Friday, January 07, 2011

I Just Wanna Be Your Everything

The older I get, the quieter I like my life to be. I'm talking musically.

So when I find the ipod alighting upon something noisesome and startling like Dead Cities by the Exploited or anything by Motorhead, I tend to skip along until it comes to something a little more gentle.

Maybe it's the time of year (or maybe it's the time of man*), but I'm simply not in the mood for a cacophony. My current faves are Mike Oldfield (Hergest Ridge couldn't be more relaxing), Traffic (as ever - all 11 minutes of Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys sends me into a coma, but in a nice way), the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, with their blend of light comedy and nostalgic novelty tunes and - and this comes as a surprise to even me - Andy Gibb.

I've only recently starting appreciating the Bee Gees for what they are: brilliant songwriters for themselves and others, with a canon of hits that anyone would be more than proud of. I drive by their old house in Brook Street, W1, most days and it doesn't seem like the kind of place to make beautiful music, but perhaps things were different then.

Of course the disco era doesn't really do it for me, so we'll move on, but i do like Barry Gibb's Guilty with Barbra Streisand, and they're responsible for songs we all know and love like Islands In The Stream, Grease, Emotions, If I Can't Have You and Chain Reaction.

But it's the pre- and post-Night Fever stuff. But let's concentrate on the Sixties to mid-Seventies stuff like the amazing I Started A Joke, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, I've Gotta Get A Message To You, Massachusettes, Don't Forget To Remember, Melody Fair, the Odessa Album, First Of May, Cucumber Castle, etc. Look, says Simon Cowell, you don't need me to tell you how good they are.

So if they're okay, thought I, then I must be underrating their solo sibling Andy. And I was right. I'm sure the other brothers wrote and produced, but Andy's voice is just unique. Poor, tragic Andy - who died at just 30 in 1988 - never really caught on over here, but Stateside and in Europe he was huge, so his string of number ones and Top 10 hits needed my further investigation.

Of course, it's as MOR and easy as you like, but you know me by now - I do like. So let my current favourites (Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away, An Everlasting Love (nice intro) and (Love Is) Thicker Than Water (I'm very much enjoying the use of brackets in these song titles) wash over you and ease you into the weekend. And here's something from the Bonzos too.


Clair said...

I do hope you've bought John Grant's Queen Of Denmark - right up your MOR street but with very barbed lyrical content.

Five-Centres said...

Oh yes, I've got that one Clair.

Ishouldbeworking said...

We won't be seeing you down the front at the next Killing Joke reunion gig, then?

My favourite Bee Gees story is the one in Nick Kent's book. He wrote a scathing review of one of their offerings, and was immediately 'warned' that he was in danger of getting a good kicking from the toothy trio. At fist he laughed, thinking of the puny twins Maurice and Robin, but when he had a closer look and realised Barry looked a bit tasty, he apparently stopped laughing and got the fear.

Poor old Andy may have bowed out early, but at least he got Victoria Principal on the way.

Mondo said...

You must lend an ear and open your heart/wallet to the Sonic Exec's - I've been clonking on about them for yonks and the album finally got a release last year. Have this one on the house Make Do (a team up with the Alessi Brothers) can grab the rest here

Mondo said...

Ignore the last link - it's US. UK is here

Five-Centres said...

Thanks Mondo!

Clair said...

I think if I could only have that Sonics elpee and the John Grant one, I'd be quite content. They do it for me.