1967


The Bee Gees, their parents, and Ossie Byrne all set sail for England on January 3, 1967, aboard the ship Fairsky, reaching Southampton on February 6. The boys performed on board in exchange for passage.

Things moved very fast once they arrived in England, because of a series of events already in motion. The story the Bee Gees always tell is that in November their father Hugh had optimistically sent off a package to NEMS, the Beatles’ management company, with press clippings and two disks: the Spicks and Specks album and an acetate with more songs from St Clair. During the time they were aboard ship, NEMS announced a new general manager, Robert Stigwood, a well known but not universally liked figure in the music business. Stigwood was to take on many of the duties of the increasingly withdrawn owner Brian Epstein. Hugh’s package naturally landed in a pile with many others, but according to the story, Stigwood, an Australian by birth, for some reason casually put on one of the Bee Gees’ disks and liked what he heard. But Hugh’s letter said that they were all on their way to England and provided no way to contact them. Now in London, they were beginning to make the rounds of the various record company offices.

Unknown to the Bee Gees and associates, the group were already under consideration by a relatively small English label, Polydor, a branch of the large German record company. Managing director Ronald Rennie recalls being contacted late in 1966 by someone from Barry Gibb’s publisher in Australia. The publisher sent an acetate with ‘Spicks and Specks’ and other songs. Rennie liked the songs and the group sound, and contacted Festival about releasing their Bee Gees recordings in England. If the records did well, Polydor would consider bringing them from Australia to tour. But the next thing he knew, Barry himself turned up at the offices asking to see him about recording his group. Rennie was immediately interested and contacted his friend Robert Stigwood, recommending that Robert manage them. And so Stigwood was able to contact Hugh just days after the Gibbs had arrived in their new house, mystifying them with his abilities to reach people. Soon the boys passed a live audition with Stigwood and were then signed to the Robert Stigwood Organisation on February 24. On the same day Polydor released the ‘Spicks and Specks’ single in England under a deal with Festival.

Polydor got rights for Britain and Europe and later much of the world, and Nat Kipner’s Spin label retained rights to Australia, but the huge North American market, the USA and Canada, was still up for grabs. Despite NEMS’s close relationship with EMI and its American label Capitol, after negotiations Robert Stigwood made a deal in March with his friend Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic Records. Atlantic had long been known for rhythm and blues and jazz, but they were now moving into pop and rock and were eager to have some good English groups on the roster. They had already got Cream through Stigwood. Signing the Bee Gees is to this day a source of pride at Atlantic.

Robert Stigwood was manager of the Bee Gees, and also virtually their employer, his preferred arrangement with artists. It was a conflict of interest that eventually caused disagreements in 1981. The recordings the Bee Gees made were paid for and owned by Stigwood companies (Reaction Records in 1967, and later The Robert Stigwood Organisation, RSO), and licensed to the record companies for release. Likewise their musical compositions were controlled by publishers in the Stigwood corporate family. Because Robert liked the Bee Gees, they benefited from being allowed to record almost all the songs they could write, from which they later selected those to be released and those to be taken as publisher’s demos to other artists. The RSO tape library contained many songs that few people ever heard, some with orchestral arrangements, an expensive indulgence for songs not definitely scheduled for release.

Colin Petersen and Vince Melouney, both Australians, were hired to make the Bee Gees into a band, Colin on drums and Vince on lead guitar. Both played on the first English album and became official members of the group shortly after it was completed and before it was released. Colin was officially added first, accounting for some early photos with him and not Vince, such as the one later used on the cover of Best of Bee Gees. Colin had played with the Bee Gees at St Clair Studio in 1966. Vince had been lead guitarist in a top Australian band, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, had later led his own group the Vince Maloney Sect (so spelled), and had most recently been in the Blue Jays, based in Melbourne.

Bill Shepherd, who had produced the Bee Gees in 1965, came on board as musical director and arranger as First was being recorded, courtesy Colin with whom he was sharing a flat till they found work. Bill remained with the Bee Gees till 1972, and his work in translating their musical ideas into finished songs should not be underestimated. Robert Stigwood had an ear for hits, but he was not a musician, and Bill Shepherd became the group’s musical adviser, his arrangements for strings, horns, and woodwinds being an integral part of the recordings.

The group would record two albums in 1967, and they also continued their tradition of appearing on other artists’ records, now always in connection with recordings of their own songs.

Most of the Bee Gees’ recording for the next five years took place at IBC Studios, Portland Place, owned by the Independent Broadcasting Corporation. Robert Stigwood had booked his artists into IBC for years, most recently Cream. The Who, the Small Faces, and Jimi Hendrix were among other well-known names who recorded there. IBC had four-track recording facilities, the standard in Britain at the time. The Beatles, at EMI’s Abbey Road studio, recorded Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band on four-track in 1967. The Bee Gees also recorded at various other studios during this first year in England.

Four-track master tape is mixed down to one-track (mono) and two-track (stereo) for consumer release. The two mixes are made independently from the four-track. At this time mono was still the primary format in Britain, so mono mixes were made first and given somewhat more care and attention. The mono mix was used for singles and for radio play. In many markets including Britain and North America, LPs were issued in both mono and stereo versions in 1967, although already some markets like Germany were issuing only a stereo LP when a stereo version was available. When a song was chosen for LP release, then and only then it was mixed to stereo. Engineers report that as late as 1968 the stereo mixes of Bee Gees songs were made quickly and almost as an afterthought. Ironically it was only those stereo mixes that were available after 1969 and into the CD era. The mono mixes that everyone spent so much time on were rarities until reissue in 2006 on The Studio Albums 1967-1968.

Recording dates for each song from 1967 to 1975 are available courtesy of Bill Levenson of Universal/Polygram, who allowed the author to see and take notes from a list of tapes in the RSO library. These dates have by now been copied to many web pages, but they were first published in version 1 of Gibb Songs. All the tapes were reviewed for The Studio Albums 1967-1968 and some various corrections appear here based on Andrew Sandoval’s notes in the CD booklet and on the Reprise web page.


songs


NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941
[ NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941 (HAVE YOU SEEN MY WIFE, MR JONES) ]
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
A side by Bee Gees, April 1967; album cut by Bee Gees, 1967

RED CHAIR, FADE AWAY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1967

TURN OF THE CENTURY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1967

MR WALLOR’S WAILING WALL
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
(or Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb)
album cut by Bee Gees, 2006

I CLOSE MY EYES
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1967

ONE MINUTE WOMAN
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1967

ALL AROUND MY CLOCK
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 2006

GARDEN OF MY HOME
[ IN THE GARDEN OF MY HOME ]
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
B side by Abi and Esther Ofarim, 1967

I’VE GOT TO LEARN
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 2006

CUCUMBER CASTLE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1967

CRAISE FINTON KIRK ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1967

PLEASE READ ME
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1967

LIFE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
no record

IN MY OWN TIME
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1967

EVERY CHRISTIAN LION HEARTED MAN WILL SHOW YOU
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1967

COWMAN, MILK YOUR COW
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
A side by Adam Faith, September 1967

THE END OF GILBERT GREEN
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A side by Gerry Marsden, September 1967

END OF MY SONG
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
US copyright April 1968. no record

CLOSE ANOTHER DOOR
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
B side by Bee Gees, June 1967; album cut by Bee Gees, 1967

TO LOVE SOMEBODY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
A side by Bee Gees, June 1967; album cut by Bee Gees, 1967

HOLIDAY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1967

HARRY BRAFF
[ CHEQUERED FLAG ]
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1968

AND THE SUN WILL SHINE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1968

DAY TIME GIRL
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1968

BIRDIE TOLD ME
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1968

RING MY BELL
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 2006

BARKER OF THE UFO
Barry Gibb
B side by Bee Gees, September 1967

MASSACHUSETTS
[ (THE LIGHTS WENT OUT IN) MASSACHUSETTS ]
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A side by Bee Gees, September 1967; album cut by Bee Gees, 1968

