Bee Gees

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Bee Gees
Bee Gees 1977.JPG
Bee Gees in 1978 (top to bottom) Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb
Background information
Genres R&B, disco, soft rock, psychedelic rock, psychedelic pop, baroque pop, blue-eyed soul[1]
Years active 1958–2003
Labels Leedon, Festival, Polydor, Atco, RSO, Warner Bros.
Past members Principal:
Barry Gibb
Robin Gibb
Maurice Gibb
Colin Petersen
Vince Melouney
Geoff Bridgford

The Bee Gees were a pop music group that was formed in 1958. The group's line-up consisted of brothers Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. The trio were successful for most of their decades of recording music, but they had two distinct periods of exceptional success: as a pop-rock ballad act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and as prominent performers of pop mainstream disco music era in the late 1970s. The group sang recognisable three-part tight harmonies; Robin's clear vibrato lead vocals were a hallmark of their earlier hits, while Barry's R&B falsetto became their signature sound during the late 1970s and 1980s. They wrote all of their own hits, as well as writing and producing several major hits for other artists.

Born on the Isle of Man to English parents, the Gibb brothers lived in Chorlton, Manchester, England, until the late 1950s. The family then moved to Cribb Island, in Queensland, Australia, then moved to Redcliffe, where the brothers began their music careers.[2] After achieving their first chart success in Australia with "Spicks and Specks" (their 12th single), they returned to the United Kingdom in January 1967 where producer Robert Stigwood began promoting them to a worldwide audience.

The Bee Gees have sold more than 120 million records worldwide, making them one of the world's best-selling music artists of all time.[3] They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997;[4] the presenter of the award to "Britain's first family of harmony" was Brian Wilson, historical leader of the Beach Boys, a "family act" also featuring three harmonising brothers.[5] The Bee Gees' Hall of Fame citation says "Only Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold the Bee Gees."[6]

Following Maurice's death in January 2003, Barry and Robin retired the group's name after 45 years of activity. In 2009 Robin announced that he and Barry had agreed that the Bee Gees would re-form and perform again.[7] Robin died in May 2012 after a prolonged struggle with cancer.[8]


1955–66: Formation and Australia popularity[edit]

In 1955, Barry Gibb along with his brothers Robin and Maurice Gibb moved back to their father Hugh Gibb's home town of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, England where they went to Oswald Road Primary School, and they formed a skiffle/rock-and-roll group The Rattlesnakes, which consisted of Barry on guitar and vocals, Robin and Maurice on vocals, with friends Paul Frost on drums and Kenny Horrocks on tea-chest bass. In December 1957 the boys began to sing in harmony. The story is told that they were going to lip sync to a record in the local Gaumont cinema (as other children had done on previous weeks) and as they were running to the theatre, the fragile shellac 78-RPM record broke. The brothers had to sing live and received such a positive response from the audience that they decided to pursue a singing career.[9] In May 1958 The Rattlesnakes were disbanded when Frost and Horrocks left to form Wee Johnny Hayes and the Blue Cats.

In August 1958 the Gibb family, including infant brother Andy, emigrated to Redcliffe, just north-east of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. The young brothers began performing to raise pocket money. They were introduced to leading Brisbane radio DJ Bill Gates by speedway promoter and driver Bill Goode, who had hired the brothers to entertain the crowd at the Redcliffe Speedway in 1960. Gates renamed them the BG's (later changed to "Bee Gees") after his, Goode's, and Barry Gibb's initials—thus the name was not specifically a reference to "Brothers Gibb", despite popular belief.[10]

By 1960 the Bee Gees were featured on television shows. In the next few years they began working regularly at resorts on the Queensland coast. In 1962, the Bee Gees were the support act on Chubby Checker's concert in Sydney Stadium.[11]

For his songwriting, Barry sparked the interest of Australian star Col Joye, who helped them get a record deal in 1963 with Festival Records subsidiary Leedon Records under the name "Bee Gees". The three released two or three singles a year, while Barry supplied additional songs to other Australian artists. From 1963 to 1966 the Gibb family lived at 171 Bunnerong Road, Maroubra in Sydney.[12] A minor hit in 1965, "Wine and Women", led to the group's first LP The Bee Gees Sing and Play 14 Barry Gibb Songs. By 1966 Festival was, however, on the verge of dropping them from the Leedon roster because of their perceived lack of commercial success. It was at this time that they met American-born songwriter, producer and entrepreneur, Nat Kipner, who had just been appointed A&R manager of a new independent label, Spin Records. Kipner briefly took over as the group's manager and successfully negotiated their transfer to Spin in exchange for Festival being granted the Australian distribution rights to the group's recordings.[citation needed] Through Kipner the Bee Gees met engineer-producer, Ossie Byrne. He produced (or co-produced with Kipner) many of the earlier Spin recordings, most of which were cut at his own small self-built St Clair Studio in the Sydney suburb of Hurstville. Byrne gave the Gibb brothers virtually unlimited access to St Clair Studio over a period of several months in mid-1966. The group later acknowledged that this enabled them to greatly improve their skills as recording artists. During this productive time they recorded a large batch of original material—including the song that would become their first major hit, "Spicks and Specks" (on which Byrne played the trumpet coda)—as well as cover versions of current hits by overseas acts such as The Beatles. They regularly collaborated with other local musicians, including members of beat band Steve & The Board, led by Steve Kipner, Nat's teenage son.

Frustrated by their lack of success, the Gibbs decided to return to England in late 1966. Ossie Byrne travelled with them, and Colin Petersen, who eventually became the group's drummer, followed soon after. While at sea in January 1967, they learned that "Spicks and Specks" had been awarded Best Single of the Year by Go-Set, Australia's most popular and influential music newspaper.

1967–68: International fame and touring years[edit]

Bee Gees' 1st, Horizontal, and Idea[edit]

The Bee Gees in 1967 (left to right: Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Vince Melouney, Maurice Gibb, and Colin Petersen)

Before their departure from Australia to England, Hugh Gibb sent demos to Brian Epstein, a promoter who managed The Beatles and directed NEMS, a British music store. Brian Epstein passed the demo tapes to Robert Stigwood, who had recently joined NEMS. After an audition with Stigwood in February 1967, The Bee Gees signed a five-year contract whereby Polydor Records would release their records in the UK and Atco Records would do so in the US. Work quickly began on the group's first international album, and Stigwood launched a promotional campaign to coincide with its release.

