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The Ultimate Biography Of The Bee Gees: Tales Of The Brothers Gibb

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The definitive biography, now updated to include the death of Robin Gibb in May 2012. The Bee Gee's journey from Fifties child act to musical institution is one of pop's most turbulent legends. Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb somehow managed to survive changing musical fashions and bitter personal feuds to create musical partnership that has already lasted four times as long The definitive biography, now updated to include the death of Robin Gibb in May 2012. The Bee Gee's journey from Fifties child act to musical institution is one of pop's most turbulent legends. Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb somehow managed to survive changing musical fashions and bitter personal feuds to create musical partnership that has already lasted four times as long as The Beatles. Described by the authors as their objective tribute, this unflinching biography chronicles everything - the good, the bad... and the bushed-up. Youthful delinquency, disastrous marriages, bitter lawsuits, gay sex scandals, serious drug problems and the death of younger brother Andy have sometimes made the personal lives of the Brothers Gibb look as bleak as the low spots of a career that once reduced them to playing the Batley Variety Club. Yet every time the Bee Gees roller coaster seemed derailed for good, they recorded and went on to even greater triumphs. Today they are revered among pop music's all-time great performers, producers and songwriters. But the true story of their success and the high price they paid for it has never been fully revealed... until now. This new edition of The Ultimate Biography incorporates a complete listing of every song written or recorded by the Gibbs.


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The definitive biography, now updated to include the death of Robin Gibb in May 2012. The Bee Gee's journey from Fifties child act to musical institution is one of pop's most turbulent legends. Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb somehow managed to survive changing musical fashions and bitter personal feuds to create musical partnership that has already lasted four times as long The definitive biography, now updated to include the death of Robin Gibb in May 2012. The Bee Gee's journey from Fifties child act to musical institution is one of pop's most turbulent legends. Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb somehow managed to survive changing musical fashions and bitter personal feuds to create musical partnership that has already lasted four times as long as The Beatles. Described by the authors as their objective tribute, this unflinching biography chronicles everything - the good, the bad... and the bushed-up. Youthful delinquency, disastrous marriages, bitter lawsuits, gay sex scandals, serious drug problems and the death of younger brother Andy have sometimes made the personal lives of the Brothers Gibb look as bleak as the low spots of a career that once reduced them to playing the Batley Variety Club. Yet every time the Bee Gees roller coaster seemed derailed for good, they recorded and went on to even greater triumphs. Today they are revered among pop music's all-time great performers, producers and songwriters. But the true story of their success and the high price they paid for it has never been fully revealed... until now. This new edition of The Ultimate Biography incorporates a complete listing of every song written or recorded by the Gibbs.

30 review for The Ultimate Biography Of The Bee Gees: Tales Of The Brothers Gibb

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Finished at last. All any Bee Gees fan could ask for in the amount of detail, and fantastic appendices of songs and albums. I'm glad I got an older edition, as 2 deaths were enough for me. I was a bit of a wreck when I finished it this morning, after Maurice died. Finished at last. All any Bee Gees fan could ask for in the amount of detail, and fantastic appendices of songs and albums. I'm glad I got an older edition, as 2 deaths were enough for me. I was a bit of a wreck when I finished it this morning, after Maurice died.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. An in-depth, extremely detailed (sometimes too detailed) timeline of the life and career of the brothers Gibb. I most enjoyed the coverage of their early lives and eclectic childhoods, as well as their careers in the disco 70s and the subsequent 80s backlash that followed (I actually wish the 70s coverage was more in depth as that era is my favorite Bee Gees and Andy Gibb musical era). I also, however, felt the coverage of their careers in the 1960s (the Bee Gees that is, not Andy as he was only An in-depth, extremely detailed (sometimes too detailed) timeline of the life and career of the brothers Gibb. I most enjoyed the coverage of their early lives and eclectic childhoods, as well as their careers in the disco 70s and the subsequent 80s backlash that followed (I actually wish the 70s coverage was more in depth as that era is my favorite Bee Gees and Andy Gibb musical era). I also, however, felt the coverage of their careers in the 1960s (the Bee Gees that is, not Andy as he was only a child then) eventually became a bit of a drag to read as that section of the book contained a lot of obscure information that, after a time, started to feel more like I was skimming a bibliography rather than reading a biography. Also, after the coverage of Andy’s death and the surviving brothers’ triumphant return to the public’s graces in the 1990s (both of which were briefly covered but also interesting and well written), the book seemed to then morph into more of a rushed, summarized list of events than an actual story-with the exception of the deaths of Maurice and Robin, which were also well written and covered with an appropriate degree of respect. Overall however, I do wish there was more reported in the book about Andy Gibb, as what was discussed regarding his life was pretty well known information to me already, as well as very easily found via Google. I would have really loved to learn some new facts about Andy’s life, including recaps of first hand accounts from people who actually interacted with him (besides his three Bee Gee brothers). I would have loved to delve deeper to try and better understand why such a beautiful, talented man ended up such a tragic figure, not to mention taken from us way way waaaay too soon. I’d recommend this book to a very specific population only: the most ardent Bee Gees and Brothers Gibb fans (such as myself). I feel that casual fans likely won’t stick around past the hyper detailed, plodding coverage of their 60s-era careers long enough to get through that time period and over to the good stuff that lies shortly thereafter. Plus, one caution I want to offer up to prospective readers is this: I am a very fast reader. I also had this book on my phone (so it was always with me). Yet, it still took me 8 months to finish the whole darn thing. Indeed, this book is a looooong read. But in the end, I’m glad I read it and overall, I enjoyed the unique, celebrated, fascinating, and tragic true story of the four amazingly talented Gibb Brothers.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Teri

    Since I'm a huge Bee Gees fan from way back in '67 when I was a teenager of 18-19, this was a book right up my alley. And, as The Bee Gees are my age, I grew up with them. The Bee Gees have proved to everyone that their longevity has been what has sustained them through 50 years and with being brothers, have had a spiritual type bond, unlike other groups. Barry, the oldest of The Bee Gees, said, "We made a pact between the three of us that, hell or high water, we were going to be a famous pop gr Since I'm a huge Bee Gees fan from way back in '67 when I was a teenager of 18-19, this was a book right up my alley. And, as The Bee Gees are my age, I grew up with them. The Bee Gees have proved to everyone that their longevity has been what has sustained them through 50 years and with being brothers, have had a spiritual type bond, unlike other groups. Barry, the oldest of The Bee Gees, said, "We made a pact between the three of us that, hell or high water, we were going to be a famous pop group and that nothing was going to stop us." It took a bit longer to obtain, yet it took several highs and lows to achieve their goal. In my estimation, they are/were the best pop group ever because of their longevity and because they are, without a doubt, the best songwriting group of all time,with Lennon-McCartney the only ones with more songs. Their harmonies are unsurpassed. Barry, Robin and Maurice are brothers, but each are very different. Their friend, David English, said it best. "Maurice is a wonderful comedian, very good soul, very good heart, very funny, witty. Robin is extremely sensitive...zany...eccentric...He's got this most wonderful off-the-wall sense of humour. Barry kind of harnesses these qualities, he's the steady captain of the ship. That'swhy I always call him 'the skipper.' He's an immensely creative person. If you are his friend, then he would do anything for you....Then you put all those qualities together, in the three of them, and it's unbelievable, but the humour is the thing that I've always thought has been exceptional. They make me laugh and laugh and laugh." The group's former drummer, Colin Peterson, said. "The Bee Gees are like a tripod; they need all three." Hugh Gibb, father of The Brothers Gibb, was born in Manchester in 1918 and was the bandleader and drummer of a dance band when he met Barbara May Pass, born in 1920, at a dance. Barbara also was born in Manchester, was also a singer, but sang locally, not as �a big band singer.� Hugh wouldn�t let her sing with the band as �one musician in the family was enough.� He would have to bite those words later, as the entire family became musical. Hugh and Barbara�s first child, Lesley, was born in 1945, then The Gibbs moved to the Isle of Man, an island in the Irish Sea. Barry, being the oldest of the three, was born 1 Sep 1946. Robin and Maurice, born on 22 Dec 1949, were different, as they were fraternal twins. As the boys got older, they were overheard singing in their bedroom and their parents thought the singing was coming from the radio, not their three sons. They started singing locally and when they booked passage on a ship headed to Australia later on, they sang onboard ship. When Barry was approx 2-3, he accidentally knocked a tea kettle over, scalding his chest, sustaining a scar. Since all four of the brothers have hairy chests, that scar has been hidden to everyone but family. The brothers were pretty rowdy growing up, but have been considered normal boys compared to today. The brothers, esp Barry, was the songwriter until later. Their frst breakout hit was �Spicks and Specks� that did so-so in the US. As a young boy, Robin had a near disastor of an accident with his bike. He also had a fascination with fire that nearly did him in. Barry had another near disaster concerning his eye and falling off a building that to this day, has caused him to have back problems. The Gibbs proceeded to move back to Manchester where little brother Andy was born on 5 March 1958. Andy wasn�t interested in the Business while growing up, as he was interested in horses and other things. When Barry gave him a guitar for his 12th birthday, everything changed. The brothers feel now that Andy would�ve been better suited as a pilot, as he�d gotten his pilot�s license a few months before his death. Andy started performing in bars while in his early teens, getting a band together with his mom�s help. She decided on Melody Fayre, though Andy didn�t approve at first. While at this time, Andy was living in Australia and his mom followed soon to be near him. Andy met and started dating Kim Reeder, a girl down the road and when Barry said he was ready for Andy to join him in Miami to jumpstart his career, he asked Kim to go with him as his new bride. He was just 18, a little older than his brothers when they were married for the first time. Earlier, when Barry, Robin and Maurice started hitting it big, they signed with Robert Stigwood as their manager, a union that lasted for many years. There was even a lawsuit with him and another person that caused some problems. This ultimate biography goes into detail on how the brthers came to write so many wonderful songs like �Massachsetts�, 1941 New York Mining Disaster, Words, I�ve Gotta Get A Message To You, Holiday, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, Stayin� Alive, Night Fever, Alone, etc. When Saturday Night Fever was in the planning stages, the songs were already written. Because Hollywood didn�t think much of pop music, let alone disco, as a viable soundtrack album for an Oscar Nomination, this soundtrack, which became the all-time soundtrack of all time, was totally snubbed by the Academy. Afterwards, there was a huge backlash and The Bee Gees were snubbed as well. When Andy hit it big as a teen idol, appearing on several variety shows like The Donny and Marie Show, Gimme A Break, co-host of Solid Gold with Marilyn McCoo, his concert tours, and his foray into Broadway with Pirates of Penzance and Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, he began a spiral of massive consequences with his cocaine addiction. After his much-publicized relationship with Victoria Principal, he suffered a nervous breakdown. When his career took a nosedive, he flew to England to be near Robin and to write music for a new album. When he died on 10 March, just five days after his 30th birthday, of an inflammation of the heart muscle, caused by years of cocaine abuse, the world had lost a beautiful, sensitive and talented soul. The brothers grieved for a long time, having difficulties dealing with Andy�s death. The Bee Gees wrote some songs for other performers, namely Dionne Warwick with Heartbreaker, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton with Islands In The Stream Barbra Streisand with her Guilty album with a couple of duets with Barry, and Celine Dion with Immortality. Barry could always write a song in approx 15 min. Robin and Maurice could as well, but writing has always come easy for Barry. The Bee Gees did alot of tours, then, because of their fear of flying, took to doing One Night Only concerts, like the one in '97 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where Barbara Gibb now lives. She is now 91. You can get the One Night Only CD on Amazon. There is another live concert CD, called Request. I plan on getting this one, as I have the other. YouTube has some rare recordings you should see. Since this biography has had two updated editions and I have the 2001 edition and there is a 2004 edition with an added last chapter with added material on Maurice�s untimely death from a massive heart attack brought on by a blocked intestine in Jan 2003, I was able to get a PDF of that last chapter. Thanks Andrew. Years later, when Robin experienced the same stomach/chest pains, he was able to get to the hospital and get this potentially life-threatening situation fixed. They found that this problem was congenital. Soon afterwards, Robin was in the hospital with colon cancer, then after treatments, he had it go to his lungs. Robin is now in remission, getting ready for he and his son RJ�s Titanic Requeim premiering 10 April in London with The Royal Philharmonic. You can go to Robin�s website to order a copy of his CD or to amazon. Barry and his wife Linda have recently become naturalized US citizens, since they�ve considered Miami as their home now. With Maurice�s death in �03, Barry and Robin have retired The Bee Gees name, since The BeeGees aren�t The Bee Gees without Maurice. Just this last month, Barry opened at The Hollywood Hard Rock Cafe as a solo act and he was given a standing ovation. Robin said, �We enjoy what we do. There�s no cut-off moment. We just feel that as long as we feel that we�ve got something good to contribute, and we enjoy what we�re doing, then we�ll keep on doing it. It�s like painting, you just have to do what you do. I see no reason to retire when I�m 65. Picasso didn�t stop painting, dkid he? Maybe someone will have to carry the colostomy bag onto the stage, but asking me about retirement is like asking me about death." Barry said, "First of all, you gotta care about each other and we really do. We are brothers and we love making music. That's infectious and extremely addictive for us. It's the best drug in the wlorld, and we can't stay away from it.� Barry said, �I like the idea of signing 30 albums-not every 5 minutes, but I like it.� We�re working to become the best, not just becoming good.� Maurice said, �I do know I�m one hell of a contented guy.� And in one parting word, Barry said, �What the end thing is, no one knows. But my final goal is to walk through the Golden Gates and have someone standing there saying �Liked Ya!!!!" This is by far the best biography I've read, as it has so many details about personal stories and insights into how and why The Brothers Gibb wrote their wonderfully beautiful songs with their beautiful harmonies. I came to know, love and respect these enormously talented brothers. Give yourself a treat and go get this awesome book, you'll be glad you did.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tess

    I think after reading this extremely detailed biography that I earned an associate's degree on the ins and outs of music industry of the Sixties through Nineties. I think after reading this extremely detailed biography that I earned an associate's degree on the ins and outs of music industry of the Sixties through Nineties.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Helynne

    As much as I enjoyed the David N. Meyer biography The Bee Gees: The Biography, I appreciated these three authors’ thorough and comprehensive study even more. There are many, many details from the childhoods of Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb in Manchester England, where the boys were already talented singers in three-part harmony, but also budding juvenile delinquents. The complaints from neighbors and police about their pyromania and other antics were one of the reasons dad Hugh Gibb decided to m As much as I enjoyed the David N. Meyer biography The Bee Gees: The Biography, I appreciated these three authors’ thorough and comprehensive study even more. There are many, many details from the childhoods of Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb in Manchester England, where the boys were already talented singers in three-part harmony, but also budding juvenile delinquents. The complaints from neighbors and police about their pyromania and other antics were one of the reasons dad Hugh Gibb decided to move the family to Australia when Barry was 12 years old and Robin and Maurice about nine. One of my favorite anecdotes in the book is related by Hugh as he recalled the five-week voyage by ship. “We used to put (the boys) to bed because kids were supposed to be off the decks by 9 p.m. Then we would find a crowd had gathered and in the middle were our little boys in pajamas singing away. It happened every night. We couldn’t do a thing about it.” This love of performing together as well as the brothers’ uncanny talent for song writing would bring them fame in Australia (with Hugh managing and promoting them all along the way), then back in England during the early years of Beatlemania, then in a series of career ups and downs leading them through the disco era (which made them millionaires), and the decades beyond with one hit album after another until the untimely death of Maurice at age 53 in 2003. The author provides details and comments on every album the brothers ever recorded, and the majority of their original songs, even the most obscure. There are many touching stories about tragedies and challenging moments in their personal lives, including details on the short, dazzling singing career, downfall, and death of younger brother Andy when he was only 30, Maurice’s nadir with alcoholism and his successful final rehab (he was clean and sober for the last 10 years of his life), and the premature birth of Barry and Linda’s fifth child and only daughter Alexandra, and their efforts to keep her thriving in the NICU until she could come home. The authors also include a lengthy description of Robin Gibb’s (the only one of the brothers who opted to live and raise his kids in England rather than in Miami, Floria) later-life accomplishments in the non-musical world including service to numerous humanitarian, historical, and political causes in the United Kingdom. There is a touching chronicling of Robin’s courage and determination to keep contributing even during his lingering bout with cancer before his death in 2012. As of this latest update of the book, Barry Gibb was still very much alive and still composing and performing.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Allan Heron

    A lengthy and comprehensive look at the careers of the Brothers Gibb ending with the early death of Maurice which effectively ended the band. The book was put together by a number of contributors and suffers a bit from repetition of some things that tighter editing would have avoided. The book includes quotes from many interviews with the band over the years, and these can be overdone particularly if they just amount to standard fare when promoting the latest album or tour. Nevertheless this is the A lengthy and comprehensive look at the careers of the Brothers Gibb ending with the early death of Maurice which effectively ended the band. The book was put together by a number of contributors and suffers a bit from repetition of some things that tighter editing would have avoided. The book includes quotes from many interviews with the band over the years, and these can be overdone particularly if they just amount to standard fare when promoting the latest album or tour. Nevertheless this is the only place where you will find the full story and, as such, is a must read from that point of view. Certainly, I picked up lots of issues and perspectives that were new to me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Thomas

    It is evident by reading this book that The Bee Gees have never gotten the respect that they truly deserved, especially as songwriters. This book claims to be the ultimate Bee Gees biography and does not disappoint in sharing every little detail about their musical career…maybe a little too much. It is surprising to see how many times the group had to reinvent themselves to rid themselves of the disco image that apparently became toxic in the USA. It was a very enjoyable read and showed the dete It is evident by reading this book that The Bee Gees have never gotten the respect that they truly deserved, especially as songwriters. This book claims to be the ultimate Bee Gees biography and does not disappoint in sharing every little detail about their musical career…maybe a little too much. It is surprising to see how many times the group had to reinvent themselves to rid themselves of the disco image that apparently became toxic in the USA. It was a very enjoyable read and showed the determination and persistence of three men who wanted to be recognized for their music and achieved it~ four times! They are truly inspirational.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Debra Dunn

    Bee Gees I loved the book because I didn’t know the personal stories of their rise to fame. I’m more of a fan than ever before because of reading about them. I’m listening to their music everyday. I never get tired of all their songs. The book is a must read for Bee Gees fans of Barry Robin Maurice and Andy Gibb.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    Comprehensive biography of Gibbs family and the Bee Gees It's hard to comprehend the amount of music created by the Gibbs brothers without this book. I enjoyed listening to some of their music as I read each chapter. Just extraordinary Comprehensive biography of Gibbs family and the Bee Gees It's hard to comprehend the amount of music created by the Gibbs brothers without this book. I enjoyed listening to some of their music as I read each chapter. Just extraordinary

  10. 4 out of 5

    kimberly taylor

    Very Detailed This book is a detailed biography that includes not only their music but their lives, sibling lives, parents, spouses and kids. The Bee Gees music will be making generations dance and sing for years to come. They were genius in the music industry

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Smith

    A wonderful biography A must for any BG fan as an inside look documenting their early start to the final chapters of their lives. Barry is left to carry the group to immortality and the new Gibb generations to carry on the musical winds of change.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    I loved this in depth view of the talented Gibb family. Their success is unprecedented, and I personally have enjoyed their music for decades.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    700 pages of fantastic.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anne Oswald

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Good story, would have liked more juicy gossip 😂 So sad Robin, Mo, and Andy are not with us anymore.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marymatt

    There is a tremendous amount of detail in this book. It obviously shows a lot of research which is interesting especially to a hardcore fan (such as myself). The style is on the dry side and after reading it, I wish for another another book, same subject, but written with more style and showing more personal insight.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Interesting but long winded for my taste

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Potentially interesting book bogged down in way too much detail.

  18. 5 out of 5

    christine larkin

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

  20. 5 out of 5

    Soledad Rodriguez

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jann Johnston

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sue

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ross Douglas

  24. 4 out of 5

    Miss S M Peedell

  25. 5 out of 5

    JANE LANGFORD

  26. 4 out of 5

    graham Nelson

  27. 5 out of 5

    Irene

  28. 5 out of 5

    Roydon F Ascott

  29. 5 out of 5

    Arturo De La Luz

  30. 5 out of 5

    Patty

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