Clive Anderson: Bee Gees walk out of interview in 1996
Bee Gees are most famed for their disco music, despite starting life as a folk, rock ‘n’ roll and bluegrass band. The changes in direction and Barry’s position as a frontman caused some disagreements between band members throughout the years, leading to departures and reunions at different points. But what happened to Maurice and Robin Gibb – did they ever release solo music?
While Barry has just released solo music, Maurice and Robin will not be releasing any more music, as both died in the 2000s.
On January 12, 2003, Maurice died aged 53 in Florida following a heart attack during abdominal surgery.
Robin died from complications relating to colon cancer on May 20, 2012, at the age of 62.
However, before their deaths they did both release solo music, as well as a hefty back catalogue with the Bee Gees.
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In 1969, Robin left the group after feeling their new manager, Robert Stigwood, favoured Barry as the frontman, following years of growing success.
The trio of Barry, Maurice and another band member, Colin Petersen, continued to perform until Colin was reportedly fired from the band, and Maurice sought to release a solo album.
Robin released Robin’s Reign in 1970, with it entering the Top 20 in Germany, but otherwise receiving little notice.
Barry’s solo album, as well as Maurice’s, was not released, and given Robin’s had a small level of success, the band reformed in 1970.
They had some success on their reformation but, by the mid-1970s, their music was not gaining much interest, and soon they started working with a soul producer for their next few songs.
This was the beginning of The Bee Gees’ disco era, which they became known for, as well as their strong falsetto voices.
After this, the band members did make some solo songs and albums, with Robin making an album a year from 1983 to 1985.
These were How Old Are You?, Secret Agent and Walls Have Eyes, with only Secret Agent getting into the chart in the USA.
Robin did record Sing Slowly Sisters in 1970, which was to be his second solo album, but he instead rejoined the Bee Gees, meaning this album was released in 2015, three years after his death.
Robin also released three other albums, two of which came out in the 2000s, Magnet and My Favourite Christmas Carols, while his final album, 50 St Catherine’s Drive, was released posthumously in 2014.
As for Maurice, his only solo work was on The Loner, his unreleased album of 1969, otherwise he only worked with his brothers.
Barry has released three solo albums, most recently a bluegrass album called Greenfields on which he collaborated with Dolly Parton, Olivia Newton-John and Sheryl Crow, among others.
Recently, he spoke about his regrets over his brother’s death, saying he felt “survivor’s guilt” over being the last one standing and the relationships he had with his brothers when they died.
Speaking to The Times, the 74-year-old said: “I’m the eldest, so it probably should have been me first.
“I guess it’s a form of guilt. Survivor’s guilt…”
“Maurice was gone in two days and we weren’t getting on very well.
“Robin and I functioned musically but we never functioned in any other way.
“We were brothers but we weren’t really friends.”
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