Interviste di Robin su "Greatest" e sui Bee Gees - BEE GEES ITALY - Blog & News

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Interviste di Robin su "Greatest" e sui Bee Gees
(di Enzo , 23/09/2007 @ 00:40:12, in Dal web, linkato 1413 volte)
Come già anticipato, Robin Gibb è stato intervistato da vari media (TV, radio, web e stampa), in merito alla pubblicazione della versione "deluxe" della raccolta "Bee Gees Greatest". Oggi viene pubblicata dal sito "" un'interessante intervista nella quale Robin, oltre a parlare di "Greatest", parla del ritiro del nome "Bee Gees" dopo la morte di Maurice nel 2003.

"Non abbiamo esattamente ritirato il nome "Bee Gees" . Lo abbiamo fatto intendendolo un onore ed un rispetto per Maurice per essere parte di qualcosa nella cultura musicale che abbiamo raggiunto insieme. Io e Barry staremo insieme e faremo album e canzoni, ma alla fine la gente ci chiameranno sempre "Bee Gees", non possiamo cambiare questo. In rispetto di Maurice, i Bee Gees saranno sempre tre fratelli. Non potremo mai cambiare la concezione della gente su me e Barry insieme o io o Barry come solisti. Come Paul Mc Cartney sarà sempre un Beatle, noi saremo sempre i Bee Gees, ma per quanto ci riguarda i Bee Gees saranno sempre tre".

Altre parti interessanti dell'intervista riguardano i commenti di Robin sui remix  presenti in "Greatest", ("preferisco sempre gli originali, ma in definitiva sono accettabili"), sulla considerazione dell'incertezza sulla possibilità che se i Bee Gees nascessero ora avrebbero successo ("non so, la scena musicale è diversa, oggi se hai una melodia, sei bianco e sei uomo, devi andare sul country... ") e su come crede che alla fine i Bee Gees saranno ricordati ("non tutti gli artisti di oggi hanno l'enorme catalogo di canzoni che noi abbiamo, credo che saremo ricordati come autori, anche per le canzoni che abbiamo scritto per altri artisti")

Da segnalare inoltre "30 years of fever", lo special sui Bee Gees e su "Greatest" realizzato dal sito di Microsoft,
Contiene un'altra intervista con Robin, quasi tutta incentrata sulla ristampa del disco, ed una video-intervista, dove appare anche Barry (sebbene apparentemente l'intervista sembra realizzata in due diverse "location").

(Fonti: e

"Bee Gees' Robin Gibb Isn't Jive Talking"

The Bee Gees' Robin Gibb is one third of not only one of the most successful family acts in popular music but one of the most successful, period. From their early days in their native England to their childhood musical successes in Australia to their later status as world conquerors with their 15-times platinum 'Saturday Night Fever' soundtrack, the brothers Gibb -- Robin, his twin, Maurice, and their older brother, Barry -- have had more careers, and hit records, than any five bands. They've thrived with and excelled at Beatlesque orchestral rock, dance-floor-ready R&B and disco, and just about every pop style under the sun in their more than 40 years as music makers. Prolific songwriters that they have been, this doesn't even take into account the numerous hits other artists have had with their songs.

Robin was eager to talk about the historical significance of the 'Fever'-era songs compiled on the just-reissued and expanded double CD 'Bee Gees Greatest,' a collection of the group's R&B smashes. He also discusses the ego problems that led to a rift between him and his brothers in the late '60s, the idea of retiring the Bee Gees name after the 2003 death of Maurice and why country music is the last bastion for songwriters.

What was the thought behind reissuing your disco-era greatest hits with bonus material?

I think we -- me and Barry --were quite cautious about this at the very beginning when [the record label] approached us about re-releasing a landmark greatest-hits album. It's not all the hits, but it's a particular period, and it's actually a re-release of an album of the greatest hits with the original artwork, the original logo at the front, and the original photography, and the original track listing with bonus tracks. One of those bonus tracks, interestingly enough, is one of the songs that didn't make, by our own choice, the soundtrack, called 'Warm Ride.' Incidentally, none of the tracks that we wrote were written for 'Saturday Night Fever,' they were put to 'Saturday Night Fever.' We never saw the film till it came out. We'd recorded them in France and we had all of them -- 'Stayin' Alive,' 'How Deep Is Your Love,' 'Night Fever,' 'If I Can't Have You,' 'More Than a Woman' and 'Warm Ride' were all written -- and they came over to France, listened to them and took them away with them. It was just like we never heard another thing for another nine months, then it came out at Christmas of '77, and we know what happened after that.

Do you now appreciate just how musically revolutionary the 'Saturday Night Fever' movie was?

I think the interesting thing about 'Fever' is that is was never a musical in the true sense of the word in that nobody ever actually sang in the film, like they do in 'Grease.' And secondly, it was a contemporary film, it was about the time, it was a modern film about modern-day New York City and it went against the grain of normal, traditional musicals. So it was a new way of presenting music. Instead of having the actors sing, you have the soundtrack intertwined into the story and the plot, which is my favorite way. I mean, I like it when it is part of the narration of the film and the atmosphere rather than someone actually singing it. I'm not a great fan of actually watching people sing in musicals, but I am a great fan of writing the right music to the right film. And 'Fever' is still the best-selling soundtrack album worldwide.

But didn't the Bee Gees make the transition from a pop-rock sound to to a more R&B one well before 'Fever,' for example, with 'Jive Talkin''?

We were already going in that direction two years earlier with the 'Main Course' album. And then the following year we had the 'Children of the World' album, which produced 'You Should Be Dancing' and 'Love So Right,' which were Number One in black radio, as the previous ones were, so we were already in a black R&B direction. We never heard of the word "disco," by the way, that was something the radio created when the film took off. We knew nothing about that; we were doing R&B music.

