October marks the 45th anniversary of the Bee Gees song “Please Don’t Turn Out the Lights,” and fans of the musical super group of the 1970s, have reason to be excited. The Gibb Collective is a musical tribute, and a family legacy. On the input of Maurice’s daughter, Samantha, the children of Andy, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb have found a way to honor their fathers by infusing new lymph into the more than memorable Bee Gee classics of the 60’s and 70’s. And what better title for the 10-track album, than “Please Don’t Turn Out The Lights”. Though I doubt anyone ever had the idea of ‘turning out the lights’, consistently illuminating the Bee Gees’ music for many decades on end.
The task at hand was obviously enormous. Just how do you improve perfectly cut gems? Well you can’t, you can only polish them up from time to time. So with all the love and passion in the world. The Gibb Collective set about shining up their family jewels.
The interesting thing is that the collective members never assembled in one place, instead they recorded their individual parts in places as far away as Sydney, Ohio, London and Los Angeles, with the recorded pieces then being blended together in a US production studio.
“It started when my partner Lazaro and I decided to do a cover of ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941,” says Samantha Gibb (Maurice’s daughter). “We loved the way it turned out and thought it would be really cool to do more if it. We had been wanting to do a tribute for a long time for my dad and my uncles. It started to feel like the right time so we started to reach out then we talked to everybody. Each person decided to do a take on a track that was one of their favorites. The next thing we knew we had a 10 song album”.
What ensued, is nothing short of a genuine blend of the sublime and the spectacular: “New York Mining Disaster 1941” by Samantha Gibb and “I Started A Joke” by Robin John Gibb is breathtakingly engaging, Peta Gibbs’ delectable version of “Fool For A Night” is surprisingly eloquent, as was listening to the electro version of “Angel of Mercy” by Samantha & Adam Gibb.
There are also unexpected song choices like “I Can’t See Nobody” which was the B-side of “New York Mining Disaster 1941” back in the 60’s. Berry Gibb Rhoades’ reworking of the song is another definite album highlight.
The album has many other memorable moments, especially when the The Gibb Collective interpret the so-called lesser known tracks from the Bee Gees catalog. In this sense, Spencer dispenses a sumptuous refurbishing of the bittersweet “Don’t Fall In Love With Me,” a track from the Bee Gees’ 1981 album Living Eyes.
Formed in 1958, The Bee Gees have sold more than 220 million records worldwide. Taking on this project would have been intimidating for just about anyone. The Gibb Collective don’t suffer this condition, probably because the primary goal of Samantha (Maurice’s daughter), Spencer and Robin-John Gibb (Robin’s sons), Stephen and Travis Gibb (Barry’s sons), Peta Gibb (Andy’s daughter), Adam Gibb (Maurice’s son) and Berry Gibb-Rhoades (the brothers younger sister), is not to sell records but to preserve and enhance a legacy.