it. Living Eyes effectively ended the Bee Gees until 1987. No one wanted to repeat the experience.

Maurice meanwhile was suddenly very active again outside the Bee Gees doing lots of instrumentals for now obscure projects. None of them have seen the light of day.

The lawsuits between the Bee Gees and RSO were settled out of court in June, and then hashed around some more in the press. After Living Eyes the Bee Gees were contractually obligated for one more album, and that was to end their relationship with RSO. Their music publishing, formerly owned by RSO, would now be transferred to a company owned by the Bee Gees. This got them more income as writers from anyone recording or performing their songs, and let them control how the songs were promoted and how the income was managed.


songs


IMAGE OF SAMANTHA
Maurice Gibb
US copyright April 1981. no record

FOLLOW MY LOVE
Maurice Gibb
US copyright April 1981. no record

IN THE BEGINNING
Maurice Gibb
US copyright April 1981. no record

STRINGS AND THINGS
Maurice Gibb
US copyright April 1981.

HELLO, MY LOVE
Maurice Gibb
US copyright April 1981. no record

HE’S A LIAR
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A side by Bee Gees, September 1981; album cut by Bee Gees, 1981

DON’T FALL IN LOVE WITH ME
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1981

SOLDIERS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1981

HEAT OF THE NIGHT
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
no record

LIVING EYES
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1981; A side by Bee Gees, November 1981

PARADISE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1981

I STILL LOVE YOU
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1981; B side by Bee Gees, November 1981

WILDFLOWER
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1981

CRYIN’ EVERY DAY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1981

BE WHO YOU ARE
Barry Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1981

HOLD HER IN YOUR HAND
Maurice Gibb, Barry Gibb
A side by Maurice Gibb, 1984

HEART (STOP BEATING IN TIME)
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
(or Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb)
A side by Leo Sayer, May 1982; album cut by Leo Sayer, 1982

LOVING YOU IS KILLING ME
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
no record

CITY OF ANGELS
probably Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
no record

MIND OVER MATTER
probably Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
no record

THE PROMISE YOU MADE
probably Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
no record

NOTHING COULD BE GOOD
Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb, Albhy Galuten
US copyright August 1981. album cut by Bee Gees, 1981

ECLIPSE
Maurice Gibb
US copyright August 1981. no record

REFLECTIONS
Maurice Gibb
US copyright August 1981. no record

CRYSTAL BAY
Maurice Gibb
US copyright November 1981. no record. same as the 1972 song of this title?

WARRIORS
Maurice Gibb
US copyright November 1981. no record

IN ROADS
Maurice Gibb
US copyright November 1981. no record

SISTERS
Maurice Gibb
US copyright November 1981. no record

HE MADE ME LAUGH
Don Black, Maurice Gibb
performed Dec 1981. no record

WHILE I’M HERE
Don Black, Maurice Gibb
1981. no record

A DUTCH TREAT
Barry Gibb, David English
screenplay treatment (not music). US copyright April 1982, created 1981

The compositions above are mostly songs for Living Eyes, some of which were actually written in the later part of 1980, and many instrumentals by Maurice. There are also two songs written by Maurice and top lyricist Don Black. Lastly, Barry and David English wrote a ‘treatment’— a story outline— for a movie to be called A Dutch Treat, which appears to be the basis for the 1988 film Hawks, which takes place in the Netherlands, thus the title.


recording sessions


Maurice Gibb

Maurice Gibb — probably keyboard, synthesizer
engineer: ?
producer: Maurice Gibb
possibly early 1981, Miami Beach

IMAGE OF SAMANTHA
Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo, instrumental
unreleased

FOLLOW MY LOVE
Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo, instrumental
unreleased

IN THE BEGINNING
Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo, instrumental
unreleased

STRINGS AND THINGS
Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo, instrumental
unreleased

HELLO, MY LOVE
Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo, instrumental
unreleased

These Maurice Gibb titles copyright in April 1981 are presumably the finished pieces for an instrumental album to be called Strings and Things that never appeared. The title ‘Image of Samantha’ seems to refer to his daughter, born in July 1980.

These pieces might date to the middle of 1980, but the US copyright gives the date of creation as 1981. Maurice probably did not work on this project at the same time as the Bee Gees Living Eyes but a date in January or February is possible.

