Size Isn't Everything

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Size Isn't Everything
Studio album by Bee Gees
Released 13 September 1993 (UK)
2 November 1993 (US)
Recorded 1993 at Middle Ear, Miami Beach
Genre Rock, pop rock, hip hop, dance-pop, acoustic, New Jack Swing
Length 50:43 (US version)
55:39 (European version)
Label Polydor
Producer Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb, Femi Jiya
Bee Gees chronology
High Civilization
(1991)
Size Isn't Everything
(1993)
Still Waters
(1997)

Size Isn't Everything is the Bee Gees' twentieth studio album (eighteenth worldwide), released in the UK on 13 September 1993, and the US on 2 November of the same year.

History[edit]

The album marked the Bee Gees' return to Polydor Records after their three-album contract with Warner Bros. Records.

The album was recorded following a time of considerable strain for the Gibb brothers. Maurice had only recently managed to overcome his long-term struggle with alcoholism and Barry Gibb's wife and prematurely newborn daughter both suffered ill health. Barry himself was also scheduled to have back surgery.

Then on 5 March 1992, the brothers' father, Hugh Gibb, died. The date coincided with the birthday of their late brother Andy, who had died in 1988. The album was dedicated to Hugh.

Work on the album began in 1992. The brothers abandoned the contemporary dance feel of the previous album High Civilization and went for what they would describe as "A return to our sound before Saturday Night Fever".

Release and reception[edit]

On 9 August 1993, the album's first single, "Paying the Price of Love", was released in the UK and peaked at No. 23. The album peaked at No. 33 in the UK in late September. It then disappeared from the charts, only to return in December 1993 when the album's second single, "For Whom the Bell Tolls", became a UK top five hit. The album again peaked at No. 23. In all, the album spent sixteen weeks inside the UK Top 100 and was certified gold by the BPI for sales of over 100,000 copies. A third single, the ballad "How to Fall in Love, Part 1", was released on 4 April 1994 in the UK, peaking at No. 30. This made Size Isn't Everything the first Bee Gees album to contain three UK top 30 hits since 1979's Spirits Having Flown and many consider this album their strongest post-Saturday Night Fever album to date.

Reaction to the album in the US was less successful, where the album peaked at No. 153 and spent only three weeks inside the whole Billboard 200. The single "Paying the Price of Love" only reached No. 74 in the US during the fall of 1993, presumably due to the fact that by 1993, The Bee Gees were an adult contemporary group and this single was too heavy for AC stations with its hip-hop influenced percussion. The European hit single, "For Whom The Bell Tolls", bubbled under on Billboard's Hot 100 at No. 109.

Reception of the album was mixed around the world, though it is notable that it was one of the most successful Bee Gees albums in Argentina, peaking at No. 1 due to the big success of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" there. Worldwide sales of the album are estimated to be over 700,000 copies.[citation needed]

According to Barry, when asked on American breakfast shows why the album was called Size Isn't Everything, he explained that the Bee Gees have never been hyped and that they have always had to prove themselves musically, so the title came from that idea.

Barry also commented that the song "Blue Island" was the nicest song they had ever written.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars link

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb.

  1. "Paying the Price of Love" – 4:12
    • The lead single from the album. It had numerous alternate "mixes" available in different releases.
  2. "Kiss of Life" – 4:14
    • Originally planned as the second single from the album, and released as the fourth single in some markets. It is an energetic rock/dance hybrid with an impressively complex vocal line involving distinctive Robin and Barry solo vocals as well as group vocals.
  3. "How to Fall in Love, Part 1" – 5:59
  4. "Omega Man" – 3:59
    • Lead vocals by Maurice.
  5. "Haunted House" – 5:44
    • "I guess you could say the song's about divorce" Barry said when the track was included with a free CD given away with Q Magazine.
  6. "Heart Like Mine" – 4:41
    • Robin said this was inspired by Enya's moody songs, and he gets some of the slow dreamy feel of her music.
  7. "Anything for You" – 4:36
  8. "Blue Island" – 3:15
    • "Dedicated to the children of the former Yugoslavia", according to the liner notes.
  9. "Above and Beyond" – 4:27
    • Lead vocals by Maurice.
  10. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" – 5:06
    • The epic-ballad, biggest hit from the album.
  11. "Fallen Angel" – 4:30
  12. "Decadance" – 4:31
    • A new remix of the classic No. 1 hit "You Should Be Dancing", which was included only in the European version of the album. The unison scream of the line 'My baby moves at midnight' by Barry Gibb at 2:20 was first sung to the public back in 1989, towards the end of the One for All Tour in Melbourne.

Singles[edit]

Date Single Notes Peak positions
August 1993 "Paying the Price of Love" Released worldwide #19 Netherlands, No. 23 UK, No. 24 Austria, No. 31 France, No. 33 Italy, No. 36 Germany, No. 53 Canada, No. 74 US
November 1993 "For Whom the Bell Tolls" Released worldwide #1 Brazil, No. 4 UK, No. 6 IE, No. 20 Netherlands, No. 52 Germany, No. 109 US
April 1994 "How to Fall in Love, Part 1" Released only in the UK #30 UK
1994 "Kiss of Life" Released in Germany, France and the Netherlands[1] -
1994 "Blue Island" Released only in some European markets as a promo single -

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel

Chart performance[edit]

Chart Peak position Certification
Argentina 1 -
Austria 6 -
Germany 12 -
Switzerland 14 -
Netherlands 22 -
United Kingdom[2] 23 Gold (1 December 1993)
Italy 28 -
France 28 -
United States 153 -

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bee Gees – Kiss of Life". Discogs.com. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 51. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.