1988


The new year 1988 looked promising for the Bee Gees. The E S P album had done well in most of the world and the brothers were eager to start on a follow-up. But before that, Barry had to finish up a film score for a project he and David English had conceived, a movie now called Hawks, and the Bee Gees were due to record a song for the 1988 Olympics that would be featured during the NBC (US) broadcasts and included in a special album.

Then, in March, disaster. Barry had arranged for Island Records in England to sign Andy, but when Andy went to England at the start of the year, he panicked. He missed meetings with the record company and blamed himself for his trouble writing songs. The deal was never signed. Andy checked into a hospital in February and then left. He began drinking heavily. On March 5, his thirtieth birthday, he was hospitalized again for chest pains, and on March 10 he died. The cause of death was viral myocarditis, not a drug overdose as is sometimes said, but still his years of drug and alcohol abuse contributed to his weakened condition. His hits must have seemed like a long time ago, but he was still very young.

Barry, Robin, and Maurice were hit hard by the loss. Maurice relapsed into drinking. The three at first tried to find some outlet in recording. They completed the commissioned song for the Olympics, the hopeful ‘Shape of Things to Come’. Another song they wrote, ‘Wish You Were Here’, was explicitly for Andy. But they soon gave it up and took six months off. Recording for the next Bee Gees album did not resume until November, and did not finish till 1989.


songs


TOKYO NIGHTS
Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
(rewritten as Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb)
album cut by Bee Gees, 1989

CELEBRATION DE LA VIE (THEME FROM HAWKS)
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Barry Gibb, 1988

CHILDHOOD DAYS
Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A side by Barry Gibb, August 1988; album cut by Barry Gibb, 1988

WING AND A PRAYER
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
B side by Bee Gees, March 1989

ORDINARY LIVES
[ CRUEL WORLD ]
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A side by Bee Gees, March 1989; album cut by Bee Gees, 1989

WISH YOU WERE HERE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1989

SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1988

ONE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1989; A side by Bee Gees, June 1989

FLESH AND BLOOD
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1989; B side by Bee Gees, June 1989

BODYGUARD
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1989


recording sessions


Bee Gees

Robin Gibb — vocals
Maurice Gibb — keyboard
Scott Glasel — programming
engineer: Maurice Gibb, Scott Glasel
producer: Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb
January 1988, probably Panther House, Miami Beach

TOKYO NIGHTS
Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1988)
undated 1988
stereo demo, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased

Copyright January 19 with only Robin and Maurice as writers, this was probably something the twins worked up as a demo without Barry present. The song was copyright again in March 1989 with Barry added. This first version is unknown.


Barry Gibb

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Maurice Gibb — keyboard
Scott Shapiro — guitar
Scott Glasel — programming
engineer: Brian Tench; Scott Glasel
producer: Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Brian Tench
about February 1988, Middle Ear, Miami Beach

CELEBRATION DE LA VIE (THEME FROM HAWKS)
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1988)
undated 1988
stereo 3:33, instrumental
Hawks, 1988

CHILDHOOD DAYS
Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1988)
undated 1988
stereo 3:33, lead vocal Barry Gibb
A side, August 1988; Hawks, 1988

Two new songs for the soundtrack album of the film Hawks, copyright February 5 and February 29.

This was a Barry Gibb project but Maurice worked on the recordings. ‘Celebration de la Vie’ was an instrumental that was re-made with orchestration by John Cameron for the film score. ‘Childhood Days’ was a very good guitar ballad that has been sadly overlooked because of the limited distribution of the soundtrack album.


George Harrison

George Harrison — vocal, guitar
Dhani Harrison — vocal
David English — vocal
Ravi Shankar — sitar
others unknown
engineer:
producer: George Harrison
March 1988, FPSHOT, Henley on Thames, and unknown studio, London

RIDE RAJBUN
George Harrison, David English (1988)
March 1988
stereo, lead vocal George Harrison, David English
The Bunbury Tails, 1992

This is the only special Bunburys recording that the Gibb brothers did not work on, but since it does feature co-creator David English as writer and as the spoken voice of the Katman of Katmandu, here it is anyway. This was George Harrison’s first opportunity to work with Ravi Shankar in many years. Harrison’s son Dhani, age 9, sings high harmony vocals. Recording was done within a few days’ time at Harrison’s home studio FPSHOT and at a studio in London. Weeks later, in Los Angeles, George began the Travelling Wilburys sessions, the name possibly inspired by the Bunburys.


