2006


The major release of 2006 was The Studio Albums 1967-1968. Barry, Robin, and Maurice’s estate gained ownership of their recorded works since 1967 at the start of 2006, under deals made many years before. This was the end of their relationship with the Universal and Polydor companies that had handled most of their records. The Bee Gees were now free to negotiate the most favorable deal they could get with any record company. The focus of course was on reissues of their old recordings.

The reissue plan was officially announced in February. The Warners (WEA) organization had made a long-term deal under which their Rhino division would prepare and release a series of special packages starting with Bee Gees’ First that would contain the highest quality digital transfers of the original album plus previously unreleased songs and outtakes. The special packages would take time to prepare— the first did not appear until November— so in the meantime Rhino reissued some of the more popular Bee Gees albums with no changes just to keep them available.

The Studio Albums 1967-1968 was a six-CD box set containing Bee Gees’ First, Horizontal, and Idea on two disks each, the first containing remastered copies of the original mono and stereo mixes, and the second containing songs from singles and previously unreleased songs and versions. The set was issued on the Reprise label.

Barry released four ‘albums’ of demos on iTunes in October and November, right around the same time as the Bee Gees release, very strange timing from a veteran of the pop music business. Before this he tested the waters with two iTunes exclusives in August, demos he had recorded in 2004, ‘Doctor Mann’ and ‘Underworld’. The October and November releases were his demos for the albums he produced in the 1980s for Barbra Streisand, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Rogers, and Diana Ross, the last of which was new to fans because it had never circulated.

In January Barry bought Johnny Cash’s former house in Hendersonville, Tennessee. After some renovations were done he spent time there in the summer, and said he wanted to do an album of country music. He reported working on songs for it by November. In December he said three songs were finished and he had ‘pieces’ for ten more. Besides this, at some point this year Barry recorded a duet of Sting’s ‘Fields of Gold’ for a Cliff Richard album that was released in November. He was also named in November as doing a duet for a forthcoming album by country star T G Sheppard.

Robin, working completely separately, scored the first Gibb release of 2006 with Liz McClarnon’s cover of ‘Woman in Love’, a hit in Britain. Original reports had him singing backup, but he is not audible on the finished product. He may also have recorded a new song for her first album, yet to appear.

Barry and Robin revisited Le Château in May for a documentary film about the Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever songs. Filmmaker Victory Tischler-Blue also filmed the two performing acoustic versions of the four film songs and ‘Jive Talkin’’. This documentary and a reissue of the CD set were expected in late 2007 to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the movie’s release.

In September Robin performed a new song, ‘Mother of Love’, at a special event at Wembley Stadium, London, his first new song to be heard in a few years. He had in the meantime just recorded an album of Christmas carols, and he now added to it a version of ‘Mother of Love’. The carols album was released late in November, just weeks after The Studio Albums 1967-1968.


songs


SONG FOR DAVEY
Barry Gibb, David English
no record

DROWN ON THE RIVER
Barry Gibb, Ashley Gibb, Stephen Gibb
album cut by Barry Gibb, 2007. US copyright August 2006

I SEND MY LOVE
Barry Gibb, Ashley Gibb, Stephen Gibb, Douglas Emery
no record. US copyright August 2006 (without Emery), September 2006

THE FIRST NOËL
traditional, Robin Gibb
album cut by Robin Gibb, 2006

MOTHER OF LOVE
Robin Gibb
album cut by Robin Gibb, 2006

GREY GHOST
Barry Gibb, Ashley Gibb, Stephen Gibb
no record. US copyright December 2006

David English said in January 2006 that he and Barry wrote a song in honor of David’s son David junior. Barry and sons wrote two more by August, possibly for the country album. Robin wrote partial new lyrics for ‘The First Noël’ and one new song.


recording sessions


Cliff Richard and Barry Gibb

Cliff Richard — vocal
Barry Gibb — vocal
others unknown
engineer: ?
producer: ?
2006

FIELDS OF GOLD
Gordon Sumner (1993)
undated 2006
stereo, lead vocal Cliff Richard, Barry Gibb
Two’s Company, 2006

Cliff Richard’s album of duets with fourteen different artists included one with Barry, ‘Fields of Gold’, the song by Sting from 1993.


