What is not to love about the Bee Gees? I put disc one on the player and within 30 seconds my wife Jan was in disco heaven! She was sat at her computer, but just grooving along, you know the style, waving your hands around, and occasionally pointing at non-existent objects! Oh, those good old disco days! Meanwhile I was rummaging in long forgotten cardboard moving boxes, the disco ball, the oil projector, and the all important white polyester jumpsuit with the flared trousers; they had to be here somewhere! Alas, 30 years have elapsed, and somewhere in the many moves, these treasures have been lost (some over zealous customs agent probably has them).

I have always considered the Bee Gees to be much more than a ‘dance band’, yet almost everyone says ‘Oh the guys that did the Travolta movies’. They did the soundtracks for Saturday Night Fever and Grease, but every song stood up to musical scrutiny. This was not the mindless and aimless never ending loops of electronica that the ‘dance’ genre has evolved into. Using real music, and very adaptable vocal ranges the Bee Gees offered interesting material that also happened to work well for the dance crowd. I seriously doubt that John Travolta would have had the box office impact without the great soundtrack supplied by the Bee Gees.

This two CD set is actually a re-release from 1979 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Saturday Night Fever, but includes some very interesting previously unreleased bonus tracks, including “Warm Ride” and an extended version of “Stayin’ Alive. There are also some techno remixes, of those I will say nothing (read paragraph above)! Of the two CD’s I must confess a preference for CD one, although the tracks are not in chronological order I found that this CD had most of the hits that I liked.

If you are Jan and my age (over 25) this is one of those CD sets you cannot resist.
The double-disc contains selections from three of the Bee Gees’ studio albums: 1975’s Main Course (certified gold), 1976’s Children Of The World (certified platinum) and 1979’s Spirits Having Flown (certified platinum), as well as the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack (1977), which has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide. This not a shabby track record! There are few bands in any genre that claim this kind of sales record.

Bee Gees Greatest should be available in your local store, or you can order it online from http://www.rhino.com/.

Simon Barrett


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