Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Learn more Fitbit

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
18
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£14.12+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 3 March 2010
Once upon a time, the Brothers Gibb sailed from Australia and landed in Swinging London. Late 60s psychedelia was in full flood. Sergeant Pepper was released on June 1st, 1967. The following month, the Bee Gees appropriately named 'First' album emerged in its wake. Revealed on this double disk edition is an album of pure pop perfection, sprinkled with enough magical, psychedelic pixie-dust to endear it to a legion of fans at the time. Honestly, pop albums don't come much better than this. The opening track, 'Turn of the Century,' sets out the Gibbs' stall, packaging the then-popular Edwardian revival into a Carnaby Street friendly tune about time-travel. The mysterious 'Holiday' follows, replete with a simple-sounding but impenetrable lyric. 'Red Chair, Fade Away' is similarly opaque. But now we have the benefit of the really excellent booklet provided with this set, in which the inspirations behind the songs are recalled and explained. Many forty-year mysteries are answered in the process.
For me, the highlight of the album comes with tracks 6 to 8, beginning with the awesome, droning chant of 'Every Christian Lion-hearted Man...,' moving on to the delightfully chirpy yet mildly demented 'Craise Fenton Kirk: Royal Academy of Arts,' and then to their bizarre hit single, 'New York Mining Disaster, 1941.' Perhaps only in the experimental 60s could a downbeat song about people dying in a mining disaster become a pop hit. It is, though, a mesmerising performance backed by brilliant production. The same could be said of every track on the album. These boys were announcing their arrival and proving themselves to be great tune-smiths, fine, oblique lyricists and damn fine singers of Beatles-esque harmonies.
The bonus tracks are very welcome, my favourite being 'House of Lords,' which really should have been included on the original album.
Wonderful stuff then, and a million miles from the Micky Mouse vocals of the 70s disco hits for which the Bee Gees are now chiefly known. So, 5 stars and worth every penny.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Wrapped in a snug fold-out digipak, this Rhino re-issue of Bee Gees First is a wonder to behold. Being the first international album by the three brothers, Rhino has beautifully remastered the original into one CD that has all the original fourteen songs in Stereo and Mono. These are different sounding recordings and not simply Stereo condensed into Mono. Classics like, "To Love Somebody", "Holiday" and their first big hit "New York Mining Disaster 1941" are given new life. In fact, the latter song has four different versions included here.

Disc 2 contains fantastic Alternate Versions and preciously unreleased material. Compare Barry's lead vocal of "One Minute woman" to Robin's take. Or compare the orchestral and instrumental differences between originals and Alternate Takes of "I Close My Eyes" and Turn Of The Century". It must have been a tough decision to make regarding songs choices. The Bee Gees show a remarkable sense of humor with "Mr. Wallor's Wailing Wall" and Beatle-esque perfection with "Gilbert Green" and "House Of Lords". With 42 songs and a running time of well over 100 minutes, this is a long awaited release. This album made it to #7 on the Billboard charts in 1967! Also includes a colorful booklet packed with trivia, history, album and single photos as well as comments from Barry and Robin Gibb.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Bee Gees fans have waited years for something like this to find its way onto the shelves: a CD chock full of unreleased material. Whilst every artist that ever was has managed to issue demos, alternate takes and various other sundry bits and pieces, the Gibb brothers have remained silent until now. (OK, there was the demo version of 'E.S.P' but you had to buy a four CD box set to get it.) Has the wait been worth it? Absolutely!

Disc One has the 14 track mono and stereo versions of 'Bee Gees 1st', which in itself is a fine album, but its the second CD of bonus tracks that makes it worth getting for your collection. Of the fourteen previously unissued songs, five have never made it in any form onto any official release.

Both 'House Of Lords' and 'Mr Wallor's Wailing Wall' would have made either decent additions to their first LP, the latter being a music hall style 'comedy', or as replacements for the ponderous 'Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You'. On hearing the remaining three, 'Gilbert Green', 'I've Got To Learn' and 'All Around My Clock', none could match what was eventually included in the final line-up. Then again, maybe they were never intended to make it anyway.

Of the nine alternate versions, one has to hope 'Harry Braff' was an early run through and not one deemed to be the definitive take. One of the two early versions of 'New York Mining Disaster' ends with a strange oscillating sound that is completely out of place with the rest of the song: fortunately, the idea, if it was intentional, was dropped. The remaining takes are different enough to be interesting, unlike some of the mish mash served up by The Beatles on their 'Anthology' set.

If this is the standard both the Bee Gees and Rhino have set themselves, one can only look forward to the next release.
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 April 2016
Unfortunately, as is quite common with cds advertised on Amazon, my copy was not the expanded and remastered version as advertised but only the original cd,so it's not possible to review it.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 September 2011
"What's that!" I hear you cry ... "A psychedelic masterpiece from the Bee Gees? But weren't they all about Mickey Mouse vocals and cheesy disco?" Well, the extra-white teeth, matching shirts and bat-pleasing vocals may be what the Brothers Gibb are chiefly remembered for these days, but they did have a very different career and sound prior to that and that earlier sound is brilliantly represented on this, their first album, dating from the early part of 1967. And yes, it really is a psychedelic classic, right from the opening chords of the oddly perky time-travel tale of 'Turn of the Century' and the mysterious 'Holiday.' A few tracks in we hit a trilogy of songs that are among the finest artefacts of the whole 60s psychedelic era, the darkly strange 'Every Christian Lion-hearted Man' with its echoing monastic chants, swirling Hammond organ and gloriously impenetrable lyrics is followed by a cheerfully demented ditty about 'Craise Fenton Kirk, Royal Academy of Arts,' whose "wavy hair continued not to grow." This is followed by one of the oddest singles ever to reach the upper regions of the UK singles' charts, 'New York Mining Disaster, 1941.' This is the fictional tale of a group of miners trapped underground and thinking of their loved ones in the light above. Grim, dark, and a huge hit. Those were the days... Most of the other songs are a bit more normal, but none the worse for that as they demonstrate that the Bee Gees were blessed with an ear for a catchy tune, a way with oblique pop lyrics and the ability to sing gorgeous harmonies, plus some very fine arrangements. If, like me, you leap for the off switch every time you hear one of their later, disco-era disasters, check this out and I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised.
11 Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 December 2009
This has to be one of their best sounding remastered albums. The track "Holiday" is amazing. Beautifully produced with great bonus tracks. No hestation in recommending this to anyone. Why can't all albums sound like this?
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 January 2013
this is an exceptional album from an exceptioanally tallentd group who are of course brothers, it bears for me some parallels with the Beatles Revolver album another seminal offering
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 October 2013
Bought this album on vinyl when first released and still think it is the best album made by the Bee Gees! There is some Beatles influence (In My Own Time has echoes of George Harrison's Taxman) but still original sounds and many of their best songs are on this album. had to get it on CD because managed to scratch two tracks on my vinyl copy. If there are people who only know the Bee Gees' later stuff then try this album it is sixties music at its best.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 January 2015
loved every track in all there re mastered glory all you need to know its the bee gees
saw Barry Gibb 2013 in Manchester still great, amazing songs
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 July 2015
Great album. Second disc is well worth having, both for the additional songs and the early versions.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)