Robin Gibb

Robin Gibb — vocal
Kwesi Graves — organ, synthesizer, guitar, programming
The Serlo Consort — vocal
The Children’s Choir of St Giles and St George, Ashtead — vocal
choirs arranged by Kit Perona-Wright and Kwesi Graves
engineer: Savvas Iossifidis
producer: Kwesi Graves
August and September 2006, Dublin and London

Sessions for the Robin Gibb album My Favourite Christmas Carols. The order of recording is unknown.

IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER
Christina Rossetti (poem, 1872); Gustav Holst (music, 1906)
undated 2006
stereo 3:58, lead vocal Robin Gibb
My Favourite Christmas Carols, 2006

O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL
John Francis Wade (‘Adeste Fideles’, 1743); Frederick Oakeley (English lyrics, 1841)
undated 2006
stereo 2:54, lead vocal Robin Gibb
My Favourite Christmas Carols, 2006

SILENT NIGHT
Joseph Mohr, Franz Gruber (1818)
undated 2006
stereo 4:17, lead vocal Robin Gibb
My Favourite Christmas Carols, 2006

GOD REST YE MERRY, GENTLEMEN
traditional (circa 1500)
undated 2006
stereo 2:34, lead vocal Robin Gibb
My Favourite Christmas Carols, 2006

GOOD KING WENCESLAS
traditional (circa 1500); John Mason Neale (lyrics, 1853)
undated 2006
stereo 2:12, lead vocal Robin Gibb
My Favourite Christmas Carols, 2006

AWAY IN A MANGER
traditional (poem, circa 1880); William J Kirkpatrick (music, 1895)
undated 2006
stereo 2:33, lead vocal Robin Gibb
My Favourite Christmas Carols, 2006

ONCE IN ROYAL DAVID’S CITY
Cecil F Alexander (poem, 1848); Henry J Gauntlett (music, 1849)
undated 2006
stereo 3:03, lead vocal Robin Gibb
My Favourite Christmas Carols, 2006

I SAW THREE SHIPS
traditional (circa 1500)
undated 2006
stereo 1:16, lead vocal Robin Gibb
My Favourite Christmas Carols, 2006

HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING!
Charles Wesley (poem, 1739); Felix Mendelssohn (music, 1840); William H Cummings (derived work, 1855)
undated 2006
stereo 2:27, lead vocal Robin Gibb
My Favourite Christmas Carols, 2006

THE FIRST NOËL
traditional (‘The First Noël’, circa 1600); Robin Gibb (lyrics, 2006)
undated 2006
stereo 5:18, lead vocal Robin Gibb
My Favourite Christmas Carols, 2006

medley
IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER
O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL
HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING!
ONCE IN ROYAL DAVID’S CITY
(for writers, see above)
undated 2006
stereo 5:44, instrumental
My Favourite Christmas Carols, 2006

Robin recorded a Christmas album in August and September, the unseasonable time when so many Christmas albums are recorded. All of his well-chosen selections have a hundred years or more of tradition behind them, and his voice serves them well. The last song ‘The First Noël’ has new lyrics about the suffering of children around the world (‘no war, no war’).

The instrumental tracks by Kwesi Graves (Michael Graves when he worked with Robin on Magnet) are partially very traditional with simulated pipe organ and string sections, although they sometimes push the envelope with percussion beats. Robin sounds excellent throughout and the choirs complement his singing. One of the least known songs, ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, is one of the best. The only lapse is that the story song ‘Good King Wenceslas’ is missing two verses. Compared to many modern Christmas albums this one has an unusual emphasis on old carols and the repeated uncompromising mention of Jesus by name is almost surprising to hear. Altogether this was a good effort that will be worth pulling out each Christmas season.


Robin Gibb

Robin Gibb — vocal
others
engineer: Savvas Iossifidis
producer: Andy Blissett
September 2006, London?

MOTHER OF LOVE
Robin Gibb (2006)
undated October 2006
stereo 3:14, lead vocal Robin Gibb
My Favourite Christmas Carols, 2006

Robin performed ‘Mother of Love’ on September 17 at the Just a Minute event at Wembley Stadium. Sung with great feeling to minimal accompaniment, it was his first new song in years and recalled the glory days. Following the event, he recorded it to add to his forthcoming album My Favourite Christmas Carols.


selected record releases


Liz McClarnon : single
UK: Absoluteamd, February 2006.

