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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 193 - 06/04/12

Robin Gibb
December 22nd 1949 - May 20th 2012

Bye, bye Robin

It couldn't have been just easy to be a Gibb brother and member of the Bee Gees. Wasn't it always Barry standing in the middle, half a head taller than the twins, Maurice and Robin? It was always Barry up at the front of the stage, as well as getting the biggest pictures on the album covers? Maurice died in 2003, while Robin sadly died on May 20th, after several years of illness.

I am the first to admit that The Bee Gees was nothing for me until I heard their first (international) album, The Bee Gees 1st some 15 years ago. I had laughed when seing the parodies on TV (search Youtube: 'Trond Viggo Bee Gees' or 'Bee Gees Everett'). I even remember an episode from the late 1970s where NRK TV showed a Bee Gees concert with translations of the lyrics into Norwegian. Leonard Cohen it wasn't.

But forget those terrible late 70s escapades, their first record is a totally different matter. Then add Horizonal, Idea and Odessa. In fact, all of their first seven or eight albums is worth hearing, not least because of Robin's voice, but also for the beautiful harmonies from all three Gibb brothers of course. And don't forget Robin's Reign, his first solo album - which sounds like him with an accoustic guitar, an early rhythm box and a symphony orchestra! To these ears, Robin's voice is the more distinct of the three Bee Gees'; he adds more emotion, more power if you like. But, he can also be the one making the strangest sounds. If you get to hear "Lion In Winter" from Trafalgar, and his backing vocals on the psych/pop masterpiece "Red Chair Fadeaway" from their UK debut album, you will understand what I mean.

So, here is my Top 10 list of Robin singing:

"I've Gotta Get A Message To You" (the first and third verse) - from Idea (1968)
"Red Chair Fadeaway" (that's Robin on backing vocals coming in at 1.51!) - from Bee Gees 1st (1967)
"I Started A Joke" - from Idea
"And The Sun Will Shine" - from Horizontal (1968)
"Odessa (City On The Black Sea)" - from Odessa (1969)
"New York Mining Disaster, 1941" - from Bee Gees 1st
"Mother And Jack" - from Robin's Reign (1970)
"Massachussets" (the first verse) - from Horizontal
"Lion In Winter" (he enters at around 1:30) - from Trafalgar (1971)
"Please Don't Turn Down The Light" - from To Whom It May Concern (1972)

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