Stigwood proclaimed that the Bee Gees were "The Most Significant New Talent of 1967", thus initiating the comparison of The Bee Gees to The Beatles. Before recording the first album they added Colin Petersen and Vince Melouney to make the group as a band.[13] "New York Mining Disaster 1941", their second British single (their first-issued UK 45 rpm was "Spicks and Specks"), was issued to radio stations with a blank white label listing only the song title. Some DJs immediately assumed this was a new single by The Beatles and started playing the song in heavy rotation. This helped the song climb into the Top 20 in both the UK and US. No such chicanery was needed to boost The Bee Gees' second single, "To Love Somebody", into the US Top 20. Originally written for Otis Redding, "To Love Somebody", a soulful ballad sung by Barry, has since become a pop standard covered by many artists including The Flying Burrito Brothers, Rod Stewart, Bonnie Tyler, Janis Joplin, The Animals, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Nina Simone, Jimmy Somerville, Billy Corgan, and Michael Bolton. Another single, "Holiday", was released in the US, peaking at No. 16. The parent album, Bee Gees 1st (their first internationally), peaked at No. 7 in the US and No. 8 in the UK. Bill Shepherd was credited as the arranger. After recording that album, the band recorded their first BBC session at the Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue, in London, with Bill Bebb as the producer, and they performed, "New York Mining Disaster", "One Minute Woman", and "Cucumber Castle". At that time, the band made their first British TV appearance on Top of the Pops as Maurice recalled:

Jimmy Savile was on it and that was amazing because we'd seen pictures of him in The Beatles fan club book, so we thought we were really there! That show had Lulu, us, The Move, and The [Rolling] Stones doing 'Let's Spend the Night Together'. You have to remember this was really before the superstar was invented so you were all in it together.

The three-part Gibb harmony was compared to The Beatles, although Bee Gees fans familiar with the voices have not always agreed. On 31 December 1967, the band finished the year off with their Christmas Eve special How on Earth? Ten days earlier, at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, the program was broadcast at 6:35 PM and they performed their own song "Thank You For Christmas" (which was recorded in the Horizontal sessions but was not released until 2008) and also "Silent Night" and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing". The folk group The Settlers also performed on the same program and were conducted by The Very Reverend Edward H. Patey, Dean of the Cathedral.[14][page needed]

[13] In late 1967, they began recording for the second album. January 1968 began with a promotional trip to the United States. The Los Angeles Police Department was on alert in anticipation of a Beatles-type reception and special security arrangements were being put in place. In February, Horizontal repeated the success of their first album, featuring the No. 1 UK single "Massachusetts" (a No. 11 US hit), and the No. 7 UK single "World". The sound of the album Horizontal had a more "rock" sound than their previous release, though ballads like "And the Sun Will Shine" and "Really and Sincerely" were also prominent. The Horizontal album reached No. 12 in the US, and No. 16 in the UK. Promoting the record, the band made their first appearance on US television on The Smothers Brothers Show on CBS. Tommy Smothers had first encountered the band on a trip to London, and became their friend as well as a fan. That evening, Tommy wore a shirt which Maurice had bought for him at The Beatles' Apple Boutique. With the release of Horizontal, they also embarked on a Scandinavian tour with concerts in Copenhagen. On 27 February 1968, the band, backed by the 17-piece Massachusetts String Orchestra, began their first tour of Germany with two concerts at Hamburg Musikhalle. The band was supported by Procol Harum (who had a well-known hit "A Whiter Shade of Pale"). As Robin's partner Molly Hullis recalls: "Germans were wilder than the fans in England at the heights of Beatlemania." The tour schedule took them to 11 venues in as many days with 18 concerts played, finishing with a brace of shows at the Braunschewig Stadhalle. After that, the group was off to Switzerland. As Maurice described it, "There were over 5,000 kids at the airport in Zurich. The entire ride to Bern, the kids were waving Union Jacks. When we got to the hotel, the police weren't there to meet us and the kids crushed the car. We were inside and the windows were all getting smashed in, and we were on the floor". On 17 March, the band performed on The Ed Sullivan Show performing "Words". The other artists who performed on the same day are Lucille Ball, George Hamilton, and Fran Jeffries.[15] On 27 March 1968, the band performed at the Royal Albert Hall.[14][page needed]

The Bee Gees performing on Dutch television Twien in 1968

Two more singles followed in early 1968, the ballad "Words" (No. 15 US, No. 8 UK) and the double A-sided single "Jumbo" b/w "The Singer Sang His Song". "Jumbo" was the Bee Gees' least successful single to date only reaching No. 57 in the US, and No. 25 in the UK. The Bee Gees felt that "The Singer Sang His Song" was the stronger of the two sides, an opinion shared by listeners in the Netherlands who made it a No. 3 hit. Further Bee Gees chart singles followed: "I've Gotta Get a Message to You" (No. 8 US, No. 1 UK) and "I Started a Joke" (No. 6 US), both culled from the band's third album Idea. Idea was another Top 20 album in the US (No. 17) and the UK (No. 4). Following the tour and TV special to promote the album, Vince Melouney left the group, feeling that he wanted to play more of a blues style music than the Gibbs were writing. Melouney did achieve one feat while with the Bee Gees – his composition "Such a Shame" (from Idea) is the only song on any Bee Gees album not written by a Gibb brother. The group also filmed a television special with Frankie Howerd called Frankie Howerd Meets The Bee Gees, written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. This gave the group the opportunity to show their own comedy skills in sketches with Howerd. The band were due to begin a seven-week tour of the United States on 2 August 1968, but on 27 July, Robin collapsed and fell unconscious. He was admitted to a London nursing home suffering from nervous exhaustion and the American tour was postponed.[14][page needed] The band started to record their sixth album and this resulted in spending a week recording at Atlantic Studios in New York. Robin, not feeling well, missed the New York sessions, but the rest of the band put away instrumental tracks and demos.[16]

Odessa, Cucumber Castle and break-up[edit]

By 1969, the cracks began to show within the group as Robin began to feel that Stigwood had been favouring Barry as the frontman. Their next album, which was to have been a concept album called Masterpeace, evolved into the double-album Odessa. Most rock critics felt this was the best Bee Gees album of the 1960s with its progressive rock feel on the title track, the country-flavoured "Marley Purt Drive" and "Give Your Best", and ballads such as "Melody Fair" and "First of May"; (the last of which became the only single from the album and was a minor hit). Feeling that the flipside, "Lamplight" should have been the A-side, Robin quit the group in mid-1969 and launched a solo career, seeing brief success in Europe with his No. 2 hit "Saved by the Bell" and the album Robin's Reign. The first of many Bee Gees compilations, Best of Bee Gees, was released featuring the non-LP single "Words" plus the Australian hit "Spicks and Specks". The single "Tomorrow Tomorrow" was also released and was a moderate hit in the UK reaching No. 23, but only No. 54 in the US. The compilation reached the Top Ten in both the US and the UK. (The later CD release of Best of Bee Gees replaced "Spicks and Specks" with "Tomorrow Tomorrow", because Polydor could no longer secure the rights to the Australian track.)[citation needed]