Was there any skittishness about giving the songs over to the 'Fever' soundtrack?

We were very cautious about these songs being used in the film, because this was a very low-budget movie. It was a new actor, John Travolta, who had been in 'Welcome Back Kotter,' and we didn't really know that much about the film other than the fact it was low budget and there was not going to be a tremendous amount of promotion on it. There was no great anticipation of its success, certainly no prediction of it, and we were more concerned about, well, are we going to throw these songs away on a film that doesn't do anything?

What was it about those songs that made people embrace it in such a huge way?

Well, first of all, there's an emotion in the sound. The songs are very human songs. They're about human relationships, which are perennial. And, of course, the sound is very emotional, the harmonies are very emotional, and the sound of the harmony that we use, they do have a tendency to transcend and reach people in a way that affects them. I think there was a magical quality about that sound.

Even in the early days, there was a lot of R&B influence in songs like 'To Love Somebody' and 'I Can't See Nobody.'

That is correct. That's the way we grew up in Australia. We used to listen to a lot of commercial radio stations in Sydney that were playing a lot of this stuff, and I think if we had stayed in England we wouldn't have heard that because they weren't playing it. A lot of white acts, even in America, would not be exploring that kind of music in those days. We didn't feel any boundaries to that in Australia.

So many Bee Gees songs, even the ones that aren't overtly R&B-sounding, have been covered by black artists. What would you attribute that to?

Recently, we had 'Emotion' [covered] by Beyonce and Destiny's Child -- a lot of black artists have always been interested in our sound and our music and influenced by it. And a lot of black artists are influenced by these tracks today in their own way and they try to put their own stamp on the sound, they sample them and they are influenced by the harmonies. So much the style of the songs transcends the times that they're written in.

A couple of 'Fever' classics have been given the remix treatment for the album's re-release, like the Teddybears' remix of 'Stayin' Alive.' Are you happy with how they turned out?

I always like the originals, but we're living in a day and age where people like remixes. I suppose it's really an acquired taste. One person's gonna say, 'I like it,' another person's gonna say, 'Oh, I don't like that.' It's a mixed bag of emotion, really, but it's an acceptable thing.

You and your brothers have written songs for everyone from Barbara Streisand and Dionne Warwick to a duet for Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. Do you wish you were more recognized for your songwriting?

I think it's an important thing to be songwriters. When Elton John was signed, he was writing songs, and I think there was a time, as the Beatles themselves were writing songs, when artists were writing their own songs and people were covering them. And also it was just good to write your own songs and to be first, not to copy people, to try and be original and set the pace rather than today where they copy what's gone on in the last forty years.

Your 1969 album 'Odessa' has been acknowledged as your masterpiece, but it also temporarily broke up the band. What do you recall about that record?

An adventurous album in a sense, because it was actually written not as a commercial album. It was done always as a theme, and it was suggested by [manager] Robert Stigwood to do something that was entirely different, and we knew it was going to be a hard sell, even by the standards of the time. But we wanted to do something that was entirely different and unusual, for a better word. But again it was all part of our evolvement; it was part of the writing development of where we were going. We were still teenagers at the time.

You were so young while you were having all this commercial and critical success -- did it go to your head?

Yeah, it did, but it didn't go to our head through money, because we didn't have much of that, 'cause we didn't own our own publishing or anything like that at the time. I think it had more to do with freedom of choice and we weren't listening to each other as much as we were going to much later. So it was an exciting time, but it was also a very tough time emotionally, coming to terms with this, you know, this ego.

Right after 'Odessa' you left the Bee Gees to record your solo album 'Robin's Reign' and your brothers carried on with 'Cucumber Castle.' How hard was it being and working without them?

It was a tough time, it was 18 months of writing songs that probably we would have written together or would have ended up on a Bee Gees album, and instead we put them out individually. And it was kind of tough emotionally when you want to work together and you've still got so much to do and you're still actually teenagers, you know, and we had 18 months of that where we had time apart. But I think it was probably necessary for what was to come later. 'Cause the first thing, as soon as we got back together, in one afternoon we wrote 'Lonely Days' and 'How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.' So it was productive, it was worth the 18 months off.

Am I to understand that with the passing away of your brother Maurice in 2003, you've retired the Bee Gees name?

We haven't exactly retired the Bee Gees name, we did it as an honor and respect for Maurice as being part of something in musical culture that we achieved together. Me and Barry will get together and make albums and make songs, but in the end people will always call us Bee Gees -- we can't change that. In respect for Maurice, the Bee Gees will always be the three brothers. We can never change people's concept of even me and Barry or even me or Barry alone. As Paul McCartney is a always going to be a Beatle, we're always going to be the Bee Gees, but as far as we're concerned the Bee Gees will always be us three.

Do you think if the Bee Gees were a new group they would be successful in today's music market?

I don't know -- because popular radio is not the same as it used to be. It wouldn't be just us: Where would Elton John be? Where would the Beatles be? Your starting point is where your advantage is. Today there isn't a platform for popular music and the popular song. And I think the popular song is always going to have a place in history, and the vehicles have been vastly reduced and music has been sidelined. What we have now is, if you have a melody and you're white and you're male -- you have to go to country.

How do you think the Bee Gees will be remembered?

I think the legacy of the Bee Gees -- you can't really enforce it, but I would like to think as a songwriter is the most important thing. And creating a huge catalog, which most people aren't really doing today. As being not just songwriters for ourselves but for other people.

(Sources: and

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