Bee Gees

This Is Where I Came in: The Official Story of the Bee Gees

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Biographical videos don't get much better than this -- in fact, short of a ten-hour epic like The Beatles Anthology box, they just aren't any better. Part home movie, part reference book entry, and part best-of from whatever musical period in their history it happens to be covering, This Is Where I Came In covers just about every aspect of the Bee Gees' personal and professional lives, neatly interweaving the three stories and the multiple permutations of each. The level of detail and the honesty in the storytelling are daunting, and even casual viewers will want to watch this disc several times simply to take in different aspects of the content. The program takes 45 minutes just getting to the beginning of 1969, but it never drags in its pacing -- the balance between interviews and music (much of it excerpted from actual live performances) is perfect, bouncing between factual material and emotional recollection while focusing on the musical expression of both. Even the space given over to Andy Gibb's career and life is chosen judiciously and seamlessly interwoven into the larger story of the group. The disc itself has only one notable flaw, in the chaptering, which isn't remotely as detailed or generous as it might be, considering the number of songs, significant biographical sections, and other highlights contained on it. There could (and should) be several dozen chapter markers, where there are but five at the 75-minute mark. That oversight aside, the disc is beautifully produced, with a loud audio track that pumps up magnificently on a speaker system and is a match for the best audiophile CD sound. The menu opens up automatically on start-up and is very easy to maneuver around; the supplements, in addition to the title-track video, include an hour's worth of interview segments with the group members, in which each one speaks at length on various biographical and musical subjects that couldn't be fit into the documentary as a whole. It's as close to a total-immersion experience of the Bee Gees as one can have, short of listening to every record they ever made, and the live performance clips by themselves are worth the price of the disc.