World (Bee Gees song)

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Single by Bee Gees
from the album Horizontal
B-side "Sir Geoffrey Saved the World"
Released December 1967
Format 7", 45 rpm
Recorded 3, 28 October 1967
IBC Studios, London
Genre Psychedelic pop, soft rock, baroque pop
Length 3:20
Label Polydor (United Kingdom)
Writer(s) Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb
Producer(s) Robert Stigwood, Bee Gees
Bee Gees singles chronology

Music sample
Horizontal track listing

"World" is a song from the Bee Gees' fourth album Horizontal, released in 1967 in the United Kingdom. Though it was a big hit in Europe, Atco Records did not issue it as a single in the United States. Atco had issued a third single from Bee Gees' 1st, "Holiday", instead of "World", and now in effect issued the delayed "Massachusetts" in the US, using its B side "Sir Geoffrey Saved the World".


Following the release of "World", Barry said that the song was by contrasting the Bee Gees philosophy same as the Fab Four:

"I am afraid that I can't agree with the Beatles' recording of 'I Am the Walrus'. They never had to use dirty words before but they are using them now. What's the point? I didn't altogether agree with the flower-power scene either - it wasn't realistic. They were only escaping from reality which doesn't work. That's what our record 'World' is about. It goes, 'Now I've found that the world is round, and of course it rains everyday'. What we are saying is that you can't live in your own little world, because somewhere there is trouble, rain and you must face up to it. It may be sun, flowers and beauty in England today, but it's rain and misery somewhere else. It's always raining somewhere in the world for somebody.[1]

On the song's lyrics, it consists of a few hazy first-person ruminations about the singer's purpose in life, punctuated by the oft-repeated chorus, Now I've found/That the world is round/And of course/It rains everyday.[2]


The song's first recording session was on 3 October 1967 along with "With the Sun in My Eyes" "Words" and the unreleased track "Maccleby's Secret". The song's last recording session was on 28 October 1967. "World" was originally planned as having no orchestra, so all four tracks were filled with the band, including some mellotron or organ played by Robin. When it was decided to add an orchestra, the four tracks containing the band were mixed to one track and the orchestra was added to the other track. The stereo mix suffered since the second tape had to play as mono until the end when the orchestra comes in on one side. Barry adds: "'World' is one of those things we came up with in the studio, Everyone just having fun and saying, 'Let's just do something!' you know". Vince Melouney recalls: "I had this idea to play the melody right up in the top register of the guitar behind the chorus".[3]


In 1990, Bill Inglot synched up the two tape reels and made a new stereo mix for the Tales from the Brothers Gibb box set. Two mixes of the record were played to journalists at a press conference before its release. The released version is mainly the unorchestrated version but the orchestrated version is used from 2:39.[4] The track features Robin on organ and Maurice on double-tracked piano. The vocals are mostly by Barry but Robin sings the chorus a few times prior to the fadeout.

Allmusic's Donald A. Guarisco described this song as "a thoroughly psychedelic ballad worthy of the Moody Blues' finest similar efforts".[2] The original promotional video for "World" is filmed in a black and white.[5] It was performed in their concerts and appearances since the release of the song including in Soundstage[6] and The Midnight Special[7] as well as on their 1989 One for All Tour as a medley.


Chart performance[edit]

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ Hughes, Andrew. The Bee Gees - Tales of the Brothers Gibb. Retrieved 11 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Guarisco, Donald. "Bee Gees - World review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  3. ^ Sandoval, Andrew. "Bee Gees - Horizontal". Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Joseph Brennan. "Gibb Songs: 1967". 
  5. ^ "Bee Gees - World". YouTube. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Bee Gees - World LIVE @ Soundstage, Chicago 1975 Song 6/19". YouTube. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Bee Gees, Medley (Midnight Special, 1975)". YouTube. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "Songs Written by the Gibb Family on the International Charts - Part 1" (PDF). Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Bee Gees - World". Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "Bee Gees - World". Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "Bee Gees - World". Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "Bee Gees - World". Dutch Charts. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "Bee Gees - World". Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  14. ^ "Billboard: Hits of the World". Billboard. May 4, 1968. p. 53. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  15. ^ Swedish Singles Chart 1967-1969
  16. ^ a b "Bee Gees - World". Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  17. ^ "Bee Gees Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  18. ^ "Declan Galbraith - World". YouTube. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Hello, Goodbye" by The Beatles
German Media Control Charts number-one single
17–23 February 1968
Succeeded by
"Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)" by John Fred & His Playboy Band
Preceded by
"Hello, Goodbye" by The Beatles
Netherlands Dutch Top 40 number-one single
13–27 January 1968
Succeeded by
"Kom uit de bedstee m'n liefste"