(Alan Smith, New Musical Express, January 30, 1971)

Transcript by Anne Marie

Any reservations the Bee Gees may have felt about the slow and uneventful progress of “Lonely Days” in Britain have been more than made good by the soaring success of both the single and the album over there across the pond. US sales of “Lonely Days” have just about topped the million – taking it to no. 1 – and the LP is fast moving up the charts.

Quite why British buyers are tending to resist a single which us no worse and probably a lot better than a lot of stuff in the present top thirty, then, I‘m not quite sure. And neither are the brothers Gibb.

One theory – its Barry’s – is that the group’s past troubles were probably too close to home for the British public to have fully put them behind them, whereas in the United States most of the difficulties have been forgotten. He may be right.

Still Waiting

“That’s not to say” he added “that I think ‘Lonely Days’ has had its day here. I’m still waiting for it to do better, and I’m not convinced it’s going to drop away without trace. Maybe the American success will revive some of the interest”

Maurice points out that the d-j’s have certainly been with them on radio 1 and on Luxembourg, and he also wonders if this new American success will be of some help in having a rebound effect although, he says “I think the flip side may have”

Robin says one of the troubles was that ‘Lonely Days’ wasn’t a Christmassy record, and as a result it rather tended to get swamped in the seasonal stuff. He told me “We didn’t want to do a Clive Dunn anyway. And the funny thing is that although ‘Lonely Days’ hasn’t done so well in the British charts, it’s now sold close to 75,000 in this country. It’s certainly a mystery”

The Bee Gees return to America in a few weeks, and when they do the eight tour dates lined up for them will be for the first time in two years.

Said Barry, “We don’t feel rusty, because we’ve been playing all our lives. But it is a little bit apprehensive to be getting back to live dates, and I have a feeling that in the next week or two we’ll probably be rehearsing harder than we’ve done before, and probably working a lot harder at it than actually being on tour.

“The audiences? I don’t know? I’m very confused about this because none of us know if they’ll be the people who’ve bought our records in the past, or if they’ll be deeper, more progressive, or what.”

Maurice: “We’re certainly not underground, even though we often get letters. You might say we were overground or maybe down at ground level.”

Individually the three Bee Gees are continuing their policy of doing their own things as well as contributing to the group as an entity.

Barry for instance is in a good songwriting mood at the moment and probably about now he would have also been seen in the Jason King Tv series, in a sizeable role as a murderer. Trouble was – after he’d agreed and gone along to the studios – it was found that he didn’t hold an Equity card and so his involvement in the programme had to be scrapped.

Maurice has just finished recording actor Richard Harris singing ‘The Loner’ a song that he and his brother in law Billy Lawrie wrote for Harris’s film “Bloomfield”; and this week he’s going to produce some sessions with Kenny Rodgers and the First Edition.

Robin prefers to concentrate solely on songwriting for the moment and he also remains the chattiest of the group; the Bee Gees’ patriotic and built-in self PR man.

Thrilling trip

Going to America says Robin, is going to be thrilling but chilling because of the changes in the scene there since they last had a hit in the charts. He adds “We’ll just have to go and see what happens. We haven’t changed ourselves, at least not in a way we can notice.

“It’s very hard for any group to see itself. It’s easy to get too involved – and not to see the faults any more.”


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