A WOMAN IN LOVE
2 I GOT THE SWEETEST FEELING

Robin co-produced ‘Woman in Love’ and may be singing backing vocals. This song was Liz’s first solo single and was scheduled for October 2005 but was withdrawn. It was finally released in February 2006 and reached number 5.


To Love Somebody
UK: Universal, 2006

01 Michael Bublé : HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART (2002)
02 Boyzone : WORDS (1996)
03 Monday Michiru : HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE (2000)
04 Jordan Hill : TOO MUCH HEAVEN (1996)
05 Feist : INSIDE AND OUT [LOVE YOU INSIDE OUT] (2004)
06 Michael Bolton : TO LOVE SOMEBODY (1992)
07 Girls Aloud : GREASE (2003)
08 Black Eyed Peas : JOINTS AND JAMS [samples GREASE] (1998)
09 Yvonne Elliman : IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU (1977)
10 Tony Hadley : FIRST OF MAY (1997)
11 Dionne Warwick : HEARTBREAKER (1982)
12 Donny Osmond : IMMORTALITY (2001)
13 Andy Gibb : AN EVERLASTING LOVE (1978)
14 Jennifer Love Hewitt : (OUR LOVE) DON’T THROW IT ALL AWAY (1996)
15 M2M : OUR SONG [TOO MUCH HEAVEN] (2000)
16 Rufus featuring Chaka Khan : JIVE TALKIN’ (1975)
17 Beautiful South : I STARTED A JOKE (1994)

A collection of songs written by Barry, Robin, and Maurice, and recorded by other artists. All were previously released, but not all worldwide, like the Japanese release by Monday Michiru. Barry sings with Michael Bublé, Jordan Hill, Dionne Warwick, and Andy Gibb, and Yvonne Elliman’s ‘If I Can’t Have You’ was the original hit version of the song. Of the others Boyzone got a British number 1, Michael Bolton scored on the American adult contemporary chart, and Leslie Feist’s version of ‘Love You Inside Out’ earned some attention.

An alternate version released in Malaysia (and probably other southeast Asian markets) changed the running order, dropped the Black Eyed Peas and Andy Gibb songs, and added four others: Eagle Eye Cherry ‘To Love Somebody’, LFO ‘If I Can’t Have You’, Cher ‘How Can You Mend a Broken Heart’, and Rita Coolidge ‘Words’.


Barry Gibb Alan : single
download: iTunes, August 2006

  DOCTOR MANN

Barry Gibb Alan : single
download: iTunes, August 2006

  UNDERWORLD

Barry released two songs on iTunes in August, backdated to June. ‘Doctor Mann’ and ‘Underworld’ were demos recorded in 2004. The artist was listed as Barry Gibb Alan (his full name is Barry Alan Crompton Gibb). Both had been played a few months earlier on the barrygibb.com web site’s ‘Barry Gibb Radio’ feature. The artist name was later changed to Barry Gibb.


LIPA’s 1st : selected by Robin Gibb
download: LIPA Records, October 2006.

01 The Wombats : DERAIL AND CRASH
02 Cottonear : WHATEVER HAPPENED
03 Lydia Johnsen : LIVIN’ IT RIGHT
04 Tommy Fredvang : WAIT FOR ME
05 Trym : GHOST SONG

Robin selected these songs written and recorded by students at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. The virtual cover has a photo of Robin similar to the cover of Magnet, and the title appears to be a takeoff of Bee Gees’ First.


Barry Gibb Alan : The Eatin Alive Demos
download: iTunes, October 2006.

01 OH, TEACHER
02 EXPERIENCE
03 MORE AND MORE
04 I’M WATCHING YOU
05 LOVE ON THE LINE
06 (I LOVE) BEING IN LOVE WITH YOU
07 CRIME OF PASSION
08 DON’T GIVE UP ON EACH OTHER

Barry Gibb Alan : The Eaten Alive Demos
download: iTunes, October 2006.

(same as the above, retitled)

Barry Gibb : The Eaten Alive Demos
download: iTunes, November 2006.

