Bee Gees Ridiculous Harmony

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by stealyerface, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. stealyerface

    stealyerface Tele-Afflicted

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    Probably old, probably posted at some point, but this just landed in my feed.

    When Barry starts out, I'm thinking, "Man, he could sing".

    When the harmonies really kick in, "holy crap"...



    ~syf
     
  2. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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  3. chillybilly

    chillybilly TDPRI Member

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    Incredible...but then family harmonies often are. It's like pulling out various stops on an organ - the core tone is the same but then overtones and intervals/chords are laid on.

    The Gibbs, the Wilsons (Beach Boys, that is, but also Brian's daughters), the Everlys, the Free Design, the Cowsills, the Osmonds etc etc. It's almost as if DNA/genes lay out the vocal cords in a certain alignment and harmonies are naturally tight.

    I've long been fascinated with this phenomenon and have tried many times to emulate it via vocal overdubs in the studio but even singing different notes, different styles, different mics, different rooms, etc. it sounds like me harmonizing with myself. Not bad but nowhere close to the sibling sound.
     
  4. ftbtx

    ftbtx Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    They really were a great band from their blues/rock days to their disco stuff. Amazing talents.
     
  5. claes

    claes Tele-Holic

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    I love there pop-era music...
     
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  6. soul-o

    soul-o Friend of Leo's

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    I often wonder how many people only know them from their disco era hits and later material and don't realize how great they really were. Their early stuff is in the same category as the Kinks, the Pretty Things (SF Sorrow and Parachute) and the Zombies in terms of important late 60s British pop. Major songwriting talents, preposterous harmonies and wonderful arrangements sare all over those early albums like Horizontal, Idea and Odessa.
     
  7. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    +1. Like this.

     
  8. stealyerface

    stealyerface Tele-Afflicted

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    We cover "To Love Somebody", and although we try mightily, there is no use trying to emulate the harmonies you hear in their recordings. We can pick an octave and try to stick with it, but to get that ringing, ridonkulous barber-shop-esque harmony quality... Not a shot.

    I first was introduced to them from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, but have since delved into their genius. That whole family was gifted with voices that meshed perfectly, but were just different enough to make that magic happen.

    ~syf
     
  9. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

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    They all had great voices.
     
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  10. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Silver Supporter

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    I've always envied those ridiculous harmonies! I struggle to stay on the melody line! Still, with time and practice it can be learned. Mrs idjster sings with a group called the Threshold Singers. They're an international group that go to hospices and hospitals in groups of 3 to sing to people in palliative care. 1 person holds the melody and 2 sing harmony, all a cappella. The Mrs had never done harmony before and so had to learn but she's doing just fine so it can be done if you can sing at all. Just not like the Bee Gees or any of those naturally talented groups. o_O

    (And if 3 women come into your hospital room with small stools to sit on and start singing to you, run!)
     
  11. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, the period through Odessa knocks me out most.

    I think my brother and I were at least one brother short. You can touch parts of it and it just makes you realise, what a gift this was yes, but also how hard they worked on it.
     
  12. wabashslim

    wabashslim Tele-Holic

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    I never followed them except for the hits but there's a ton of good stuff here...


    I guess Maurice was the Don Felder of the group...
     
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  13. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Holic

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    I like their Disco /Saturday's Night Fever period... :cool::cool::cool:
    Yes, I'm serious...:)

    -tbln
     
  14. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Holic

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    Yeah, the harmonies are great, but Barry Gibb was a heckuva pop songwriter. I didn’t know until much later that he wrote the Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers hit “Islands in the Stream”.

    I really dig the disco era stuff too, especially “Tragedy”.
     
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  15. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    Maurice was a great bassist. His lines on Stayin' Alive...James Jamerson would approve.
     
  16. chillybilly

    chillybilly TDPRI Member

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    PS - Barry's open D tuning was his basis for his songwriting including, obviously, the vocal lines. Although sticking with this tuning might seem a bit self-limiting over time, I believe it automatically set their sound apart from the first note.

    If you're a reader get a copy of Dennis Bryon's book. He was their drummer in the 70s and did Main Course, SNF etc.

    At the risk of spoiling the biggest story, he recorded the drums for Night Fever in the studio but had to return from Miami to England due to a death in the family. The band and producers wanted to carry on so they took a section of the Night Fever drum track, slowed it down and looped it - which became the famous slinky groove of Stayin' Alive. When Dennis returned he added crash cymbals and percussion.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
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  17. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Holic

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    Me too, their disco period was great! I've always taken issue with the notion that their disco hits were somehow inferior songs. I didn't appreciate this until I was a little older, but the Bee Gees were incredibly sophisticated songwriters, and their peak material translates across any number of genres.

    Love this song from that period:

     
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  18. urbandefault

    urbandefault Tele-Meister

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    The movie sucked, but most of the soundtrack was great.

     
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  19. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Meister

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    And no auto-tune, just one take on live TV.
     
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  20. Rusty Spanner

    Rusty Spanner TDPRI Member

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    Wonderful.

    They were sooo right to walk off Clive Anderson's TV show - an amazing lack of respect by a talentless idiot.



    Even as a teenage punk at the time I had so much admiration for their talent.
    Local too.

    Another superb vocal harmony performance by a band from North West England - The Hollies performing Carousel at Abbey Road.
    It all kicks off about 50 seconds in...shivers.



    Whatever happened to that young man with the goatee beard? :)
     
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