The Bee Gees — brothers Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb — turned pop idols within the late Nineteen Sixties after which mega stars within the Seventies. They bought 200 million data. Robin and Maurice had been twins and Barry was three years older, however they usually stated it felt like they had been triplets.
With their fame and riches got here medicine, jealousy, in-fighting, and the demise of their youthful brother Andy Gibb, who was 30 when he died from a drug-related coronary heart assault.
Maurice and Robin have died since then, leaving simply Barry, now 74 years previous.
Barry Gibb is the centerpiece of a brand new documentary about this household referred to as “The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend A Broken Heart,” out now on HBO Max.
Director Frank Marshall says he approached the documentary as an examination of brotherhood and household. When the Gibbs first shaped the band and lived in Brisbane, their father Hugh was their supervisor and helped create their first demos. As soon as they moved to England, businessman Brian Epstein found the trio and launched them to Robert Stigwood, who later turned the band’s supervisor.
“[Hugh] let Robert Stigwood take the Bee Gees and develop them into the superb musical group that they turned, and he actually turned their form of father determine,” Marshall says.
Earlier than their breakthrough within the U.S., the Bee Gees had hits within the U.Okay., comparable to “Massachusetts” and “I’ve Gotta Get a Message To You.”
Marshall says regardless of jealousy between the brothers, they finally turned a cohesive unit whereas songwriting and creating concepts.
“They had been form of on the entrance wave of worldwide pop stardom. … They had been so younger. That they had some huge cash. That they had all people throwing issues at them. Inevitably the medicine and the alcohol began to take its toll,” Marshall says. “They form of wakened sooner or later and stated, ‘This has received to cease if we will keep collectively.’”
Marshall says that interval of extra led the brothers to maneuver to Miami, on the suggestion of Eric Clapton. There, the Bee Gees discovered their new sound — Barry Gibb’s falsetto — whereas they had been recording “Nights on Broadway.”
“Arif Mardin, who was their producer on the time, requested if any individual may do one thing to finish the monitor. And Barry went in and took a swing at it, and he got here up with singing on this falsetto. He did not even know he may do it,” he says.
Saturday Evening Fever
Within the early Seventies, on the suggestion of Stigwood, the Bee Gees traveled to the Honky Château in France to file new music. Marshall says Stigwood suggested them to file there for tax causes. Stigwood then approached the band to file music for a brand new film he was producing.
“They received this name from Stigwood, who stated, ‘I’ve purchased this [New York Magazine] article and I will do a film. … We’d like just a few songs from you,” Marshall explains. “A few weeks later, he received this cassette with 5 songs on them. “
It included “Staying Alive,” “Greater than a Girl,” and “Evening Fever,” lots of which turned lead singles for the 1977 movie “Saturday Evening Fever.”
In response to Marshall, all 5 songs went on to turn out to be prime 10 hits. Between 1977 and 1980, the album bought 25 million copies, greater than any album on the time. In response to the U.S. Library of Congress, 200,000 copies had been bought on the peak of its reputation. In 2012, the soundtrack was added to the Nationwide Recording Registry on the Library of Congress.
Following the success of the “Saturday Evening Fever,” dance music turned synonymous with disco music, and it rose from the underground to the mainstream.
The disco fallout
Regardless of their rise in reputation, the band quickly confronted repercussions.
“It was like waves within the sea. They’d simply play Bee Gees music all day, and other people received bored with it. There was a backlash to not solely the music, however to the commercialization of disco,” he says. “There was this big backlash in opposition to disco and the Bee Gees very unfairly received caught up in it.”
Marshall says the band didn’t perceive why they turned the face of disco because it misplaced its reputation.
“They had been very upset. They had been damage. They had been confused. They did not really feel that their music was disco. They felt their music was all totally different types. However they received labeled with that factor that actually took them down.”
Ultimately, the band fell out of the limelight and began writing music for different artists, together with Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Celine Dion and Dionne Warwick.
“They had been clearly songwriters their complete profession. However now they turned simply songwriters, they usually wrote so many tunes for different folks that turned primary hits. It was form of superb.”
Deaths within the household
After the band received again collectively within the Nineteen Nineties, brothers Maurice and Robin Gibb died in 2003 and 2012, respectively.
Barry, the final residing Gibb brother, has returned to creating music and launched a brand new album referred to as “Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers’ Songbook Vol. 1.”
“He’s nonetheless very unhappy. He misses his brothers drastically. However he is beginning to come again. And we actually needed to rejoice their legacy and their artistry and their resilience.”