Spicks and Specks (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Spicks and Specks"
Single by Bee Gees
from the album Spicks and Specks
B-side "I Am the World"
Released September 1966 (Australia)
February 1967[1]
Format 7", 45 rpm
Recorded June — July 1966
Genre Music hall
Beat
Length 2:52
Label Spin (Australia)
Polydor[1]
Writer(s) Barry Gibb
Producer(s) Nat Kipner
Bee Gees singles chronology
"Monday's Rain"
(1966)
"Spicks and Specks"
(1966)
"Born a Man"
(1967)

"Spicks and Specks" is a song by the Bee Gees, It was written by Barry Gibb. When the song released in September 1966, The single reached No. 4 on the Go-Set Australian National Top 40,[2] and when the song was released in the other countries in Europe on February 1967, it reached No. 28 in Germany, No. 2 in Netherlands, No. 1 in New Zealand.[1]

Recording[edit]

"Spicks and Specks" is dated to early July by the memory of Geoff Grant (Geoffrey Streeter) who played the trumpet. Grant recalls working three nights in a row on four songs including this track, "I Am the World", "All by Myself", and "The Storm". There were no charts, Barry sang what he wanted live, and Grant copied it. Some of the artists whose disks came out in August recall hearing "Spicks and Specks" being worked on or completed, further confirming that early July is about right. "Spicks and Specks" was a ballad around a strong piano beat, Barry writing off a riff by Maurice in a way that would later get a joint writer credit.[3]

Like several other pop titles, such as "Streets of London" (1969) by Ralph McTell, "Rain and Tears" (1968) by Aphrodite's Child, and several French songs of that period, the harmony of this song is directly taken from the famous Pachelbel's Canon[citation needed], and the fascination this harmony generally captures always helped songs to become big hits.[citation needed] "Spicks and Specks" was historically the first hit to re-use Pachelbel's harmony.[citation needed]

The 1967 cover of the single features four-piece Bee Gees including the brothers with the band's new member, Colin Petersen.

Release[edit]

The single entered the Sydney charts at the end of September and stayed in the top forty for nineteen weeks, peaking at number 3. It appeared on the Go-Set National Top 40 for sixteen weeks, where it reached number 4 early in November.[2] By the middle of October the Bee Gees were dead set on returning to England. It did finally convince their producer, Nat Kipner, and Festival to release an LP, and it must have helped convince Polydor (England) to sign the group. This was the first single released in England. An instrumental version of the song is part of the soundtrack for Melody, which also featured several other Bee Gees songs.

Live performances[edit]

  • In 1966, they performed it on Australian television with Barry singing and Robin and Maurice were behind to share backup vocals. On that show, Maurice is playing a guitar and also wears shades.
  • In 1971 they performed in Festival Hall at Melbourne, Australia, and filmed in a black and white version in July with Maurice on piano.
  • In 1974, they also performed in Melbourne from their Mr. Natural tour.
  • In 1989, they also performed in Melbourne from their One for All Tour and instead of Barry holding his microphone while singing the song, he plays his guitar for the first time on the song while singing the song with Maurice on piano.
  • In 1998–1999, they performed this song on the One Night Only tour in Australian shows only.

Personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Charts (1966/1967) Peak
position
Australia Go-Set Singles Chart[2] 4
German Media Control Charts 28
New Zealand RIANZ Charts 1
Netherlands Dutch Top 40 Charts 2

Cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bee Gees discography
  2. ^ a b c Go-Set National Top 40 charting:
  3. ^ Joseph Brennan. "Gibb Songs: 1966".