One instrumental piece supposedly from this group has circulated on tape. It’s a very good melody played on synthesizer to a driving drum track rhythm. If this is genuine— and the melody does resemble a Maurice and Robin song ‘In and Out of Love’ from 1982— Maurice was definitely back from the dead and creative again.


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal, guitar
Don Felder — guitar (‘He’s a Liar’, ‘Paradise’, ‘Don’t Fall in Love with Me’, ‘Soldiers’, ‘Wildflower’)
Richard Tee — piano (‘Living Eyes’, ‘He’s a Liar’, ‘Paradise’,
    ‘Don’t Fall in Love with Me’, ‘Soldiers’, ‘I Still Love You’, ‘Nothing Could Be Good’)
Albhy Galuten — synthesizer (‘Living Eyes’, ‘He’s a Liar’, ‘Paradise’, ‘Soldiers’,
    ‘I Still Love You’, ‘Cryin’ Every Day’, ‘Be Who You Are’)
George Bitzer — piano (‘Living Eyes’, ‘Paradise’, ‘Wildflower’, ‘Nothing Could Be Good’);
    synthesizer (‘He’s a Liar’)
Harold Cowart — bass (all except ‘Cryin’ Every Day’, ‘Be Who You Are’)
Steve Gadd — drums (‘He’s a Liar’, ‘Paradise’, ‘Don’t Fall in Love with Me’, ‘Soldiers’,
    ‘I Still Love You’, ‘Nothing Could Be Good’)
Chuck Kirkpatrick — guitar (‘Living Eyes’, ‘Nothing Could Be Good’);
    sitar (‘I Still Love You’)
George Terry — guitar (‘Living Eyes’, ‘Be Who You Are’)
David Wolinski — keyboards (‘Be Who You Are’)
Bob Glaub — bass (‘Be Who You Are’)
Jeff Porcaro — drums (‘Living Eyes’, ‘Soldiers’, ‘Cryin’ Every Day’)
Russ Kunkel — drums (‘Wildflower’, ‘Cryin’ Every Day’, ‘Be Who You Are’)
Ralph McDonald — percussion (‘Living Eyes’, ‘He’s a Liar’, ‘Don’t Fall in Love with Me’)
Joe Galdo — drums (‘Be Who You Are’)
The Boneroo Horns and Brass Sextet
  Peter Graves (‘He’s a Liar’, ‘Don’t Fall in Love with Me’, ‘Be Who You Are’)
  Ken Faulk (‘He’s a Liar’, ‘Don’t Fall in Love with Me’, ‘Be Who You Are’)
  Brett Murphey (‘He’s a Liar’, ‘Don’t Fall in Love with Me’, ‘Be Who You Are’)
  Neil Bonsanti (‘He’s a Liar’)
  Don Bonsanti (‘He’s a Liar’)
  Whit Sidener (‘He’s a Liar’)
  Jerry Peel (‘Don’t Fall in Love with Me’, ‘Be Who You Are’)
  Greg Lonnman (‘Don’t Fall in Love with Me’, ‘Be Who You Are’)
  Ken Waldenpfuhl ‘Don’t Fall in Love with Me’, ‘Be Who You Are’)
strings arranged by Barry Gibb, Albhy Galuten, Maurice Gibb; concertmaster Gene Orloff
horns arranged by Barry Gibb, Albhy Galuten, Maurice Gibb
engineer: Karl Richardson, Don Gehman
producer: Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Karl Richardson, Albhy Galuten
February to June 1981, Middle Ear, Miami Beach;
  Criteria Studios, Miami (horns); Media Sound, New York (strings)

Some fans consider Living Eyes the worst Bee Gees album ever made. Not all fans agree of course; they never do. Those actually involved in making the album remember it as a contentious and musically unsatisfying experience.

Barry, Albhy, and Karl had perfected a production system with the Spirits Having Flown and Guilty albums that involved minimal input from Robin and Maurice during record making. That was not working here. Robin was now recording lead vocals and probably shaping some songs to his style. But the really new thing was that Maurice was sober and very active again on the studio floor and in the booth, to the astonishment of Albhy and Karl. Now there were just too many people in charge. Maurice and Karl got into an argument over musical direction. Albhy said years later that no one got what they wanted, or maybe Maurice did. But that’s probably not true either. Maurice liked the hands-on approach he had had in the Bee Gees before 1974, but Barry by now thought of the Bee Gees as a vocal group to be backed by the best session players possible. It must have been by Barry’s influence that he and Maurice played nothing but acoustic rhythm guitars that were almost lost in the mix, just like Barry’s guitar parts on Guilty. The disagreements ran so deep that for the next few years after Living Eyes the group split for record production into a team of Barry, Albhy, and Karl, and another team of Robin and Maurice. For songwriting however the three brothers still often worked together over the coming years.