SIR GEOFFREY SAVED THE WORLD
[ YOU KNOW HOW YOU GAVE YOURSELF AWAY ]
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
B side by Bee Gees, December 1967

WORDS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A side by Bee Gees, January 1968

VINCE’S NUMBER
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
no record

ALL MY CHRISTMASES CAME AT ONCE
[ ALL OUR CHRISTMASES CAME AT ONCE ]
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A side by the Majority, January 1968; album cut by Bee Gees, 2006

HORIZONTAL
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1968

LEMONS NEVER FORGET
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1968

WITH THE SUN IN MY EYES
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1968

WORLD
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A side by Bee Gees, December 1967; album cut by Bee Gees, 1968

MACCLEBY’S SECRET
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
no record

THE EARNEST OF BEING GEORGE
[ GRANNY’S MR DOG ]
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1968

SINKING SHIPS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
B side by Bee Gees, January 1968

WHEN THINGS GO WRONG
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
no record

SWAN SONG
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1968

REALLY AND SINCERELY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1968

OUT OF LINE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 2006

THE CHANGE IS MADE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1968

THANK YOU
[ THANK YOU FOR CHRISTMAS ]
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
performed on television, December 1967. album cut by Bee Gees, 2006

There are quite a few well-known songs from this year’s work and a great many more worth a listen these many years later.

The credits on Bee Gees’ First put Robin first, as in ‘R and B Gibb’ (Polydor UK) or ‘Robin and Barry Gibb’ (Atco). Whether this was a joke on the term ‘R and B’ or an attempt to keep the words ‘Barry Gibb’ together is unclear, and either way it was defeated on the songs where Maurice’s name or initial were added after Barry’s. Afterwards, a standard order was established as always Barry, then Robin, then Maurice, and that order is applied here. It’s surprising, considering the work of 1966, to see Maurice credited so little and Robin so much on the first batch of English songs. But that seems to be the way it was.


recording sessions


Billy J Kramer

Billy J Kramer — vocal
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb — vocal
others
orchestra arranged by Bill Shepherd
engineer: ?
producer: Robert Stigwood
March 1967, IBC Studios, London

TOWN OF TUXLEY TOYMAKER, PART 1
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
4 March 1967
mono, lead vocal Billy J Kramer
A side, April 1967

The first Bee Gees recording session in England was as guests on a re-make of a song they had done in Australia with Jon Blanchfield. Billy J Kramer was a NEMS artist who, as Billy J Kramer with the Dakotas, had previously had a few hits with Lennon-McCartney songs not released by the Beatles, a circumstance the Gibb brothers would be well aware of. It seemed like an auspicious start.


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal, organ
Maurice Gibb — vocal, bass, piano, guitar
Colin Petersen — drums
engineer: Carlos Olms
producer: Robert Stigwood
March 1967, Polydor Studio, London

Polydor Studio was just a room in the offices that had been converted in January 1967 to a small studio suitable for demo recordings, but as humble as it was, it was four-track recording. One of the songs they started there as a demo was ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941’, which they wrote in the darkened stairwell. Recording for release started at IBC on March 7.


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal, organ
Maurice Gibb — vocal, bass, piano, organ, harpsichord, mellotron, guitar
Vince Melouney — guitar
Colin Petersen — drums
orchestra arranged by Phil Dennys (‘New York Mining Disaster 1941’, ‘Red Chair Fade Away’,
  ‘I Close My Eyes’, ‘One Minute Woman’)
orchestra arranged by Bill Shepherd (other songs)
engineer: Mike Claydon
producer: Robert Stigwood, Ossie Byrne
March and April 1967, IBC Studios, London

The start of recording for the Bee Gees’ first English album, Bee Gees’ First.

NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1967)
7, 13 March 1967
mono, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased
stereo (mixed in 2006) 2:01, lead vocal Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006

I CAN’T SEE NOBODY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1966)
7, 13 March 1967
stereo (alternate take, mixed in 2006) 3:49, lead vocal Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006
mono 3:45, lead vocal Robin Gibb
B side, April 1967; First, 1967
stereo 3:45, lead vocal Robin Gibb
First, 1967

RED CHAIR, FADE AWAY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1967)
7, 13 March 1967
mono 2:16, lead vocal Barry Gibb
First, 1967
stereo 2:16, lead vocal Barry Gibb
First, 1967

TURN OF THE CENTURY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1967)
7, 15 March 1967
stereo (early version, mixed in 2006) 2:21, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006
mono 2:25, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
First, 1967
stereo 2:25, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
First, 1967

The first day the Bee Gees recorded four songs, recording their own instrumental parts and vocals. The orchestra and some other parts were added the next week. ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941’ was done first, and it may have already been nominated as the first single on the strength of the Polydor demo. This version however was not released until 2006. The other three songs were released, with later additions. One was another classic in the making, ‘I Can’t See Nobody’, written late in 1966. An alternate take of March 7 is on The Studio Albums 1967-1968. The early version of ‘Turn of the Century’ is has just the March 7 tracks for the finished recording including a lead vocal that was replaced on March 13.

HOUSE OF LORDS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
8, 15 March 1967
mono, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased

MR WALLOR’S WAILING WALL
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1967)
8, 15 March 1967
mono, lead vocal Robin Gibb or Barry Gibb
unreleased

The only Australian composition the Bee Gees did at these sessions was the very late ‘House of Lords’. They could have puffed up their first English album by re-recording selected songs from Australia— but they moved forward with all new songs. Both songs from March 8 were worked on further but neither was released.

I CLOSE MY EYES
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
9, 15 March 1967
stereo (early version, mixed in 2006) 2:26, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006
mono 2:22, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
First, 1967
stereo 2:22, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
First, 1967

ONE MINUTE WOMAN
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1967)
9, 15 March 1967
stereo (early version, mixed in 2006) 2:17, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006
mono (alternate vocal) 2:18, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased
mono 2:18, lead vocal Barry Gibb
First, 1967
stereo 2:18, lead vocal Barry Gibb
First, 1967

ALL AROUND MY CLOCK
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
9, 15 March 1967
mono (early version?) 0:55, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
unreleased
mono 1:59, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
unreleased
stereo (mixed in 2006) 1:59, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006

A third day, and three more songs started. Various takes of ‘One Minute Woman’ had lead vocals by Barry, or by Robin, or by both. The early versions of ‘I Close My Eyes’ and ‘One Minute Woman’ on The Studio Albums 1967-1968 are tracks from March 9 including lead vocals that would be replaced on March 15. An acetate of ‘Around My Clock’ (another March 9 early version?) runs only 0:55 jumping from the second chorus to the sustained note ending.

I’VE GOT TO LEARN
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
13 March 1967
mono, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased
stereo (mixed in 2006) 2:48, lead vocal Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006

CUCUMBER CASTLE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1967)
13, 15 March 1967
stereo (early version, mixed in 2006) 2:01, lead vocal Barry Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006
mono 2:04, lead vocal Barry Gibb
First, 1967
stereo 2:04, lead vocal Barry Gibb
First, 1967

NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1967)
13, 16 March 1967
mono, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased
stereo (mixed in 2006) 2:17, lead vocal Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006
mono 2:09, lead vocal Robin Gibb
A side, April 1967; First, 1967
stereo 2:09, lead vocal Robin Gibb
First, 1967

Starting a new week, on March 13 the Bee Gees first remixed and overdubbed three songs started on March 7, ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941’, ‘I Can’t See Nobody’, and ‘Red Chair, Fade Away’. They then moved on to two new ones. The rocker ‘I’ve Got to Learn’ was taken no further despite choice Robinesque lyrics. ‘Cucumber Castle’ would be continued days later. The early version of it on The Studio Albums 1967-1968 is the March 13 tracks with a lead vocal that was replaced on March 15.

