Developing into the (Folk) Rock Scene – The Bee Gees Grow Up

If “Timber” sounded a little juvenile to your ears, you’ll be pleased to know that the Bee Gees grew up quickly. The group quickly developed into the rock scene – mostly folk and soft rock. Let’s listen to two samples, and compare them against the Bee Gees’ early works.

“Massachusetts”

You’ll hear that we still Robin’s distinct vibrato, but not as pronounced as before. There are not as many harmonies; they function as embellishments instead of the core structure. You’ll also notice the incredible orchestration of this song (done by Bill Shepherd) – they give a whole new layer to the Bee Gees’ music.

“Saw a New Morning”

This song opens with a thin guitar sound, but grows into another beautiful orchestration. Like “Massachusetts,” there is a lot more unison singing than in the band’s earlier work, but the vocals grow into the harmonies we all associate with the Bee Gees. Barry joins Robin to share the lead vocals in this song – which balances out the vocals and tones down Robin’s recognizable vibrato.

Generally speaking, this period of the Bee Gees has a much ore controlled and grown up sound than their earlier works (like “Timber”). The songs include different uses of vocal harmonies, broader and more robust orchestrations, and more complex arrangements. This allows a greater capacity for storytelling and growth both in the musical composition, as well as the lyrics.

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