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1-01. Who are the Bee Gees? part2


This article is from the Bee Gees FAQ, by David Garcia garc@compuserve.com with numerous contributions by others.

1-01. Who are the Bee Gees? part2

Around this time their personal lives also began to grow and
change. Robin became a father, and so did Barry. In 1975,
Maurice re-married. As the brothers were finding their way back
to success musically, they were also starting to realize that
there was much more to life than just putting another gold record
on the studio wall.

The following year, Arif Mardin's guidance paid off with the
album "Main Course", featuring "Jive Talkin", "Nights on
Broadway", and "Fanny (Be Tender With My Love)". This rebirth of
the Bee Gees was far more intense than anyone had expected. The
urban music scene was shifting to R&B Dance, and the "blue-eyed
soul" of the Bee Gees' "Main Course" album fit right in.

In 1976, the Bee Gees changed record labels in the US. Now
that they were under Polydor, they no longer had Atlantic Records
producer Arif Mardin to assist them. In this sense, the
"Children of the World" album was a true test of their talents:
Arif Mardin had brought them this far, now could they continue on
their own?

The album's first single, "You Should Be Dancing", quickly
rose to success as the dance clubs latched onto its intense
rhythms and falsetto harmonies. Among the trendy night clubs and
discotheques, the song became an anthem. Other songs from the
album, "Boogie Child" and "Love So Right", also did well.

Work began on the next studio album. The Bee Gees relocated
to the Chateau D'Heuroville studio in France. Sometime soon
after, Robert Stigwood, their manager, called them to request
some songs for a movie soundtrack. He described the film he was
producing, some low budget dance movie set in Brooklyn. He
persuaded the brothers to give him the songs that were already
recorded for their next album. This project eventually became
the film "Saturday Night Fever".

Having thus been relieved of their entire studio album, the
Gibb brothers now spent some time mixing the tracks for the live
double-LP, "Here At Last... Bee Gees Live!" Soon after, though,
Robert Stigwood called again -- this time about yet another film.
Now Robert wanted the Bee Gees to work as supporting actors in a
musical, a film that would weave Beatles songs into a story about
Sgt. Pepper and a mythical place called Heartland. Peter
Frampton would be assigned the lead role, and the Bee Gees would
be cast as the Henderson brothers. The film would be called, of
course, "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

In late 1977, while the Bee Gees were filming "Sgt. Pepper",
the film "Saturday Night Fever" was released. Three songs from
the soundtrack -- "How Deep Is Your Love", "Stayin' Alive", and
"Night Fever" -- instantly climbed to the top of the singles
charts. The soundtrack album stayed at #1 for 24 weeks, becoming
the top selling album up to that time, and remains even now the
best selling soundtrack album in history.

While all this took place, the brothers saw changes on the
set of the "Sgt. Pepper" film. They had been sharing a trailer;
now they each had a private trailer of their own. People who had
previously ignored them were now far more deferential. With the
astounding success of the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack,
suddenly these three nameless supporting actors were central to
the film.

It's a wonderful feeling, of course, to be the sudden center
of attention on a movie lot. Except, in this case, the movie was
looking less and less promising each day. In stages, the Bee
Gees began to realize that their movie debut, arriving at the
pinnacle of their success as a music group, was destined to be a
hideous waste of film. "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club
Band" was a bomb in the making, and the Bee Gees wanted out.

On three separate occasions, the brothers literally begged
Robert Stigwood to take them out of the film. But it was, of
course, too late for that. So, they carried on as best they
could and hoped the damage to their careers would be minimal.

In the end, their musical careers emerged relatively
unscathed. It was, however, the end of their acting careers. At
the time, it was rumored that Barry was being considered for the
role of Che Gueverra in Robert Stigwood's film version of
"Evita". As it turned out, the film "Evita" ended up being
postponed for nearly two decades, by which point the opportunity
had passed him by. As for the film "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely
Hearts Club Band", although the brothers' predictions of
cinematic disaster proved correct, they did manage to pull a nice
single out of the soundtrack: Robin's version of "Oh, Darling",
the only Bee Gees' hit song that they didn't write themselves.


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