Barry Gibb was recently asked who’d he like to co-write a number one hit with, answering either Chris Martin from Coldplay or Paul McCartney. In England to accept a lifetime achievement award from the Nordoff Robbins 02 Silver Clef Awards, Barry also did several interviews promoting the September UK / Ireland leg of his Mythology tour.
In one of those interviews, Barry discussed Chris Martin and Paul McCartney, saying he has “communication” with McCartney and that, “you never know when your paths are going to cross.” Though the two haven’t been close friends, McCartney has always been a hero of Barry’s with him covering The Long And Winding Road during the Australasian Mythology shows – click here for my Melbourne concert review, and click here for my thoughts on the concert in Napier, New Zealand which includes my ultimate Barry Gibb set-list.
I like the idea of Barry working with Paul McCartney, but the possibility of a collaboration with Chris Martin is more exciting. Martin is right at the top of his game as a pop songwriter and he is also, by his own admission, a huge Bee Gees fan. “Coldplay feat. Barry Gibb” has the look of a number one hit about it to me, but what would the song sound like?
Well, they could start* with a remake of a song which should’ve been a hit back in 1988 for the Bee Gees, but stayed buried on the same Olympic Games album to produce Whitney Houston’s rather bland One Moment In Time. Which isn’t a dig at Houston who did more than her fair share of remarkable pop, but the Bee Gees Shape Of Things To Come was a far more interesting song. Not only that, it was suitably pop-tastic to have been the ideal international follow-up single to You Win Again (UK #1 1987).
Due to the Olympic LP being an Arista release – Houston’s label – and the Bee Gees being with Warners at the time, Shape Of Things To Come wasn’t really considered as a single. A wrong that can be righted 25 years later! Listen for the complexities of the vocal arrangement, with Barry in natural voice and falsetto for the verses, then with Barry and Robin singing the chorus largely in natural voice unison with overdubbed natural and falsetto harmonies including Maurice.
Robin’s strong and soulful upper-register as surrounded by his brothers voices worked so well as a harmonic sound on songs like this and the later (1993) My Destiny. Both of these have the same anthemic nature as Coldplay songs like Viva La Vida, Violet Hill and Princess Of China and I’d love to hear “Coldplay feat. Barry Gibb” take it to number one. Here it is, Shape Of Things To Come:
*Of course I’d really love Chris and Barry to collaborate on new material too – fingers crossed.
|Chris Martin and Barry Gibb.|