Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One Night With The Bee Gees: One Night Only!

The Good: Good mix, Excellent vocals, Good lyrics
The Bad: Some songs truncated, Annoying live effect sounds kept in
The Basics: A good live album that is a good mix of Bee Gees standards and "new" material, One Night Only is wonderful to dance to!

One Night Only was a good idea and I wonder why the Bee Gees did it. Wait, I'm not dissing the Bee Gees, they're great. And the One Night Only special they did was a rockin' time. They did it well. I kid you not, everytime it came on PBS during their pledge drives, I would sit down and watch. Usually, I would get up and dance. It's a wonderful program. I know; I saw it four times. I wonder if the Bee Gees made it explicitly for PBS because if not, they were robbed; PBS got some great use out of it.

The album One Night Only is basically the soundtrack to the television special they did. The plus side is, because it was a good special, it tends to be a good album.

So, on the off chance you've been under a rock the last five decades and don't know who the Bee Gees are, they're an international supergroup who have had hits in all decades since the sixties. In addition, they are the people responsible for many other artist's hits. It was the Bee Gees, for instance, who are responsible for the Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton duet "Islands In the Stream" from the early 80s. One Night Only is kind of a "best of" live album which combines known Bee Gees classics (like "Night Fever," "Jive Talking," and "Stayin' Alive") with Bee Gees live versions of songs they gave to other artists (like "Islands In the Stream" and "Heartbreaker").

The nice thing about the album is that it's the Bee Gees and they're real good. They can sing and the live versions of their songs display their prominent singing voices. The other nice thing about the album is that there are tracks that are heretofore unavailable (and unrecorded) from the Bee Gees, such as their live version of "Grease" and "Guilty."

Easily the shining moment on the album is "Our Love (Don't Throw It All Away)" which features Andy Gibb. The thing is, Andy Gibb is dead. He has been for a while. Usually, I'm not big on exploiting the dead in current art. Like Natalie Cole's song "Unforgetable" where she duets with her dead father. That cheesed me off, it was such a cheap exploitation of him. In this case, I was impressed. The mixing of the live voices and the recorded track of Andy is seamless. The song sounds good, everything comes together on it.

The problem with the album is two fold. Some of the songs have been edited for time. The opening version of "You Should Be Dancing" is severely cut. "Night Fever" and "More Than a Woman" are combined. The other problem is the effects of the live crowd. Some of the songs are distracted by the fact that the sounds of cheering are not only kept in but amplified. For instance, "New York Mining Disaster 1941," an otherwise well-written, sad song has cheering at points in it. It's understandable that the crowd would be excited hearing it, but it's inappropriate to have cheers in this song. There is something taken away in this soundtrack by not seeing it.

While the c.d. is good, I'd recommend the actual program over it any day. I would rate it higher, too. The strongest link is "Our Love (Don't Throw It All Away)" and the weak link is the severely edited "Nights On Broadway."

For other classic artists, please check out my reviews of:
Jump Back: The Best Of The Rolling Stones 1971 – 1993 - The Rolling Stones
Break Every Rule - Tina Turner
20 Great Years - Kenny Rogers


For other music reviews, please be sure to visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2001 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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