The Bee Gees: Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Barry Gibb, Colin Peterson, Vince Melouney.
Originally released on Atco.
In retrospect, it's easy to assume that the Beatles existed in an artistic vacuum, with no musical peers. In fact, 1960s groups like the Beau Brummels, the Zombies, and Australia's Bee Gees were proponents of a style that owed much to the Fab Four, but they were also artists with a unique and distinctive vision. Early Aussie forays aside, BEE GEES 1ST is the international debut of Barry, Maurice, and Robin Gibb, three brothers whose trademark was a high, quavery, three-part harmony. Songs like "Please Read Me" and the much-covered "To Love Somebody" combined a soul influence with ornate, Beatlesque arrangements and dark, angst-ridden lyrics. The baroque-pop carousel of "I Close My Eyes" and the moody folk-rock ballad "New York Mining Disaster 1941" showed that the Gibbs had several tricks up their Edwardian sleeves.