The Bee Gees: Maurice Gibb (vocals, guitar, bass); Barry Gibb (vocals, guitar); Robin Gibb (vocals); Alan Kendall (electric & steel guitar); Blue Weaver (keyboards, synthesizer); Dennis Bryon (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel includes: Albhy Galuten (conductor); Joe Farrell (tenor saxophone); Joe Lala, George Perry, Stephen Stills (percussion); Ray Baretto (congas).
Boneroo Horns: Bill Purse, Stan Webb, Neil Bonsati, Peter Graves, Whit Sideneer, Kenny Faulk.
Producers: The Bee Gees, Arif Mardin, Karl Richardson, Albhy Galuten.
Contrary to popular misconception, the bulk of the material the Bee Gees recorded was not really disco but soul-pop, inspired by the mid-'70s Philly International sound. The group's trademark high harmonies and fluttering falsetto voices lent themselves well to the style; they'd been exploring their variant on American R&B ever since the Otis-intended "To Love Somebody." This compilation concentrates exclusively on songs from the band's reincarnation as dancefloor deities.
While it's impossibly to divorce such songs as "You Should Be Dancing" and "Stayin' Alive" from a gyrating, hair-sprayed John Travolta, it should be remembered that the music came before the movie, and the Gibb brothers' disco outings are simultaneously classier and more urgent than most. The group really shines on the lovely R&B ballads, the best of which ("How Deep is Your Love," "Too Much Heaven") bear a beauty that's truly transcendent, and could stand proudly alongside any American soul of the period.