on 9 February 2016
This box set, released by Warner Brothers in April 2014, contain 3 original albums plus 2 CDs (One For All Concert 1989). I have compiled a detailed song listing (with album and singles label & number, chart position, year of release)(BB200=Billboard Album Chart; BB Pop=Billboard Hot 100; BB AC=Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart; CB Pop=Cash Box Singles Chart; UK=British Singles Chart):
DISC 1: E-S-P (Warner 25541)(BB200 96/1987; UK Album Chart 5/1987):
01 E-S-P*please note that the edit version was the single version.
02 You Win Again (Warner 7-28351)(a-side)(BB Pop 75/1987; BB AC 50/1987; CB Pop 76/1987; UK 1(4)/1987)(September 1987) and then re-released (Warner 7-22733)(uncharted a-side, October 1989)
03 Live or Die (Hold Me Like A Child)
04 Giving Up The Ghost
05 The Longest Night
06 This Is Your Life
07 Angela (German a-side)(Germany 52/1988)
08 Overnight (Warner 7-28139)(UK b-side, 1987)
09 Crazy For Your Love (Warner W-7966)(uncharted UK a-side, February 1988)
10 Backtafunk (Warner 7-28351)(b-side, September 1987)
11 E-S-P (Vocal reprise)
12 E-S-P (Demo Version)
13 Angela (Edit)
14 E-S-P (Edit)(single version)(Warner 7-28139)(UK 51/1987)
15 You Win Again (Extended Version)(Warner W-7966)(UK b-side, February 1988)
16 E-S-P (Extended Version)
DISC 2: ONE (Warner 25887)(BB200 68/1989; UK Album Chart 29/1989):
01 Ordinary Lives (Warner W-7523)(UK a-side)(UK 54/1989)(March 1989)
02 One (Warner 7-22899)(a-side)(BB Pop 7/1989; BB AC 1(2)/1989; CB Pop 9/1989; UK 71/1989)(July 1989)
03 Bodyguard (Warner 7-19997)(a-side)(BB AC 9/1990)(January 1990)
04 It’s My Neighborhood
06 Tokyo Nights (Warner 7-22782)(uncharted Australian a-side, 1989)
07 Flesh and Blood (Warner W-2916)(UK b-side, June 1989)*UK a-side: One.
08 Wish You Were Here
09 House of Shame
10 Will You Ever Let Me (Warner 7-19997)(b-side, January 1990)
11 Wing and a Prayer (Warner 7-22899)(b-side, July 1989) and UK b-side to Ordinary Lives.
12 Shape of Things to Come
13 One (Remix/Edit)
14 One (12” Dance Version)
15 One (12” Club Mix)
DISC 3: HIGH CIVILIZATION (Warner 26530)(UK Album Chart 24/1991):
01 High Civilization
02 Secret Love (Warner W-0014)(UK a-side)(UK 5/1991)(March 1991)
03 When He’s Gone (Warner 19369)(a-side)(BB AC 86/1991)
04 Happy Ever After
05 Party With No Name (Warner W-0014)(UK b-side, March 1991)
06 Ghost Train
08 The Only Love (Warner W-0049)(uncharted UK a-side, August 1991)
09 Human Sacrifice
10 True Confessions (Warner 19369)(b-side, March 1991)
DISC 4: ONE FOR ALL CONCERT (Recorded at the National Tennis Centre, Melbourne, Australia, November 17 & 18, 1989)*previous unreleased:
02 Ordinary Lives
03 Giving Up The Ghost
04 To Love Somebody
05 I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You
07 Tokyo Nights
10 Lonely Days
11 New York Mining Disaster 1941
13 Too Much Heaven
15 Islands In The Stream
16 Run to Me
18 Spicks And Specks
DISC 5: ONE FOR ALL CONCERT (continued):
01 How Deep Is Your Love
02 It’s My Neighborhood
03 How Can You Mend A Broken Heart
04 House of Shame
05 I Started A Joke
07 Stayin’ Alive
08 Nights on Broadway
09 Jive Talkin’
10 You Win Again
11 You Should Be Dancing
1 I bought this set mainly to get the previously unreleased “One For All Concert” making its CD debut.
2 To my pleasant surprise, there are also many lovely bonus tracks, that are hard to get and not available in the previously released CDs which I already purchased.
3 All the hit singles during the Warner Brothers era are all included in this set.
4 The sound is wonderfully remastered: clean with no hiss. The distinctive harmonies of the Bee Gees are in full display.
5 All the CDs are housed in cardboard cases. The “One For All Concert” was in a gatefold cardboard case.
1 There is no booklet. All the previously released CDs have wonderful booklets. I am glad that I have bought those CDs.
2 I notice that the sizes of the Bee Gees box sets are getting smaller and smaller: starting with a wonderful large table-size “Tales From the Brothers Gibb” to the reasonable “Mythology box set” and now to CD sized box set. I somehow feel this set is cheapened by the lack of booklet and the small size of the box set.
