The Bee Gees in concert from Festival Hall, Melbourne Australia – July 15, 1971 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Depending on how old you are, and where your musical reference points land, The Bee Gees were either one of the quintessential 60s bands or the be-all/end-all for 70s Disco.
My personal preference has always been with their earlier material. It was a showcase for just how skillful and talented the Brothers Gibb were at songwriting, and how they could hold their own with fellow Brit-bands of the time.
This concert comes some 8 months after the release of their 8th album, Two Years On and just two months prior to the release of their 9th album, Trafalgar which came out in September and featured the smash hit “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?” which is performed here, possibly for the first time to the Australian audience. It also, I believe, comes at the time Robin and the rest were reunited, after briefly leaving the group over a disagreement in mid-1969.
It’s interesting, listening to this show, which sounds excellent, to realize just how versatile the group were and how they continued their musical journey for decades, broken up only by the untimely deaths of Maurice and later Robin Gibb. I am sure if they were still with us, they’d be on to another musical chapter. Their eventual turn to Disco took the band in not only a new direction, it introduced them to a whole new audience and a new generation – and certainly were one of the pioneering examples of the hugely popular genre at the time.
And although most people remember them as a successful Disco group, jumping into the earlier ballad material is a reminder that The Bee Gees were a great band with a far-reaching legacy.
If you aren’t familiar with this period of their history, you really need to sit down and have a listen and become familiar with another side of this legendary group.