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A dazzling biography of one of the bestselling bands of all time, told with brilliant insight by renowned pop music scholar Bob Stanley.
The world is full of Bee Gees fans. Yet for a band of such renown, little is known about Barry, Maurice, and Robin Gibb.
People tend to have their favorite era of the Bee Gees's career, but many listeners are also conscious that there is more to uncover about the band. This book will provide the perfect solution, by pulling together every fascinating strand to tell the story of a group with the imagination of the Beatles, the pop craft of ABBA, the drama of Fleetwood Mac, and the emotional heft of the Beach Boys.
Uniquely, the Bee Gees's tale spans the entire modern pop era—they are the only group to have scored British top-ten singles in the '60s, '70s, '80s, and ‘90s—and includes world-conquering disco successes like 'Stayin' Alive' and 'More Than a Woman', both from the soundtrack of the hit film Saturday Night Fever.
But the Bee Gees's extraordinary career was one of highs and lows. From a vicious but temporary split in 1969 to several unreleased albums, disastrous TV and film appearances, and a demoralising cabaret season, the group weren't always revelling in the glow of million-selling albums, private jets, and UNICEF concerts. Yet, even in the Gibbs' darkest times, their music was rarely out of the charts, as sung by the likes of Al Green, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, and Destiny's Child.
Capturing the human story at the heart of the Bee Gees, this book is a lyrical and stylish read, delighting hardcore fans with its details while engaging casual pop readers who simply want to know more about this important and enigmatic group.
About the Author
Bob Stanley, author of the acclaimed Let’s Do It: The Birth of Pop Music and Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyoncé, has worked as a music journalist, DJ, and record-label owner, and he is the cofounder and keyboard player for the band Saint Etienne. He lives in London.
"A vital reassessment of one of popular music’s most chameleonic acts. Stanley takes great pains to not only explore the Gibbs’ musical growth across the decades, but to afford readers with a stirring look at the dramatic arc of the relationships and experiences that marked their lives. He is to be commended for elevating the human story at the heart of the Bee Gees’ music."
"Bob Stanley’s definitive book is a nuanced exploration of a group that was praised and mocked in equal measure. Long before The Story of the Bee Gees ends, the brothers have stopped being a single pop band and become a mirror of all the musical acts covered by Stanley in his two earlier books: loved and hated, obscure and celebrated, shaped by both luck and a deathless work ethic. By the end, the brothers become a microcosm of everything that happened in the 20th century pop world."
— The Washington Post
“The Bee Gees had wild success with pop hits including ‘Stayin’ Alive’ and ‘More Than a Woman,’ yet never received the respect they deserved. So argues British author and musician Bob Stanley in The Story of the Bee Gees, his biography of and passionate homage to this ‘deeply odd, and quite wonderful’ band of brothers.”
— AARP magazine
“Gifted and prolific songwriters, they produced a vast catalogue of hits for themselves and others, yet a certain suspicion lingered. Stanley is on a mission to right this wrong, to get The Bee Gees ‘their rightful place at the head of pop’s table.’ The Story of The Bee Gees takes a songwriter’s approach to biography. Bob Stanley makes a strong case for the Bee Gee’s impact on twentieth-century music, but his portrayal also reveals them as harbingers of the global pop of the twenty-first.”
— The Times Literary Supplement
“A rewarding deep dive. Stanley meticulously investigates the chart-busting Bee Gees’ paradoxical ‘outsider status’ and gives welcome due to their idiosyncratic lyrics and lush harmonies. The band’s devotees will celebrate this definitive biography.”
— Publishers Weekly
“A tribute to an epic yet underappreciated group in pop music history. Stanley puts his seasoned narrative flair to entertaining use, recounting the group’s evolution as a global sensation stemming from the wave of hits they wrote, produced, and performed across every decade. A bright, informative, essential retrospective for Bee Gees fans.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“The author and musician’s engaging biography of the Gibb brothers explores their idiosyncrasies as well as musical brilliance. Stanley is a highly articulate proponent of pop. Here's a summer project for pop fans: read this book, then listen to the music.”
— The Guardian
“Stanley is a wonderful guide . . . showing us gems of their vast catalogue with enthusiasm, insight and wit.”
— The Telegraph
“A loving vindication of the band. Alert to the comedy of pop star existence but also tells a deeply melancholy tale.”
— The Times (London)
"Finally, the definitive biography of the Bee Gees. Bob Stanley tells one of the most extraordinary stories in the history of pop, epic and mythical, with tales of heart-stopping joy and sadness. Children of the World does full justice to the Gibb brothers' extraordinary musical legacy. I pretty much inhaled it in one sitting.”
— Pete Paphides, journalist and broadcaster