To Whom It May Concern (Bee Gees album)
|To Whom It May Concern|
|Studio album by Bee Gees|
January 1971 ("We Lost the Road") |
January and April 1972
|Studio||IBC Studios, London|
|Genre||Pop rock, soft rock|
|Producer||Robert Stigwood, Bee Gees|
|Bee Gees chronology|
|Singles from To Whom It May Concern|
To Whom It May Concern is a 1972 album by the Bee Gees. Released in October 1972, it was the follow-up, and continued the melancholic and personal sound of its predecessor Trafalgar. The album was recognized as "a farewell to the old Bee Gees" as the album marked the end of an era for the group in several ways: it was their last album to be recorded at IBC Studios, in London, their last with conductor and arranger Bill Shepherd who had guided them since 1967, and their last under their first contract with Robert Stigwood. Some of the songs were old ones finished up or rewritten for the occasion (in the case of "I Can Bring Love"). To Whom It May Concern has sold approximately 350,000 copies worldwide.
Background and recording
After touring in 1971 to promote their previous album, Trafalgar, the Bee Gees worked quickly to complete another album. They recorded the song "Paper Mache, Cabbages and Kings" on 3 January 1972 which was the last song recorded with the Australian drummer Geoff Bridgford. He left the group before their tour of East Asia and was replaced on tour by Chris Karan. Recording resumed in April 1972 with a Robin song called "Never Been Alone" and a song Barry did on his fan club recording from 1971 called "I Can Bring Love". The drummer on the April sessions was a veteran session player, Clem Cattini. The first song recorded for this album was "You Know It's For You", a song written and performed by Maurice Gibb, on which he played guitar, bass, keyboard and mellotron. Karan did not participate with the Bee Gees on studio as Clem Cattini recalls:
|“||On the album it's got a photograph of Chris Karan which is ridiculous really, because it wasn't Chris playing on the album, it was me!. As far as I'm concerned, I think they [Bee Gees] have an unbelievable talent - I'd give anything just to have written one of the songs that they've written, especially the latter sluff.||”|
The album was primarily recorded between June 1971 and April 1972 (except for "We Lost the Road", recorded in January 1971 during the Trafalgar sessions). The Bee Gees saved a non-album single, "My World", from the sessions which was released in January 1972, becoming a UK/US Top 20 hit. Shepherd's arrangements are relatively toned down and the background vocals sometimes seem to take the place of what could have been string sections.
Release and reception
The album was released in November 1972. Stephen Holden's contemporary review in Rolling Stone commentated that he felt the Bees Gees occupied "a very limited territory of pop music", dealing mainly in ballads of "momentary pathos", and that the album was "headphone mood music that makes no demands beyond a superficial emotional surrender to its perfumed atmosphere of pink frosting and glitter", and that the Gibbs vocal style had developed to the point where "they sound more like reed instruments than singers". Bruce Eder in a retrospective review for AllMusic feels the album makes for pleasant and satisfying listening, and is "one of their most fully realized works".
To Whom It May Concern only reached No. 35 in the US; it was their third consecutive studio album to fail to appear in the UK album charts. It performed better in other European countries. In Italy reached No. 10, and peaked at No. 6 in Spain. The subsequent single "Alive" was a modest sized hit in the US, reaching the Top 40, and a major hit in Australia, reaching No. 4. In the 2010 documentary In Our Own Time, Maurice was shown explaining (in archival footage) that by 1972 they didn't really know who their audience was, hence the title To Whom It May Concern. The original album cover was a gatefold with pictures of business associates and family members on a drawing of the Bee Gees and a band. The band shows Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb (Maurice is playing Rickenbacker 4001) Alan Kendall and tour-only drummer Chris Karan, with Bill Shepherd conducting the orchestra.
|1.||"Run to Me"||Barry and Robin||3:05|
|2.||"We Lost the Road" (B. Gibb, R. Gibb)||Barry and Robin||3:27|
|3.||"Never Been Alone" (R. Gibb)||Robin||3:11|
|4.||"Paper Mache, Cabbages and Kings"||Barry and Robin||4:59|
|5.||"I Can Bring Love" (B. Gibb)||Barry||2:06|
|6.||"I Held a Party"||Robin and Barry||2:35|
|7.||"Please Don't Turn Out the Lights"||Robin and Barry||1:59|
|1.||"Sea of Smiling Faces"||Barry and Robin||3:07|
|2.||"Bad Bad Dreams"||Barry and Robin||3:47|
|3.||"You Know It's for You" (M. Gibb)||Maurice||2:57|
|4.||"Alive" (B. Gibb, M. Gibb)||Barry||4:04|
|5.||"Road to Alaska"||Robin||2:38|
|6.||"Sweet Song of Summer"||Barry and Robin||5:04|
Alternate track listing
Some publicity material featured an alternate trackorder although no commercial release of it exists.
- Side one
"Alive" / "I Can Bring Love" / "Bad Bad Dreams" / "I Held a Party" / "Sea of Smiling Faces" / "Road to Alaska" / "Run to Me"
- Side two
"Paper Mache, Cabbages and Kings" / "We Lost the Road" / "You Know It's For You" / "Never Been Alone" / "Please Don't Turn Out the Lights" / "Sweet Song of Summer"
- Barry Gibb – lead, harmony and backing vocals, acoustic guitar
- Robin Gibb – lead, harmony and backing vocals
- Maurice Gibb – bass guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, organ, Mellotron, harpsichord, mandolin; Moog synthesizer (on "Sweet Song of Summer"), harmony and backing vocals, lead vocal on "You Know It's For You"
- Alan Kendall – acoustic guitar; electric lead guitar (on "Bad Bad Dreams")
- Clem Cattini – drums
- Geoff Bridford – drums (on "Paper Mache, Cabbages and Kings" and "Alive")
- Bill Shepherd – orchestral arrangement
- Mike Claydon – engineer
- Damon Lyon-Shaw – engineer
- Richard Manwaring – engineer
- Andy Knight – engineer
- Mike Vickers – synthesizer engineer (on "Sweet Song of Summer")
- "Gibb Songs : 1972". Columbia.edu. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- Brennan, Joseph. The Bee Gees - Tales of the Brothers Gibb. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
- Stephen Holden (1972). "The Bee Gees To Whom It May Concern". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2 October 2007.
- Bruce Eder. "The Bee Gees To Whom It May Concern". allmusic.com.
- "danskehitlister.dk". danskehitlister.dk. Retrieved 2014-04-07.
- Kent, David. Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 18, No. 23". RPM. 20 January 1973. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1972" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
- Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
- "Allmusic: To Whom It May Concern : Charts & Awards : Billboard Albums". allmusic.com. Retrieved 5 May 2013.