Most people think of the Bee Gees as a disco band with hits like "Stayin' Alive", "Night Fever", "Tragedy" and more. But the 3 brothers were around a bit longer and started in the 60's with close harmony ballads and also psychedelic music like the Beatles.

Bee Gees in 1965
The Bee Gees in 1966

The Gibb brothers were born on the Isle of Man in the 1940's. They formed a skiffle/rock'n'roll band called the Rattlesnakes in 1955 with 2 friends. They continued in 1958 with a new band called Wee Johnny Hayes and the Blue Cats with Barry being Johnny Hayes. The same year the family Gibb including sister Lesley and younger brother Andy emigrated to Australia. They made money in Australia by performing at Speedway races. Hired by Speedway promoter and driver Bill Goode who introduced them to radio DJ Bill Gates (No, not the guy from Microsoft). Bill Goode changed the name of the band to the BG's or Bee Gees. Which are the initials of Barry Gibb and Bill Goode. It was not intended to be a abbreviation for Brothers Gibb. Since not all brothers Gibb were in the Band. Andy never joined them. A minor hit in Australia with the song "Wine and Women" led to the release of their first album "The Bee Gees Sing and Play 14 Barry Gibb Songs". The success of "Spicks and Specks" led to a second album. Frustrated by the lack of success in Australia they moved to the UK again to release their first internation album. Meanwhile "Spicks and Specks" became a hit elsewhere in the world including the Netherlands where it reached #2, #28 in Germany, #5 in Australia and #1 in New Zealand. In February 1967 they signed a 5 year contract with Polydor. "New York Mining Disaster 1941" became their second hit single after "Spicks And Specks". Reaching #4 in the Netherlands, #11 in Australia, #12 in the UK and #14 in the US. And the hits keep on coming with "Holiday" and "To Love Somebody" also from their first international album "Bee Gees' 1st". Their musical style on this album and their next "Horizontal" was including their well known close harmony singing and sounding like the Beatles here and there. During the 60's they kept scoring hits. Meanwhile there was a short split between Barry and Robin. And there was a Bee Gees including only Maurice and Barry and solo work from Robin. By 1970 the 3 were back together and after "2 Years On" they released the album "Trafalgar" in 1971.

Single cover of "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart"

This is probably the best release of the Bee Gees in the 70's. It includes their first #1 hit in the US "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart". It reached #16 in the Netherlands and #3 in Australia. Strangely enough it didn't chart in the UK. Two more singles were released from the album including "Don't Wanna Live Inside Myself" reaching #29 in the Netherlands and "Israel" reaching #22 also in the Netherlands. The general theme on the album is that of sadness or loss and are mostly ballads.

Inner sleeve photo of Trafalgar

The Battle Of Trafalgar' was across the front and back of the album cover, while inside the group imitated the death of Nelson (with guitarist Geoff Bridgeford cheekily reading a copy of The Beezer).

Their next album "To Whom It Concerns" also became succesfull. Then their success became less until the disco era in the 70's arrived including their well known songs and the soundtrack of "Saturday Night Fever". The era most people are familiar with.

Original album cover

Trafalgar (1971)
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart / Israel / The Greatest Man in the World / It's Just the Way / Remembering / Somebody Stop the Music / Trafalgar / Don't Wanna Live Inside Myself / When Do I / Dearest / Lion in Winter / Walking Back to Waterloo


  • How Can You Mend A Broken Heart / Country Woman (1970)
  • I Don't Wanna Live Inside Myself / Walking Back To Waterloo (1971)
  • Israel / Dearest (1971)


How Can You Mend A Broken Heart

Don't Wanna Live Inside Myself