Lastly they did two ‘remakes’ of ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941’, starting all over again. There were six takes of the first remake and then three takes (starting again at take 1) of the second, which has been marked on the box as ‘remake version for single’. This means that they were already having second thoughts about the guitar-heavy March 7 version. One of the latter remakes was the basis for the released version.

On March 15 they did no new songs but remixed and overdubbed seven songs previously recorded: ‘Turn of the Century’ (March 7), ‘I Close My Eyes’ (March 9), ‘Cucumber Castle’ (March 13), ‘House of Lords’ (March 8), ‘Mr Wallor’s Wailing Wall’ (March 8), ‘One Minute Woman’ (March 9), and ‘All Around My Clock’ (March 9). These dubs included the finished lead vocals, replacing the guide vocals they recorded at the earlier sessions.

Orchestral parts were then added to many of the songs done so far. Some were arranged by Bill Shepherd, who was about to start his six-year run as the Bee Gees’ arranger and conductor in the studio and on tour. Some also were by a young arranger called Phil Dennys, whose arrangements for four songs appear on the album.

An acetate sold at auction in the 1990s reveals the state of some songs at about this date. It included three songs arranged by Phil Dennys. ‘Red Chair, Fade Away’ is still missing the mellotron flutes which Maurice must have added afterwards, ‘One Minute Woman’ has a lead vocal by Robin (not the vocal released on The Studio Albums 1967-1968), and ‘I Close My Eyes’ has a different mix. It also has three Bill Shepherd orchestral arrangements of ‘Turn of the Century’ (to the same Bee Gees tracks), an important song as the opening of the album, a variant mix of ‘Cucumber Castle’, and ‘Mr Wallor’s Wailing Wall’ with fewer sound effects than on The Studio Albums 1967-1968. It does not contain ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941’, probably because it was still not in a satisfactory state.

Three versions of ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941’ were arranged for orchestra. The March 7-13 recording with a very flowery Bill Shepherd arrangement appears on The Studio Albums 1967-1968 as ‘version one’. As Robin recalled it in 2006, Robert Stigwood heard an overly elaborate arrangement of ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941’ and told them to go back and do it again more simply. This doesn’t quite fit in with the remakes being done as early as March 13, but it does suggest that the released arrangement by Phil Dennys is a little later, probably March 21.

Phil Dennys actually wrote two similar arrangements. The more overblown one, complete with intro and outro sound effects, is ‘version two’. Another very similar take by the Bee Gees got a less elaborate arrangement and became the standard version. These two sound like different mixes of the same tracks, but a side-by-side analysis shows that they are completely different recordings. On the take that would be released, the Bee Gees took the verses a little slower, and lingered slightly over Robin’s last ‘someone that I knew’.

Stigwood was right to go with the simplest of the three versions. The released version also happens to serve as a fine example of the trivial but interesting differences in mono and stereo mixes. In stereo the vocal track is faded out just a moment too soon, dropping the last note.

CRAISE FINTON KIRK ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1967)
21 March 1967
stereo (alternate take, mixed in 2006) 2:16, lead vocal Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006
mono 2:16, lead vocal Robin Gibb
First, 1967
stereo 2:16, lead vocal Robin Gibb
First, 1967

After all the orchestral dubbing, the Bee Gees recorded an odd little story song with nothing but piano and vocals. The Studio Albums 1967-1968 includes a very similar alternate take.

PLEASE READ ME
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1967)
23 March 1967
mono 2:15, lead vocal Barry Gibb
First, 1967
stereo 2:15, lead vocal Barry Gibb
First, 1967

LIFE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
23 March 1967
mono, lead vocal not recorded
unreleased

IN MY OWN TIME
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1967)
23 March 1967
mono 2:15, lead vocal Barry Gibb
First, 1967
stereo 2:15, lead vocal Barry Gibb
First, 1967

EVERY CHRISTIAN LION HEARTED MAN WILL SHOW YOU
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
23 March 1967
mono 3:38, lead vocal Barry Gibb
First, 1967
stereo 3:38, lead vocal Barry Gibb
First, 1967

The three titles released from this group all feature only the Bee Gees band without orchestral backing. The stereo mixes of these songs are practically mono, probably because most of the instrumental work was recorded to one track to leave room for possible orchestration. ‘In My Own Time’ is relatively straightforward, with a nice lead break by Vince. ‘Please Read Me’ is dosed with so many layers of vocal that Colin seems to have added a tom tom in the break to make up for near loss of the rhythm track. The standout of this group is ‘Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You’, for the memorable low chanting and for Maurice’s uncanny expertise with the mellotron, an instrument he cannot have laid hands on until this month.

CLOSE ANOTHER DOOR
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
undated 1967
mono 3:29, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
B side, June 1967; First, 1967
stereo 3:29, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
First, 1967

The date of ‘Close Another Door’ is not documented. It was recorded around this time at Ryemuse Studio, London.

MR WALLOR’S WAILING WALL
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1967)
4 April 1967
mono 1:52, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased
mono 2:35, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased
stereo (mixed in 2006) 2:35, lead vocal Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006

HOUSE OF LORDS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
5 April 1967
mono, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased
stereo (mixed in 2006) 2:46, lead vocal Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006

Remakes of ‘Mr Wallor’s Wailing Wall’ and ‘House of Lords’, both originally done on March 8. These versions got Bill Shepherd orchestral arrangements but were still not released. This ‘House of Lords’ had harpsichord instead of guitars. Both songs finally appeared on The Studio Albums 1967-1968. In its appearance there ‘Mr Wallor’s Wailing Wall’ has an additional spoken word at the end compared to a 1:52 mono mix heard on an acetate.

GILBERT GREEN
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
undated 1967
mono, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
unreleased
stereo (mixed in 2006) 3:05, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006

END OF MY SONG
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1967)
undated 1967
mono (‘Otis Redding demo’), lead vocal Barry Gibb
unreleased

This undated tape probably fits in around this time. The first item is ‘Gilbert Green’ including the instrumental finale copyright separately as ‘The End of Gilbert Green’, making the song into quite an epic. With four verses of choice Robin lyrics and a good finish, it could have made an excellent closer for the LP, and an excellent single. The Bill Shepherd orchestration that would have been the finishing touch is lacking on the master tape, so not heard on The Studio Albums 1967-1968, but an arrangement was written and it can be heard on a bootlegged live performance from 1968.

Two other titles on the tape are identified only as ‘Otis Redding demo’ and ‘Indian demo’. The latter is just a jam session. ‘Otis Redding demo’ probably was the result of Barry seeing Otis perform on the Stax/Volt Tour, which played London on March 17. As Barry usually tells it, he was inspired to write ‘To Love Somebody’ for Otis to do, but as stated in the press in June 1967, this demo is in fact ‘End of My Song’, a song never released by the Bee Gees. It otherwise fits Barry’s recollection that the Bee Gees did not record the song (for release) until after Otis died, which was in December 1967.

TO LOVE SOMEBODY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1967)
undated 1967
mono 3:00, lead vocal Barry Gibb
A side, June 1967; First, 1967
stereo 3:00, lead vocal Barry Gibb
First, 1967

HOLIDAY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1967)
undated, 21 April 1967
mono 2:53, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
First, 1967
stereo 2:53, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
First, 1967

HARRY BRAFF
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
21 April 1967
mono 3:08, lead vocal Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006

These last two songs for Bee Gees’ First date a few weeks later than the rest, late additions to the lineup it seems. Both are on another undated tape reel, but ‘Holiday’ is also on another reel dated April 21. Since Bee Gees’ First runs a long fourteen songs, it is tempting to imagine a twelve-song version without these two well-known numbers. They also recorded an early version of ‘Harry Braff’, which would be remade later.

