Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by alphanguy, Jan 29, 2016.
This will blow your mind. My girlfriend grew up in Phoenix!
Eternally I'm a week or two behind!
Whenever I hear about this group, I'm always reminded of the episode of WKRP in Cincinnati where Venus Flytrap is feeling like he's losing touch with his black identity because he hangs around with white people so much. He starts wearing really crazy 70s black outfits to the station as compensation. Jennifer sees him in the hall, looks him up and down, and comments wryly, 'Are you Earth, Wind or Fire?'
These guys really were all over the place in the late seventies. I've never been all that fond of their slower stuff. But September is one I find myself singing a lot. And I personally really like their take on the Beatles' Got To Get You Into My Life, which I recall the group had never even heard before recording their funky take on it. This is legit almost as good as the Fabs' version, and I say that VERY rarely.
Shining Star is one of the ones I like most. Not my favorite, but when a song this good gets to the top, I'm pleased!
Before the Next Teardrop Falls
I don't think I ever heard this on the radio back then, and rarely since. Even as far as "country" songs of the time go, it doesn't stand out.
Sorry, just not my bag, baby. Next!
Thank God I'm a Country Boy
I'm by no stretch of the imagination a John Denver fan, nor am I a country boy, but I kinda like this one. Not a lot, but a little. I think it's the fact that he seems to be having such a good time singing it. #1 hit? No, but then again, there are a lot of 1975 songs I would say that about, and as far as they go, this one's not half bad.
Interestingly, though, I've never thought of him as a 'country boy'. I guess 'folk boy' wouldn't have scanned as well...
Have we seen the below version of him singing the song yet? It's a spirited version, but it's the backing band that makes it truly special. I don't think I've ever seen the Man in Black look so happy.
Phoenix has a lot of strange people. It's not exactly a friendly place, either.
Now we have "Jive Talkin" by The Bee Gees, #1 from August 3 - August 16, 1975.
And not a moment too soon!
One of this great trio's last good songs before the disco rot set in.
"Thank God I'm A Folkin' Boy" would've fit but wouldn't have passed Standards.
Does anyone else recall for sure if the Bee Gees sang "Jive Talkin'" at the Atlantic Records 40th anniversary show in 1988? I remember watching that and - at the time - being disappointed that they didn't perform something from when they actually were on Atlantic (or ATCO if you want to be pedantic). In retrospect, though, it made more sense for them to play something upbeat for the festive occasion, and nothing from their ATCO catalog really fit that bill. I didn't much like "Jive Talkin'" then, but I do like it a lot now.
Ah, the good old days when we were thrilled to have the Bee Gees back, a few years before we thought they'd never go away, and a few decades before we sadly realized we'd never see them again ...
The legend goes that the "chunka-chunka" that propels "Jive Talkin'" was inspired by the sound their tires made crossing the bridge to get to Criteria Studios in Miami, where they were making the album.
And apparently the first bunch of promos they sent to radio didn't have Bee Gees on the label, so low had their Top 40 appeal sunk.
In any event, their hits are gonna start rollin' in!
Around this time, Little brother Andy was recording what would be his first Australian single, a song that would be re-recorded after he hit, but this original Australian single version sounds very much like the orchestral pop style his brothers had just left behind.
And so it begins...
I actually like “Jive Talkin” quite a bit. I also like their next few singles. But, when it becomes all Barry, all falsetto, all of the time - that’s a different story...
Jive Talkin' was a good comeback for the brothers and showed the balladeers could boogie, too. Gimmicky fluff done well is a good thing. Still, not my favorite from the album nor second, third or fourth.
I think Jive Talkin is a decent song, and I can see how the earworm of a rhythm track propelled this to the top. However, I think the third single from Main Course, which stalled at #12 is by far the best song on the album.
Unfortunately, "Fanny (Be Tender With My Love)" would also be the last time we hear Robin sing a lead part on a single for several years. I don't dislike the Bee Gees disco music, but all falsetto, and them beginning to dress alike bugged the hell out of me. They are not the flippin Supremes.
I really like Jive
Jive is my fave but a close second is "Edge of The Universe". I was very happy it got a second life as the single from the 'Live...At Last' lp a few years later. Despite their obvious overplayed status in the subsequent years, I can't imagine the 70's without 'em. Shame we only have one BG left
Sweet Jeebus, finally!
Since their prior licorice pizza - the R&B-leaning Mr. Natural - had vanished without a trace, and "To Love Somebody" was far in the past, I'm sure people who paid attention to these things must have been gobsmacked when the Bee Gees of all people not only returned to the charts with a straight up disco track, but climbed all the way to #1 with it.
