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BEE GEES - LOVE SONGS - UNIVERSAL
Record Rating: *****

Bee Gees - Love Songs - Universal The Bee Gees would have been hailed as the second coming of The Beatles if the public weren’t so quick to peg them as a disco band. How strong is their legacy? For one, it seemed in the mid to late 1990’s that every pop group on the planet had to cover a Bee Gees love song in order to succeed. Take That bowed out with a cover of How Deep Is Your Love, Boyzone covered Words and even Robbie Williams got into the act with his version of I Started A Joke.

Now for the first time, the original versions of their love songs have been brought together on one album. Love Songs is a new 18 track compilation that collects the trio’s biggest ballads and lives up to its name. For starters, it begins with the absolutely wrenching To Love Somebody, arguably one of the best love songs of the 1960’s. More of the early days are represented by classic songs like Words, Lonely Day and How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, which propelled Barry Gibb's unmistakable falsetto. Its no surprise really that Saturday Night Fever was the biggest selling soundtrack of all time at one point and became the pop culture phenomenon it is, because the music the Bee Gees recorded for it is still so strong thirty odd years later. And it’s represented well here with the key tracks on this compilation, the infectiously catchy More Than A Woman, and How Deep Is Your Love, which spent nine weeks at # 1 and gave the band the first of their seven Grammy Awards. Following that, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb’s lush harmonies, mellifluous melodies, and complex arrangements are on full display with the tender Too Much Heaven and (Our Love) Don’t Throw It All Away, proving once and for all they were never just disco. Bee Gees aficionados will crib that You Win Again and Alone are given a miss, in favour of more low key tracks like Islands In The Stream and Secret Love, and you also have to wonder about the omission of fan favourites like Run To Me and Fanny (Be Tender With My Love). But the good overshadows the bad.

If you're just looking for just a compilation of the ballads of the Brothers Gibb in one place, you’re looking in the right place. If their music means Stayin’ Alive and Tragedy to you, you owe it to yourself to listen closer to this new one with an open mind. This is over an hour of very satisfying music, a full two thumbs up experience. Truly awesome stuff.

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