(same as the above, artist name changed)

Eight demos for the 1985 Diana Ross album Eaten Alive, released exclusively on iTunes. The two hit singles were missing, but both were special cases. Barry apparently was willing to release only the relatively polished demo recordings that he presented to the artist, not work tapes. The completed composition of ‘Eaten Alive’ was on a demo by Michael Jackson, and Barry and Albhy never made a polished demo of ‘Chain Reaction’.

The artist was again listed as Barry Gibb Alan, and between that and the creatively spelled title, the release was not easy to find. The title was changed by the end of October. The name of artist was changed to Barry Gibb in November.


Barry Gibb Alan : The Guilty Demos
download: iTunes, October 2006.

01 GUILTY
02 WOMAN IN LOVE
03 RUN WILD
04 PROMISES
05 THE LOVE INSIDE
06 WHAT KIND OF FOOL
07 LIFE STORY
08 MAKE IT LIKE A MEMORY
09 CARRIED AWAY
10 SECRETS

Barry Gibb : The Guilty Demos
download: iTunes, November 2006.

(same as the above, artist name changed)

A few days after The Eatin Alive Demos Barry Gibb Alan released The Guilty Demos. The songs are in the same order as the Barbra Streisand album of 1980, but with ‘Never Give Up’ missing and with two additional songs included at the end. The artist name was changed to Barry Gibb in November.


Barry Gibb : The Eyes That See in the Dark Demos
download: iTunes, November 2006.

01 THIS WOMAN
02 YOU AND I
03 BURIED TREASURE
04 ISLANDS IN THE STREAM
05 LIVING WITH YOU
06 EVENING STAR
07 HOLD ME
08 MIDSUMMER NIGHTS
09 I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU
10 EYES THAT SEE IN THE DARK

Demos for the Kenny Rogers album of 1983, in the same order as that album. By now Barry’s name was given correctly. No extra songs were included.


Barry Gibb : The Heartbreaker Demos
download: iTunes, November 2006.

01 HEARTBREAKER
02 IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE
03 YOURS
04 TAKE THE SHORT WAY HOME
05 MISUNDERSTOOD
06 ALL THE LOVE IN THE WORLD
07 I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING (BUT YOU)
08 JUST ONE MORE NIGHT
09 YOU ARE MY LOVE

Demos for the Dionne Warwick album of 1982, in the same order as that album. Again no extra songs were included. The tenth song on the album was not a Gibb composition, so there is no Barry demo.


Cliff Richard : Two’s Company
UK: Decca, November 2006.

  FIELDS OF GOLD

Duet by Cliff Richard and Barry.


Bee Gees : The Studio Albums, 1967-1968
US: Reprise, November 2006; UK: Reprise, November 2006.

Bee Gees’ First disk 1
01 TURN OF THE CENTURY (1967)
02 HOLIDAY (1967)
03 RED CHAIR, FADE AWAY (1967)
04 ONE MINUTE WOMAN (1967)
05 IN MY OWN TIME (1967)
06 EVERY CHRISTIAN LION HEARTED MAN WILL SHOW YOU (1967)
07 CRAISE FINTON KIRK ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS (1967)
08 NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941 (1967)
09 CUCUMBER CASTLE (1967)
10 TO LOVE SOMEBODY (1967)
11 I CLOSE MY EYES (1967)
12 I CAN’T SEE NOBODY (1967)
13 PLEASE READ ME (1967)
14 CLOSE ANOTHER DOOR (1967)
15 TURN OF THE CENTURY (1967)
16 HOLIDAY (1967)
17 RED CHAIR, FADE AWAY (1967)
18 ONE MINUTE WOMAN (1967)
19 IN MY OWN TIME (1967)
20 EVERY CHRISTIAN LION HEARTED MAN WILL SHOW YOU (1967)
21 CRAISE FINTON KIRK ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS (1967)
22 NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941 (1967)
23 CUCUMBER CASTLE (1967)
24 TO LOVE SOMEBODY (1967)
25 I CLOSE MY EYES (1967)
26 I CAN’T SEE NOBODY (1967)
27 PLEASE READ ME (1967)
28 CLOSE ANOTHER DOOR (1967)