And what a track it is. Clearly hailing from the same Miami school of disco that K.C. & The Sunshine Band would come from - we'd already heard from "them" on George McCrae's number one from the prior summer, "Rock Your Baby", which was written by K.C. and Richard Finch and cut with several members of the band - the Bee Gees and their stellar band were nevertheless talented enough to put their own distinct spin on the sound. While the Bee Gees have somehow garnered a reputation as disco bandwagon jumpers, the reality is they were around here in the first phase of it, and disco really just represented another stop on the R&B side of the fence for them. Barry had already proven his abilities as an R&B songwriter back in the '60s but had always been reluctant to delve deeper into the genre, feeling it inauthentic. While they were certainly unlikely soul brothers, that certainly didn't impact their effectiveness. And indeed, as we'll come to see around this time a year or so from now, they ended up being probably the most innovative act in disco outside of Giorgio Moroder, not just becoming chart monsters but also partly driving the sound of the entire genre. Indeed, I'd argue that without the Bee Gees, disco might have faded pretty quickly the way psychedelic rock had back in the '60s, as year or two long lark and not a half-decade spanning threat to rock hegemony.
I was just a tyke at the time but I adored this song. And I still love it, farting bass synth and all. The keyboard hook coming out of the chorus is just inspired, and the breathy vocal is a perfect accompaniment to the song's mellow clop. My uncle liked this enough to grab the Main Course album, the first time he'd picked up a Bee Gees LP in quite a few years. This put them right back in the middle of the fray, and they wouldn't be relinquishing the limelight for the remainder of the decade.
This hit big right as I got taken on a trip to Disneyland for my 7th birthday - the bicentennial celebration stuff was already kicking into high gear at the house of the mouse - so hearing this one always takes me back to that summer, California's drought-browned highway medians (the bus ride from the airport seemed to go on forever), as well as various driving excursions thru the Phoenix suburbs and the Arizona desert I got taken on that summer. In fact, I think this was also the summer we visited the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum down in Tucson, and I remember the long drive home one Saturday afternoon, being chased by thunderstorms the whole way back to Phoenix, with "Love Will Keep Us Together", "The Hustle", "One Of These Nights", "Jive Talkin'" and "Rhiannon" and "Say You Love Me" from Fleetwood Mac playing on the radio (Mac were huge in Arizona due to Stevie's connections in the state). In fact I don't think I could hear any of those cuts without thinking of that drive.
We beat the storm to Phoenix by about an hour, but it put on quite a show as we sat down for dinner back home. Good times!
Speaking of Fleetwood Mac, oddly enough "Jive Talkin'" inspired the production on Fleetwood Mac's first single - "Second Hand News" - off their next album, the monster Rumours.
One of this trio's first of many great disco songs, a genre in which they were innovators as well as superstars.
I love Fanny too, although the title always makes me laugh. And it must be even funnier to Brits.
"Be tender with my Fanny, love!"
Oh, so close, but I'll save that for when we discuss their next #1 hit.
I did not know who the Bee Gees were when this song came out. I just knew that I loved hearing it on the radio. It was fresh and funky.
Times were getting very good for Black music in 1975!
Amen! "Fanny (Be Tender With My Love)" is arguably the best R&B ballad of the 7os. I never get tired of hearing it. Arif Mardin is also the star of this song. It has his signature arrangement with minor chords that he also used in a future Chaka Khan debut solo single.
BTW, we know what "Fanny" means here in the U.S., which sounds innocent enough, but how in the world did these three Brits get past the censors with a title like "Fanny" in the U.K., where it has an even naughtier meaning? And, to add the subtitle (Be Tender With My Love) showed what a perverse sense of humor the brothers had!
Fantastic Bee Gees song, the keybord hook right after the chorus is everything!
This is the top 10 for the week 'Jive Talkin'' climbed to number one (the week ending August 9, 1975):
01 (03) Bee Gees - Jive Talkin'
02 (02) 10cc - I'm Not In Love
03 (04) Olivia Newton-John - Please Mr. Please
04 (01) The Eagles - One of These Nights
05 (06) Elton John - Someone Saved My Life Tonight
06 (07) Melissa Manchester - Midnight Blue
07 (14) Glen Campbell - Rhinestone Cowboy
08 (12) War - Why Can't We Be Friends?
09 (15) James Taylor - How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
10 (13) Mike Post - Rockford Files
And at number 89, a certain Swedish band debuted with their single 'SOS', which would later peak at number 15.
Perhaps surprisingly, "Jive Talkin'" didn't make the R&B chart. Had to double-check to make sure, it seems like a natural crossover.
I'm not gonna jump ahead too much, so I'll only drop hints. This original studio version was on first-pressings (in the U.S.) of a two-record soundtrack LP that sold like hotcakes and then some; but along the way was replaced by a live version from a live double-LP they put out before the movie in question came out.
Actually, their performing "Jive Talkin' " at that Atlantic 40th fit - as their label by then, RSO, was still distributed by Atlantic through that and the "Fanny" song. Stigwood didn't switch U.S. distributors until the time of the 'Gees' next #1.
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