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal, keyboard, synthesizer, guitar
Scott Glasel — programming
engineer: Brian Tench; Scott Glasel
producer: Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb, Brian Tench
April and May 1988

These are the recordings made shortly after Andy’s death.

WING AND A PRAYER
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1988)
undated 1988
stereo 4:05, lead vocal Barry Gibb
B side, March 1989

Another overlooked recording, this was the B side of ‘One’ and was used as a bonus cut on the One album in some countries. Maurice plays everything except sequencers by Barry and Scott Glasel. Copyright April 21.

ORDINARY LIVES
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1988)
undated 1988
stereo 4:01, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
A side, March 1989; One, 1989

Scott Glasel recalled that ‘Ordinary Lives’ was started before Andy died, but as completed it seems to be a philosophical comment on life and death. For a time it was called ‘Cruel World’, a phrase heard at the start of the second verse as completed. The rhythm has some similarity to ‘You Win Again’ and may have been a deliberate attempt to follow it up. But it has many new features including the brief spoken word parts and the existential musings of the lyrics, something often associated with Robin but clearly here coming from Barry. Probably the finished recording has added dubs by the musicians who worked on One (see below). Copyright May 9.

WISH YOU WERE HERE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1988)
undated 1988
stereo 4:44, lead vocal Barry Gibb
One, 1989

The one song explicitly about Andy starts quietly with carousel music, because Andy liked carousels. Later on Barry tried a few times to sing ‘Wish You Were Here’ at Bee Gees shows but always had trouble getting through it. But he handled the vocal very well in the studio. Again the finished recording probably has dubs done later on. Copyright May 26. Robin recorded a variant version in 2002.

SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1988)
undated 1988
stereo 4:20, lead vocal Barry Gibb
One Moment in Time, 1988

Copyright the same day as ‘Wish You Were Here’, ‘Shape of Things to Come’ was the Bee Gees’ contribution to the 1988 Olympics album. Barry was singing very strong on all the songs so far, and his lower range here sounds almost like Maurice. But he also takes this song up into a falsetto harmony reminiscent of ‘Stayin’ Alive’. The personnel credit on the Olympics album mentions only the three brothers.


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal, keyboards, synthesizer, guitar
Peter-John Vettese — keyboards, synthesizer
Tim Cansfield — guitar
Nathan East — bass
Steve Ferrone — drums
Scott Glasel — programming
engineer: Brian Tench; Scott Glasel
producer: Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Brian Tench
November and December 1988, Mayfair Studios, London

The real start of the Bee Gees album One, after the attempt six months earlier.

ONE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1988)
undated 1988
stereo 4:55, lead vocal Barry Gibb
One, 1989; A side, June 1989
stereo 4:15, lead vocal Barry Gibb
12-inch single 1989
stereo 3:50, lead vocal Barry Gibb
12-inch single, 1989
stereo (club mix), lead vocal Barry Gibb
12-inch single, 1989
stereo (dub mix), lead vocal Barry Gibb
12-inch single, 1989
stereo (edit remix), lead vocal Barry Gibb
12-inch single, 1989
stereo (dance mix), lead vocal Barry Gibb
12-inch single, 1989

FLESH AND BLOOD
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1988)
undated 1988
stereo 4:43, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
One, 1989; B side, June 1989

The two songs filed for copyright on November 28 were worthy additions to ‘Ordinary Lives’ and ‘Wish You Were Here’, the start of the new album. ‘One’ was a blatant attempt at a hit single, with a good groove and a melody reminiscent of ‘Jive Talking’. As with ‘E S P’ the song had an amazing number of ‘remix’ versions for 12-inch and promo singles.

