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"CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL" - " TOO MUCH IS NOT ENOUGH" - FEATURING THE ALBUM "ODESSA" By THE BEE GEES IN HIGH DEFINITION WITH NARRATIVE - -EPISODE # 38- THE CAPTAIN MINES HIS COVE OF 8 TRACK TREASURES!

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“CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL” – ” TOO MUCH IS NOT ENOUGH” – FEATURING THE ALBUM “ODESSA” By THE BEE GEES IN HIGH DEFINITION WITH NARRATIVE BY CAPTAIN BILLY -

“TOO MUCH IS NOT ENOUGH

EPISODE #38: ODESSA by The Bee Gees (Atco, 1969)

Which is your favorite Bee Gees song? “Stayin’ Alive”; “To Love Somebody”; “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”; “Massachusetts”? Take your pick – the brothers Gibb created so many memories over the decades, it seems they’ve always been here. But, they’re not anymore – Maurice and Robin both are gone; only Barry remains, grieved, but carrying on. This year alone he has put out a documentary and a country album of Bee Gee covers.

In 1969, the group was breaking up during the production of their 6th album, Odessa, a bloated behemoth, suggested by manager Robert Stigwood, because “double albums make more money.” Tensions were high, and Robin quit the group for 18 months when the single that he fronted was replaced by Barry’s “The First of May” for release.

Let’s start with the title, (originally to be An American Opera, or Masterpeace), add to that the red velvet cover (which had to be jettisoned when the factory workers developed allergies from handling the things), plus, the lush orchestrations and harmonies, the pretentious concept (about the loss of a fictional ship in 1899) – and, one begins to grasp that nothing about this creation is modest. It is ambition run riot – the Australian Sgt. Pepper. The group had to collapse under its own weight after such an exhausting effort.

In retrospect, it’s considered their best work of the first period. I would have missed it entirely, as I did when it was first released, had its 8 track not appeared on an Ebay auction. I read about it’s significance in The Mojo Ultimate Music Companion Collection (the only Bee Gees album to make the cut). The tape arrived wounded, and needed emergency triage: (melting the rivet on the back to crack open the clam shell, replacing the sensing foil, and adding extra adhesive tape on the sides to secure the cart afterwards). Upon first hearing, it was so satisfying to have resurrected its Dead Sea Scroll delights.

I suppose this work represents the cusp between the sixties, Beatle-clone Bee Gees, and the seventies, Disco incarnation, when the boys rose from the ashes of their careers like falsetto singing Phoenixes to stage the biggest second act in the world.

Sibling harmony is a wondrous phenomenon. The Louvins, the Everlys, The Beach Boys, and the brothers Gibb were all able to blend their multiple voices into a single DNA strand of sound. The brothers may have fought, they may have become estranged, but the genetic imprint they shared made such miracles possible.


By Rich Buckland 12/13/2021 10:05 AM

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