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Bee Gees – Odessa (1969)

August 8, 2017

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Fabulous logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Album 555/1001]

Would you rather listen to:

a) Fingernails on a chalkboard

b) Styrofoam being rubbed together

c) The Bee Gees

As a youth, I would have begged for an option d), please, none of the above.

But after listening to Odessa, my answer is now a resounding c).

The question is, how do I explain this change of heart to my BeeGeephobic past-self?

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bee gees

Sorry past-self, it gets worse: Multiple Bee Gees albums are in your future collection!

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Well I suppose, after giving my past-self sufficient time for head-shaking-in-disbelief-&/or-“you’ve- changed-man”-muttering, I’d probably say:

a) This album sounds nothing like your perception of the Bee Gees (which is likely more than a tad closed-minded…but that’s for another day!) and I doubt you’d even be able to guess this was the same group220px-OdessaBeeGees

b) The arrangements often feel like a movie score/soundtrack and the falsetto you fear is non-existent

c) Odessa is a double LP with no trace of diminishing marginal returns, which can’t be said for some of the doubles/triples in your current collection

So put the Styrofoam aside, steer clear of the chalkboard.

The Bee Gees are much better than you’d expect!

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Verbalize the Positive

I appreciate the opportunity to listen to songs in their name-checked towns, such as The Hip’s Bobcaygeon in Bobcaygeon.

I can only assume the Bee Gees were singing about the small community west of Kingston when they recorded Odessa!

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From → 1960s

25 Comments
  1. Total piffle and nonsense!

    • haha, but at least you shouldn’t have an anaphylaxis reaction to the vocals at this stage of their career!

  2. I have a math dilemna.

    Will this album ruin my theory? I always assumed that:

    Bee Gees = BM’s

    • Math dilemmas are my specialty!
      The line from Wayne’s World “LZ didn’t write tunes that everybody liked, they left that up to the Bee Gees” – didn’t really make sense to me, as I’ve yet to meet anyone who complains about Zeppelin, and I was first in line to complain about the Bee Gees!
      I suppose the equation still holds, if BMs = Better Musicians (than I expected)!

  3. I’m glad you feel so strongly about Odessa and it helped you realize there’s a lot more to Bee Gees than their disco-era material (which is all amazing but drastically different than what came before it). I already had a couple of compilations of their early material for many years so I knew there was more to them than “Stayin’ Alive” and “You Should Be Dancing,” but Odessa was the first full studio album that I heard and it was a great choice. Hopefully others will be inspired to check it out based on your post.

    • Cheers Rich – and I was surprised to learn this was studio album #6, so I still have much to learn about the pre-Odessa era!

  4. Great choice! Their earlier releases are actually outstanding. I like it so much better than then disco era albums. They had a very beatle-esque quality to some of their earlier releases I found (or ate least some of the songs).

  5. On the whole, there is much to admire about “Odessa”. It falls somewhere between an excellent single album and a mediocre double. It contains mishaps, but for some reason there’s an endearing quality to this record, and a sense that the combination of high quality songs and ornate fluff is how it was always meant to be.

    https://hackskeptic.com/2011/02/11/bee-gees-odessa-1969/

    • I think they may have fooled me with the quality control – they saved something good for each side, so there was no instantly discernible drop-off!

  6. I guess I should give them a chance sometime….

  7. I’ve always liked the Bee Gees, since day one. I didn’t know what disco was. I just knew the movie Airplane.

  8. Bee Gees played Tbay back in 73!
    Work with a fella who seen them!
    Even more crazy is The Who played here in 67 I believe. They played a afternoon show here and drove to Duluth where they played an evening show…(Duluth is 3 hours away)
    Moon The Loon was here ..kinda…

    • I would have quite enjoyed seeing the Who in ’67, that likely would have been a tour after the who sell out, my favourite of their albums.
      I might have had to make the drive to Duluth to see it again too!

      • Unfortunately I know of no one who seen The Who here that day…
        Someone put together a list compiling all the acts that played here at our Gardens and thee was the Pete and Crew…
        Crazy….

  9. Brilliant stuff, Geoff. Early Bee Gees stuff is great! Genuinely pleased to read that you like this one.

  10. I have heard the rumors of how the early stuff is great. I have yet to experience it myself. Now I am even more curious….

  11. I admire your fortitude to overcome your past self’s opinions. Also, pretty sure they meant the Odessa near Kingston. Not the one in Ukraine. Nope, no way. And definitely not the one in Saskatchewan.

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