Bee Gees

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by William Ruhlmann

The Bee Gees made a commercial comeback outside the U.S. with 1987's E.S.P. and its single, "You Win Again." One, on the other hand, had an improved chart showing in the U.S., while sales fell off elsewhere. The Bee Gees are remarkable pop craftsmen -- "It's My Neighborhood" is a canny, if blatant, rewrite of Michael Jackson's "Beat It," for example, and it only reminds you that Jackson's falsetto whoops owe something to Barry Gibb. And, say what you will, "One" and "House of Shame" are convincing pop music. ("One" was a Top Ten comeback hit that topped soft rock radio playlists.) This stuff works as pop for the same reason "I've Gotta Get a Message to You" and "You Should Be Dancing" did: the melodies are catchy, the hooks are deathless, and the vocals convey emotion over meaning. It may be weightless, but it's polished.

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