3 The price is expensive. I waited until the price has dropped buying from sellers.
Being a Bee Gees fan, even though I have already purchased those 3 CDs previously, I still am happy to buy this set. The rare “One For All Concert” alone, done at their prime, is worth the price of admission. Those bonus tracks in the other CDs are also very special. The sound is also very good. Despite of the higher price, this set is still recommended.
on 1 January 2016
The Bee Gees are one of the best bands in popular music history with their songwriting and incomparable harmonies. If I could rate this box set separately, I would give Bee Gees 5 stars for their music and Warner Bros 3 for their presentation. That said, this a great collection of three Bee Gees albums which showcase the quality and variety of their music after the stratospheric success of "Saturday Night Fever" and "Spirits Having Flown" and the commercially unsuccessful but beautiful "Living Eyes". Also included is the brilliant live double-cd recorded in Melbourne in 1989. The sound is
The live album alone is worth the price of the set and includes rare live performances of songs from "ESP" and "One" along with Robin's solo effort "Juliet". The sound is great and was re-mixed by Barry Gibb and John Merchant. The boys' voices are as strong as ever and if you are new to the Bee Gees, or maybe only know of their "Fever" music, the live album is a brilliant introduction to their songs from their first hit "Spicks and Specks" in 1967 through to 1989's "One". Don't be surprised if, after listening to this, you find yourself seeking out their older albums!
For those such as myself who are already fans and probably already own everything Bee Gees released, the box set as a whole is a bit disappointing. None of the cd's include the original liner notes. I would have expected a nice glossy booklet to complement the set. Warner Bros missed a trick here and forgot (or don't care) that for many of us pre-digital listeners, a lot of enjoyment comes from reading the liner notes. The albums "One" and "ESP" also have bonus tracks included, so there's something extra for the hard-core fans among us.
There's really only one word that comes to mind when I revisit the three studio albums in this box set. Underrated. After the worldwide success of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack followed just 18 months later by the "Spirits Having Flown" album, American radio stations took it upon themselves to ban Bee Gees music from their airwaves and turn against anything related, even encouraging listeners to attend mass burning and destruction (sometimes by explosion) of records. It seemed that the group had reached a zenith or over saturation that could only be overcome by disappearing for a while. The failure of the Sgt.Pepper film project, the group's most recent studio offering "Living Eyes" and the lukewarm reception for the Saturday Night Fever sequel "Staying Alive" pretty much sealed their fate and it was time to find new outlets for their creativity.
All three spent the next six years either writing and producing for other artists (very successfully) or working on solo material. This led to each utilising very different methods of recording studio techniques which had to be abandoned so that a back to basics approach could be adopted with all three involved in every facet of making their next album. For the first time in their professional careers, the Brothers Gibb had no contract with a music company for any group related projects. If not for the faith shown by Warner executive Arif Marden, we might never have heard the amazing sound Bee Gees created together again. Arif stepped up to the plate offering not just a new deal with Warner Brothers Records but also his services as producer. The results of the newly invigorated team was "E.S.P." which sold very well throughout Europe thanks to the success of the single "You Win Again" but barely touched the USA charts. When compared to the the massive units that Spirts Having Flown shifted (16 million) it really did signal the start of the next chapter in Bee Gees history.
Next up "One", an album that almost never got made. Just a few months into the sessions in early 1988, younger brother Andy passed away. Work was halted until November when all three brothers reconvened to finish the album for an April 1989 release. Most of the tracks are lyrically reflective with the entire album as well as the song "Wish You Were Here" dedicated to Andy. As far as sales and chart performance was concerned, "One" performed similarly well in Europe but once again failed to have much impact in America despite the groups return to radio there with the title track which has since become a bona fide classic. The album could possibly be considered as part of the "difficult second album syndrome" that seems to hinder all musical entities whether they are at the start of their career or entering a new phase.
The brothers decided that the best way to get their music back into the world was to go on the road. The ensuing "One For All World Tour", which has unfortunately ended up being the last such global adventure, is documented in this collection on the two disc set "One For All Concert" with the best bits from two nights in November 1989 at The Melbourne Tennis Centre, Australia (now known as Rod Laver Arena). I saw this show when it stopped over in my hometown and to this day feel so fortunate to have witnessed the brilliance of a live Bee Gees performance. These two live discs are unique to The Warner Years box and most welcome.