HARRY BRAFF
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
10 May 1967
mono, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased

A second version of ‘Harry Braff’ for a possible single. Like the first one this version was never released.

SPICKS AND SPECKS
Barry Gibb (1966)
16 May 1967
mono, lead vocal not recorded
unreleased

For some reason they started a new recording of ‘Spicks and Specks’, but did not finish it. After this they took a break from recording.


Ronnie Burns

Ronnie Burns — vocal
with backing tracks from Bee Gees sessions, 1966
engineer:
producer: Nat Kipner
about May 1967, Bill Armstrong’s studio, Melbourne

EXIT, STAGE RIGHT
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 2:26, lead vocal Ronnie Burns
B side, June 1967; Ronnie, 1967

BUTTERFLY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono 3:10 lead vocal Ronnie Burns
Ronnie, 1967

I’LL KNOW WHAT TO DO
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono 2:16, lead vocal Ronnie Burns
Ronnie, 1967

TERRIBLE WAY TO TREAT YOUR BABY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono 2:47, lead vocal Ronnie Burns
Ronnie, 1967

TOP HAT
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 2:14, lead vocal Ronnie Burns
Ronnie, 1967

Bee Gees backing tracks from circa July 1966, combined with new vocals by Ronnie Burns. Ronnie had done the same with two songs in 1966 and got the hit ‘Coalman’ in January 1967. Now once again Ronnie sang vocal tracks following very closely the Barry and Robin original lead vocals. The only great variation was that Ronnie sang through the Bee Gees’ comic spoken interlude in ‘Top Hat’.

Ronnie also recorded ‘Morning of My Life’, but as an entirely new recording, not using the sparse backing track of the Bee Gees version. His version is backed by top instrumental group the Strangers, with guitar and orchestral arrangement by John Farrar.


Johnny Young

Johnny Young — vocal
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb — vocal
others
orchestra arranged by Bill Shepherd
engineer: ?
producer: Robert Stigwood
about July 1967, IBC Studios, London

CRAISE FINTON KIRK ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1967)
mono 2:29, lead vocal Johnny Young
A side by Johnny Young, August 1967

Australian singer Johnny Young, a friend of the Bee Gees, spent most of 1967 visiting England, and recorded one song with them. All three sang backup. He also recorded ‘Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You’.


Oscar

Oscar — vocal
Robin Gibb, possibly Barry Gibb and Maurice Gibb — vocal
others
orchestra arranged by Bill Shepherd
engineer: ?
producer: Robert Stigwood
about July 1967, IBC Studios, London

HOLIDAY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1967)
mono 3:26, lead vocal Oscar
A side by Oscar, September 1967

Oscar, or Paul Oscar Beuselinck, was a favorite of Robert Stigwood’s. Signed to Stigwood’s Reaction label, Oscar had already had singles written by Pete Townshend and David Bowie, and now he was handed a Gibb song, ‘Holiday’. This single explains why ‘Holiday’ was not issued in Britain as a third single off Bee Gees’ First as it was elsewhere. Paul remembers Robin singing on it for sure, and thinks probably Maurice and maybe Barry as well.

The artist changed his name within a year to Paul Nicholas, and under that name he worked as an actor and occasionally a singer. He was in the films Tommy and Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.


Adam Faith

Adam Faith — vocal
Russ Ballard — guitar
Pete Salt — guitar
‘Mod’ Rogan — bass
Bob Henrit — drums
possibly Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb — vocal
engineer: ?
producer: ?
July or August 1967, London

COWMAN, MILK YOUR COW
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1967)
mono, lead vocal Adam Faith
A side by Adam Faith, September 1967

Adam Faith asked the Gibbs for a new song after he heard Bee Gees’ First, and certainly got what he asked for, a psychedelic rock song with intriguing lyrics. The backing band are the Roulettes, according to the notes on The Two Best Sides of Adam Faith, an LP collection on the EMI label, and their lineup is listed above. The notes on the Bee Gees Songbook CD (VSOP label) say that the guitar is Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac. Neither the date nor personnel are certain. The backing vocals sound like the Bee Gees, especially the bridge sections where Adam is either singing with Robin or doing a good imitation of him.


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal, organ
Maurice Gibb — vocal, bass, piano, mellotron
Vince Melouney — guitar
Colin Petersen — drums
orchestra arranged by Bill Shepherd
engineer: Mike Claydon; Damon Lyon Shaw, John Pantry
producer: Robert Stigwood and the Bee Gees
July 1967, Central Sound Studios, London (and later at Chappell Studios and IBC Studios)

The start of work on the second English album Horizontal.

RING MY BELL
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
17 July 1967
mono, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
unreleased

AND THE SUN WILL SHINE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
17, 30 July, 1, 10 August, 28 October 1967
mono 3:26, lead vocal Robin Gibb
Horizontal, 1968
stereo 3:33, lead vocal Robin Gibb
Horizontal, 1968

DAY TIME GIRL
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
17, 30 July, 28 October 1967
mono 2:30, lead vocal Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb
Horizontal, 1968
stereo 2:32, lead vocal Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb
Horizontal, 1968

The first three songs for Horizontal were done and re-done over the course of several sessions. The July 17 session at Central Sound may have been intended only for demos but two of the recordings started here went through to release. ‘Ring My Bell’ was re-made later. ‘And the Sun Will Shine’ has a solo vocal that Robin famously did in one take, inventing some of the lyrics on the spot, but on which date he did so is unknown. ‘Day Time Girl’ is a beautiful ballad that highlights Maurice on piano and also on lead vocal for one verse (or is it Barry?), but as soon as Robin joins he slips into harmony.

DEEPLY, DEEPLY ME
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono 3:03, lead vocal Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006

MRS GILLESPIE’S REFRIGERATOR
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono 2:14, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006

Both of these songs were written in Australia, and were on the acetate Hugh Gibb sent to Robert Stigwood. In 2006 Barry thinks ‘Deeply Deeply Me’ was recorded at Central Sound the same day as ‘Day Time Girl’, and Vince remembers playing on it, so it is at least from some date in England and not Australia. No one recalls the date of an English recording of ‘Mrs Gillespie’s Refrigerator’, but the English Bee Gees band knew how to play it by October 9, when they did it on a BBC program.


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal, organ
Maurice Gibb — vocal, bass, piano, mellotron
Vince Melouney — guitar
Colin Petersen — drums
orchestra arranged by Bill Shepherd
engineer: Mike Claydon; Damon Lyon Shaw, John Pantry
producer: Robert Stigwood and the Bee Gees
July and August 1967, Chappell Studios, London (and later at IBC Studios)

AND THE SUN WILL SHINE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
25 July 1967
mono, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased

GRANNY’S MR DOG
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
25 July 1967
mono, lead vocal Barry Gibb
unreleased

This second version of ‘And the Sun Will Shine’ was rejected, and instead more work was done later on the first version. ‘Granny’s Mr Dog’ was remade later as ‘The Earnest of Being George’.

BIRDIE TOLD ME
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
30 July, 1, 10 August, 28 October 1967
mono 2:19, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Horizontal, 1968
stereo 2:23, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Horizontal, 1968

RING MY BELL
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
30 July, 1, 10 August 1967
mono, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
unreleased
stereo 2:14, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006

ALL SO LONELY!
possibly Vince Melouney or Colin Petersen (1967)
30 July 1967
mono, lead vocal not recorded
unreleased

BARKER OF THE UFO
Barry Gibb (1967)
30 July, 1 August 1967
mono 1:48, lead vocal Barry Gibb
B side, September 1967
stereo (mixed in 1990) 1:48, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Tales from the Brothers Gibb, 1990

HARRY BRAFF
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
30 July, 28 October 1967
mono 3:13, lead vocal Robin Gibb
Horizontal, 1968
stereo 3:17, lead vocal Robin Gibb
Horizontal, 1968

July 30 saw additional work on every new song so far, and the start of two new ones. ‘All So Lonely!’, which has a note after it, ‘title right?’, was never heard of again. It may be a song by Vince or Colin. A re-make of ‘Ring My Bell’ was not released until The Studio Albums 1967-1968 in 2006. The other three saw release.

