With just two days to go until Barry Gibb’s first solo album since the 80s is released – In The Now – here is part 4 in my series of transcribed extracts from the interview we did together at the start of September. I’ve pulled these sections of the interview with the biggest Bee Gees fans in mind and I hope you’re enjoying them – see the links below to read parts 1-3.
For part 4 I’ve chosen where Barry is talking specifically about the new album (co-written with his sons Stephen and Ashley) and what inspired it. Turns out Barry wasn’t just a heartbreaker as a young man, but that it was his heart that was frequently getting broken:
“By the time I hit 15 or 16 I was all over the map. It was perfectly normal for girls to dump me, they’d just dump me, simply because I was just too possessive and always getting myself into trouble. I couldn’t keep a long relationship going…”
Those early romantic experiences probably informed a great deal of Barry’s songwriting over the years and have come up again on In The Now. Barry also talks about being influenced by Bruce Springsteen on In The Now as well as the songwriters he grew up listening to like Carole King and Roy Orbison. Part 5 coming up tomorrow!
Barry Gibb In The Now With Tim Roxborogh Part 4: ‘These songs are my personal insight into my own life’
TR: How excited are you that you’ve got officially your second solo album? There was an unreleased one in 1970 and also the Hawks soundtrack (1988), so it’s sort of the fourth…
BG: Yeah that’s right. Yeah it’s sort of strange isn’t it but you know there was never really any great opportunity or time to put out solo albums. Robin did and between the two of us we really didn’t make too much of a noise with solo material. I think maybe the business, the industry itself, especially our record company, they didn’t want solo material. They wanted “the Bee Gees” and that really made everything a little more uphill. You couldn’t step out like Phil Collins was able to step out of Genesis, you couldn’t quite do that and without everyone supporting you. So it was many, many years before that opportunity came around and at this point Tim, I have the opportunity to record the music I really want to record.
So all the falsetto is restrained. I’ve come up with something that I think is based on great songs, not necessarily whether there are gimmicks there or not. What I love about this album is it’s a pure band playing. It’s a real band. There’s no programming, it’s everybody you hear is actually playing and that’s wonderful for me.
TR: How much of a conscious decision was it to have less falsetto?
BG: I didn’t think about it, I just didn’t do any leads in falsetto. I do play with the falsetto in various moments in the songs, but you know? The songs are my personal insight into my own life, that’s what they are. It’s my adventure and it’s our entire lives through my eyes. We can all have our own opinion… if you had Maurice’s story it would be different, if you had Robin’s it would be different, but you can only say this is our life story I’ve written, this is the music I love and this is the music I love now. Even the one End Of The Rainbow is basically about the loss of my brothers. There’s a reason – that’s it – there’s a reason for every song. There’s isn’t a song on this album that I wouldn’t put on this album.
things and didn’t mention [you] being possessive or anything (laughs)…