The third and final album released through the four year Warner deal is probably the hidden gem here and where I've applied the term underrated. "High Civilisation" spurned a couple of hit singles and "Secret Love" was the first. A harmony drenched bouncy pop song that owes a tip of the hat to that other bouncy Gibb Brothers penned hit for Diana Ross, "Chain Reaction". In fact if they weren't both written by B, R & M there would be a good case for plagiarism. As wonderful as Secret Love is, it's the shortest song on this album which marks an extension of the digital sounds they had been experimenting with on prior releases and an expansive style of songwriting/production that makes it one of my favourite Bee Gees albums. Once again even though the album and singles sold well in Europe, North America was still uninterested and it would be another six years until they tasted success stateside on the back of the "Still Waters" album, The One Night Only Tour and induction into both The Rock 'n' Roll and Songwriters Hall of Fame.
footnote. I've docked a star from the rating for this set due to the cheap presentation from Warner Music. Thin card sleeves, no lyric inserts or a contents booklet makes this a very un-deluxe collection. After the lavish treatment given to the group's first four albums by Rhino these two latest additions to the Bee Gees reissue series (this set and The 1974 - 1979 collection) are underwhelming to say the least. What saves these sets from being redundant releases, aimed at people that don't own any of the albums, is the inclusion of some bonus tracks and the two cd live set from the Australian tour.
"Some Never Try But If Anybody Can We Can..."
This was a creative burst after seven years from the Bee Gees but it didn't end with 'High Civilization'. 'Size Isn't Everything' and 'Still Waters' continued that trend, but these are all Warner Brothers albums and have been in the pike for several years. Packed like the original album covers, the three studio albums are faithful in reproduction and the 'One For All' double disc is a great addition to this box set. The package comes with each CD in a cardboard folder similar to most releases using this format. Unfortunately, the liner notes that were on the other albums are not here; only the front and back covers. Personally, I love reading these notes, as there is so much great information there. You may want to hang onto your older CD's for this reason.
These albums were mixed well over 20 years ago and with the new remastering techniques, these albums are brought to life with a cleaner, crisper, fuller and warmer sound than before. There is no muddiness and it's great to actually hear hidden percussion and more clarity of the vocals. These are as good as it gets. (Note: Your system will determine how much better these discs sound. The MP3 versions are only 'slightly' better).
The 'ESP' album was the first official album to be released since, 'Living Eyes'. It is a extremely varied album with funk, pop, ballads and rock. The songs all hold well together and the extras are an oddity. No real unknown new songs and 'ESP' and 'Angela' get short-shrift as edits. The 'ESP' (demo) has been released before on 'Tales of the Brothers Gibb' and makes a nice addition here, giving clues to the song writing process. 'You Win Again' (extended) also had been released before, but it begs another reissue being such a great song. The 'ESP' extended is also a nice addition, it being a very strong hard rock song that, bewilderingly, did not chart. 'The Longest Night' was due to be the third single release, but was held back. The album hit #5 in the UK but failed to chart in the USA. The inclusion of the duplicitous single edits of 'Angela' and 'ESP' make no sense when there are such great new mixes of 'ESP' from Arthur Baker: "E*S*P "Extra Sensory House" (Vocal), "E*S*P "E.S. Piano" (Dub), "E*S*P "E.S.P.N.R.G." (Vocal) and "E*S*P "Extra Energy" (Dub). These could have been squeezed into the full CD format instead.
'One' is a superb album with a lot of attention to detail and production. Several songs have little background nuances and effects that add to the mood and atmosphere. Released after the death of Andy Gibb, many of the songs have double meanings. 'Ordinary Lives' was originally called, 'Cruel World' and 'Wish you Were Here' was about Andy, but also included on the 'Diana Princess of Wales Tribute' album. The great thing about this album's new releases (none new or unheard before) are finally having 'Shape Of Things To Come' from the '1988 Olympics' album. The 'One' (remix/edit) is one minute less than the single, but is a funkier sync-pop version worth the listen. The 'One' Dance Version is similar with a good compelling dance beat. The 'One' Club Mix at over nine minutes is the most crisp and deliberate in ultimate club mix excess. It uses the vocals and basic song structure only as an excuse to create a fun new mix for any fan.
It's hard to believe there are no demos or other songs from the, 'High Civilization' album. This CD is very different in sound and style than the others. It's all digital and was mixed by Femi Jiya using a heavier use of drum programming and electronic effects. It has a clear and crisp sound, but the bass is lacking in weight. These are all upbeat songs and good ones, but the mixing is just unusual for the Bee Gees. However, with this remaster, you hear a more balanced, richer sound that makes these great songs sound even better. I still love, 'When He's Gone' and 'Evolution'. There is a 'war version' of 'High Civilization' out there, but I suspect it must be a bootleg, having sounds of the Gulf War in the background. It charted at #24 in the UK but not in the USA. Singles released were, 'Secret Love', which charted, but not, 'The Only Love' and 'When He's Gone', despite USA promotion.