Bee Gees’ First disk 2
01 TURN OF THE CENTURY
02 ONE MINUTE WOMAN
03 GILBERT GREEN
04 NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941
05 HOUSE OF LORDS
06 CUCUMBER CASTLE
07 HARRY BRAFF
08 I CLOSE MY EYES
09 I’VE GOT TO LEARN
10 I CAN’T SEE NOBODY
11 ALL AROUND MY CLOCK
12 MR WALLOR’S WAILING WALL
13 CRAISE FINTON KIRK ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS
14 NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941

Horizontal disk 1
01 WORLD (1968)
02 AND THE SUN WILL SHINE (1968)
03 LEMONS NEVER FORGET (1968)
04 REALLY AND SINCERELY (1968)
05 BIRDIE TOLD ME (1968)
06 WITH THE SUN IN MY EYES (1968)
07 MASSACHUSETTS (1968)
08 HARRY BRAFF (1968)
09 DAY TIME GIRL (1968)
10 THE EARNEST OF BEING GEORGE (1968)
11 THE CHANGE IS MADE (1968)
12 HORIZONTAL (1968)
13 WORLD (1967)
14 AND THE SUN WILL SHINE (1968)
15 LEMONS NEVER FORGET (1968)
16 REALLY AND SINCERELY
17 BIRDIE TOLD ME (1968)
18 WITH THE SUN IN MY EYES (1968)
19 MASSACHUSETTS (1967)
20 HARRY BRAFF (1968)
21 DAY TIME GIRL (1968)
22 THE EARNEST OF BEING GEORGE (1968)
23 THE CHANGE IS MADE (1968)
24 HORIZONTAL (1968)

Horizontal disk 2
01 OUT OF LINE
02 RING MY BELL
03 BARKER OF THE UFO (1967)
04 WORDS (1968)
05 SIR GEOFFREY SAVED THE WORLD (1967)
06 SINKING SHIPS (1968)
07 REALLY AND SINCERELY
08 SWAN SONG
09 DEEPLY, DEEPLY ME
10 MRS GILLESPIE’S REFRIGERATOR
11 ALL MY CHRISTMASES CAME AT ONCE
12 THANK YOU FOR CHRISTMAS
13 MARY’S BOY CHILD / SILENT NIGHT / THE FIRST NOËL

Idea disk 1
01 LET THERE BE LOVE (1968)
02 KITTY CAN (1968)
03 IN THE SUMMER OF HIS YEARS (1968)
04 INDIAN GIN AND WHISKY DRY (1968)
05 DOWN TO EARTH (1968)
06 SUCH A SHAME (1968)
07 I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU (1968)
08 IDEA (1968)
09 WHEN THE SWALLOWS FLY (1968)
10 I’VE DECIDED TO JOIN THE AIR FORCE (1968)
11 I STARTED A JOKE (1968)
12 KILBURN TOWERS (1968)
13 SWAN SONG (1968)
14 LET THERE BE LOVE (1968)
15 KITTY CAN (1968)
16 IN THE SUMMER OF HIS YEARS (1968)
17 INDIAN GIN AND WHISKY DRY (1968)
18 DOWN TO EARTH (1968)
19 SUCH A SHAME (1968)
20 I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU
21 IDEA (1968)
22 WHEN THE SWALLOWS FLY (1968)
23 I’VE DECIDED TO JOIN THE AIR FORCE (1968)
24 I STARTED A JOKE (1968)
25 KILBURN TOWERS (1968)
26 SWAN SONG (1968)

Idea disk 2
01 CHOCOLATE SYMPHONY
02 I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU (1968)
03 JUMBO (1968)
04 THE SINGER SANG HIS SONG (1968)
05 BRIDGES CROSSING RIVERS
06 IDEA
07 COMPLETELY UNORIGINAL
08 KITTY CAN
09 COME SOME CHRISTMAS EVE OR HALLOWEEN
10 LET THERE BE LOVE
11 GENA’S THEME (1969)
12 ANOTHER COLD AND WINDY DAY
13 SITTING IN THE MEADOW

A monumental event. The Studio Albums 1967-1968 is a six-CD box set celebrating the Bee Gees’ first three English albums, an essential part of any Bee Gees collection. The box contains three two-CD albums, Bee Gees’ First, Horizontal, and Idea. For each, the first disk contains the original stereo and mono mixes from the original master tapes. This was the first CD release of almost all the mono mixes. The second disk of each package contains non-album songs from singles, alternate takes and mixes, and previously unreleased extra songs. Above, the previously released versions are noted with (1967) or (1968) after the titles.

