Trafalgar is the Bee Gees' ninth album (seventh internationally), released in September 1971 in the US, and November 1971 in the UK. The album was a moderate hit in the United States, and peaked at No. 34. The lead single "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?" was the first Bee Gees' No. 1 single in the United States but failed to chart in Britain as did the album. It is also Geoff Bridgford's only full-length appearance on a Bee Gees album as an official member.
In December 1970, barely more than two months after the group recorded their last session for the 2 Years On album, they recorded "Together", "Over the Hill and Over the Mountain", "Merrily Merry Eyes" and "When Do I". On January 11, 1971, Maurice Gibb contributed writing, producing and play guitar on Lulu's 1971 single "Everybody Clap" with Jack Bruce of Cream and Maurice's friend, John Bonham of Led Zeppelin on drums. The group also did the 2 Years On Tour to support their album.
They returned to the studio with new backing band member guitarist Alan Kendall, who would play on the majority of their subsequent albums. Although the Gibb Brothers had reunited in 1970, they were still working separately as evident in the writing credits. Several songs were recorded around this time, many of which have never officially been released. All of the songs chosen for release were ballads, which gives the album something of a concept feeling. The group started to record for this album on 28 January 1971 when they recorded "We Lost the Road", "When Do I" and "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" ("We Lost the Road" was held over for use on the following album To Whom It May Concern). Recording continued through April with several demos and outtakes recorded but never released.
With "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" as the lead single from the album, "Don't Wanna Live Inside Myself" was released as the second single but only reached No. 57 on the US charts. "Israel" was released as a single in the Netherlands and reached No. 22. The album's cover depicts the Battle of Trafalgar. Bridgford was credited on the sleeve notes on the original vinyl release as "Jeoff Bridgford".
This 53-minute version of the album was sent to Atlantic Records in the US with a different track order and with 14 songs in total. The two extra songs are "Country Woman" (the B-side of "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart") and "We Lost the Road" (released on the group's next album To Whom It May Concern). There was no commercial release of the album in this state.