While Robin pursued his solo career, Barry, Maurice, and Petersen continued on as the Bee Gees recording their next album, Cucumber Castle. The band made their debut performance without Robin at Talk of the Town. They had recruited their sister, Lesley, into the group at this time. There was also a TV special filmed to accompany the album which aired on the BBC in 1971. Colin Petersen played drums on the tracks recorded for the album, but was fired from the group after filming began. His parts were edited out of the final cut of the film. After Colin was fired, he formed the Humpy Bong with Jonathan Kelly. Pentangle drummer Terry Cox was recruited to complete the recording of songs for the album. On 30 September 1969, the Bee Gees appeared on the fourth episode of Decidedly Dusty (BBC1, UK) to perform "Words" and "I've Gotta Get a Message to You".[17]

The leadoff single, "Don't Forget to Remember" was a big hit in the UK reaching No. 2, but a disappointment in the US, only reaching No. 73. The next two singles, "I.O.I.O." and "If I Only Had My Mind on Something Else" barely scraped the charts. On 1 December 1969, Barry and Maurice parted ways professionally.[18] After the album was released in early 1970 it seemed that the Bee Gees were finished. Maurice started to record his first solo album The Loner which was not released. Meanwhile, he released the single "Railroad", and starred in the West End musical Sing a Rude Song. In February 1970 Barry recorded a solo album which never saw official release either, though "I'll Kiss Your Memory" was released as a single backed by "This Time" without much interest.

1970–74: the "Golden Age"[edit]

Reunion and 2 Years On[edit]

The three brothers reunited in the later part of 1970. According to Barry, Robin rang him in Spain where he was on holiday and they sat down and talked and Robin said "Let's do it again".[14][page needed] By 13 June 1970, Maurice brought Robin to Nova Sound Studios, recording four songs while two was included on the reunion album. After one week, Robin and Maurice returned to the studio recording five songs but none of them was not released, while two days later, Maurice joins supergroup The Bloomfields to record three songs as well as producing Tin Tin songs by 9 August. Also in August, Robin and Maurice returned to the IBC Studios and announced that the Bee Gees were back, with or without Barry's participation, two songs from the sessions is released as an album track. And on August 21, it was announced that Barry is rejoining the Bee Gees and the brothers would reunite together, one song from that day is recorded and that was "Lonely Days" and after that, they continue to record songs (including outtakes) for a reunion album until between October and November[19]

"Lonely Days" was released in the UK in November and October in the US, the single reached No. 3 in the US, same month as 2 Years On was released. Shortly after its release, the group performs "Lonely Days" on The Johnny Cash Show, The Andy Williams Show, Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Andy Williams Show, The Dick Cavett Show and on The Ed Sullivan Show with recently hired drummer Geoff Bridgford,[14][page needed] who was a former member of Australian bands Steve & the Board and the Groove. By March 1971, Bridgford became an official member of the Bee Gees after playing 2 Years On.[20] The group's talents were included in the soundtrack for the 1971 film Melody (the first film soundtrack credited to Bee Gees).

Trafalgar and To Whom It May Concern[edit]

Former Toe Fat member Alan Kendall joined the Bee Gees backup as a lead guitarist in January 1971.[20] Trafalgar was released in September 1971. The first single was "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart", the group's first US No. 1 single. While the second was the ballad "Don't Wanna Live Inside Myself" written by Barry Gibb. The third single "Israel" was only issued in New Zealand, Netherlands and Belgium as a single.[20] Also in 1971, Bee Gees Best was released by Polydor only in Germany while Best of Bee Gees, Volume 2 that was released in France, Italy, Norway and Germany.[20] In early 1972, Bridgford left the band before the Bee Gees' tour in Asia saying "My last concert [with the Bee Gees] was at the Pallazzo de Sports in Rome".[14][page needed] He was replaced by Chris Karan. Bridgford's last recording session with the Bee Gees was on January 1972 when they recorded "Paper Mache, Cabbages and Kings" and "Passport".[21] The group also did some TV performances and a Dutch NCRV TV special filmed in some locations in the Netherlands to promote Trafalgar, it was aired later in Holland on May 9.[22]

After the tour, Karan did not record with the Bee Gees in a recording studio, so the group recruited Clem Cattini to play drums on the next album.[21] A non-album single "My World" reached No. 16 in America and No. 22 in Netherlands. "Run To Me" from the LP To Whom It May Concern; the latter also returned them to the British top ten for the first time in three years. By 25 November 1972, the Bee Gees performs at the KROQ rock festival at L.A. Coliseum in Los Angeles.[23]

Life in a Tin Can[edit]

The Bee Gees performing on the TV show Midnight Special in 1973

By 1973, however, the Bee Gees were in a rut. The album, Life in a Tin Can, released in 19 January 1973 in the US while 1 March in the UK[14][page needed] on the newly formed RSO Records and its lead-off single, "Saw a New Morning", sold poorly with the single peaking at No. 94. This was followed by an unreleased album (known as A Kick in the Head Is Worth Eight in the Pants). A second compilation album, Best of Bee Gees, Volume 2 was released in 1973 though it did not repeat the success of Volume 1. On 9 February 1973, the Bee Gees made their first performance since 1968 at the Royal Festival Hall backed by The London Symphony Orchestra. By 10 August 1973, the group hosted a "British Rock Revival" among others such as the former Herman's Hermits' Peter Noone (whose parents had been friends of the Gibb brothers' parents). At the Midnight Special in 1973, they performed a medley of some Beatles songs such as "If I Fell", "I Need You" and "I'll Be Back".[14][page needed]. Also at the Midnight Special that same year, the brothers joins Chuck Berry on stage singing "Johnny B. Goode".[24] After a tour of the US early in 1974, the group ended up playing small clubs in England.[25] Started in April 28 when they appeared at The Batley Variety Club in Leeds. Barry said that they were back performing in Northern clubs.[14][page needed]

Mr. Natural[edit]

