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YMMV / The Bee Gees

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  • Americans Hate Tingle: Once disco fell out of fashion, they became personas non gratis in the United States, even though they weren't recording disco songs anymore. For instance, their 1987 single "You Win Again" was a number one hit in ten different countries; its US peak was 75.
  • Angst Dissonance: Their songwriting in the early 1970s skewed heavily toward depressing, melancholy ballads. The record buying public, both in the UK and the US, became quickly tired of it and stopped buying their albums. It wasn't until they re-emerged as a dance-pop band that they became successful again.
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  • Colbert Bump: The Dark Reprise of "I Started a Joke" in the trailer for Suicide Squad (2016) made them more relevant than they'd been in decades.
  • Covered Up:
    • "Rest Your Love on Me", written by Barry Gibb, was an obscure B-side for the Bee Gees. Conway Twitty covered it and took it to #1 on the country charts.
    • "More Than a Woman" is an odd case. The Bee Gees originated it for Saturday Night Fever but their rendition and a Cover Version by Tavares were both included on the soundtrack. Tavares released it as a single and it became a hit, but that take has long been forgotten and the Bee Gees version is the one you still hear.
    • "If I Can't Have You" and "(Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away" are similar examples. Both songs were written and first recorded by the Bee Gees, but first released by other artists (Yvonne Elliman and brother Andy Gibb, respectively). In both cases, it would be the non-Bee Gees recording that became the big hit.
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  • Deader Than Disco: Being associated with disco, when disco's popularity tanked in the 80s, so did the group's popularity (at least in the States.)
  • Ear Worm: Notably "Stayin' Alive", "You Should Be Dancing" and "Jive Talkin'". Away from their disco period, try "Lonely Days", "I Started a Joke", "Massachusetts", and the chorus to their last single "Alone" if you want good earworm material.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Maurice has a large fanbase despite singing far and away the fewest lead vocals of the three brothers.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The beat of "Stayin' Alive" turned out to be the ideal rhythm for CPR chest compressions. In other words, the song helps people actually stay alive.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: A number of fans try to justify their love of the group by claiming that they only like the pre-disco stuff.
  • Misattributed Song: Samantha Sang's "Emotion" is often attributed to the Gibbs. They did write it and sing the chorus, though, so it's understandable.
    • Andy Gibb's songs also tend to be attributed to the Bee Gees. But like the Samantha Sang example, Barry usually had a hand in the production of them, so it's an understandable mistake. And Andy is the Bee Gees' brother, so it's not surprising he'd sound like them anyway. And then there are the people who don't make a distinction between Andy Gibb and the Bee Gees in the first place.
    • When the band was just starting to break out internationally, their first hit single, "New York Mining Disaster 1941" was thought to be a Beatles song. What didn't help was that their label told radio stations that the song was from "an English group whose name starts with a B," so naturally these stations assumed that the song was by the Beatles. Even besides that, rumors circulated during that period that the Bee Gees were actually just the Beatles recording under a pseudonym, saying that Bee Gees was short for "Beatles Group."
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Narm: Barry's... distinct falsetto singing voice has been the butt of many jokes.
  • Never Live It Down: Americans will never think of them as anything else than a disco phenomenon, no matter how what else they do and have done.
  • Older Than They Think: The Saturday Night Fever period was actually the Bee Gees' second wave of popularity. The first was actually as a Beatlesque rock group in the late 60s, which completely lacked both disco and the falsetto that would become their trademark. Listen to songs like "Massachusetts" and "To Love Somebody"; if all you know are the disco songs, you'll be surprised it's the same band.
  • Signature Song: "Stayin' Alive" will always be the song most associated with the band. However, they have mixed feelings about it despite its popularity, as it resulted in their disco Typecasting. Final verdict: if someone wants it, it can't be used for anything related to disco. Over the years, directors have decided that this is the perfect song for Power Walks.
    • In addition, it turned out that the beat of Stayin' Alive is the best rhythm for applying compressions for CPR (being 103 beats per minute).
  • Vindicated by History: As the backlash against disco has faded, a lot of musicians and critics have noted how well-produced their disco-era material is.
  • Wangst: Why a lot of their early, more downbeat songs eventually stopped selling. "I Started A Joke" would most likely be labeled a "whiny" emo song in the 21st century.


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