The Gibb Collective is a musical tribute, and a family legacy. On the input of Maurice’s daughter, Samantha, the children of Andy, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb have found a new way to honor their fathers through breathing new life into the more than memorable Bee Gee classics of the 60’s and 70’s. And what better title for the 10-track album, than “Please Don’t Turn Off The Lights”. Even though, to be fair to their fathers, ‘turning the lights off’ of the Bee Gees is an impossible task, considering the indelible mark they have left in the history popular music.
The Gibb Collective was founded in 2016 by Maurice’s daughter, Samantha, and quickly blossomed from a single – “New York Mining Disaster 1941” recorded by Samantha – into their first full album. The album is a collection of covers infused with new life and recorded by the children and the younger sister of all four Gibb brothers, and will aptly be released on April 14th, during the 50th Anniversary of the Bee Gees.
The Bee Gees have been such an awesome musical force for so many years, singing, songwriting, arranging and producing some of the most influential and important songs of the 20th century. It’s even more impressive when you realize that they were writing and performing songs as a band since their teens.
Their songwriting was strong and their 3 part harmonies really come through on an array of wonderful songs. They were also great storytellers and their songs seemed to be used as a platform to tell the various experiences and tales that they had conceived in their minds.
The hallmark of the Bee Gees on their early albums is their incredible creativity in making memorable melodies, sung in perfect harmonies. I think only a few other groups were able to write so many tunes that you can preserve in your head at first listening.
The Gibb Collective takes that solid basis and elaborates their own personal interpretations of the songs on this album. Some tracks stick closely to the original arrangements, while others take a sharp left turn into diverse orchestrations.
None however, lose the original, intrinsic musical field of reference, of its original version. The sound is extremely pure and deep and you can admire the outstanding orchestral arrangements executed in each reworked song version. I was amazed at how wonderful this album is to listen to all the way through.
To me one of the real underrated Bee Gee jewels of this album is “I Can’t See Nobody”. This was the B-side of “New York Mining Disaster 1941” back in the 60’s, and is genuinely beautiful in its own right. I always believed it could have been a monster hit in its day.
Hearing it redone now by Berry Gibb Rhoades hasn’t changed my mind. The classics obviously need no introduction and the re-workings are brilliantly done: “New York Mining Disaster 1941” by Samantha Gibb and “I Started A Joke” by Robin John Gibb, are interpretations of the highest caliber.
Peta Gibbs luscious version of “Fool For A Night” was another pleasant surprise, as was the electro-pop version of “Angel of Mercy” by Samantha & Adam Gibb. But without a doubt my absolute favorite track on the album has to be “Please Don’t Turn Off The Lights”, sung by the entire collective, and which I think captures the Bee Gees’ spirit of musical intent- the melody, the harmony and ultimately, the unity.