(Disc and Music Echo, July 20, 1968)

Transcript by Anne Marie

Robert Stigwood their manager recently remarked of the Bee Gees that he wasn’t remotely worried by the failure of “Jumbo” because the boys had such writing talent that they could go on and on forever. “Just listen to their new album ‘Idea’ and you’ll se what I mean”, said Stigwood.

We have and endorse all he said. The miscellany of lyrics, the throbbing singing of Robin and Barry, the sweeping strings and processional piano and some deeply moving songs … they’re all there, just as they were on “The Bee gees 1st” and “Horizontal”.

Track by track “Idea” (Polydor) goes like this:

Let there Be Love: Nothing to do with the Nat King Cole standard. Starts with a soft choral then develops into a rather grand production job.

Kitty Can: Maurice and Barry duet with surprising similarity to the Everly Brothers. It’s all very jogalong countrified music with not a violin in sight.

In The Summer Of His Years: Super title for a start and another of those Bee Gees anthems that will catch you all in the throat as Robin trembles through the lyrics.

Indian Gin And Whisky Dry: Bee Gees keeping up with pop group convention and singing about getting stoned. On drink, though, which is more in keeping with the palatable Bee Gees image than the dreaded pot.

Down to Earth: There’s millions and millions and millions and millions of people like you if you stand on a chair and look, sings Robin. It’s a terribly plaintive little tune which starts like the March from Saul.

Such A Shame: Vince Melouney, one feels, is probably the George Harrison. He’s gradually getting his featured spots as the accepted deep musician just as George does these days. Loads of hip harmonica, Mr Melouney’s guitar and even his voice which one suspects is the first time he’s sung on a Bee Gee record.

Idea: title track and at one stage considered as their current single instead of ‘Message’ which is interesting since like ‘Jumbo’ it is far away from the big ballad Bee Gees rock contribution just as was ‘lady Madonna’ by the Beatles. Starts on the same piano note that started ‘It’s Been A Hard Days Night’ then rumbles into a boogie piano, before developing into a solid rock number.

When The Swallow Fly: The warbly wobbly voice of Barry on a ballad that’s warm and pleasant with rather weird lyrics about looking after No.1.

I’ve Decided To Join The Air Force: This they first featured unrecorded at their unforgettable Albert Hall concert at the end of March, with legions of RAF types marching down the centre aisle and saluting. It’s really a rather great singalong song.

I Started A Joke: The terribly, terribly, sad ballad that typifies the Bee Gees. A gem, with Robin throbbing about the joke being on him. What the joke is is not explained – presumably a broken romance, bit in Bee Gee songs ‘love’ is a word you hardly, if ever, hear. Which says a lot for their lyrical ability.

Kilburn Towers: Terribly wistful Barry. For some reason it reminds one of “Girl From Ipanema” and Frankie Avalon’s ‘Venus’ perhaps because those were equally wistful and rather wondrous. Possibly the prettiest song the Bee Gees have ever produced. Also a little Latin.

Swan Song: Love mentioned at last – by Barry – and another incredibly beautiful little ballad with lush Bill Shepherd arrangement.