The year was 1944 when Hugh Gibb married the love of this life Barbara May Pass. In 1945 their first child was born, a daughter Lesley. Hugh moved his family to the Isle of Man where, on September 1st 1946, another child was born, a son Barry. So the legend begins, although at 18 months of age Barry was badly burnt when he tipped a pot of hot tea on himself and almost died. On December 22nd 1949 Barbara gave birth to twin boys, Robin at 3.15am and Maurice at 3.50am. It has been said that Barry was not impressed with his young brothers, he was more interested in the family cat who had just had kittens. Before his 2nd birthday Maurice also almost died, when he fell into a river near the family home, his Dad rescued him in the nick off time, thank goodness.
In 1955 Hugh decided it was time to take his family back to Manchester, it was there, when Barry was 9 and Robin and Maurice were 6, that their music careers started. Their Mum, Barbara, first heard them and thought it was a radio. The first time they performed live was because of an accident with a record they were supposed to mime too, Maurice broke it on the way to the Gaumont Cinema, but they decided to go ahead and sing anyway. They were paid a shilling (about 10cents) for their performance. The first performance that they did for adults came about when their Dad smuggled them into the Russell St Club in Manchester, the audience love them and the manager gave them 2shillings and 6 pence (about 50cents). The boys were no angelswhen they were younger, especially Robin and Barry. As Robin put it we used to get into a spot of bother, Maurice maintains he was a goody two shoes.
On March 5th 1958 the Gibbs welcomed their newest member of the family, another son Andy. Due to a lack of work for Hugh he decided to take his young family and move to Australia and in August of 1958, the family set sail to begin there new life Down Under.
The boys started to perform once they arrived in Australia, at one such performance they were heard by a local DJ, called Bill Gates, who helped catapult their career in Australia. In 1963 they had their first record contract with Festival record, and released there first single Three Kisses of Love. They recorded quite a few singles and wrote for other people, in fact in 1966 the were voted the no1 songwriting team in Australia, but the brothers had not had a hit record themselves. In 1966 they wrote, and recorded Spicks and Specks, but decided it was time to return to England. Before they left Australia they sent some demo tapes to Robert Stigwood, an associate, st the time, of the Beatles manager Brian Epstein.
On January 7th 1967 they set sail for England, whilst on board they found out that Spicks and Specks had hit no1 in Australia, but it was too late to turn back then. They arrived in Southampton 6 weeks later and travelled to London, where four weeks later they were contacted by Robert Stigwood. Stigwood had liked what he heard on the tapes they sent him and got them a record contract with Atlantic Records. The brothers added two Australian friends to the group, Colin Peterson on drums and Vince Meloney on lead guitar. Their first release, New York Mining Disaster 1941, was released in mid 1967 and started to climb the British charts. The group made the first of many appearance on Top of the Pops. Later that same year they achieved their first No1 record when Massachusetts was released. In 1968 many No1 hits followed, Words, Gotta Get A Message To You, I Started A Joke just to name a few, but as Barry put it "First Fame" was settling in and conflicts between them broke up the group in 1969.
Robin pursued a solo career with hits like Saved By The Bell. Maurice and Barry made a slap stick movie called Cucumber Castle and had a hit single with Tomorrow Tomorrow but things were not the same for the Three Brothers who had always done things together. Finally in 1971 the decided to become friends again and they started to write and record. The first thing the brothers wrote was How Do You Mend A Broken Heart which became their first No1 record in America. The pop scene in England was changing, they were releasing new records but they were not being played, finally their record company dropped them. Eric Clapton suggested they try recording in the States, as he had had success there at Criteria Studios.
Once in Miami the brothers met Arif Mardin, a well know record producer and they were offered a new record contract. Arif produced the Main Course LP and also helped Barry find his falsetto voice that has been heard on many Bee Gees' recordings since then. Whilst on holiday in France they were approached by Robert Stigwood to write a few songs for a new movie he was making at the time, called Saturday Night Fever. The brothers wrote seven songs and sang six of them for the movie soundtrack. When the movie was released in 1977, the soundtrack went to NO1 and stayed there for 24 weeks, at one time the Bee Gees had 5 songs in the top 20 at the same time. They were known as the disco group, which is a title that still haunts them today. After a period of time people got tired of the disco music, radio stations had Bee Gee free weekends and in Chicago they actually burned their records. What was once loved was now being scorned by the very ones that had once loved it.
