E.S.P. (Bee Gees album)

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E.S.P.
Studio album by Bee Gees
Released September 1987
Recorded September - December 1986 at Panther House, Miami Beach, Florida
Genre Pop rock, synthpop, adult contemporary
Length 48:25
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Arif Mardin, Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Brian Tench
Bee Gees chronology
Staying Alive
(1983)
E.S.P.
(1987)
One
(1989)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars [1]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[2]

E.S.P. is the Bee Gees' seventeenth original album (fifteenth worldwide). Released in 1987, it was the band's first studio album in six years, and the first album they released under their new contract with Warner Bros. It marked the first time in twelve years the band had worked with producer Arif Mardin, and was their first album to be recorded digitally. The album sold well in Europe, reaching #5 in the UK, #2 in Norway and Austria, and #1 in Germany and Switzerland, though it barely made the top 100 in the US.

The album's first single, "You Win Again", reached #1 in the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Norway.

History and recording[edit]

With the Bee Gees now back in the Warner-Elektra-Atlantic conglomerate, producer Arif Mardin was once again available to work with them.

The Gibb brothers began writing and recording songs for E.S.P. around September 1986. They worked at Maurice's home studio, informally known as Panther House, rather than at Middle Ear. Maurice set everything up and Scott Glasel was effectively the assistant engineer. Scott's recollection years later is that Barry brought in the songs as demos, featuring just his voice and guitar, and that they recorded the fuller demos based on Barry's songs. Scott also recalls Barry and Robin many times arguing heatedly over trivial things and calling off the project, only to have Maurice call Scott a few days later to let him know they were starting again.[3]

Over the previous few years Barry and Robin had become accustomed to different recording styles. Barry preferred to write all the songs and recorded demos, and then go into the big studio with session players to record polished versions for release. Robin instead liked to use the recording sessions themselves to work out the songs. Maurice liked a hands-on approach and where he had a voice in production he either appears prominently on the finished tracks or worked out arrangements with a few session players during recording. The compromise recording method adopted for E.S.P. was for the brothers to start all the recordings themselves and then complete them with session players and a producer. If they started with an idea and a rhythm track, they build a song onto it as they recorded, something that would accommodate what all three preferred to do. The result of this process would then be a demo, with vocals by the three brothers and instrumentals by Maurice and Barry. The drumming was electronic sequencers programmed by Barry and Maurice and their engineer Scott Glasel. The Gibb instrumental tracks were done from October into 1987. The second stage appears to have been recording the main vocal tracks, and where this was done is unknown. The demo of "E.S.P." on the box set Tales from the Brothers Gibb is at this second stage. Lastly, session musicians replaced most of the instrumental parts and the brothers dubbed additional vocals. They also edited some of the tracks, inserted new sections, and sped up at least two of them.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb

No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. "E.S.P."   Barry and Robin 5:38
2. "You Win Again"   Barry 4:02
3. "Live Or Die (Hold Me Like a Child)"   Barry and Maurice 4:41
4. "Giving Up The Ghost"   Robin and Maurice 4:26
5. "The Longest Night"   Robin 5:46
6. "This Is Your Life"   Barry 4:50
7. "Angela"   Barry 4:57
8. "Overnight"   Maurice 4:20
9. "Crazy For Your Love"   Barry 4:40
10. "Backtafunk"   Barry 4:22
11. "E.S.P. (Reprise)"   Barry and Robin 0:34

Personnel[edit]

Bee Gees
Additional personnel
  • Claude "Swifty" Achille – engineer
  • Martyn Atkins – art direction, design
  • Reb Beachelectric guitar
  • Tony Beard – drums
  • Andy Earl – photography
  • Sammy Figueroapercussion
  • Ellen Fitton – engineer
  • Bob Gay – saxophone
  • Scott Glasel – programming, assistant engineer
  • Reggie Griffin – arranger, electric guitar, programming, rhythm track
  • Jeri Heiden – artwork
  • David A. Jones – 12-string bass
  • Robbie Kondor – keyboards, 12-string bass
  • Rhett Lawrence – synthesizer, keyboards, programming, drum programming
  • Will Lee – bass guitar
  • Arif Mardin – arranger, electric guitar, producer, horn arrangements, string arrangements, synthesizer bass guitar
  • Joe Mardin – programming, drum programming
  • George Marino – engineer
  • Marcus Miller – bass guitar
  • Nick Moroch – electric guitar
  • Michael O'Reilly – engineer
  • Gene Orloff – concertmaster
  • Greg Phillinganes – synthesizer, keyboards, electric piano, programming
  • Ken Steiger – engineer
  • Brian Tench – producer, engineer, drum programming, mixing, percussion programming

Song details[edit]

Giving Up The Ghost[edit]

"Giving Up the Ghost" is the fourth track of E.S.P..[4] Lead vocals by Robin Gibb, joined by Maurice Gibb in the chorus. Written by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb.

This song is the last track that they recorded for the album, (This is the only song on the album that sounds like one of the Robin and Maurice collaborations from the Robin's three solo albums in the 1980s), The second song on the album featuring Robin on lead vocal, The musicians were played on this song consists of: Maurice Gibb on guitar, Robbie Kondor on keyboards, Greg Phillinganes on synthesizer, The drums were programmed by Brian Tench and Reggie Griffin (Reggie Griffin also played guitar on this song) and Tony Beard on drums. Its demo had the same vocal by Robin and Maurice, on the verse and the bridge, but they re-sang the choruses version in order to push the title phrase better, A long 24-beat section of chorus (12 seconds) is edited out before the second verse, and other eight beats at 2:39 going to the ending, The two differ from about 3:03 onward.[5]

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. E.S.P. (Bee Gees album) at AllMusic. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  2. ^ Grein, Paul (27 September 1987). "BEE GEES ARE BACK". articles.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Gibb Songs : 1987
  4. ^ Discogs.com. "Bee Gees: E.S.P.". 
  5. ^ Joseph Brennan. "Gibb Songs: 1987". 
  6. ^ Kent, David. Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  7. ^ "austriancharts.at Bee Gees - E.S.P." (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  8. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-16
  9. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Bee Gees - E.S.P." (ASP). Hung Medien (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  10. ^ Billboard - 26 December 1987. 5 April 1997. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1987" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  12. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  13. ^ "charts.org.nz Bee Gees - E.S.P." (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  14. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Bee Gees - E.S.P." (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  15. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  16. ^ "swedishcharts.com Bee Gees - E.S.P." (ASP). Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  17. ^ "Bee Gees - E.S.P. - hitparade.ch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  18. ^ "Chart Stats - Bee Gees - E.S.P." (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "allmusic ((( E.S.P. > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  20. ^ "Album Search: Bee Gees - E.S.P." (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  21. ^ "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  22. ^ "Austriancharts.at - Jahreshitparade 1988". Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  23. ^ "Hitparade.ch - Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1988". Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  24. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Bee Gees; 'E.S.P.')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  25. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1979–1990". Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano. 
  26. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Bee Gees; 'E.S.P.')". Hung Medien. 
  27. ^ "British album certifications – Bee Gees – E.S.P.". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter E.S.P. in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
Preceded by
Bad by Michael Jackson
Swiss Music Chart number-one album
18 October 1987 — 22 November 1987
Succeeded by
Dirty Dancing by Various artists
West German Media Control Chart number-one album
23 October 1987 — 17 December 1987
Succeeded by
Misteriosa Venezia by Rondò Veneziano