May 10, 2015

Reevaluating Barry Gibb

A great producer and song writer "hidden" within the confines of a top selling pop group. A hit making group that spanned decades. Barry Gibb is just a talented man. That I think that may be news to some of you.

Today as I was listening to a recording of Dionne Warwick's version of the old Ruby and the Romantics pop hit, "Our Day Will Come", I was taken by the arrangement and the background vocals by Barry. Even though her album Heartbreaker was a hit, I had not purchased it during its initial release , nor had I heard her version of the song.

Granted, I was well familiar with the song as it had its last big hit version recorded by Carpenters in 1973. Long a favorite from their smash album Now & Then, Karen's vocal and Richard's piano made for a song just waiting to be released as a single. Of course, it never was.

Beyond Saturday Night Fever and the smash songs from the album, BeeGees hits were appreciated, sometimes really enjoyed, but not always a staple in my collection. Admittedly, I loved two songs by younger brother Andy Gibb: "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" and his later hit "Everlasting Love". They were pop perfection of the addictive candy kind!

Toss in Barbra Streisand's truly stunning Guilty album. Now, I respect her as an artist, can't stand her as a political activist, but thoroughly enjoy this disc, as its associated with so many personal happy memories. Particularly the title song- a duet with producer Barry.

Then there's Olivia Newton-John. So many hit singles that I like, but it was late night radio's "I Can't Help It" with Andy Gibb that kept me mesmerized (along with Ambrosia's smash "Biggest Part of Me") during long late night drives while I delivered bowling leagues sheets to alleys all over Southern California. And who wasn't captivated by "Islands in the Stream"? The Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton duet was just too catchy to ignore.

In the year 2003, a new artist came to the forefront as we saw Michael Buble cover "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" also ;written by Barry Gibb. The list goes on and on. 

So I say, forgive Barry Gibb and his brothers for the misstep found in their involvement with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and let's give brother Barry the respect he deserves.

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