On the advice of Ahmet Ertegün, head of their US label Atlantic Records, Stigwood arranged for the group to record with famed soul music producer Arif Mardin. The resulting LP, Mr. Natural, included fewer ballads and foreshadowed the R&B direction of the rest of their career. But when it too failed to attract much interest, Mardin encouraged them to work within the soul music style. The brothers attempted to assemble a live stage band that could replicate their studio sound. Lead guitarist Alan Kendall had come on board in 1971, but did not have much to do until Mr. Natural. For that album, they added drummer Dennis Bryon, and they later added ex-Strawbs keyboard player Blue Weaver, completing the late 1970s Bee Gees band. Maurice, who had previously performed on piano, guitar, organ, mellotron, and bass guitar, as well as exotica like mandolin and Moog synthesiser, now confined himself to bass onstage. After the release of Mr. Natural, they performed the title track and "Massachusetts" on The Mike Douglas Show to promote the album.[26][27] In 1974, on the Mr. Natural tour, the Bee Gees played the Philippines at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.[28] In December 1974, keyboardist Blue Weaver joins the Bee Gees' backing band. Weaver recalls, "He [Dennis Bryon] rang me up to ask if I'd be interested. They'd realized they had to change direction and were trying to inject some fresh ideas. In December 1974, I had a meeting with them where they lived, for tax reasons on the Isle of Man. I agreed to start work at Criteria Studios in Miami on January 2".[29]

1975–79: Return to spotlight[edit]

Bee Gees' wordmark logo (1975–1981)

At Eric Clapton's suggestion, the brothers relocated to Miami, Florida, early in 1975 to record music. After starting off with ballads, they eventually heeded the urging of Mardin and Stigwood and crafted more rhythmic disco songs, including their second US No. 1, "Jive Talkin'", along with US No. 7 "Nights on Broadway". The band liked the resulting new sound. This time the public agreed by sending the LP Main Course up the charts. This album included the first Bee Gees songs where Barry used falsetto,[30] something that would later become a trademark of the Bee Gees. This was also the first Bee Gees album to have two US top-10 singles since 1968's Idea. Main Course also became their first charting R&B album. Mardin was unable to work with the group afterwards, but the Bee Gees enlisted Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson, who had worked with Mardin during the Main Course sessions. This production team would carry the Bee Gees through the rest of the 1970s.

Also in 1975, the Bee Gees recorded vocals to six Beatles songs for the film All This and World War II.[31] The next album, Children of the World, was drenched in Barry's new-found falsetto and Weaver's synthesiser disco licks. Led off by the single "You Should Be Dancing", it pushed the Bee Gees to a level of stardom they had not previously achieved in the US, though their new R&B/disco sound was not as popular with some die hard fans from the 1960s. A follow-up singles including "Love So Right" (#3) and "Boogie Child" were also a successful in the US. When the Bee Gees recorded Children of the World, it was started in Criteria Studios in Miami, and at the beginning of April 1976, they moved to Quebec in Canada to continue recording new songs and finished the other tracks that was started in Miami.[32]

By 20 December 1976, they performed at The Forum in Los Angeles. The tour concentrated on the group's new songs from their recently released albums. The original audio of the concert was edited and mixed at Le Chateau, Herouville in France and was included on the group's first live album released in the following year.[33]

Saturday Night Fever and Spirits Having Flown[edit]

Following a successful live album, Here at Last... Bee Gees... Live, the first and only single on that album was a live version of "Edge of the Universe" but was only a minor hit.[33] Also in 1977, the Bee Gees agreed with Stigwood to participate in the creation of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. It would be the turning point of their career. The cultural impact of both the film and the soundtrack was seismic, not only in the United States, but in the rest of the world as well, prolonging the disco scene's mainstream appeal. The songs were originally recorded for their next album after Children of the World. The recording for the songs started in Le Chateau in France and songs was finished in Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles or in Criteria Studios in Miami.[33]

The band's involvement in the film did not begin until post-production. As John Travolta asserted, "The Bee Gees weren't even involved in the movie in the beginning ... I was dancing to Stevie Wonder and Boz Scaggs."[34] Producer Robert Stigwood commissioned the Bee Gees to create the songs for the film. The brothers wrote the songs "virtually in a single weekend" at Château d'Hérouville studio in France.[34] Barry Gibb remembered the reaction when Stigwood and music supervisor Bill Oakes arrived and listened to the demos:

They flipped out and said these will be great. We still had no concept of the movie, except some kind of rough script that they'd brought with them... You've got to remember, we were fairly dead in the water at that point, 1975, somewhere in that zone—the Bee Gees' sound was basically tired. We needed something new. We hadn't had a hit record in about three years. So we felt, Oh Jeez, that's it. That's our life span, like most groups in the late 60s. So, we had to find something. We didn't know what was going to happen.[34]

Bill Oakes, who supervised the soundtrack, asserts that Saturday Night Fever did not begin the disco craze; rather, it prolonged it: "Disco had run its course. These days, Fever is credited with kicking off the whole disco thing—it really didn't. Truth is, it breathed new life into a genre that was actually dying."[34]

Three Bee Gees singles ("How Deep Is Your Love", "Stayin' Alive", and "Night Fever") reached No. 1 in the United States and many countries around the world, launching the most popular period of the disco era. They also penned the song "If I Can't Have You" which became a No. 1 hit for Yvonne Elliman, while the Bee Gees' own version was the B-Side of "Stayin' Alive". Such was the popularity of Saturday Night Fever that two different versions of the song "More Than a Woman" received airplay, one by the Bee Gees, which was relegated to album track, and another by Tavares, which was the hit. The Gibb sound was inescapable. During an eight-month period beginning in the Christmas season of 1977, six songs written by the brothers held the No. 1 position on the US charts for 25 of 32 consecutive weeks—three of their own releases, two for brother Andy Gibb, and the Yvonne Elliman single. Fueled by the movie's success, the soundtrack broke multiple industry records, becoming the highest-selling album in recording history to that point. With more than 40 million copies sold, Saturday Night Fever is among music's top five best selling soundtrack albums. As of 2010, it is calculated as the 4th highest-selling album worldwide.[35]

