The Bee Gees – Their Greatest Hits: The Record

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Don't look for a richly illustrated, critical essay-packed hagiography with this 40-track, double-disc overview of the Bee Gees recording career. In typical, telling fashion, the Brothers Gibb have eschewed such exercises in ego inflation and simply let the best of their remarkable body of music speak for itself. Through it all, their familiar voices lock together in the sort of transcendent, seemingly genetic harmony that few singers since the Everly Brothers (early Gibb inspirations) have managed. Beginning with the plaintive 1966 hit "New York Mining Disaster 1941," this set traces the Gibbs' journey from successful Beatles-era balladeers to '70s white R&B gods and the undisputed kings of disco (we're reminded here that their shrewd metamorphosis began with "Nights on Broadway" and "Jive Talkin'"--long before the mega-success of "Saturday Night Fever"). But even as that dance craze faded, again threatening to turn the Bee Gees into pop anachronisms, the Gibbs simply stepped out of the limelight for a while, turning their talents to MOR hit-making for the likes of Samantha Sang, Dolly Parton, Barbra Streisand, and Dionne Warwick. Those hits ("Emotion," "Heartbreaker," "Islands in the Stream") are featured here in modern rerecordings by the band, along with the Streisand-Barry Gibb duet, "Guilty." And if the Gibbs haven't had much of an American chart presence in recent years, they remain superstars throughout the rest of the world, a richly crafted pop music presence that simply won't be denied. --Jerry McCulley

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