Barry continued to turn in excellent natural voice vocals throughout the album. The second song ‘Flesh and Blood’ featured both Robin and Barry on vocals. Robin runs from restraint to his quacking ‘soul’ voice as the song progresses, and the two do a good duo vocal as well, unlike anything on E S P.

BODYGUARD
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1988)
undated 1988
stereo 5:20, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
One, 1989

The last song of 1988, filed on December 16, also featured Robin and Barry singing different parts of the song. The two now seemed to be working well together. ‘Bodyguard’ had the kind of risqué lyrics they both liked. It would get radio play later.


selected record releases


Bee Gees : single
UK: Warner Bros, February 1988.

A CRAZY FOR YOUR LOVE
B YOU WIN AGAIN

The last UK-only single from E S P barely dented the top 100. The B side was a remixed version of ‘You Win Again’. In Germany the A side was ‘Angela’ instead, but it did little better.


One Moment in Time
US: Arista, August 1988; UK: Arista, August 1988.

  Bee Gees : SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME
  The Bunburys : FIGHT (NO MATTER HOW LONG)

The Gibb brothers contributed two songs to the 1988 Olympics album, known as One Moment in Time and in the US also as The NBC Olympics Album. One was ‘Shape of Things to Come’, the only new Bee Gees recording released in 1988. The other was a Bunburys recording with Eric Clapton from 1986.


The Bunburys : single
US: Arista, August 1988.

A FIGHT (NO MATTER HOW LONG)
B FIGHT (NO MATTER HOW LONG) (instrumental)

The Bunburys : single
UK: Island, January 1989.

A FIGHT (NO MATTER HOW LONG)
B WE’RE THE BUNBURYS

The Bunburys single ‘Fight (No Matter How Long)’ with its obvious vocal and guitar by Eric Clapton was handled differently in North America and Britain. Arista issued it as a single in August with an instrumental version on the B side. In Britain it was made into a children’s book with record like the first Bunburys single, the book again featuring a story by David English with illustrations by Jan Brychta. The B side this time was not David reading the story but a reissue of ‘We’re the Bunburys’, for those who hadn’t bought the theme song the first time.


Barry Gibb : single
UK: Polydor, August 1988.

A CHILDHOOD DAYS
B MOONLIGHT MADNESS

The lead single for the Hawks soundtrack. ‘Childhood Days’ was an excellent song but did not chart in Britain. It reached number 60 in Germany.


Barry Gibb : Hawks
UK: Polydor, September 1988.

01 SYSTEM OF LOVE
02 CHILDHOOD DAYS
03 MOONLIGHT MADNESS
04 MY ETERNAL LOVE
05 WHERE TOMORROW IS
06 CELEBRATION DE LA VIE (THEME FROM HAWKS)
07 Diana Ross : CHAIN REACTION (1985)
08 COVER YOU
09 NOT IN LOVE AT ALL
10 LETTING GO

The soundtrack album for Hawks, credited as ‘Barry Gibb / music from the original soundtrack’, that is as a Barry Gibb album. It was not released in North America. Seven of the ten songs were from Barry’s unreleased album of 1986. The other three were the Diana Ross recording of ‘Chain Reaction’ from 1985 and the new 1988 recordings ‘Childhood Days’ and ‘Celebration de la Vie’.

The songs ‘Where Tomorrow Is’, ‘Not in Love at All’, and ‘Letting Go’ were not in the film and were noted on the CD as ‘bonus track not featured in the film’. Additionally these recordings of ‘Moonlight Madness’, ‘Cover You’, and ‘Celebration de la Vie’ are not in the film either, but appear instead as instrumental versions.

Hawks was written by Roy Clarke and directed by Robert Ellis Miller. The cast was led by Timothy Dalton and Anthony Edwards, and Janet McTeer and Camille Coduri. It was a ‘Barry Gibb / David English presentation’. The film score was by John Cameron with songs by Barry.