During this era, Barry and Robin also wrote "Emotion" for an old friend, Australian vocalist Samantha Sang, who made it a Top Ten hit (the Bee Gees sang backing vocals). Barry also wrote the title song to the movie version of the Broadway musical Grease for Frankie Valli to perform, which went to No. 1. During this period, the Bee Gees' younger brother Andy followed his older siblings into a music career, and enjoyed considerable success. Produced by Barry, Andy Gibb's first three singles all topped the US charts. In March 1978, the Bee Gees held the top 2 positions on the US Charts with "Night Fever" and "Stayin' Alive", the first time this had happened since The Beatles. On the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for 25 March 1978, five songs written by the Gibbs were in the US top ten at the same time: "Night Fever", "Stayin' Alive", "If I Can't Have You", "Emotion" and "Love is Thicker Than Water". Such chart dominance had not been seen since April 1964, when The Beatles had all five of the top five American singles. Barry Gibb became the only songwriter to have four consecutive number one hits in the US breaking the John Lennon and Paul McCartney 1964 record. These songs were "Stayin' Alive", "Love Is Thicker Than Water", "Night Fever", "If I Can't Have You". The Bee Gees also co-starred with Peter Frampton in the movie Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) loosely inspired by the classic 1967 album by The Beatles. The film had been heavily promoted prior to release, and was expected to enjoy great commercial success. However, the disjointed film was savaged by the movie critics, and ignored by the public. Though some of its tracks charted, the soundtrack too was a high-profile flop. The single "Oh! Darling", credited to Robin Gibb, reached No. 15 in the US. Previously, the Bee Gees had recorded three Beatles covers—"Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight", "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" and "Sun King"—for the transitory musical documentary All This and World War II.

The Bee Gees' follow-up to Saturday Night Fever was the Spirits Having Flown album. It yielded three more No. 1 hits: "Too Much Heaven", "Tragedy", and "Love You Inside Out". This gave the act six consecutive No. 1 singles in America within a year and a half (a record surpassed only by Whitney Houston). "Too Much Heaven" ended up as the Bee Gees' musical contribution to the Music for UNICEF Concert at the United Nations General Assembly in January 1979, a benefit organised by the Bee Gees, Robert Stigwood, and David Frost for UNICEF that was broadcast worldwide. The brothers donated the royalties from the song to the charity. Up to 2007, this song has earned over $11 million for UNICEF. During the summer of 1979, the Bee Gees embarked on their largest concert tour covering the US and Canada. The Spirits Having Flown tour capitalised on Bee Gees fever that was sweeping the nation, with sold out concerts in 38 cities. The Bee Gees produced a video for the title track of "Too Much Heaven" directed by Miami-based filmmaker, Martin Pitts and produced by Charles Allen. With this video, Pitts and Allen began a long association with the brothers. The Bee Gees even had a country hit in 1979 with "Rest Your Love on Me", the flip side of their pop hit "Too Much Heaven", which made Top 40 on the country charts. In 1981, Conway Twitty's version of "Rest Your Love on Me" topped the country charts.

The Bee Gees' overwhelming success rose and fell with the disco bubble. By the end of 1979, disco was rapidly declining in popularity, and the backlash against disco put the Bee Gees' American career in a tailspin. Radio stations around America began promoting "Bee Gee Free Weekends". Following their remarkable run from 1975 to 1979, the act would have only one more top ten single in the US, and that would not come until 1989. The Bee Gees' international popularity sustained somewhat less damage. Barry Gibb considered the success of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack both a blessing and a curse:

Fever was No. 1 every week... It wasn't just like a hit album. It was No. 1 every single week for 25 weeks. It was just an amazing, crazy, extraordinary time. I remember not being able to answer the phone, and I remember people climbing over my walls. I was quite grateful when it stopped. It was too unreal. In the long run, your life is better if it's not like that on a constant basis. Nice though it was.[34]

1980–83: Breakaway from disco sound[edit]

By 1980, Robin was busy, producing Jimmy Ruffin's Sunrise with Blue Weaver, and Barry was also busy producing, Barbra Streisand's Guilty as well as co-wrote the songs in the album and even appeared on the album cover with Streisand. Barry also produced Andy Gibb's Greatest Hits that same year.[36] By October 1980, the Bee Gees and the backing band regrouped at Middle Ear Studios to record a new album and began work on some songs that was later included on the next album, but was not continued and that session was the last with Dennis Bryon, Blue Weaver and Alan Kendall (rejoined in 1987).[36]

Living Eyes to Staying Alive[edit]

The Bee Gees finally started recording a new album in February 1981, the group hired a numerous session players as their backing band musicians: Kendall, Bryon and Weaver left in October 1980. One of them is Toto's drummer Jeff Porcaro played three songs in the album, Eagles' Don Felder played lead guitar on five songs and other session musicians.[37]

Bee Gees, 1981

Living Eyes was released in the US and UK in October 1981 and their last full studio album release on RSO. This album was the first CD ever played in public, when it was played to viewers of the BBC show Tomorrow's World.[38] With the disco backlash still running strong, the album failed to make the UK or US Top 40. Two singles from the album fared little better—"He's a Liar" reached No. 30 in the US and the title track reached No. 45 also in the US, breaking the Bee Gees' Top 40 streak which started in 1975 with "Jive Talkin'". In 1982, Dionne Warwick enjoyed a UK No. 2 and US Adult Contemporary No. 1 hit with her comeback single, "Heartbreaker", taken from her album of the same name written largely by the Bee Gees and co-produced by Barry Gibb. The album reached No. 3 in the UK and the Top 30 in the US, where it was certified Gold.

By 30 September 1982, when RSO publicly announced that John Travolta would participate in Staying Alive, a sequel to Saturday Night Fever to be directed by Sylvester Stallone with new songs by the Bee Gees, the group recorded "Life Goes On" for the film. After continuing recording the songs for the film, Robin and Maurice recorded another album called How Old Are You?, Robin's second solo album (not counting the 1970 unreleased album Sing Slowly Sisters) recorded between October and November. In November or December, they recorded another two songs for the film.[39] The remaining songs for the film was continued in 1983.[40]

The soundtrack Staying Alive was released in 1983 and was certified platinum in the US, and included their Top 30 hit "The Woman in You". The last new songs by the Bee Gees released by RSO. Also in 1983, the band was sued by Chicago songwriter Ronald Selle, who claimed that the brothers stole melodic material from one of his songs, "Let It End", and used it in "How Deep Is Your Love". At first, the Bee Gees lost the case; one juror said that a factor in the jury's decision was the Gibbs' failure to introduce expert testimony rebutting the plaintiff's expert testimony that it was "impossible" for the two songs to have been written independently. However, the verdict was overturned a few months later. Also in 1983, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers recorded the Bee Gees-penned track "Islands in the Stream", which became a US No. 1 hit and entered the Top 10 in the UK. Rogers' 1983 album, Eyes That See in the Dark, was written entirely by the Bee Gees and co-produced by Barry. The album was a Top 10 hit in the US and was certified Double Platinum.

