The Bee Gees’ 40 biggest songs – ranked!

40. For Whom the Bell Tolls (1993)

The Bee Gees’ largest 90s hit sums up the professionals and cons of their output through the decade. On the one hand, it’s an exceptionally high-quality track, the product of grasp craftsmen at work. On the opposite, the manufacturing is slick to the purpose of seeming faintly anodyne.

39. Wildflower (1981)

The sound of a band nonetheless reeling from the 1979 disco backlash – one variant on the Disco Sucks T-shirt additionally featured the phrase “Kill the Bee Gees” – the album Residing Eyes is everywhere. However Wildflower is a second of real magic within the form of understated, folky mushy rock.

38. Trafalgar (1971)

Written by and that includes a uncommon lead vocal from Maurice Gibb, the title monitor of their 1971 album is audibly indebted to the oeuvre of John Lennon, however none the more serious for that. The descending melody is sulkily lovely; the refrain soars. Oasis ought to have coated it.

37. Till (1979)

Lurking on the B-side of Tragedy – or on the very finish of Spirits Having Flown – Till is among the many Bee Gees’ most underrated tracks. It’s a short waft of delicate, beatless, synthesiser-backed distress that leaves the listener hanging, unsure what occurred to destroy the youthful romance it initially depicts.

36. She Retains on Coming (2001)

After a run of glossily skilled 90s albums, This Is The place I Got here In appeared to hark again to the Bee Gees’ 60s work whereas additionally experimenting. It was their finest document in years, its willingness to push the boundaries summed up by She Retains on Coming, which strongly suggests that they had been listening to Speaking Heads.

35. New York Mining Catastrophe 1941 (1967)

A scurrilous hearsay recommended that the Bee Gees’ first UK hit was secretly the work of the Beatles. You’ll be able to see why: the northern accents, the richness of the tune. However the Beatles by no means recorded something this bleak, impressed equally by the Aberfan catastrophe and an influence reduce that left the Gibb brothers harmonising at midnight.

34. Massachusetts (1967)

The Bee Gees: Massachusetts (dwell in 1989) – video

The No 1 singles of 1967 normally match one in all two classes: turned-on psychedelia, or the MOR response towards it. However Massachusetts sat someplace within the center. Gentle and simple by Bee Gees ballad requirements, the lyrics nonetheless handled a hippy hitching to San Francisco however getting no additional than New England.

33. Candy Tune of Summer season (1972)

The title of the album To Whom it Might Concern underlines its unfocused contents, however simply sometimes the Bee Gees’ growing confusion about their function led them to strive one thing fully off-beam. Candy Tune of Summer season’s eerie analogue synth backing and ominous temper is a haunting anomaly of their catalogue.

32. I Can’t See No one (1967)

Subsequently coated by Nina Simone, I Can’t See No one – initially the B-side of New York Mining Catastrophe 1941 – launched audiences outdoors Australia to the extraordinary voice of Robin Gibb, which even his mom mentioned made her “go chilly”. Singing lead, he sounds as if he’s about to burst into tears.

31. Odessa (Metropolis on the Black Sea) (1969)

It’s generally onerous to convey to those that know solely the hits how bizarre the Bee Gees’ late 60s albums will be. Fast repair: play them Odessa’s title monitor, seven and a half ever-shifting minutes involving harp, strings, heartbreak, the saga of an 1899 shipwreck and a burst of Baa Baa Black Sheep. Inexplicable, however superb.

30. Canines (1974)

Produced by Arif Mardin, Mr Pure is a transitional album that hyperlinks the distinct phases of the Bee Gees’ profession. Whereas it nonetheless majored in ballads, Mardin inspired the Gibbs’ love of rhythm and blues, therefore the appealingly light funk of Canines. It was not like something that they had recorded earlier than – and a signpost to the longer term.

29. I Began a Joke (1968)

Virtually all of the Bee Gees’ 60s hits are likely to the gloomy, however Robin’s songs amp up the unhappiness to the purpose the place it turns into faintly disturbing. Which brings us to I Began a Joke, on which all the things goes horribly flawed, till its protagonist dies, apparently to common rejoicing.

28. First of Might (1969)

Fraternal relations had been fraught through the recording of Odessa, one thing the lyrics of Barry Gibb’s splendidly morose First of Might might allude to, completely happy childhood reminiscences contrasting with latter-day estrangement. In the event that they do, it’s ironic that the track in impact cut up the Bee Gees, Robin quitting in protest at its launch as a single.

27. One (1989)

The album One is basically melancholy and haunted by the dying of their brother Andy Gibb, however there’s a pleasing irony about the truth that the Bee Gees returned to the US High 10 after 12 years with a dancefloor-focused track that – behind the digital 80s manufacturing – may have appeared on their disco-era albums.

