Various Artists

Soul of the Bee Gees

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The Bee Gees started out playing pop/rock in the 1960s, but as time went on, they became more and more identified with R&B, disco, and funk. By the late '70s, the group was making the playlists of many black stations and found itself commanding the respect of quite a few soul artists. Released in 1996, this good-to-excellent compilation spans 1973-1996 and takes a look at some of the R&B artists who delivered covers of Bee Gees songs. Al Green's unforgettable remake of "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" is a perfect opener, and Soul of the Bee Gees would have been much poorer without it. But almost as enjoyable are less famous Bee Gees covers by Rufus & Chaka Khan ("Jive Talking"), Jerry Butler & Thelma Houston ("Love So Right") and Candi Staton ("Nights on Broadway"). Meanwhile, Samantha Sang's "Emotion," Dionne Warwick's "Heartbreaker," and Yvonne Elliman's "If I Can't Have You" aren't really covers because the Bee Gees wrote the songs especially for those artists (who were the first to record them). Bee Gees' enthusiasts will find a lot to admire about this compilation.

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