Sometimes good music emerges even from duelling personalities, but that’s arguably not the case here. These musicians should sound like a tight band and they don’t. Judging by the disparate credits per song, they did not really play together, but dubbed their parts onto tracks. So-called demos have circulated that are actually early states of these same recordings with many of the dubs not yet put on. From them it is clear that the underlying tracks were recorded to unvarying mechanical beats. Even a drummer as good as Steve Gadd seems handcuffed by this and he can do little more than keep time and add the occasional awkward drum fill. All too often the many tracks of Rhodes electric piano, synthesizer, guitars, and strings and horns jockey for position, and nothing stands out from the bland background noise. Don Felder’s electric guitar occasionally breaks through the swamp of sound.

The opening song ‘Living Eyes’ should be fairly remarkable as the brothers maintain three-part harmony throughout a difficult minor key melody that teeters on the edge of pop sensibility. But the lifeless instrumental backing fails it, and so does the synthesizer vocal blend edited onto the beginning. ‘He’s a Liar’ has a great Barry vocal, and Don Felder keeps it interesting, but the rhythm section lacks punch. After this the vocals fall apart— and this on a Bee Gees album. Barry keeps propping himself up with falsetto or multitracking. On ‘Nothing Could Be Good’ he seems to be having trouble with control, going loud and soft on alternate words and phrases. Robin sounds even worse. His voice is badly recorded and he sings some very trembly notes indeed on ‘Don’t Fall in Love with Me’. On his one featured number Maurice has to cover more range than he’s comfortable with, but any charm this would have is undercut by going into group vocals repeatedly. Barry finally turns in another good vocal on a good song, ‘Be Who You Are’, but it’s a little late for it.

The instrumental tracks and vocals were recorded at Middle Ear, the horns at Criteria, and the strings at Media Sound in New York. The horns and strings were just sweetening added after the fact, not built into the arrangement the way the Bee Gees had done with Bill Shepherd. The last track ‘Be Who You Are’ has a lengthy pretentious overture with snips of melody from some of the other songs, conducted by the concertmaster (lead of the string section) Gene Orloff.

The order of recording is not known. The songs are grouped below by rhythm tracks.

CITY OF ANGELS
probably Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo, lead vocal Barry Gibb
unreleased

MIND OVER MATTER
probably Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo 4:30, lead vocal Barry Gibb
unreleased

THE PROMISE YOU MADE
probably Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo 3:14, lead vocal Barry Gibb
unreleased

The three songs above were not completed. In their available state they have melody but almost no lyrics. ‘The Promise You Made’ sounds pretty catchy even at this stage.

HE’S A LIAR
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo 4:00, lead vocal Barry Gibb
A side, September 1981; Living Eyes, 1981
stereo 4:00, instrumental
B side, September 1981
stereo 4:36 (long intro), lead vocal Barry Gibb
Rare Collection (Japan)

DON’T FALL IN LOVE WITH ME
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo 4:12, lead vocal Robin Gibb
Living Eyes, 1981

SOLDIERS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo 4:25, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Living Eyes, 1981

PARADISE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo 4:18, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
Living Eyes, 1981

I STILL LOVE YOU
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo 4:24, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
Living Eyes, 1981; B side, November 1981

NOTHING COULD BE GOOD
Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb, Albhy Galuten (1981)
about August 1981
stereo 4:09, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Living Eyes, 1981

The six songs above have Steve Gadd on drums and Harold Cowart on bass. These may be the first ones started as finished recordings. However ‘Nothing Could Be Good’ was not included on an early list of songs for the album, so if it was started early, it was finished late. ‘Soldiers’ also has drumming by Jeff Porcaro (see below).

‘He’s a Liar’ is the best of this lot. The others have none of its energy. ‘Don’t Fall in Love with Me’, ‘Paradise’, and ‘I Still Love You’ may have the three brothers singing together in natural voice, but the songs just don’t click. The music goes nowhere exciting and the lyrics are trite. The falsetto vocal on ‘Soldiers’ is inexplicable enough but it undercuts the song by making the words hard to understand. ‘Nothing Could Be Good’ has similar problems caused by the mannered vocal and also by the meandering melody. As usual though there are interesting moments in all these songs, and it is likely that in other circumstances better recordings could have been made out of this raw material.