In a December 1983 interview, the Bee Gees announced that they had five album projects the following year including a greatest hits album with three new tracks, a Barry Gibb solo album for the spring, a Robin Gibb solo album and a Bee Gees album for the summer, and Andy Gibb album in later part of 1984. The titles of three new Bee Gees materials are "It's My Neighborhood", "Toys" and "Dimensions" but the brothers claim that the songs are not the same songs that released later in different albums. As well as new albums for Dolly Parton (not happened) and Diana Ross.[40] In 1984, both Robin and Barry released their own solo studio albums. In 1985, Diana Ross released the album Eaten Alive, written by the Bee Gees, with the title track co-written with Michael Jackson (who also performed on the track). The album was again co-produced by Barry Gibb and the single "Chain Reaction" gave Ross a UK and Australian No. 1 hit. Also in 1985, Barry and Maurice sings background vocals on Larry Gatlin's "Indian Summer", a song that features vocals by Gatlin and Roy Orbison. The second song was "Didn't We Call It (Falling in Love)" which was not released. Between August and September 1985, Robin started working on new songs for the album Walls Have Eyes with Maurice, who was co-produced the album as well as playing several instruments.[41]

1987-89: Comeback[edit]

E.S.P. and One[edit]

In early 1987, The Bee Gees went to the Middle Ear Studios to record their first album in six years, the album is called E.S.P., released in 1987, which sold over 3 million copies. It was their first album in six years, and their first for Warner Bros. Records. The single "You Win Again" went to No. 1 in numerous countries, including the UK,[42] and made the Bee Gees the first group to score a UK No. 1 hit in each of three decades: the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.[43] On the sessions, Greg Phillinganes contributed keyboards on three songs.[44] "You Win Again" was a disappointment in the US, charting at No. 75, and the Bee Gees voiced their frustration over American radio stations not playing their new European hit single, an omission which the group felt led to poor sales of their current album in the States. Also in 1987, Elton John recorded "Up the Revolution" a song written by the three brothers with David English in 1986.[44]

On 10 March 1988, younger brother Andy died, aged 30, as a result of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle due to a recent viral infection. His brothers acknowledge that Andy's past drug and alcohol use probably made his heart more susceptible to this illness. Just before Andy's death, it had been decided by the group that Andy would join them, which would have made the group a four-piece group. In August 1988, the Bee Gees contributed on two songs for the album One Moment in Time and also called as The NBC Olympics Album.[45]

The Bee Gees' following album, One (1989), featured a song dedicated to Andy, "Wish You Were Here". The album also contained their first US top ten hit (No. 7) in a decade, "One" (an Adult Contemporary No. 1). After the album's release, the band embarked on its first world tour in ten years.

1990–99: Tales from the Brothers Gibb, High Civilization, Size Isn't Everything and Still Waters[edit]

In 1990, Polydor Records issued the box set Tales from the Brothers Gibb: A History in Song, which contained all of the group's singles (except 1981's "Living Eyes"), rare B-sides, unreleased tracks, solo material, and live performances. Many songs received new stereo mixes by Bill Inglot with some songs making their CD debut. At the time of its release, Tales was one of the first box sets issued in the music business and it was considered an honour for a group to have one. In the UK, Polydor issued a single disc hits collection from Tales called The Very Best of the Bee Gees, which contained their biggest UK hits. The album became one of their best selling albums in that country, eventually being certified Triple Platinum.

Bee Gees in Los Angeles in 1992

Following their next album, High Civilization (1991), which contained the UK top five hit "Secret Love", the Bee Gees went on a European tour. After the tour, Barry Gibb began to battle a serious back problem, which required surgery. In addition, he also suffered from arthritis, and at one point, it was so severe that it was doubtful that he would be able to play guitar for much longer. Also in the early 1990s, Maurice Gibb finally sought treatment for his alcoholism, which he had battled for many years, with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous.

In 1993, the group returned to the Polydor label, and released the album Size Isn't Everything, which contained the UK top five hit "For Whom the Bell Tolls". Success still eluded them in the US, however, as the first single released, "Paying the Price of Love" only managed to reach No. 74 on the Billboard Hot 100 while the parent album stalled at No. 153.

In 1997, they released the album Still Waters, which sold over four million copies, and reached No.2 in the UK (their highest album chart position there since 1979) and No.11 in the US. The album's first single, "Alone", gave them another UK Top 5 hit and a top 30 hit in the US. Still Waters would be the band's most successful US release of their post-RSO era.

At the 1997 BRIT Awards held in Earls Court, London on 24 February, the Bee Gees received the award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.[46] On 14 November 1997, the Bee Gees performed a live concert in Las Vegas called One Night Only. The show included a performance of "Our Love (Don't Throw It All Away)" synchronised with a vocal by their deceased brother Andy and a cameo appearance by Celine Dion singing "Immortality". The CD of the performance sold over 5 million copies. The "One Night Only" name grew out of the band's declaration that, due to Barry's health issues, the Las Vegas show was to be the final live performance of their career. After the immensely positive audience response to the Vegas concert, Barry decided to continue despite the pain, and the concert expanded into their last full-blown world tour of "One Night Only" concerts.[14][page needed] The tour included playing to 56,000 people at London's Wembley Stadium on 5 September 1998 and concluded in the newly built Olympic Stadium in Sydney, Australia on 27 March 1999 to 72,000 people.[14][page needed]

In 1998, the group's soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever was incorporated into a stage production produced first in the West End and then on Broadway. They wrote three new songs for the adaptation. Also in 1998 the brothers recorded Ellan Vannin for Isle of Man charities. Known as the unofficial national anthem of the Isle of Man, the brothers performed the song during their world tour to reflect their pride in the place of their birth.[47]Ellan Vannin was recorded in 1997 as a 1,000 quantity limited edition single for Isle of Man charities. The song was featured in the Bee Gees World Tour and on ITV's "An Evening With ..." but to date has not been released generally. The single was subsequently also available as part of the 1999 Bee Gees Stamp issue.

The Bee Gees closed the decade with what turned out to be their last full-sized concert, known as BG2K, on 31 December 1999.

