2 Years On was the eighth album released by English rock band Bee Gees and their sixth international release. This LP was released in November 1970. The album reached No. 32 on the US charts, and sold 375,000 copies worldwide. The album saw the return of Robin Gibb to the group after the earlier disagreement and subsequent split following Odessa. 2 Years On was also the first album to feature drummer Geoff Bridgford, who remained a full-time member of the group until 1972. The best-known track is "Lonely Days". Released as the first single by the reunited brothers, it charted high in the US No. 3 in Billboard, No. 1 in rival chart Cashbox, but peaked at No. 33 in the United Kingdom.
On March 1969, Robin announced that he was leaving the band. In June, he released his debut single "Saved by the Bell", which reached No. 2 on the UK charts. In August, drummer Colin Petersen was fired and was replaced by Terry Cox to complete the album Cucumber Castle. Before the album was released, Barry and Maurice announced that the Bee Gees had split in December 1969. The pair released singles, "Railroad" by Maurice and "I'll Kiss Your Memory" by Barry, but their albums The Loner and The Kid's No Good remain unreleased until this day. During the temporary break-up of the group, Maurice appeared in London musical theatre Sing a Rude Song. Maurice recalls: "We got fed up with all the lawyers fighting over our assets, so we walked out of this big summit meeting and started the group again".
Robin and Maurice reunited in June 1970 with new drummer Geoff Bridgford, who was drummer of the Bee Gees until 1972. They recorded four songs, including "Sincere Relation" and "Lay It on Me". "We Can Lift a Mountain" was also re-recorded, a song from 1968. After that, Maurice joined the supergroup The Bloomfields with Billy Lawrie, and worked with Tin Tin. In August, Maurice and Robin announced that the Bee Gees were back with or without Barry's participation, and fourteen songs were recorded including "Back Home" and "I'm Weeping". On 21 August, the three Bee Gees came together to continue recording as Barry announced, "The Bee Gees are there and they will never, ever part again". He continues, "If a solo record comes out, it will be with enthusiasm and great support of each of us. We are a musical establishment". While Maurice, on the other hand, recalls: "We just discussed it and re-formed".
Around the same time, Barry's "The Day Your Eyes Meet Mine" was withdrawn at the last minute in the USA for single release, while Polydor planned to release "One Bad Thing" as a single by 2 October (probably in Europe and Asia). Despite Barry's longing to prove himself as a solo artist, it was decided instead that the next single should be performed by the Bee Gees as they reunited around the same time.
Despite the album marking the musical reunion of the Bee Gees, only three songs credited all three Gibb brothers as composers: the single "Lonely Days", its flip side "Man For All Seasons", and "Back Home". Maurice sings on all songs, but Barry and Robin are only on the ones they wrote or co-wrote. In the August sessions, they also recorded "You Got to Lose It In the End", "Little Red Train", "Sweet Summer Rain", "Melody Fair" (originally released on Odessa) and "Maybe Tomorrow".