The standard version of ‘He’s a Liar’ is 4:00 and appeared on the single and the album. An instrumental version was made from the same tracks for the B side of the single. These both start very suddenly on an edit. A version with a much longer instrumental intro, running 4:36, was first released on a German 12-inch single in 1981.

HEAT OF THE NIGHT
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo 4:02, lead vocal Barry Gibb
unreleased

‘Heat of the Night’ was dropped from the album lineup, replaced by ‘Nothing Could Be Good’. The drummer is unknown.

LIVING EYES
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo 4:16, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Living Eyes, 1981; A side, November 1981

CRYIN’ EVERY DAY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo 4:01, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
Living Eyes, 1981

Jeff Porcaro is the only drummer on ‘Living Eyes’. He and Steve Gadd both play on ‘Soldiers’, and he and Russ Kunkel both play on ‘Cryin’ Every Day’, which also has a drum track by ‘Solly Noid’, a homemade machine that played a real drum. These tracks may be later than the Steve Gadd tracks. George Terry plays guitar only on ‘Living Eyes’ and ‘Be Who You Are’ (see below). Chuck Kirkpatrick plays only on ‘Living Eyes’ (in this group) and on two others where his parts may be late overdubs.

‘Living Eyes’ is a good song musically and lyrically and the three-brother harmony works well on it. The arrangement and recording let it down. ‘Cryin’ Every Day’ has a nice pseudo-electronic beat but as a song it sounds as incomplete or compromised as most of them.

WILDFLOWER
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo 4:23, lead vocal Maurice Gibb
Living Eyes, 1981

BE WHO YOU ARE
Barry Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo 6:38, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Living Eyes, 1981

Russ Kunkel plays drums on the two tracks above, and he also played on ‘Cryin’ Every Day’. These may be the last tracks started for the album. Maurice would typically have avoided singing lead until Barry and Robin prevailed on him to sing one. ‘Wildflower’ still has Felder, Bitzer, and Cowart who play on some of the other tracks. Barry’s song ‘Be Who You Are’ has musicians on keyboard and bass who are on no other songs here, so it is an outlier of some sort, possibly the last song recorded.

These are two of the best songs on Living Eyes. ‘Wildflower’ runs a bit long with useless repeats of the bridge and last verse, but it still beats some of the other songs here. ‘Be Who You Are’ is an excellent song with Barry singing well in his normal voice. It’s tempting to say that it’s better because as a solo composition by Barry it was closer to one vision and less subject to meddling by the whole team.

HOLD HER IN YOUR HAND
Maurice Gibb, Barry Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo, lead vocal possibly Maurice Gibb
unreleased

HEART (STOP BEATING IN TIME)
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo 3:22, lead vocal Barry Gibb
unreleased

LOVING YOU IS KILLING ME
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo, lead vocal probably Barry Gibb or Robin Gibb
unreleased

The three above were recorded during the Living Eyes sessions but it is impossible to say where they fit in. Maurice re-recorded the country ballad ‘Hold Her in Your Hand’ for a film soundtrack in 1984. ‘Heart (Stop Beating in Time)’ was recorded by Leo Sayer in 1982. Leo was told it was written for him, but when Canadian singer Véronique Béliveau recorded it in 1984 with French lyrics as ‘Please (dis-moi c’que tu as)’ (on her album Transit) she was told it had been written for Andy Gibb.


Maurice Gibb

Maurice Gibb — probably keyboard, synthesizer
engineer: ?
producer: Maurice Gibb
mid 1981, Miami Beach

ECLIPSE
Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo, instrumental
unreleased

REFLECTIONS
Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo, instrumental
unreleased

These two pieces were copyright in August 1981, together with the Bee Gees’ ‘Nothing Could Be Good’. Therefore it appears that Maurice created them during the Living Eyes sessions or just after them. They are probably instrumentals.


