Bee Gees

Claustrophobia

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Don't be misled by by the front cover photograph of a latter-day, post-megahit Bee Gees gathered around a microphone; this album collects material from the opposite end of the Gibb brothers' timeline. Long before such songs as "Please Read Me" and "To Love Somebody" made them international stars, the Bee Gees were working out their pop-rock moves in their native Australia, releasing single after single of late-'50s/early-'60s-sounding material inspired not only by the Beatles but by the Beatles' own inspirations (a version of Arthur Alexander's "Every Day I Have To Cry Some" is included here).

The Bee Gees' early Australian recordings are collected more extensively elsewhere, but CLAUSTROPHOBIA includes a good portion of the most important cuts from those early days. There's the roots acknowledgement of the aforementioned Alexander tune, the title song, "Spicks and Specks" (the band's first breakthrough hit) and much more. The absence of liner notes leaves the listener with little contextualizing information, but its plain that the songwriting and three-part harmony that became Bee Gees trademarks were already well developed even in this protean phase of the group's career.

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