VH1 Storytellers is USA show that has artists playing some of their back catalogue to a small audience with the added bonus of giving a background to the song after the performance. Many of the performances were subsequently issued on CD. The Bee Gees made an appearance in November 1996 (and was the ninth artist to appear) but, surprisingly, that full show has never been released. Until now. It's on Zip City, a label I've never heard of and might even be of dubious legality.
With just Barry's acoustic strumming, who also handles nearly all the vocals and between song patter, Maurice's piano and occasional strings, the thirteen songs are all classics, including 'Islands In The Stream' and an unfortunately shortened 'Heartbreaker'. For non hardened Bee Gees fans, also thrown in are two unusual selections, though both were singles that died a death; a superb semi acapella version of 'Still Waters' and 'I Could Not Love You More', which is criminally shortened to a mere 90 seconds. That between song chat is quite enlightening in parts, especially that which explains 'Jive Talkin'. The explanation for 'Islands In The Stream' is something I was unaware of. You wish there was more but I guess time constraints dictated how many songs could be performed.
The music makes up 44 minutes and the rest is taken up by a question and answer session with an unapparent UK interviewer for an unapparent publication. Probably taped around April/May 1989, as it mentions their new LP, 'One'. As interesting as it is, like all interview albums, you won't play it more than once, but much of it is illuminating. (When George Michael was touting himself around for a record deal, 'Night Fever' was on his demo tape.) However, you'll have to listen to it that one time in order to hear the 50 seconds of an acapella version of 'Ordinary Lives'. Unlike the auto tune artists of today, that snippet, and part of the aforementioned 'Still Waters', briefly show how good the group were at actual singing.
The inlay is disappointing and it's a shame Zip City didn't invest more into giving us something substantial to read. That notwithstanding, this is as intimate as it gets and it's as if they're singing to you in your front room.
First class music from three wonderful people. The only thing to say is that they are the best singer/ songwriters that ever lived.niece to hear them talking about each song, but it’s nice to hear them talking anyway. The Bee Gees are a huge part of my life, simply it doesn’t get any better than the Bee Gees !
VH1 Storytellers was a great show that showcased classic groups performing their greatest hits in a pared down fashion, along with interesting stories behind each song. There is a small audience giving it a truly intimate feeling. This Bee Gees set is from 1996.
Barry does most of the talking while on an acoustic guitar with Robin on vocals and Maurice on piano. Some of the more interesting stories are about ‘Islands In The Stream’, ‘Stayin Alive’ and ‘To Love Somebody’. The hits that the Bee Gees released at this time were the songs, ‘Still Waters’ and ‘I Could Not Love You More’, neither of which made much of a chart impact. What is clear, despite this, is the amazing vocal harmony the brothers had.
The radio interview is from 1989 and the album, ‘One’. It’s fairly interesting, but not something I would listen to more than once or even twice. The CD is definitely a rare glimpse into the music of the Bee Gees and how their songs have progressed and lasted over the years. The songs alone are well worth repeat listening’s.