Main Course

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This article is about the Bee Gees album. For the meal component, see Main course.
Main Course
Studio album by Bee Gees
Released June 1975 (UK)
August 1975 (US)
Recorded 6 January – 21 February 1975
Criteria Studios, Miami, Florida and Atlantic Studios, New York City
Genre Rock, pop rock, funk rock, disco, soul, R&B, soft rock
Length 40:56
Label RSO
Producer Arif Mardin
Bee Gees chronology
Mr. Natural
(1974)
Main Course
(1975)
Children of the World
(1976)
Singles from Main Course
  1. "Jive Talkin'"
    Released: May 1975 (UK), July 1975 (US)
  2. "Nights on Broadway"
    Released: September 1975
  3. "Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)"
    Released: January 1976
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B+[1]
Rolling Stone (ambivalent)[2]

Main Course is the album released by the Bee Gees in 1975 for the RSO label, and their last album to be released by Atlantic Records in the US under its distribution deal with Robert Stigwood. This album marked a change for the Bee Gees as it was their first album to include disco influenced songs, and it created the model for their output through the rest of the 1970s. It was the group's thirteenth album (eleventh worldwide). Main Course was the first album to feature keyboardist Blue Weaver. The album cover with the band's new logo made its first appearance here which was designed by US artist Drew Struzan.

Recording[edit]

Working with Atlantic producer Arif Mardin, who had also produced their previous album, Mr. Natural, and engineer Karl Richardson at Criteria Studios in Miami, their music became much more influenced by dance music, primarily the Caribbean-styled disco being produced in Miami at the time. Main Course also featured the first prominent use of Barry Gibb's falsetto. From Mr. Natural, the brothers retained new drummer Dennis Bryon and longtime lead guitarist Alan Kendall but added a new keyboard player in the form of Bryon's former Mott the Hoople colleague Blue Weaver who would become one of only a small handful of non-Gibb musicians to receive composition credits on Bee Gees songs. The sound became more technological with the use of synthesizers and dual bass lines (synthesizer bass by Blue Weaver and bass guitar by Maurice Gibb) on many of the songs, which came about after Weaver overdubbed a synthesizer bass line on the original demo of "Jive Talkin'." Weaver later commented that "nothing new has been invented to make such a tremendous difference to the sound as the synthesizer did, compared to an orchestra."[3]

At first, the brothers were still writing in their old ways, with many of the songs being slower ballads. The first song recorded for the album was an unreleased track "Was It All in Vain?". The next songs recorded were "Country Lanes" and "Wind of Change". After Robert Stigwood heard these songs, he urged them to record in a more R&B style and "Wind of Change" was re-recorded again in February in its more familiar version. Another unreleased track, "Your Love Will Saved the World" was recorded on 9 January, though it was later recorded by Percy Sledge. Once the Gibb brothers changed their style of writing, songs like "Jive Talkin'", "Nights on Broadway" and "Edge of the Universe" were recorded with an R&B influence, though ballads like "Songbird" and "Come on Over" were more country than R&B. The final song recorded for the album was "Baby As You Turn Away" which featured Barry singing the verses in falsetto, though not the strong falsetto which he would develop and use on future songs like "You Should Be Dancing" and "Stayin' Alive".[4]

Release[edit]

The album peaked at No. 14 on the US Billboard album chart in 1975 and remained on Billboard's Top 200 albums chart for 74 weeks until December 1976 on the strength of its three singles that charted on Billboard's single chart: "Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)" at No. 12, "Nights on Broadway" at No. 7, and "Jive Talkin'" at No. 1. A live version of a fourth song, "Edge of the Universe" from the album Here at Last... Bee Gees... Live, reached No. 26. "Come on Over" later became a moderate hit (#23) in a cover version by country/pop artist Olivia Newton-John. The album also peaked No. 1 at the Canada's RPM Albums Chart.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Lead vocal(s) Length
1. "Nights on Broadway"   Barry and Robin 4:31
2. "Jive Talkin'"   Barry 3:43
3. "Wind of Change"   Barry and Robin 4:54
4. "Songbird" (Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Blue Weaver) Barry 3:35
5. "Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)"   Barry and Robin 4:02
Side two
No. Title Lead vocal(s) Length
1. "All This Making Love"   Barry and Robin 3:03
2. "Country Lanes"   Robin 3:29
3. "Come on Over"   Robin and Barry 3:26
4. "Edge of the Universe"   Barry and Robin 5:21
5. "Baby As You Turn Away"   Barry and Maurice 4:23

Personnel[edit]

Bee Gees
Bee Gees Band
Additional personnel
Production

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[14] 2× Platinum 200,000^
United States (RIAA)[15] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Rolling Stone review
  3. ^ Cook, et al. The Bee Gees: Tales of the Brothers Gibb. p. 377, 2004 revised ed.
  4. ^ Joseph Brennan. "Gibb Songs: 1975". 
  5. ^ Kent, David. Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  6. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 24, No. 18". RPM. 24 January 1976. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "charts.org.nz Bee Gees – Main Course" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  9. ^ "Allmusic: Main Course : Charts & Awards : Billboard Albums". allmusic.com. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Album Search: Bee Gees – Main Course" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "RPM Top Albums/CDs – Volume 24, No. 14, Top 100 Albums of 1975". RPM. 27 December 1975. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "RPM Top Albums/CDs – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, Top 100 Albums of 1976". RPM. 8 January 1977. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Top Pop Albums of 1976". billboard.biz. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Bee Gees – Main Course". Music Canada. 
  15. ^ "American album certifications – Bee Gees – Main Course". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
Preceded by
History: America's Greatest Hits by America
Canadian RPM 100 number-one album
31 January 1976 – 6 February 1976
Succeeded by
Bay City Rollers by Bay City Rollers