Tuesday, March 5, 2013

more on the The Bee Gees: and E.S.P.

This is a hold-over from the stack of Bee Gees records I bought a few weeks ago.  Not only were they a terrifically talented band and family - they were prolific in their music output.  From 1965 to 2001, they pumped out 22 albums - not including live albums, and movie soundtracks.  This is E.S.P., the Bee Gees' seventeenth original album (fifteenth worldwide).  Released in 1987, it was the band's first studio album in six years, and the first album they released under their new contract with Warner Bros.  It also marked the first time in twelve years the band had worked with producer Arif Mardin, (my note - Arif was their go-to guy and produced, to me, what is their finest record - Main Course on ATCO) - and was their first album to be recorded digitally.  But this is their vinyl release of course.  The album reaching #5 in the UK, #2 in Norway and Austria, and #1 in Germany and Switzerland, though it barely made the top 100 in the US.  Happily (to me, and likely to them) With the Bee Gees now back in the Warner-Elektra-Atlantic conglomerate, producer Arif Mardin was once again available to work with them.  The Gibb brothers began writing and recording songs for E.S.P. around September 1986.  They worked at Maurice's home studio, informally known as Panther House, (not sure if that is near Critera) rather than at Middle Ear Studios - for more on that: http://www.brothersgibb.org/reports-middle-ear.html   Not just great vocalists - here is who played what: Barry Gibb played rhythm guitar.  During the early 1970s, Robin Gibb played piano and violin occasionally, after which, he only played strings and keyboards privately.  Maurice Gibb played bass guitar, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, harmonica, piano, organ, mellotron, keyboard, synthesiser and he also created drum tracks.  From 1966 to 1972 he played multiple instruments on many records.  During the late 1970's he played mainly bass guitar.  From about 1986 onward he usually played keyboards and guitars.  Maurice was credited by the brothers as being the most technologically savvy member of the band.

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