The Bee Gees had already landed some hit singles in Australia prior to 1967, but "New York Mining Disaster 1941" was the song that made them international stars, becoming a sizable hit in both Britain and the United States in mid-1967. Even before this, the Bee Gees' records had been noted for some similarities to the Beatles, particularly in the harmonies. "New York Mining Disaster 1941" if anything made the most of the similarities, and in America (where no one had heard of or seen the Bee Gees) there were even rumors when the single was released that it was the Beatles using a different name. The song, like many by the Beatles and some other British groups as British rock moved from mod to psychedelia, was not concerned with love at all, but constructed a story of sorts. In "New York Mining Disaster 1941," the song was sung from the point of view of a trapped miner, giving messages to his loved ones and wondering what it's like on the outside. The opening section is a dirge of particularly haunting minor chords, sung in the brothers' soon-to-be-familiar close harmonies. This changes to a brisker busk before reaching the chorus, with its yearning, almost desperate query for information from the outside world. This ends on a particularly piquant, drawn-out enunciation of the name of the target of the query, Mr. Jones. Though more lightweight than the unusual psychedelic pop songs that the best British groups, such as the Beatles and a few others, were writing around 1967, "New York Mining Disaster 1941" was a respectably adventurous, unusual single, conveying angst and a nostalgic war-story sort of atmosphere well. Indeed it was considerably more adventurous than most of the Bee Gees' output over the next few decades, which usually stuck to more conventional romantic themes.