Ordinary Lives

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"Ordinary Lives"
Ordinary Lives.jpg
Single by Bee Gees
from the album One
B-side "Wing and a Prayer"
Released March 1989
Format 7" single, CD single, cassette tape
Recorded April 1988
Genre Pop
Length 4:01
Label Warner Bros.
Songwriter(s) Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb
Producer(s) Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Brian Tench
Bee Gees singles chronology
"Ordinary Lives"

"Ordinary Lives"

"Ordinary Lives" is a single released by the Bee Gees in 1989. It was taken from their 16th studio album One. Following the premature death of their younger brother Andy Gibb in 1988, the Bee Gees dedicated this song and their new album to him. Originally the song was titled "Cruel World" but was changed and the name was "Ordinary Lives".

The song's distinctive "crashing drums sound" after Barry's rap of "ordinary people, living ordinary lives" were provided by Eagles drummer and vocalist Don Henley on a Simmons SDS-V.

Composition and inspiration[edit]

Scott Glasel recalled that "Ordinary Lives" was started before Andy died, but as completed it seems to be a philosophical comment on life and death, For a time it was called "Cruel World", a phrase heard at the start of the second verse as completed, The rhythm has some similarity to "You Win Again" and may have been a deliberate attempt to follow it up, But it has many new features including the brief spoken word parts and the existential musings of the lyrics, something often associated with Robin but clearly here coming from Barry, Probably the finished recording has added dubs by the musicians who worked on the album One.[1]

Barry Gibb performed this song in the 2013 Mythology Tour accompanied by his son Stephen Gibb and Maurice's daughter Samantha "Sammy" Gibb. He still used the backing vocal effect in the last part of the original record.


Bee Gees
Additional musicians

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
Austria 19
Belgium 22
France 49
Germany 8
Switzerland 9
The Netherlands 23
United Kingdom[2] 54


  1. ^ "Gibb Songs : 1988". Columbia.edu. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 51. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]