The "One For All" tour is available on DVD, but with Barry Gibb and remastering genius John Merchant remastering this live set, it sounds so much better with all the nuances you'd expect from a great live concert. I like it better than the DVD in 'sound quality'. It's also great to have that fantastic introduction; one of the best the Bee Gees have ever done. The set is varied and includes, 'You Win Again', a #1 in the UK but a disappointment in the USA, barely making to top #100 on Billboard. The USA still had some issues to get over. The 'One For All' concert is so well mixed that it makes the DVD sound muddy, muffled and second generation in sound. Vocals are pushed to the front and instrumentals are extremely well separated for a fantastic new experience in sound. Not only can you hear the instruments, but you will be aware of individuals clapping and cheering - it's that well mixed. Unfortunately, unlike the DVD, these are in stereo only. They sound much better than the DVD, but lack the wonderful 5.1 surround sound.
This 5-disc box set is the second largest the Bee Gees have released to date, other than 'The Studio Albums'. 'Mythology' and 'Tales From The Brothers Gibb' still hold at four discs each. This 5-disc set is a welcome addition and gives hope that the other albums will be given similar treatment.
on 27 March 2015
I would have preferred a few more rare tracks as the Bee Gees have a lot of unreleased material but any re-release that may bring new fans on board has to be welcomed.
For those that have these records already there is not a lot to recommend buying this box set, but It will appeal to Bee Gees fans who buy their music irrespectively just because it's a new release ,I'm one of those fans.
Is it value for money for those who already have the originals, I don't think so, but I don't think new fans will be disappointed.
on 24 January 2015
Bee Gees will always be one of the greatest groups in history. This edition is fine, but it seems it is not remastered. Being a box edition only the discs and simple sleeves but no special graphic material, a small bootleg or lyrics...come on companies you oblige us to pay extra for old material with no treats.
on 30 October 2015
Loved the the collection have tended to over look these years but some great songs in this package and what a good price .
on 14 April 2014
Rhino have let us down again, not surprising I suppose as it seems they are not as fond of the Bee Gees as other labels are of their own artists, where full remastered, yes REMASTERED, box sets have been released - Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Led Zep, to name a few.
I am sure Bee Gees fans were expecting at least a set of three remastered Cd's, just like they did with the first four albums. But no, these are just 'improved levels' on the cd as the technicians can do nowadays. No 'remastering' whatsoever. Now I know they were good recordings to start with, but so was Odessa, and wow, what a difference the remastering process did to that album!
I just upped the volume on my hifi with the original releases of the three albums and they sounded just the same. What a disappointment! Rhino, you are letting Bee Gees fans down drastically, but I really don't think you care...
on 28 August 2014
These discs were a worthwhile purchase, only if to possess a considerable number of the less well-known music by the Bee Gees - as represented by E.S.P, One and High Civilization - representing the recording years with Warner Bros. The musical style of many of the numbers was somewhat repetitive and unmemorable, but songs such as You Win Again and Ordinary Lives reminds the listener of what extraordinary song-writers the Bee Gees were at their peak. This view was emphasised with the two discs of the Concert for All (Melbourne 1989), which will remind enthusiasts of the group's roots and the flavour of the music that made them famous. The five discs come in an attractive, but sturdy and practical box, perhaps a little on the expensive side but still reasonable value for money. A set for the shelf, with the occasional airing.
After the release of 1981's "Living Eyes", the Bee Gees effectively disbanded. Internal disputes and falling sales meant that it took a little time to rekindle the desire to record again - in fact it wouldn't be until 1987 that they released a new album.
Newly signed to Warner Bros, the album was "ESP", which included the hit single "You Win Again", a UK No 1 and also a success around the world. They would follow this up with "One" in 1989 and the third and final Bee Gees album for Warners, "High Civilisation", was released in 1991.
This boxset contains all three Warners albums as well as "One For All", a two disc live concert recorded in 1989. Some of these live tracks have surfaced on various releases in the past, but this is the first time that the complete concert has been commercially available (although there has been a Dutch release on the grey market).
A brief summary of the five CDs -
CD 1 - "ESP" plus five bonus tracks (three versions of "ESP" - demo, single edit and extended mix, "You Win Again" extended mix and the single edit of Angela).
CD 2 - "One" plus four bonus tracks (three versions of "One" and "The Shape of Things to Come", a track originally released on the 1988 Summer Olympics album).
CD 3 - "High Civilization" - no bonus tracks.
CDs 4 & 5 - "One For All"
The long time fan will probably be disappointed that there's no unreleased material, meaning there's little new here for the seasoned collector. It's also odd that "High Civilization" has no bonus tracks at all. But for the more casual fan, there's three decent albums and a very good career spanning live concert.
A bit of a missed opportunity then, but there's some good music here at a pretty decent price.