The Bee Gees split apart in the wake of a dispute regarding the single to be released from their album Odessa, spent a year with Barry and Maurice Gibb recording together (and doing a television special) while Robin Gibb cut music on his own, and fighting a lawsuit in which their ex-drummer tried to claim the name "the Bee Gees." Finally, they regrouped with 2 Years On and surprised everyone with their biggest selling single to date, "Lonely Days," and a surprisingly hard-edged accompanying album, on which the supposed Beatles influences of their earlier days were pushed aside (it also didn't hurt that the Beatles were now history). The music is somewhat less fey and more progressive here, and at times they sound like a lighter-weight version of the Moody Blues of the same era, with sharper vocals. The surprises on this album, apart from the overall tone and quality, include the sprightly title track, which was one of the first Bee Gees songs to feature surreal lyrics that weren't downbeat, and "Back Home," with the loudest guitar ever heard on a Bee Gees record. The quality of the recording itself was also improved over their earlier releases, with a much wider range and less compression, and between that and the song selection, the Bee Gees suddenly found themselves right back in the thick of popular music, and as close to the cutting edge of pop/rock as they'd ever been.
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AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder