The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Robin Gibb dies at 62

1967-era bouncing Bee Gees with Robin Gibb front and centre in this Dezo Hoffman photo.

And then there was one: Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees has gone on to join his brothers Maurice and Andy (who was only briefly a Bee Gee before embarking on his own solo career) in the Choir Invisible after a long battle with cancer,leaving Barry behind to carry on the family name.

At their peak, the Bee Gees peaked for a long time, thanks to that unearthly blend of voices and underrated songwriting skills that led to some of the most gorgeous-sounding records of the '60s, and which would eventually turn the music industry on its head in the '70s. (I'm especially fond of the albums that came between their 1969 masterwork Odessa and the 1975 career reboot Main Course: 2 Years On, To Whom It May Concern, Life in a Tin Can, Mr. Natural and, of course, Trafalgar.) Robin had a solo career too, starting with his 1970 break from the band, Robin's Reign (long out of print, but available on iTunes), that was sporadic, but with its own share of memorable moments. Together, though, the Bee Gees were greater than the sum of their parts, with Robin's reedy tenor joining his twin Maurice's throaty warble and Barry's keen falsetto for a vocal combination that at its best could summon pop glory like few of their peers.

You can read the Telegraph's obit of Robin Gibb here.


estiv said...

They're like Fleetwood Mac in that their later success grossly overshadowed their early work, which was often more interesting. That voice he had on songs like "Massachusetts" sticks in your head forever.

marietta said...

I feel and think the same,estiv.

R.I.P. Robin .