2000–08: This Is Where I Came In and Maurice's death[edit]

In 2001, the group released what turned out to be their final album of new material as a group, This Is Where I Came In. The album was another success, reaching the Top 10 in the UK (being certified Gold), and the Top 20 in the US. The title track was also a UK Top 20 hit single. The album gave each member of the group a chance to write in his own way, as well as composing songs together. For example, Maurice's compositions and leads are the "Man in the Middle" and "Walking on Air", while Robin contributed "Déjà Vu", "Promise the Earth", and "Embrace", and Barry contributed "Loose Talk Costs Lives", "Technicolour Dreams", and "Voice in the Wilderness". The other songs are collaborative in writing and vocals. They performed many tracks from This Is Where I Came In, plus many of their biggest hits, on the live televised concert series Live by Request, shown on the A&E Network. The last concert of the Bee Gees as a trio was at the Love and Hope Ball in 2002. Maurice, who had been the musical director of the Bee Gees during their final years as a group, died suddenly on 12 January 2003 at the age of 53 from a heart attack, while awaiting emergency surgery to repair a strangulated intestine.[48] Initially, his surviving brothers announced that they intended to carry on the name "Bee Gees" in his memory. But as time passed they decided to retire the group name, leaving it to represent the three brothers together.[49] The same week that Maurice died, Robin's solo album Magnet was released. On 23 February 2003, the Bee Gees received the Grammy Legend Award. Barry and Robin accepted as well as Maurice's son, Adam, in a tearful ceremony.

Although there was talk of a memorial concert featuring both surviving brothers and invited guests,[50] nothing materialised. Barry and Robin continued to work independently, and both released recordings with other artists, occasionally coming together to perform at special events. In late 2004, Robin embarked on a solo tour of Germany, Russia and Asia. During January 2005, Barry, Robin and several legendary rock artists recorded "Grief Never Grows Old", the official tsunami relief record for the Disasters Emergency Committee. Later that year, Barry reunited with Barbra Streisand for her top-selling album Guilty Pleasures, released as Guilty Too in the UK as a sequel album to the previous Guilty. Robin continued touring in Europe. Also in 2004, Barry recorded his song "I Cannot Give You My Love" with Cliff Richard, which became a UK top 20 hit single.[51]

In February 2006, Barry and Robin reunited on stage for a Miami charity concert to benefit the Diabetes Research Institute. It was their first public performance together since the death of brother Maurice. Barry and Robin also played at the 30th annual Prince's Trust Concert in the UK on 20 May 2006. In October 2008, Robin performed a couple of songs in London as part of the BBC Electric Proms Saturday Night Fever performance. This involved various other performers and the BBC Concert Orchestra and was screened on the BBC and BBC interactive services.

2009–12: Return to performing and Robin's death[edit]

In an interview with Easy Mix radio host Tim Roxborough on 1 September 2009, Barry's 63rd birthday, Barry commented on future tours saying that "they will be back"; but in an agreement with Warner/Rhino they would not make an announcement at that time.[52][53] On 7 September 2009, Robin disclosed to Jonathan Agnew that he had been in touch with Barry and that they had agreed that the Bee Gees would re-form and "perform again".[54]

The Gibbs recently gained ownership rights to their back catalogue, returning distribution rights to Warner Music Group (which had purchased Atco), where they have since reissued digitally remastered versions of Saturday Night Fever, their later Bee Gees Greatest album, and a new boxed set: The Studio Albums: 1967–1968 under the Reprise Records/Rhino Records labels. Additionally, more recent titles such as Still Waters and This Is Where I Came In were among the first batch of re-releases. The band's three Warner Bros. releases, E. S. P., One and High Civilisation were also made available on iTunes for the first time since the albums went out of print in North America in the mid-90s. According to Robin Gibb's website, three more reissues were planned for the 2008 holiday season: Best of Bee Gees, Best of Bee Gees, Volume 2 and Love Songs. The double album Odessa was released on 13 January 2009 in a special 3-disc deluxe edition complete with the original red velvet cover with remastered stereo and mono versions of the album as well as alternate versions and unreleased tracks. Since the remastered release of Odessa, Rhino has stopped reissuing original Bee Gees albums and there has not been any announcement as to when the remaining albums will be remastered.

Barry and Robin performed on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing on 31 October 2009[55] and appeared on ABC-TV's Dancing with the Stars on 17 November 2009.[56] = On 15 March 2010, Barry and Robin inducted the Swedish group ABBA into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[57] On 26 May 2010, the two made a surprise appearance on the ninth season finale of American Idol.

In October 2010, Robin Gibb was interviewed by the Daily Mail, and confirmed that the story of the Bee Gees is to be made into a Hollywood movie by Steven Spielberg. The Oscar-winning director believes the group's journey from unknowns in Manchester to worldwide fame will prove box-office gold. Robin told the Daily Mail: "The movie is going to be done by some very important people. It will be our life story. Barry and I will be involved in the technical side". One of the challenges for Spielberg will be replicating the brothers' distinctive three-part harmonies and Barry's falsetto voice. Robin said: "I'd like our original recordings to be used because it's very hard to emulate them."[58]

In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Bee Gees (when they started calling themselves "Bee Gees" in 1959), Rhino Records have released two new collections. Mythology is a four-disc collection highlighting each brother, including Andy, with tracks personally selected by Barry, Robin, Maurice's wife Yvonne (with his children Adam and Samantha), and Andy's daughter Peta. Maurice's disc contains two unreleased tracks called "Angel of Mercy" and "The Bridge". Andy's disc contains the unreleased track "Arrow Through The Heart". Mythology also features a scrapbook of family photos, many never-before published, along with tributes from artists such as George Martin, Brian Wilson, Elton John, Graham Nash and the band's longtime manager Robert Stigwood.

The second collection, The Ultimate Bee Gees, is a more modest two-disc 40-track collection highlighting their biggest hits and includes a bonus DVD of unreleased videos, previously unreleased television appearances, live performances, and promo videos. Each disc is themed, with the first disc being the more upbeat songs called "A Night Out" and the second disc being more ballad-focused called "A Night In".[59]

On 20 November 2011 it was announced that Robin Gibb, at 61 years old, was diagnosed with liver cancer, a condition he became aware of several months earlier. He had become noticeably thinner in previous months and had to cancel several appearances due to issues with severe abdominal pain.[60] On 13 February 2012, Robin joined British military trio The Soldiers for the Coming Home charity concert at the London Palladium, in support of injured servicemen. It was his first public appearance for almost five months, and his final.[61]

On 14 April 2012, it was reported that Robin had contracted pneumonia[62] in a Chelsea hospital and was in a coma.[63] Although he came out of his coma on 20 April 2012, his condition deteriorated rapidly,[64] and he died on 20 May 2012.[65] With Robin's death, Barry became the last surviving Gibb brother, and the Bee Gees became defunct.