In 1979 they had success with their next album, Spirits having Flown and the tour that followed.
Their next album Living Eyes went unnoticed the music scene was changing again (sound familiar) and, once again, their record company dropped them. For the next Ten years they concentrated on writing songs for other people, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, just to name a few. The brothers didn't record much themselves in the 80's, they had released Living Eyes in 1981 and then E.S.P. in 1987. Tragedy hit the family in 1988 when younger brother Andy died of a heart ailment at the age of 30. The death of their brother convinced them it was time to start recording and touring again. In 1989 they released their CD One, the album had the song Wish You Were Here on it which was the brothers tribute to Andy. The album was a success in Europe but not the success they had hoped for in the US. 1990 had them touring again, the One For All tour had them traveling to many countrys. In 1991 came the release of High Civilization, which was a minor hit in Europe but went unnoticed again in the US. Over the next few years the brothers released a number of new CD's, most went unnoticed in the US but were susessful in Europe.
Their latest CD This is Where I Came In was released in 2001
Copyright 2001 R. Harvey.
For the Brothers Gibb, singing in harmony is as natural as breathing. They began performing when Barry was nine and twins Robin and Maurice were six, singing hits of the day at a their local Manchester cinema. Since their first American number one in 1971, the Bee Gees have written and performed a non-stop stream of hit singles for themselves and other pop music icons in a career spanning five decades: the 60's (1941 New York Mining Disaster, Massachusetts, To Love Somebody, Gotta Get A Message To You, I Started A Joke, Lonely Days, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart); the 70's (Jive Talkin' , Nights On Broadway, Fanny, You Should Be Dancing, Stayin' Alive, Love So Right, Night Fever, How Deep Is Your Love, Too Much Heaven, Tragedy, Love You Inside Out, If I Can't Have You, Emotion, Grease); the 80's (Guilty, Woman In Love, What Kind Of Fool, Chain Reaction, Heartbreaker, Islands in the Stream, Ordinary Lives, One, You Win Again); the 90's (Alone, For Whom The Bell Tolls, Ghetto Supastar, Immortality, Words) and into the new millennium with this year's highly acclaimed album This Is Where I Came In.
Now, for the first time, the world will be able to celebrate this musical legacy in one definitive two CD, 40-track collection, when Universal Records releases Bee Gees: Their Greatest Hits: The Record on Tuesday, November 20th. It also contains four newly recorded Bee Gees hits originally written for other artists, Emotion (Samantha Sang), Heartbreaker (Dionne Warwick), Islands In The Stream (Kenny Rogers with Dolly Parton and then later as Ghetto Supastar by Pras, ODB and Mya) and Immortality (Celine Dion).
It all began back in 1958 when the Gibb family emigrated to Australia. The brothers achieved stardom as a teen pop group, earning their first number one in 1966 with Spicks & Specks. They used the money from that hit to finance their return to England where they hooked up with legendary impresario Robert Stigwood.
The first four Bee Gees' albums contained a stream of hit singles - 1941 New York Mining Disaster, Massachusetts, To Love Somebody, Holiday, Gotta Get A Message To You, I Started A Joke, Lonely Days, and their first U.S. # 1, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart. At the same time, Bee Gees songs were being recorded by some of their idols (including Elvis Presley, Sarah Vaughan, Al Green and Janis Joplin).
Always inspired by R&B music, the Bee Gees began making soul-drenched records in the 1970's - Mr Natural, Main Course and Children Of The World (featuring Jive Talkin' , Nights On Broadway, Fanny, You Should Be Dancing and Love So Right). 1977's Saturday Night Fever prompted a cultural revolution, became the biggest selling soundtrack in history with number one hits Staying Alive, Night Fever and How Deep Is Your Love and made the Bee Gees the biggest group in the world. It was followed in 1978 by Spirits Having Flown which sold 20 million copies and produced three more million selling singles (Too Much Heaven, Tragedy and Love You Inside Out).
