Bee Gees

Greatest

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In its original form, this double-LP compilation was a very generous repackaging of four years' worth of hits and notable album tracks, plus the Andy Gibb-authored "(Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away." It was a perfect distillation of the sound that had put the Bee Gees on top of the pop music world from 1975 onward. At the time, it did elicit some unspoken resentment from older fans who knew their hits from the 1960s, but as a collection of first-rate '70s dance music it was unimpeachable. It's also a statement of just how successful the Bee Gees were at the time that this was a double LP, representing just those four years, and how generous the group and RSO Records could afford to be -- indeed, anything less would have seemed like exploitation of the fans, but extending it out past the obvious hits (including the Saturday Night Fever material) made this collection an event of sorts, and a release that could stand alongside their albums from Mr. Natural (where their '70s sound really begins) through Spirits Having Flown. Gathering all of this material together was, in some ways, also a sign that the era was drawing to a close. And listening to it today, one does feel the definite pull of nostalgia, for a time when life seemed much simpler -- without a war in Iraq (or the necessity of a War on Terror), before AIDS and other STDs -- and the world seemed a little more manageable, at least potentially. On that basis alone, beyond the appeal of the songs (which is massive), this collection still exerts a strong pull. In fact, just about the only better way to recall the era is to listen to the Bee Gees' original albums of the same period.

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