CD Review: Bee Gees

Bee Gees
By David Chiu

There are two well-known sides of the Bee Gees: there’s the very romantic pop side emphasized in their late ‘60s output, and of course there’s the wildly-popular disco days of the the ‘70s. The group’s Odessa, however, falls somewhere in between as something quite different. Originally released as a double album 40 years ago, it’s one of pop music’s conceptual masterpieces up there with the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper and Love’s Forever Changes. The lush airy harmonies and orchestral backdrops are definitely signature of the early Bee Gees sound on Odessa, especially tracks like “Melody Fair” “Lamplight,” and “First of May.” But the record is not exactly conventional pop, especially the epic-length title track, the very folkish-sounding “Marly Purt Drive” and instrumental asides like “The British Opera” and “Seven Seas Symphony.” The album’s stand out is “Sound of Love,” an underrated track that could have easily been a hit single. It’s no wonder that this album has garnered a cult following—it’s pop in one sense but yet not in another with its quirks. This 40th anniversary edition features both mono and stereo versions of the album, and another disc of demos and alternate mixes.


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