‘Birdie Told Me’ would eventually have orchestra and choir in addition to a nice lead guitar break by Vince. ‘Barker of the UFO’ (a reference to the UFO club perhaps), credited solely to Barry, randomly features backwards-recorded cymbals and a tuba. Used as a B side, it was therefore not mixed to stereo at the time. Lastly they did a third and final version of ‘Harry Braff’.

On August 1 they did more work on four songs recorded to date.


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal, organ
Maurice Gibb — vocal, bass, piano, mellotron
Vince Melouney — guitar
Colin Petersen — drums
orchestra arranged by Bill Shepherd
engineer: Mike Claydon; Damon Lyon Shaw, John Pantry
producer: Robert Stigwood and the Bee Gees
August to December 1967, IBC Studios, London

SIR GEOFFREY SAVED THE WORLD
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
9 August 1967, 28 October
mono 2:10, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
B side, December 1967
stereo (mixed in 1990) 2:14, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
Tales from the Brothers Gibb, 1990

MASSACHUSETTS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
9, 17 August 1967
mono 2:19, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
A side, September 1967; Horizontal, 1968
stereo 2:23, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
Horizontal, 1968

On August 9 the Bee Gees cut both sides of their first English number 1 single, ‘Massachusetts’. It features a fine harmony vocal by the three brothers led mostly by Robin and partly by Barry, and is propelled by Maurice’s bass line and Bill Shepherd’s string section. The Beatlesque ‘Sir Geoffrey Saved the World’ was another B side that was mixed only to mono at this time. The title line was a late change in lyric: an early mono mix preserved on an acetate still has the original title line ‘you know how you gave yourself away’, with the rest of the vocal the same as released. The next day they did more work on some of the songs already recorded.

A tape reel made at about this point has mono mixes of precisely the seven songs made so far that would eventually be released: ‘Massachusetts’, ‘And the Sun Will Shine’, ‘Sir Geoffrey Saved the World’, ‘Birdie Told Me’, ‘Barker of the UFO’, ‘Day Time Girl’, ‘Harry Braff’. A mono and stereo reel of exactly these songs in this order was received at Atlantic on August 24. The other songs apparently were now out of consideration including the much worked-on ‘Ring My Bell’.

VINCE’S NUMBER
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
31 August 1967
mono, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased

ALL MY CHRISTMASES CAME AT ONCE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
31 August 1967
mono, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
unreleased
stereo (mixed in 2006) 2:58, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006

In 2005 Vince Melouney identified ‘Vince’s Number’ as a song the brothers wrote for him to sing, but the idea was dropped for some reason, and the only version recorded has Robin singing. The lyrics are said to be in the vein of ‘House of Lords’.

‘All My Christmases Came at Once’ was not released either until 2006, but it appeared a few months after this as recorded by the Majority, who performed it in the film The Mini Mob. At the end Robin begins singing some other song.

Also in The Mini Mob was the classic song ‘Words’. The romantic lead, played by Georgie Fame, sings it in an outdoor scene in a summer garden, so it must have been written by August, around this same time. Filmmaker Robert Amram recalls getting the promised song with just days to spare in the shooting schedule. It could have been a single by Georgie Fame, a popular singer, but Robert Stigwood put out a Bee Gees version (recorded in October) first.

HORIZONTAL
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
4 September, 28 October 1967
mono 3:30, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
Horizontal, 1968
stereo 3:30, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
Horizontal, 1968

LEMONS NEVER FORGET
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
4 September, 28 October 1967
mono 2:59, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Horizontal, 1968
stereo 3:02, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Horizontal, 1968

THE EARNEST OF BEING GEORGE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
7 September 1967
mono 2:37, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Horizontal, 1968
stereo 2:41, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Horizontal, 1968

Three of the heavier cuts for Horizontal feature the band alone. ‘Lemons Never Forget’ is probably the cleanest-sounding recording of this Bee Gees band, with none of the four tracks reserved for orchestra. Barry sings in full voice some truly puzzling lyrics. It sounds live but it can’t be: Maurice is playing both piano and bass. The more portentious ‘Horizontal’ has Maurice playing several pianos, bass, and mellotron while both Barry and Robin deliver existential lyrics to Maurice’s finest whiny backing vocals. A few days later they did ‘The Earnest of Being George’ with its startling dead stops and carefully timed silences.

WITH THE SUN IN MY EYES
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
3 October 1967
mono 2:34, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Horizontal, 1968
stereo 2:37, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Horizontal, 1968

WORLD
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
3, 28 October 1967
mono 3:20, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
A side, December 1967; Horizontal, 1968
stereo 3:13, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
Horizontal, 1968
stereo (mixed in 1990) 3:13, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
Tales from the Brothers Gibb, 1990

WORDS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
3 October 1967
mono 3:13, lead vocal Barry Gibb
A side, January 1968
stereo (mixed in 1969) 3:13, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Best of Bee Gees, 1969
stereo (mixed in 1990) 3:13, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Tales from the Brothers Gibb, 1990

MACCLEBY’S SECRET
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
3 October 1967
mono, lead vocal not recorded
unreleased

After a month’s break the Bee Gees came back strong, recording two future A sides in one day, plus another song for Horizontal and instrumental tracks for an intriguingly named unreleased song. ‘With the Sun in My Eyes’ is ‘Horizontal’ with organ and just a touch more hope. ‘World’ opens with a raucous crash of the full band, then cuts to Barry’s softest voice, and keeps switching back and forth between the two sides of the Bee Gees. It was the followup single to ‘Massachusetts’.

At this time the Bee Gees recorded ‘Words’, written in August, in very much the same style as Georgie Fame’s version for The Mini Mob. It was a solo vocal for Barry, with accompaniment by Barry on guitar (quietly), Maurice on piano and bass, Colin on drums, and an orchestral arrangement by Bill Shepherd (who had arranged Georgie Fame’s version as well). Robin does not appear at all unless he and Maurice sing along on the backing that really sounds like only Barry. Barry said in 1996 on the Storytellers show that he wrote the song for Robert Stigwood. (In 2001 he said they wrote ‘To Love Somebody’ for Stigwood.)

‘World’ was evidently planned as having no orchestra, so all four tracks were filled with the band (as on the recordings of September 4), including some mellotron or organ (credited to Robin in the Tales from the Brothers Gibb box notes). When someone decided to add orchestra at the end, no problem: the four tracks were mixed to one track of another tape, and the orchestra was added there. But the stereo mix suffered, since the second tape, with only two tracks of sound, had to play as mono until the end when the orchestra comes in on one side. In 1990, Bill Inglot synched up the two tape reels and finally made a good stereo mix for the Tales from the Brothers Gibb box set. The The Studio Albums 1967-1968 has only the old LP mix.

‘Words’ suffered different problems. Since it was originally used only as a single, no stereo mix was made until Atlantic wanted one for the Best of Bee Gees album in 1969, where it made its first appearance on LP. For this someone made an extremely bad stereo mix with the piano, bass, and drums mixed way down. Polydor passed it up (if they even knew about it) and used the mono mix on their version of the album. Once again Bill Inglot saved the day in 1990 by preparing a good stereo mix for the first time. While doing so, he noticed that two short sections of backing vocal near the end of the song are on the mono mix but not on the four-track master, as if Barry added them while the mono mix was made. The Studio Albums 1967-1968 passed up Bill’s mix and has only the original mono mix with all the backing vocal.

At about this date a reel was made of mono mixes, which shows the songs now lined up for the Horizontal album. Side A was five songs: ‘World’, ‘And the Sun Will Shine’, ‘Lemons Never Forget’, ‘Birdie Told Me’, ‘With the Sun in My Eyes’. Side B was four songs: ‘Harry Braff’, ‘Day Time Girl’, ‘The Earnest of Being George’, ‘Horizontal’. This is exactly the order that was used, plus the most recent single, ‘Massachusetts’, to start side B, and plus two songs not yet recorded that would be inserted into this sequence.

SINKING SHIPS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
7 November 1967
mono 2:21, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
B side, January 1968
stereo (mixed in 1990) 2:21, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
Tales from the Brothers Gibb, 1990

WHEN THINGS GO WRONG
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
7 November 1967
mono, lead vocal not recorded
unreleased

Robin was a passenger on the train that derailed and overturned at Hither Green on November 5, killing 53. He was not seriously injured, but he recalls helping to pull people or bodies from the wreckage. It was a horrific event that affected him deeply. He was not yet eighteen. For some time afterwards his lyrics became darker and reflective on life and death. He did not come to the sessions of November 7.

‘Sinking Ships’ was another B side that was mixed only to mono at the time, and mixed to stereo by Bill Inglot in 1990. The vocal, done at a later date, has Barry and Robin in each verse and either Maurice or Barry on the chorus. It has the same false ending trick as ‘Horizontal’ and that probably kept it off the album. It was briefly considered for the next single.

SWAN SONG
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
28 November 1967
mono, lead vocal Barry Gibb
unreleased

REALLY AND SINCERELY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
28 November 1967
mono 3:28, lead vocal Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006

Two first tries at songs they re-made the next day. Although Robin wrote ‘Really and Sincerely’ on organ, the arrangement this date was on piano. ‘Swan Song’ was tried twice on successive days as a possible single.

REALLY AND SINCERELY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
29 November 1967
mono 3:17, lead vocal Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006
stereo 3:27, lead vocal Robin Gibb
Horizontal, 1968
mono (reduction from stereo) 3:29, lead vocal Robin Gibb
Horizontal, 1968

THE CHANGE IS MADE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
29 November 1967
mono 3:29, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Horizontal, 1968
stereo 3:33, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Horizontal, 1968

SWAN SONG
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
29 November 1967
mono, lead vocal Barry Gibb
unreleased
stereo (mixed in 2006) 3:02, lead vocal Barry Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006

OUT OF LINE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
29 November 1967
mono, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
unreleased
stereo (mixed in 2006) 3:00, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006

Two of these songs completed the Horizontal album. ‘Really and Sincerely’ was Robin’s first musical response to the Hither Green wreck, a resigned meditation on trying to reach out to someone. He plays what he called a ‘piano accordion’, with Barry on guitar and Maurice on bass, plus Bill Shepherd’s orchestration.

‘The Change Is Made’ is then the very last song for Horizontal, a strong blues vocal by Barry with a lead guitar break by Vince. It fades out somewhat randomly— how long did it run?

One further song was started, ‘Out of Line’, and its very catchy melody took it as far as some vocal recording. The repetitive lyric probably would have been replaced had they worked on it any further, but it was left in the vault until 2006.

THANK YOU FOR CHRISTMAS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
1 December 1967
mono, lead vocal Robin Gibb
television broadcast
stereo (mixed in 2006) 1:51, lead vocal Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006

medley
MARY’S BOY CHILD
Jester Hairston (1956)
SILENT NIGHT
Joseph Mohr, Franz Gruber (1818)
THE FIRST NOËL
traditional (circa 1600)
1 December 1967
mono, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
television broadcast
stereo (mixed in 2006) 2:44, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006

The Bee Gees mimed their December 1 recordings of new and old Christmas carols on the television program How on Earth, taped December 14 at Liverpool Cathedral and broadcast on Christmas Eve over the English ABC television channel. They wrote a short song for the occasion, ‘Thank You for Christmas’ which has just one verse between two choruses. The second track starts and ends with stanzas of ‘Mary’s Boy Child’, a song first recorded by Harry Belafonte in 1956. In the middle are two old carols. No video of the program is known to exist, but the audio tracks remained in the vault and finally appeared in 2006.

The brothers confused their chroniclers by singing the words ‘hark, the herald angels sing’ both times around in ‘Mary’s Boy Child’, which has two intentional variants of the famous carol title. The first verse should be ‘hark now hear the angels sing’ and the second ‘trumpets sound and angels sing’. The brothers did get the varying second lines right. They must have been singing purely from memory. The engineer wrote ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ on the tape box and the true nature of the medley was forgotten until 2006.

SWAN SONG
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1967)
13 December 1967
mono 2:55, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Idea, 1968
stereo 2:56, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Idea, 1968

The third try got the released version of ‘Swan Song’, but instead of being issued as a single, it was kept for the next album. (The next single was ‘Words’.)


selected record releases


NOTE— For this year Australian releases are shown alongside British and American releases. Starting with 1968, only British and American releases are shown except in the few cases where a song appeared only in other countries.


Lori : single
Australia: RCA, January 1967.

A WHO’S BEEN WRITING ON THE WALL AGAIN
B IN YOUR WORLD

Bee Gees on backing vocals (Australia).


Bee Gees : single
Australia: Spin, February 1967.

A BORN A MAN
B BIG CHANCE

Two songs extracted from the Spicks and Specks album. At about the same time, the ‘Spicks and Specks’ single was released in England.

CD: Both on Brilliant from Birth, Festival (Australia).


Jon : single
Australia: Leedon, February 1967.

A UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS
B TOWN OF TUXLEY TOYMAKER, PART 1

Bee Gees backing vocals (Australia).

CD: Both on Assault the Vaults, Festival (Australia).


Jenene : single
Australia: Spin, March 1967.

A SO LONG BOY
B DON’T SAY NO

Bee Gees backing vocals (Australia).

CD: Both on Assault the Vaults, Festival (Australia).


Billy J Kramer : single
UK: Reaction, April 1967.

A TOWN OF TUXLEY TOYMAKER, PART 1
B CHINESE GIRL

Bee Gees backing vocals on the A side. Their first recording in England. Reaction was Robert Stigwood’s label.

CD: ‘Town of Tuxley Toymaker’ on Maybe Someone is Digging Underground, Sanctuary (UK).


Bee Gees : single
UK: Polydor, April 1967; US: Atco, May 1967; Australia: Spin, June 1967.

A NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941
B I CAN’T SEE NOBODY

The first Bee Gees record recorded in England. These were also the first two songs they recorded in England (although the first day’s version of ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941’ was not the one used).

Atco distributed promos with a blank label and the suggestion that it was an English group whose name started with B. Many people called the sound Beatles-like. Atco also retitled the song, to make sure people could find it in the shops, ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941 (Have You Seen My Wife, Mr Jones)’.

CD: These mono mixes on The Studio Albums 1967-1968.


The Monopoly : single
UK: Polydor, April 1967.

A HOUSE OF LORDS
B MAGIC CARPET

Raymond Froggatt says his band arranged this, their first single, to sound very similar to the Bee Gees’ recording they had been given as a demo. This was probably the earlier Bee Gees version completed March 15, and perhaps that one, like the Monopoly’s version, was faster in tempo than the second Bee Gees version of April 5 that was released in 2006. The Monopoly were: Raymond Froggatt (vocal), Hartley Cain (guitar), Lou Clark (bass), and Len Ablethorpe (drums). Terry Kennedy produced.


