Discussion of CD reissues, including sound quality and track lists
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Early Bee Gees Albums Expanded For Reissue
August 30, 2006, 1:45 PM ET
Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
The first three Bee Gees albums to enjoy international release have been expanded and grouped for the six-disc boxed set "The Studio Albums 1967-1968," due Nov. 7 via Reprise. The release is the first in an ongoing catalog upgrade as part of a recent deal with Rhino; each album has been remastered and paired with a second disc of rare and unreleased tracks.
"Bee Gees 1st," released in 1967, revealed the sibling group to a worldwide audience thanks to hit singles such as "Holiday," "To Love Somebody" and "New York Mining Disaster 1941," which was inspired by an Oct. 1966 incident in Wales that killed 144 people, 116 of them children.
"Our lyrics were entirely fictitious, but that was our real inspiration," Robin Gibb told Billboard in a 2001 interview. "We were very affected by it, the news of that terrible disaster, but we didn't want to say that directly at the time, out of respect for the dead and their families."
The bonus disc includes 14 previously unreleased tracks, including alternate versions of album material and the outtakes "Gilbert Green," "House of Lords," "I've Got To Learn," "All Around My Clock" and "Mr. Wallor's Wailing Wall."
The Bee Gees increased their star power with January 1968's "Horizontal," which includes the hit "Massachusetts." The bonus disc sports four non-album tracks, including the hit "Words," plus nine unreleased songs, including "Out Of Line," "Ring My Bell," "Deeply, Deeply Me" and "Mrs. Gillespie's Refrigerator."
In August of that year, the Bee Gees returned with the album "Idea," which featured their first top 10 hits on Billboard's pop singles chart: "I've Gotta Get a Message to You," and "I Started a Joke." On the extra disc are several alternate mixes, the previously unreleased "Bridges Crossing Rivers" and two songs written for films, "Chocolate Symphony" and "Gena's Theme."