How Barry Gibb and the Bee Gees built a musical dynasty

As one-third of the Bee Gees, Barry Gibb helped lead the disco motion with the 1977 “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack, one among the best-selling albums of all time. But Gibb, 74, and his late brothers Maurice and Robin — topics of the current HBO documentary “The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” — had been extra than simply disco. And lengthy after that style’s supposed “dying,” their music is stayin’ alive with”Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers’ Songbook, Vol. 1,” Barry’s new album out Friday, which options collaborations with such nation and Americana artists as Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert and Brandi Carlile.

Of course, the Bee Gees have been coated by a host of different artists over the years, whereas additionally collaborating on hits for youngest Gibb brother Andy — together with “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” and “Shadow Dancing” — in addition to pop superstars who did not get the household fee. Here, a take a look at how deep the Gibb affect goes.

Janis Joplin, “To Love Somebody”

Although this 1967 single wasn’t one among the Bee Gees’ largest hits, it has been one among their most-covered tunes. In 1969, the group obtained songwriting props when two all-timers remade “To Love Somebody”: Janis Joplin turned it into a bluesy belter, whereas Nina Simone reimagined it as a jazzy jaunt. Since then, everybody from Roberta Flack to Billy Corgan — with backing vocals by the Cure’s Robert Smith (!) — has proven “Love” for the track.

Al Green, “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”

This aching breakup track has been telling us about the sorrow because it grew to become the Bee Gees’ first No. 1 single in 1971. But Reverend Green poured his Memphis soul into his 1972 model that felt extra like a plea for his very salvation.

Little Big Town, “How Deep Is Your Love”

Along with acoustic guitarist Tommy Emmanuel, the country-pop quartet helps Gibb get to the beating coronary heart of this “Saturday Night Fever” smash on “Greenfields.” LBT additionally brings its personal model of Bee Gees harmonies on a cowl of the trio’s early hit “Lonely Days.”

Barry Gibb, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers in 1983.
Barry Gibb, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers in 1983.
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Destiny’s Child, “Emotion”

Proving simply how a lot the Gibbs’ songs transcended generations and genres, Beyoncé’s lady group went from “Bootylicious” to balladicious on this harmony-rich remake of the tune that was initially a ’70s hit for Samantha Sang.

Frankie Valli, “Grease”

Gibb — as in Barry — was the phrase when the film “Grease” sought to recapture a few of the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack magic. That mission was completed with the title tune, written by Gibb and sung by Valli. Behind an “SNF”-esque disco groove, it strutted all the solution to No. 1 in 1978.

Alison Krauss, “Too Much Heaven”

The bliss overload of the bluegrass nice’s “Greenfields” second with Gibb makes good on the title of this 1978 Bee Gees chart-topper. The new album additionally options the “Too Much Heaven” B-side, “Rest Your Love on Me,” revamped with Olivia Newton-John, who has some Gibb historical past from her “I Can’t Help It” duet with Andy.

Barry Gibb and Olivia Newton-John in 2009.
Barry Gibb and Olivia Newton-John in 2009.
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Barbra Streisand, “Woman in Love”

The buttah-voiced songbird scored her fifth — and final — No. 1 hit in 1980 with this declaration of devotion from her Gibb-imprinted “Guilty” album. Barry, who will be seen in a clinch with Babs on the cowl of the LP, turned up the soft-rock romance by crooning on two extra Top 10 singles: the title observe and “What Kind of Fool.” And the twosome even reunited for a sequel set, 2005’s “Guilty Pleasures.”

Barry Gibb and Barbra Streisand circa 1981.
Barry Gibb and Barbra Streisand circa 1981.
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Dionne Warwick, “Heartbreaker”

Yes, she’ll all the time be finest recognized for singing the songbook of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, however Warwick caught the Gibb fever on her 1982 LP “Heartbreaker,” which included the hit title observe. The new Twitter star additionally partnered with Barry Manilow on a 1985 cowl of the Bee Gees’ “Run to Me.”

Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, “Islands in the Stream”

Long earlier than going nation on “Greenfields,” Gibb earned some Nashville cred with this easy-flowing easy-listener that went No. 1 on each the nation and pop charts. And on his new album, Sir Barry pairs with Queen Dolly once more for a tender tackle the ’60s Bee Gees nugget “Words.”

Diana Ross, “Eaten Alive”

The Motown diva tapped Gibb to helm her 1985 album “Eaten Alive,” which included “Chain Reaction” — one among Ross’ largest hits in the UK — and the title observe, that includes background vocals by co-writer Michael Jackson. The eldest Gibb additionally collaborated with the King of Pop on their duet “All in Your Name,” which was recorded in 2002 and launched in 2011.


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