Flower

Kathleen Dyson — vocal, guitar
Andy Gibb — vocal
others unknown
engineer: David Chackler, Bob Hughes
producer: Joe La Greca, Philippe Renaux, David Chackler
1981, Montreal Sound, Montreal, and Jennifudy Studios, Los Angeles

HERE INSIDE
Philippe Renaux, Kathleen Dyson (1981)
undated 1981
stereo 2:36, lead vocal Kathleen Dyson
Flower, 1982

Andy sang backup vocals on this song by a Canadian band, at the studio in Los Angeles where the band recorded the vocals and instrumental overdubs. He is credited as ‘background vocals arranged and sung by Andy Gibb and Flower’. Kathleen Dyson, also known as Kat Dyson, was better known later. She played guitar with Prince in the 1990s and with Cyndi Lauper in the 2000s, with her own band Colour Kommentary, and with many other artists as a session or tour player. She also sings with the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir. Philippe Renaux was a French dance music producer.

Barry, Robin, and Maurice had nothing to do with this recording.


Andy Gibb and Victoria Principal

Andy Gibb — vocal
Victoria Principal — vocal
others unknown
arranged by Leon Pendarvis
engineer: ?
producer: Andy Gibb, Michael Barbiero
mid 1981, Los Angeles

ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM
Boudleaux Bryant (1958)
undated 1981
stereo 2:35, lead vocal Andy Gibb, Victoria Principal
A side, August 1981

WILL YOU LOVE ME TOMORROW
Gerry Goffin, Carole King (1961)
undated 1981
stereo, lead vocal Andy Gibb, Victoria Principal
unreleased

Andy recorded a vanity single of the Everly Brothers hit ‘All I Have to Do Is Dream’ with his new love, actress Victoria Principal. Andy takes two short solos, but most of it is a smooth duet. He apparently had no new material to record and used an old song for the B side. This would be his last single.

Andy told the press that he and Victoria had also recorded a second song, ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’, for a followup single. This never appeared. He had just recorded the same song in 1980 with P P Arnold and it had been released on Andy Gibb’s Greatest Hits— but music had little to do with this.

While Barry, Robin, and Maurice certainly had nothing to do with these recordings, in a way they did. They had sung both songs in their early days and Andy may have learned them from his brothers rather than from the originals.


Maurice Gibb

Maurice Gibb — probably keyboard, synthesizer
engineer: ?
producer: Maurice Gibb
second half 1981, Miami Beach

CRYSTAL BAY
Maurice Gibb (1981 or 1972)
undated 1981
stereo, instrumental
unreleased

WARRIORS
Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo, instrumental
unreleased

IN ROADS
Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo, instrumental
unreleased

SISTERS
Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo, instrumental
unreleased

Possibly for a film project. These were all copyright November 1981 and probably created within the previous few months.

Maurice wrote a song called ‘Crystal Bay’ in 1972 with Billy Lawrie, but this is a new copyright as if this now is a different composition.


Maurice Gibb

Marti Webb — vocal
others
engineer: ?
producer: Maurice Gibb
1981, Miami Beach

HE MADE ME LAUGH
Don Black, Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo (demo), lead vocal Marti Webb
unreleased

WHILE I’M HERE
Don Black, Maurice Gibb (1981)
undated 1981
stereo (demo), lead vocal Marti Webb
unreleased

Don Black still recalls writing these two songs at Maurice’s house over a few days in 1981, and recalls Marti Webb, a stage actress, singing demos of them. He says Maurice really liked ‘He Made Me Laugh’. Marti Webb sang it on an episode of the BBC television show The Two Ronnies, 19 Dec 1981. Unfortunately the two songs were never released on disk.


selected record releases


Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb : single
US: Columbia, January 1981

A WHAT KIND OF FOOL
B THE LOVE INSIDE

Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb : single
UK: CBS, January 1981

A WHAT KIND OF FOOL
B MAKE IT LIKE A MEMORY

The third single off the Barbra Streisand album. Barry vocals and guitar on ‘What Kind of Fool’ only. Number 10 in Billboard, with lots of radio play.

CD: Both on Guilty.


Andy Gibb : single
US: RSO, February 1981; UK: RSO, February 1981

A ME (WITHOUT YOU)
B MELODY (1978)

A second single off Andy Gibb’s Greatest Hits. Barry on backing vocals on ‘Me’. The B side is yet again from Shadow Dancing. Number 40 in Billboard, nothing in Britain.

CD: ‘Me’ on Andy Gibb and Andy Gibb Millennium Collection. ‘Melody’ on Shadow Dancing.