The Bee Gees in 1971
The band in 1971. {Photograph}: Pictorial Press/Alamy

26. Heat Experience (1977)

The lacking piece of Saturday Evening Fever. It was mooted for the soundtrack, then deserted and ultimately donated to Andy, who launched it on his remaining album, a post-disco backlash flop in 1980. The Bee Gees’ model lastly got here out on a 2007 compilation. The actual fact it’s audibly unfinished doesn’t have an effect on its fidgety greatness.

25. Kilburn Towers (1968)

An sudden addition to the setlist of Barry’s 2013 Mythology tour, Kilburn Towers is a hidden gem on Thought. An exquisite evocation of the solar setting over Sydney on a summer time’s night, it drifts alongside on a heat breeze of acoustic guitar and mellotron. Slight, however irresistibly pretty.

24. Melody Truthful (1969)

Written for Odessa, however later used because the theme for the 1971 film Melody, Melody Truthful encapsulates the 2 competing impulses inside the 60s Bee Gees. It begins out as parent-friendly MOR pop, then all of the sudden, thrillingly, dives right into a heavy-lidded, stoned-sounding, Lennon-y refrain.

23. You Stepped into My Life (1976)

Disco devotees might favour Melba Moore’s cowl – extra pressing, lush and dramatic than the unique, it was an enormous membership hit in 1978. However You Stepped into My Life is a improbable track whatever the association, its nagging hook and heady, spiralling melody proof of the Bee Gees’ intuitive grasp of disco.

22. World (1967)

The follow-up to Massachusetts was darker and extra advanced – not a lot a love track as a cry of existential confusion apparently rooted within the Bee Gees’ sudden success: “The place on the planet will I be tomorrow? Am I wanted right here?” The guitar retains threatening to interrupt right into a squealing, distorted, cathartic solo that by no means seems.

The Bee Gees in 1967, with Vince Melouney (far left) and Colin Peterson (second right)
The Bee Gees in 1967, with Vince Melouney (far left) and Colin Peterson (second proper). {Photograph}: Pictorial Press/Alamy

21. Charade (1974)

The failure of 1973’s Life in a Tin Can and their document label’s rejection of its mooted follow-up appeared to shake the Bee Gees into upping their recreation. The opener of Mr Pure is fantastic, dressing their trademark ballad fashion in a heat, pillowy, jazzy association.

20. How Can You Mend a Damaged Coronary heart? (1971)

A suitably fragile-sounding track about Robin’s return to the Bee Gees – after the First of Might fallout – the unique model of How Can You Mend a Damaged Coronary heart? was the band’s first US No 1, however the track blossomed when Al Inexperienced coated it to placing impact in 1972.

19. You Ought to Be Dancing (1976)

The hardest disco monitor the Bee Gees recorded, You Ought to Be Dancing is as insistent as its title suggests. Launched by a relentless one-note rhythm monitor, punctuated by blasts of pressing brass and host to a writhingly funky, conga-heavy breakdown, it looks like being on the centre of a sweaty, packed dancefloor at 2am.

18. Love You Inside Out (1979)

Commercially overshadowed within the UK by its predecessor, Tragedy, Love You Inside Out is the vastly higher track. If Tragedy pushes the Bee Gees’ disco sound to the purpose the place it sounds shrill and melodramatic, Love You Inside Out is totally stylish: calmer, extra delicate, with an incredible refrain.

17. Fanny (Be Tender With My Love) (1975)

Solely the Bee Gees would write a ballad this luscious – its harmonies so thickly layered that they couldn’t be replicated dwell – then lumber it with a title like that. It was named after the band’s housekeeper, however why not change the identify? Annie? Or, certainly, anything?

16. Extra Than a Lady (1977)

So good it appeared on the Saturday Evening Fever soundtrack album twice. It’s a toss-up as as to if the Bee Gees’ authentic or Tavares’ cowl is the higher model (the latter was successful single). Each glide and gleam; it has the assured sound of songwriters who know precisely what they’re doing.

Bee Gees stage in 1998
On stage in 1998. {Photograph}: PA

15. Vacation (1967)

Vacation dispenses with drums virtually totally, setting Robin’s vocal to washes of orchestration, extravagant harp glissandos and church-y organ. However for all of the lavishness of the sound, its actual energy comes from the truth that there’s something ineffably creepy about its minor chords and imponderably odd lyrics.

14. If I Can’t Have You (1977)

The Bee Gees understood that a lot of the most effective disco has a stress at its coronary heart – uplifting music chafing towards emotionally wrenching lyrics. If I Can’t Have You is an totally downcast story of unrequited love that feels fully euphoric. Yvonne Elliman’s cowl is definitive, however the authentic is improbable too.