Although a Rhino project, the package bore the Reprise label. The project was supervised by Andrew Sandoval, who has worked on many other reissues for Rhino. He selected unreleased tracks, discussed them with Barry and Robin, did the interviews with them and Vince Melouney, prepared mixes, and wrote the booklet notes. The whole thing took about six months.

Just a few previously released mixes are missing. Five original mono mixes from singles remain elusive: ‘Barker of the UFO’, ‘Sir Geoffrey Saved the World’, ‘Sinking Ships’, ‘Jumbo’, ‘The Singer Sang His Song’. These songs appear here only in the stereo mixes that Bill Inglot made in 1990 for Tales from the Brothers Gibb. On the other hand, three other Inglot mixes do not appear here: ‘World’ appears only in the original mono and stereo mixes, ‘Words’ appears in its original mono mix, and ‘I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You’ appears only in three mixes from 1968, one of which had never been released before. More happily the horrible stereo mix of ‘Words’ that was heard on Atco’s Best of Bee Gees has been consigned to oblivion.

The good news is that the sound is more crisp and clean than on any previous release. The bad news is that many tracks are reproduced with compression not present on the master tapes in order to get them louder. Some of the original dynamics are lost. The levels on the originals can be deduced from old CD releases and from LP dubs. To pick a few examples: the last chorus of ‘I Can’t See Nobody’ can’t go louder as it should because the song is already at maximum; the right channel of ‘Massachusetts’ (orchestra) is blurred and the volume peaks in the vocal are lost; the percussive sound of ‘Idea’ is stifled. Still it is not nearly so bad as some reissues of other artists, and some quieter songs are not affected at all, including ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941’. It’s just that since this is probably the last best release of these recordings, it’s a damned shame it isn’t quite as good as it could have been.


Robin Gibb : My Favourite Christmas Carols
Germany: Edel, November 2006

01 MOTHER OF LOVE
02 IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER
03 O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL
04 SILENT NIGHT
05 GOD REST YE MERRY, GENTLEMEN
06 GOOD KING WENCESLAS
07 AWAY IN A MANGER
08 ONCE IN ROYAL DAVID’S CITY
09 I SAW THREE SHIPS
10 HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING!
11 THE FIRST NOËL
12 COME SOME CHRISTMAS EVE OR HALLOWEEN (2006, recorded 1968)
13 ELLAN VANNIN (1998)
14 MEDLEY

Robin Gibb : single
download: www.musicload.de, November 2006

  MOTHER OF LOVE

Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees : My Favourite Carols
US: Koch, November 2006

01 IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER
02 O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL
03 SILENT NIGHT
04 GOD REST YE MERRY, GENTLEMEN
05 GOOD KING WENCESLAUS
06 AWAY IN A MANGER
07 ONCE IN ROYAL DAVID’S CITY
08 I SAW THREE SHIPS
09 HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING!
10 THE FIRST NOËL

My Favourite Christmas Carols appeared on three labels in different forms. Just days before The Studio Albums, 1967-1968 was released, Evolution (Hong Kong) released a version with ‘Mother of Love’ followed by the ten carols. The other two labels released near the end of the month. The German version (for Europe) on Edel was the most complete, with ‘Mother of Love’, ten carols, two old songs, and the instrumental medley. The American version on Koch had only the ten carols. Strangely there was no release in Britain.

The ten carols form such a unified whole that the Koch version is in some ways the most satisfying album as such. But ‘Mother of Love’ is so good, and so much like a hymn, that even though it is not a Christmas carol it seems almost appropriate, and it balances the closing ‘The First Noël’ which with its new chorus lyrics also breaks the mood. The previously released Bee Gees songs ‘Come Some Christmas Eve or Halloween’ and ‘Ellan Vannin’ just do not fit in, and the instrumental medley is unnecessary.

All versions came with a ten-minute video called A Personal Christmas Moment with Robin Gibb. Evolution and Koch had it on a separate DVD disk, and Edel had it on the same enhanced CD disk, playable on computer. On it Robin talks about the songs and memories of Christmas. Most of it was filmed at a vocal recording session in an unidentified house with Kwesi Graves and assistants. From this it is apparent that the instrumental and choir parts were previously recorded at another location.