2013-present: After the break-up[edit]

In February 2013, Festival Records released the triple set called The Festival Albums Collection, 1965-1967.[66] In September and October 2013, Barry performed his first solo tour "in honour of his brothers and a lifetime of music". In April 2014, Rhino released a box set called The Warner Bros Years, 1987-1991.[67]

Band members[edit]

Barry Gibb played rhythm guitar. During the early 1970s, Robin Gibb played piano and violin occasionally, after which, he only played strings and keyboards privately. Maurice Gibb played bass guitar, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, harmonica, piano, organ, mellotron, keyboard, synthesiser and created drum tracks. From 1966 to 1972 he played multiple instruments on many records. During the late 1970s he played mainly bass guitar. From about 1986 onward he usually played keyboards and guitars. Maurice was credited by the brothers as being the most technologically savvy member of the band.

Principal members

These musicians were considered members of the band:[citation needed]


The Bee Gees were influenced by The Beatles, The Everly Brothers and The Mills Brothers.[68] As well as Cliff Richard and Paul Anka.[14][page needed] According to Barry, the 1968 song "Kitty Can" was influenced by Mick Jagger as well as the Rolling Stones.[69] Barry stated that the group's 1970 song "Tell Me Why" was influenced by Ray Charles.[14][page needed]


Bee Gees' star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Brian May of Queen said: "Of course I was, and am a huge fan of the Bee Gees' creations in music. Undoubtedly at the pinnacle of song-writing considered over the last—30 years, is it?! My fondest recollections are not of the SNF days, which were really a re-birth in the Bee Gees' popularity, but the early ground-breaking songs [...] I remember singing these [songs] with my pal Tim Staffell [of Smile] and Freddie [Mercury] in the real old days." May also praised the song "You Win Again" as one of the greatest songs of the '80s.[70] Michael Jackson, who was also influenced by the Bee Gees says, "I cried listening to their music. I knew every note, every instrument". Paul McCartney recalls "It was the 'Mining Disaster' song that Robert Stigwood played me, I said 'sign them, they're great'". Ringo Starr said, "The Bee Gees from our era were quite important, especially the harmonies."[70] Barry Gibb once said: "When we first came out, Jimi Hendrix said we were two-year old Beatles. He was just giving an opinion at the time. People just like to have go at other artists. But we are very good friends with Jimi now". Years later, Gibb recalled: "He was a great mate of mine. He came to my twenty-first birthday. He was an extremely polite bloke. I never knew about the drugs then. I thought he was acting a bit weird and saying kind of remote things, but I was too naive to even consider that it might be drugs, I never caught on with Jimi and the drugs. I saw him drunk a few times because I remember thinking he was always really quiet until he had a few drinks". .[71]

Other artists who were influenced by the Bee Gees are Pet Shop Boys, George Michael, Paul Simon, David Bowie, Brian Wilson, Noel Gallagher, Madonna, Elton John,[72] Scissor Sisters, Escort, Chromeo, Spoon and Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters recalls: "I love the Bee Gees and ABBA, bands whose pop choruses get bigger and bigger".[73]

The Bee Gees have sold in excess of 200 million records worldwide.[74] At one point in 1978, the Gibb brothers were responsible for writing and/or performing nine of the songs in the Billboard Hot 100.[75] In all, the Gibbs placed 13 singles onto the Hot 100 in 1978, with 12 making the Top 40. The Gibb brothers are fellows of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA).[76] At least 2,500 artists have recorded their songs.[77] Their most popular composition is "How Deep Is Your Love", with 400 versions by other artists in existence.[78] Among the artists who have covered their songs are Ardijah, Michael Bolton, Boyzone, Eric Clapton, Billy Corgan, Destiny's Child, Faith No More, Feist, The Flaming Lips, John Frusciante, Al Green, Jinusean, Elton John, Tom Jones, Janis Joplin, Lulu, Pet Shop Boys, Elvis Presley, Nina Simone, Percy Sledge, Robert Smith, Status Quo, and Take That. The artists/bands are influenced by the Bee Gees such as Michael Jackson, Pet Shop Boys, George Michael, Billy Joel, Paul Simon of Simon & Garfunkel, David Bowie, Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, Debbie Harry of Blondie, Madonna, Andy Bell of Beady Eye, Noel Gallagher, Brit Daniel[68] and Elton John.[79]

On 14 February 2013, Barry Gibb unveiled a statue of the Bee Gees, as well as unveiling "Bee Gees Way" (a walkway filled with photos of the Bee Gees), in honour of the Bee Gees in Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia.[80][81][82][83]

Awards and achievements[edit]

Plaque at Maitland Terrace/Strang Road intersection in Union Mills, Isle of Man

They were inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979, Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994, Florida's Artists Hall of Fame in 1995, ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Hall of Fame andRock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001, Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2004 and London's Walk of Fame in 2005. In 1978, following the success of Saturday Night Fever, and the single "Night Fever" in particular, Reubin Askew, the Governor of the US state of Florida, named the Bee Gees honorary citizens of the state, since they resided in Miami at the time.[84] In October 1999 the Isle of Man Post Office unveiled a set of 6 stamps honouring their native sons' music. The official launch took place at the London Palladium where the stage show of Saturday Night Fever was playing. A similar launch was held in New York shortly after to coincide with the show opening across the Atlantic. The songs depicted on the stamps are "Massachusetts", "Words", "I've Gotta Get A Message To You", "Night Fever", "Stayin' Alive" and "Immortality".

All three brothers (including Maurice, posthumously) were appointed Commanders in the Order of the British Empire in December 2001 with the ceremony taking place at Buckingham Palace on 27 May 2004.[85][86] On 10 July 2009, the Isle of Man's capital bestowed the Freedom of the Borough of Douglas honour on Barry and Robin, as well as posthumously on Maurice.[87] On 20 November 2009, the Douglas Borough Council released a limited edition commemorative DVD to mark their naming as Freemen of the Borough.[88]

Grammy Awards

American Music Awards

  • 1979: Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo Or Group
  • 1979: Favorite Soul/R&B Album – Saturday Night Fever
  • 1980: Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo Or Group
  • 1980: Favorite Pop/Rock Album – Spirits Having Flown
  • 1997: International Artist Award

BRIT Awards

World Music Awards

  • 1997: Legend Award

BMI Awards

  • 15 May 2007, the Bee Gees were named BMI Icons at the 55th annual BMI Pop Awards. Collectively, Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb have earned 109 BMI Pop, Country and Latin Awards[89]



Main article: Bee Gees discography

Original LPs[edit]

See also the soundtracks Saturday Night Fever and Staying Alive, which contain music not released on the original LPs.

See also


See also[edit]


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