13. I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You (1968)

In impact a homicide ballad – not an space of music readily related to the Bee Gees – I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You’s protagonist is headed for the gallows and unable to name his companion to say goodbye. Greatest bit: the ultimate key change, the place Robin all of the sudden dials up the angst, sounding virtually strangulated by his personal misery.

12. Too A lot Heaven (1978)

The Bee Gees: Too A lot Heaven – video

There’s a touch of the Chi-Lites and the Stylistics’ ultra-soft soul about Too A lot Heaven. It was a deeply unhip affect to flaunt in 1978 – that sound had lengthy misplaced its industrial cachet – however the outcomes are gorgeous. And when did the Bee Gees ever fear about being hip?

11. Each Christian Lionhearted Man Will Present You (1967)

Clearly not sure whether or not they wished to be housewives’ favourites or experimentalists impressed by Sgt Pepper’s, the 60s Bee Gees tried to be each. The tear-jerking ballads had been the hits, however the bizarre stuff might be unimaginable. Right here, mellotron and mock-Gregorian chanting interrupts tumbling, elegiac, harmony-bedecked psychedelia.

10. You Win Once more (1987)

The Bee Gees: You Win Once more – video

The Gibbs’ huge UK comeback – their first No 1 in eight years – isn’t only a excellent pop track; it additionally carries a faint trace of their 60s idiosyncrasy. The manufacturing is so weird that their label complained; the stomping drum monitor, recorded in Maurice’s storage, drowns out the remainder of the association.

9. Phrases (1968)

The second trendy customary the Bee Gees got here up with in lower than a yr. Phrases’ bulletproof tune – and Barry’s fabulous vocal, at turns fragile and anguished – spawned greater than 150 covers, together with variations by Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Terry Wogan and Boyzone, alas not collectively.

8. Nights on Broadway (1975)

Nights on Broadway launched the world to Barry’s trademark falsetto, a response to Mardin’s request for him to “scream in tune”. It’s additionally an incredible track, finest heard in its full-length album model, full with a gradual part that underlines how disconsolate the lyrics that lurk behind the buoyant music are.

7. Run to Me (1972)

It says one thing in regards to the embarrassment of songwriting riches within the Bee Gees’ catalogue {that a} track nearly as good as Run to Me – crammed with shifts in tone from tender verses to anthemic choruses, plus a High 10 hit besides – feels ignored. In anybody else’s oeuvre, it will be a showstopper.

6. Evening Fever (1977)

Virtually incomprehensible on document, the lyrics of Evening Fever’s verses are actually good, completely capturing the sense of anticipation earlier than an evening out – “on the waves of the air / There may be dancing on the market”. The music is fascinating: dramatic, beseeching verses, blissful refrain. A masterpiece.

5. Spirits (Having Flown) (1979)

Amazingly by no means launched as a single, their remaining disco-era album’s title monitor could be its spotlight. Its super-smooth late 70s west-coast sound – with Herbie Mann on flute – takes a step again from the dancefloor. In the meantime, the second at 1:30 when the refrain achieves lift-off is simply superior.

4. How Deep Is Your Love (1977)

The Bee Gees: How Deep Is Your Love – video

The 2020 documentary How Can You Mend a Damaged Coronary heart featured a clip of the Bee Gees writing How Deep Is Your Love, pulling its implausibly lovely melody out of skinny air. The lyrical paranoia – “a world of fools breaking us down” – presents a distinctly odd, and thus very Bee Gees, counterpoint.

3. Jive Talkin’ (1975)

The track that reworked the Bee Gees’ profession didn’t simply provide a brand new sound; it was additionally an unimaginable single. The preponderance of hooks feels easy, the squelching synth bass, guitar mimicking the sound of a automobile rattling over a bridge and airily funky drums providing an invite to bop that’s not possible to refuse.

2. To Love Any person (1967)

The primary signal that the Bee Gees had been preternaturally gifted songwriters. Robin was nonetheless a young person when he and Barry wrote To Love Any person, which nearly instantly grew to become a contemporary customary, recorded by everybody from Nina Simone to Rod Stewart. The choose is James Carr’s anguished southern soul model.

1. Stayin’ Alive (1977)

The Bee Gees: Stayin’ Alive – video

The bore’s model of occasions – that the Bee Gees had been arriviste opportunists who ruined disco by their ubiquity – ignores how lavishly gifted the Gibbs had been at making disco; by no stretch of the creativeness are the songs they wrote for Saturday Evening Fever novelty information. Stayin’ Alive, particularly, is perfection: a gap riff that may clearly propel individuals in the direction of dancefloors for the remainder of time; the relentlessness of the looped drum monitor; the lyrics, about “desperation”, as Barry put it, concealing a stew of poisonous, broken machismo and concrete blight beneath the hooks. It’s totally of its second and but timeless.