Bee Gees : single
UK: Polydor, June 1967; US: Atco, July 1967; Australia: Spin, August 1967.

A TO LOVE SOMEBODY
B CLOSE ANOTHER DOOR

The second Bee Gees record recorded in England. Although ‘To Love Somebody’ would become one of the Bee Gees’ most recorded songs, their own version was only a modest hit.

CD: These mono mixes on The Studio Albums 1967-1968.


Barrington Davis : single
Australia: Spin, June 1967.

A AS FAST AS I CAN
B RAINING TEARDROPS

Maurice instrumental and backing vocals (Australia).

CD: Both on Assault the Vaults, Festival (Australia).


Ronnie Burns : single
Australia: Spin, June 1967.

A EXIT, STAGE RIGHT
B MORNING OF MY LIFE

‘Exit, Stage Right’ is Ronnie Burns singing to Bee Gees backing tracks recorded in 1966. The B side, a new recording without the Bee Gees, was called ‘In the Morning’ here.

CD: Both on Enter Stage Left, Festival (Australia).


Ronnie Burns : Ronnie
Australia: Spin, July 1967.

A 1 TOP HAT
A 2 MY LITTLE RED BOOK
A 3 EXIT, STAGE RIGHT
A 4 I CAN’T LET YOU GO
A 5 YOU’VE GOT TO HIDE YOUR LOVE AWAY
A 6 MONDAY MONDAY
A 7 COALMAN

B 1 BUTTERFLY
B 2 MORNING OF MY LIFE
B 3 ALL THE KING’S HORSES
B 4 TRUE TRUE LOVIN’
B 5 I’LL KNOW WHAT TO DO
B 6 FIFI THE FLEA
B 7 TERRIBLE WAY TO TREAT YOUR BABY

For eight songs out of twelve, Ronnie Burns does the Bee Gees, and in fact seven are Ronnie singing to Bee Gees backing tracks recorded in 1966. The cover noted the presence of Ronnie’s two hits ‘Coalman’ and ‘Exit, Stage Right’, which unexpectedly do not lead off the sides of the LP.

CD: Six of the Bee Gees tracks on Enter Stage Left, Festival (Australia), excluding ‘Butterfly’ and ‘I’ll Know What to Do’.


Bee Gees’ First
Mono— UK: Polydor, July 1967; US: Atco, August 1967; Australia: Spin, August 1967.
Stereo— UK: Polydor, July 1967; US: Atco, August 1967; Australia: Spin, August 1967.

A 1 TURN OF THE CENTURY
A 2 HOLIDAY
A 3 RED CHAIR, FADE AWAY
A 4 ONE MINUTE WOMAN
A 5 IN MY OWN TIME
A 6 EVERY CHRISTIAN LION HEARTED MAN WILL SHOW YOU
A 7 CRAISE FINTON KIRK ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS

B 1 NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941
B 2 CUCUMBER CASTLE
B 3 TO LOVE SOMEBODY
B 4 I CLOSE MY EYES
B 5 I CAN’T SEE NOBODY
B 6 PLEASE READ ME
B 7 CLOSE ANOTHER DOOR

Not really the Bee Gees’ first album of course— but their first album in England and in much of the world. Both mono and stereo versions were released on Atco and Polydor (UK). This was the first stereo release of any Bee Gees songs.

It was a remarkable debut record. The singles had been a good introduction to the group: ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941’ alone contains nearly all the elements of 1960s Bee Gees in two minutes. But to get the full effect needs the length of an album. Bee Gees’ First was praised by the critics and is to this day considered one of their most consistently good albums. It was probably the first album compared favorably to the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper, released just weeks earlier and recorded during the same time and under the same pop music influences.

As might be expected the mono version sounds more alive and it must be closer to what they wanted. The stereo LPs sound muffled and distant, especially the Atco release. There is the usual limitation of mixing from four-track, all elements being nailed to far left, far right, or center, but the clarity could have been much better. The CD release, made from an LP master, sounds a bit more like it but still not the way it should. Individual songs on collections have sounded progressively better each time they appear, showing how good the stereo masters actually are. The Studio Albums 1967-1968 has a significantly better version of the stereo and mono tracks.

CD: Stereo mixes on Bee Gees’ First. Mono and stereo on the reissue, 2006 (also in The Studio Albums 1967-1968 box).


Johnny Young : single
UK: Decca, July 1967; Australia: Clarion, July 1967

A LADY
B GOOD EVENING GIRL

Johnny Young (John de Jong) started recording in 1965 with the Strangers and had his big hit ‘Step Back’ in 1966 with another band as Johnny Young and Kompany. He started his solo career in 1967 with a song by Barry, ‘Lady’, that he recorded in Australia with the Strangers once again backing him. Young recalls that he had once paid Barry’s plane fare home from a gig in Australia, and Barry wrote ‘Lady’ for him in return. This single recorded in Australia was released in England. He spent most of 1967 in England where he recorded more Gibb songs (see below).

CD: ‘Lady’ on Step Back with Johnny Young and Kompany, Festival (Australia).


Esther and Abi Ofarim : single
UK: Philips, August 1967.

A MORNING OF MY LIFE
B GARDEN OF MY HOME

Esther and Abi Ofarim were an Israeli couple who became very popular in Europe singing modern arrangements of folk songs in several languages. Esther Ofarim’s excellent vocal adds a great deal to these songs. This was the first release outside Australia of Barry’s classic song ‘Morning of My Life’ from 1965, and also the first release of the new song ‘Garden of My Home’. The single reached number 2 on the German charts.

According to the label of the UK single, it is ‘a Robert Stigwood production’, and the songwriter credits add ‘of the Bee Gees’. The arrangement by Phil Dennys (or ‘Denys’ as spelled here), who did some songs on Bee Gees’ First, suggests this was recorded around the same time as that album. The German single credits both songs incorrectly to ‘B und R Gibb’.

The single was mono. A different but similar recording of ‘Morning of My Life’ appeared around the same time in stereo on the Ofarims’ LP 2 in 3. It sounds as if it was recorded at the same sessions but why two versions were released is unknown. Later compilations prefer the stereo version. But there is only one version of ‘Garden of My Home’, and it appears in mono even on recent CD collections.

Live versions of both songs also appeared on their Ofarim Konzert album in 1969.

CD: Both on Die Ofarim-Story, Universal/Mercury (Germany) and Songs of Our Life, Mercury (UK). Both have the stereo take of ‘Morning of My Life’.


Gerry Marsden : single
UK: CBS, August 1967; US: Columbia, August 1967.

A GILBERT GREEN
B WHAT MAKES ME LOVE YOU

Gerry Marsden was a NEMS artist, formerly of Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Beatles’ chief competition as top Liverpool band in the early 1960s. His version of ‘Gilbert Green’ was recorded on June 27, produced by Robert Stigwood and arranged by Bill Shepherd. This very good song was on the demo disk sent to Robert Stigwood (see 1966). Here, and as performed by the Bee Gees on stage during the next year, it concludes with the orchestral ‘The End of Gilbert Green’. With all respect to a Merseybeat pioneer, this version is not as good as the Bee Gees’ live performances of the song in early 1968. The B side written by Marsden was produced by Robert Stigwood, but it was recorded a month earlier and does not credit Bill Shepherd.

CD: ‘Gilbert Green’ on Maybe Someone is Digging Underground, Sanctuary (UK).


Dave Berry : single
UK: Decca, August 1967.

A FOREVER
B AND I HAVE LEARNED TO DREAM

First recording of one of the 1966 songs. Dave Berry was a Stigwood artist, known for recording Ray Davies’s ‘This Strange Effect’ in 1965.


The Kids : single
Australia: Spin, August 1967.