In the 1980's, the brothers took a break to work with some of their favorite singers, writing and producing Guilty, Barbra Streisand's Grammy Award winner, with three Top 10 singles including the number one Woman In Love, as well as Diana Ross's # 1 single Chain Reaction, Dionne Warwick's Heartbreaker and Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers' Islands In The Stream, the most successful single in RCA Records' history. By the end of the 1980's the Bee Gees had resumed their own place on center stage. After the success of their singles Ordinary Lives, One and You Win Again, they launched a tour on three continents, with the Royal Symphony Orchestra, for three generations of Bee Gees fans.
The 1990's have been marked by continued international success with hit albums High Civilisation, Size Isn't Everything and 1997's Still Waters (with the worldwide top ten Alone).
The Bee Gees had another fantastically successful year in 1998. It began in London with Robert Stigwood's stage production of Saturday Night Fever, which was a huge hit with West End audiences. This was followed in June by the London press conference where the Bee Gees announced their return to live performance in their ONE NIGHT ONLY world tour.
All of these shows were sold-out, making the Bee Gees one of a very few bands capable of selling out stadium shows around the World. These special shows featured performances of all the number one hits from the Bee Gees entire career.
The live album One Night Only was released in September 1998 and by March 1999 had gone over triple platinum, and had sold a million copies in the U.S. alone. This success story was repeated in countries around the world.
The Bee Gees released a brand new studio album in 2001, This Is Where I Came In. It was written, performed and produced by the Bee Gees over the past three years primarily in Middle Ear Studios in Florida, which has long been their adopted home. The title track tells a story in itself, because this album really is where The Bee Gees came in, in the sense that it again explored the roots of their music - rock, soul and classic balladry - without losing the contemporary edge that wins them fans in every succeeding generation.
On top of their own achievements other artists enjoyed huge successes with Bee Gees' songs: Immortality by Celine Dion; Pras Michel and ODB had one of the biggest hits of 1998 with Ghetto Supastar; Wyclef Jean's Trying To Stay Alive; and Pras Michel had a international hit with Blue Angels which featured parts of Grease. The first UK singles' chart of 1999 saw Steps at number one with Tragedy, with another top five hit in January 1999 from Blockster's remix of You Should Be Dancing. Earlier this year Steps released Chain Reaction, which entered the UK charts at number two, while Emotion, recently released by Destiny's Child, looks destined for a top spot on the Billboard singles chart.
The Bee Gees have had number one records in the UK in each of the last four decades and are among the top five most successful recording artists of all time. They are the only recording artists to write and produce six straight number one singles, and the first composers to have five songs in the top ten at the same time. Among a lifetime of honours, they have earned 16 Grammy nominations and won seven Grammy Awards. They are in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in both the US and Australia, Songwriters Hall of Fame, honoured by the Brit Awards for their Outstanding Contribution to Music, earned Lifetime Achievement honours from the World Music Awards, American Music Awards and the Australian Recording Industry.
Bee Gees: Their Greatest Hits: The Record is a must for all music fans. It is the ultimate collector's package which includes 150 minutes of music that illustrate why the Bee Gees have earned the distinction of being pop music's first family, whose songs have provided the soundtrack to popular culture for several generations.
Additional Bee Gees accolades and accomplishments include:
* Seven Grammy Awards and 16 nominations
* Induction into The Rock & Roll and Songwriters Halls Of Fame
* Only songwriters to have five simultaneous Top 10 singles
* Wrote and produced six straight number ones
* 7 platinum and five multi-platinum singles
* Over 60 charted hit singles with their first number one in 1966
* Saturday Night Fever is the best selling movie soundtrack ever with three number one hits
* Ten Lifetime Achievement Awards including a Brit Award, American Music Award and World Music Award
* Only artist in history to achieve number one in UK charts in four decades
* Barry Gibb has produced 14 number one records making him the third most successful producer of all time
"Official" biography courtesy of Universal Records.