Barbra Streisand : single
US: Columbia, May 1981

A PROMISES
B MAKE IT LIKE A MEMORY

Barbra Streisand : single
UK: CBS, May 1981

A PROMISES
B NEVER GIVE UP

Not a hit— this cow had now been milked. Barry on backing vocals on ‘Promises’.

CD: Both on Guilty.


Andy Gibb and Victoria Principal : single
US: RSO, February 1981; UK: RSO, February 1981

A ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM
B GOOD FEELING (1978)

Andy’s last single. Some fans and others were scandalized at his love affair with a woman twelve years older than him. ‘All I Have to Do Is Dream’ was talked about and mocked, but rarely played. As if to blot out the memory, it has never been reissued on any LP or CD. For all that it is not dreadfully bad, just nothing special musically.

The B side was incredibly yet another song from Shadow Dancing, and with this, all ten songs had appeared on singles in the US or UK.

CD: ‘Good Feeling’ on Shadow Dancing.


Bee Gees : single
US: RSO, September 1981; UK: RSO, September 1981

A HE’S A LIAR
B HE’S A LIAR (instrumental)

The first Bee Gees single in two years, an eternity in those days. It reached only number 30 in Billboard and did nothing in Britain.

There are many reasons this single failed. Radio stations and the other media that drive public taste had moved on from the Barry Gibb mania of a few years before. At work here was something more than pop’s normal preference for something new: an anti-disco backlash was now in fashion, making it hard to sell an artist who had been involved with disco. At the same time RSO was not in a good position to sell any record. Promotional staff had been drastically cut to the bone in mid year, because they had had little product to sell. It has been said too that some were less than enthusiastic in promoting the Bee Gees because of the lawsuits, which were just being settled. In light of the suits a title like ‘He’s a Liar’ was a bit provocative.

Besides all the politics, the song sounded nothing like the Bee Gees of the late 1970s. It did sound a little like songs on Main Course, the last time Barry sang full out in natural voice, but that was now six years past.

CD: ‘He’s a Liar’ (vocal) on Living Eyes. A version with a longer instrumental intro is on Rare Collection (Polydor, Japan).


Bee Gees : Living Eyes
US: RSO, October 1981; UK: RSO, October 1981

A 1 LIVING EYES
A 2 HE’S A LIAR
A 3 PARADISE
A 4 DON’T FALL IN LOVE WITH ME
A 5 SOLDIERS

B 1 I STILL LOVE YOU
B 2 WILDFLOWER
B 3 NOTHING COULD BE GOOD
B 4 CRYIN’ EVERY DAY
B 5 BE WHO YOU ARE

With this album, the Bee Gees completely rejected ‘disco’ and began reinventing their sound. For this they should be praised, but for reasons mentioned above this first experiment did not fully succeed on an artistic level. Only one song (‘Soldiers’) is in falsetto, and the voices of Robin and Maurice are finally heard again as occasional lead singers. Music critics said little about it, and on the album charts it crept up only to 41 in the US and 73 in Britain. ‘It was a turkey’, Robin said years later.

A cassette filed in the US copyright office in July 1981 contains the album in a different order and with one song different:

HE’S A LIAR
DON’T FALL IN LOVE WITH ME
SOLDIERS
HEAT OF THE NIGHT
LIVING EYES

PARADISE
I STILL LOVE YOU
WILDFLOWER
CRYIN’ EVERY DAY
BE WHO YOU ARE

Living Eyes was the first album manufactured in CD format for demonstration purposes, as seen on the BBC program Tomorrow’s World in 1981. It would also be the first Bee Gees album to be released on CD, in early 1983 when CDs first reached the market. Not many were manufactured. Even with later batches Living Eyes has never been easy to find on CD except in Japan, where it has been reissued repeatedly over the years.

CD: All on Living Eyes.


Elaine Paige
UK: WEA, October 1981

  SECRETS

Elaine Paige’s untitled second album included the first release of a good song left over from Guilty.


Olivia Newton-John : Physical
US: MCA, October 1981; UK, MCA, October 1981

  CARRIED AWAY

The first release of another song left over from Guilty. The title song ‘Physical’, a big hit for Olivia, was co-written by Steve Kipner (ex Tin Tin).


Bee Gees : single
US: RSO, November 1981; UK: RSO, November 1981

A LIVING EYES
B I STILL LOVE YOU

The second Bee Gees single off Living Eyes did even less well than the first. Fans already had the two songs.

CD: Both on Living Eyes.