A HOW MANY BIRDS
B BIG CHANCE

Michael Griffiths and Tony Borg singing to Bee Gees backing tracks recorded in 1966. What was the point of this record? The original versions had been released just nine months earlier. Perhaps the Australian public agreed; the Kids never recorded again. It does raise one point though, that the St Clair tapes were not discarded when the studio closed, and were presumably in Nat Kipner’s hands. But Nat today has no idea where they went to.


Johnny Young : single
UK: Polydor, August 1967; Australia: Clarion, September 1967.

A CRAISE FINTON KIRK ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS
B I AM THE WORLD

Bee Gees backing vocals on ‘Craise Finton Kirk’ but no involvement recording the B side of Robin’s song from 1966. Recorded in England. These songs are also on his LP Surprises!!!, Clarion (Australia). A second single of ‘Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You’ was planned for December, and was released at least in Australia and Germany; the song is again on the Surprises!!! LP.

CD: Step Back with Johnny Young and Kompany, Festival (Australia).


Bee Gees : single
UK: Polydor, September 1967; Australia: Spin, September 1967.

A MASSACHUSETTS
B BARKER OF THE UFO

The third Bee Gees single recorded in England, and their first number 1 record there. Atco delayed it in preference to releasing ‘Holiday’.

CD: This mono mix of ‘Massachuestts’ on The Studio Albums 1967-1968. Stereo mix of ‘Barker of the UFO’ on Tales from the Brothers Gibb and The Studio Albums 1967-1968.


Bee Gees : single
US: Atco, September 1967; Australia: Spin, October 1967.

A HOLIDAY
B EVERY CHRISTIAN LION HEARTED MAN WILL SHOW YOU

Atco wanted a third single off the successful First album. Oddly enough, so did Spin in Australia, a month after issuing ‘Massachusetts’.

CD: These mono mixes on The Studio Albums 1967-1968, 2006.


Oscar : single
UK: Reaction, September 1967.

A HOLIDAY
B GIVE HER ALL SHE WANTS

Bee Gees backing vocals on ‘Holiday’.

CD: ‘Holiday’ on Maybe Someone is Digging Underground, Sanctuary (UK).


The Sands : single
UK: Reaction, September 1967.

A MRS GILLESPIE’S REFRIGERATOR
B LISTEN TO THE SKY

The Bee Gees played ‘Mrs Gillespie’s Refrigerator’ once on BBC radio, and it was on the demo disk sent to Robert Stigwood (see 1966). This single is much sought after for the B side, known as a classic psychedelic anti-war piece.

The band were: Paul Stewart (vocal), Peter Hammerton (guitar, vocal), Ian McLintock (bass, vocal), and Rob Freeman (drums, vocal), according to Peter Hammerton in 2005. He also recalls that Robert Stigwood was the nominal producer but that he could not attend the session and the band ran it themselves. The single was never promoted well because Brian Epstein died two weeks before its scheduled release date, leaving NEMS in chaos at the critical time. Some of the Sands had previously been the Others, and one or more later were in Sundragon in 1968.

CD: ‘Mrs Gillespie’s Refrigerator’ on Maybe Someone is Digging Underground, Sanctuary (UK).


Adam Faith : single
UK: Parlophone, September 1967.

A COWMAN, MILK YOUR COW
B DADDY WHAT’LL HAPPEN TO ME

Adam Faith : single
US: Laurie, 1968.

A DADDY WHAT’LL HAPPEN TO ME
B COWMAN, MILK YOUR COW

Bee Gees backing vocals on a new song. The US version, released about a year later, flips the two sides. It was not a hit either way.

CD: ‘Cowman, Milk Your Cow’ on Maybe Someone is Digging Underground, Sanctuary (UK), and also The Very Best of Adam Faith, EMI Gold (UK, 2005).


Noeleen Batley : single
Australia: Festival, September 1967.

A HOW FAR IS SOMEWHERE
B THE WISHING SONG

Noeleen Batley’s fourth exclusive Barry song and again a fine performance.

CD: ‘The Wishing Song’ on the Festival File, Festival (Australia).


Los Bravos : single
UK: Decca, October 1967.

A LIKE NOBODY ELSE
B WEARING A SMILE

First recording of one of the 1966 songs. This Spanish group also recorded a Spanish language version of ‘Like Nobody Else’ called ‘Como Nadie Mas’. Their top hit was ‘Black is Black’ in 1966. They were: Mike Kogel (vocal, guitar), Manolo Fernández (organ), Miguel Vincens (bass), Pablo Sanllehí (drums).

CD: Both on Black is Black, Magic (France). They are bonus cuts on this expanded version of the 1966 LP, and not on other CDs of this album.


The Family Dogg : single
UK: MGM, October 1967.

A FAMILY DOGG
B THE STORM

First recording of one of the 1966 songs. This was the Family Dogg’s first single, and their only one on MGM. They were: Steve Rowland (lead vocal, guitar), Albert Hammond (guitar, vocal), Mike Hazelwood (vocal, guitar), Doreen de Veuve (vocal), and Pam ‘Zooey’ Quinn (vocal). Their hit was ‘Way of Life’ in 1969. Albert Hammond was later well known as a musician and songwriter, and Steve Rowland was known as an actor and record producer before and after his time with the Family Dogg.

The German release has ‘Waiting in the Storm’ as the A side and ‘Family Dog’ (sic) as the B side.

CD: ‘The Storm’ on Maybe Someone is Digging Underground, Sanctuary (UK).


Bee Gees : Turn Around, Look at Us
Mono— Australia: Festival, 1967.

A 1 TURN AROUND, LOOK AT ME (1964)
A 2 THE BATTLE OF THE BLUE AND THE GREY (1963)
A 3 THE THREE KISSES OF LOVE (1963)
A 4 THEME FROM ‘THE TRAVELS OF JAIMIE MCPHEETERS’ (1964)
A 5 EVERY DAY I HAVE TO CRY (1965)
A 6 I WANT HOME (1966)

B 1 CHERRY RED (1966)
B 2 ALL OF MY LIFE (1966)
B 3 I AM THE WORLD (1966)
B 4 I WAS A LOVER, A LEADER OF MEN (1965)
B 5 WINE AND WOMEN (1965)
B 6 PEACE OF MIND (1964)

Festival issued a new LP of Australian songs late in 1967. While it was doubtless in exploitation of the Bee Gees’s success in England, whoever compiled it made it worthwhile by including all nine songs that had not yet appeared on LP, namely: the first single, the three non-Gibb songs, the ‘Cherry Red’ single, and the two Spin B sides of 1966. To this were appended, to reach the regulation dozen songs, the last three Leedon A sides from the Sing and Play LP that was no longer available. Australian fans were happy.


Bee Gees : single
US: Atco, November 1967.

A MASSACHUSETTS
B SIR GEOFFREY SAVED THE WORLD

Atco finally issued ‘Massachusetts’, retitling it for the single, ‘(The Lights Went Out in) Massachusetts’. The B side was that of the next English single (below). ‘Barker of the UFO’ was not released in the US until 1991.

CD: This mono mix of ‘Massachusetts’ on The Studio Albums 1967-1968. Stereo mix of ‘Sir Geoffrey Saved the World’ on Tales from the Brothers Gibb and The Studio Albums 1967-1968.


Bee Gees : single
UK: Polydor, December 1967; Australia: Spin, December 1967.

A WORLD
B SIR GEOFFREY SAVED THE WORLD

The fourth English single. Atco did not release ‘World’ as a single, and thus Polydor and Atco were in synch again for the next one in 1968.

CD: This mono mix of ‘World’ on The Studio Albums 1967-1968. Stereo mix of ‘Sir Geoffrey Saved the World’ on Tales from the Brothers Gibb and The Studio Albums 1967-1968.