ROBIN GIBB IN SPAIN
(June 2003)

Robin has been in Spain promoting his album Magnet.  You can read below the translation of four of the articles published in Spanish newspapers.

"BLACK MUSIC IS THE MOST INNOVATIVE" (Diego A Manrique, El País, June 17, 2003)

Photo by Uly MartínRobin Gibb's voice is the most distinctive voice of the Bee Gees. Formed in Australia in 1960, the trio changed its musical orientation on several occasions, reaching their highest popularity when they became the kings of disco music at the end of the Seventies with Saturday Night Fever.

It seemed the Bee Gees had come to an end when Maurice, Robin's twin brother,  died last January. But it is not so: "In the confusion of that moment, we said things that we regretted later. In fact, Maurice's death was so out of the blue that it knocked us down. But I've worked again with Barry (the eldest Gibb brother) and we plan to go on using the Bee Gees name as a way of healing. In fact, the situation is not a new one: when I left the band, there was a time in which the group was a duo. If everything turns out OK, there will be a new record and tour in 2004."

Robin has just released a solo album, Magnet (SPV), that he is promoting in Spain with two musicians and two backing singers. Being a successful songwriter, it is surprising that only three of the tracks are co-written by Robin. Most tracks have been written by Deconzo Smith: "The truth is that there are many excellent young songwriters that don't get their songs recorded. So I chose the best from Deconzo and Michel Graves, and re-recorded some of my songs. There is also a version of 'Love hurts' that I had recorded for a Roy Orbison tribute album. It's one of those songs that fit perfectly a voice like mine, a bit quivering."

Just as the Bee Gees blended all type of influences, in his album Magnet Robin approaches the urban sound and the contemporary R&B and its hip-hop techniques. Though in the Sixties the Bee Gees made pop à la Beatles, psychedelic music and even country music, the Bee Gees have always enjoyed black music: "Yes, I remember we wrote 'To love somebody' for Otis Redding, though we liked it so much that we recorded the song ourselves. You know, it seems as if there had always been a connection between the Gibbs and the Afroamerican musicians, who have made versions of many of our songs. Their music is the kind of music that I find most interesting. I spend part of the year in Miami and it's a kind of music that suits the landscape, the rhythm of life. And the productions tend to be very innovative and that is something that encourages you to work. Cause you think, 'How the hell did they do that'?"

For Robin, the reasons for the Bee Gees longetivity is their being singers and songwriters: "It 's very limiting when a group depends on what someone else writes. We three were very competitive and had to justify each song we brought to the studio. Being brothers also helped. I left the band in 1969, our manager sued me and there were many nasty stories that we overcame thanks to our brotherly links. Brothers are said to get on badly, but we were three and the bad vibrations used to get neutralized."

Despite the fact Robin is promoting a solo album, he does not mind remembering Bee Gees anecdotes. He insists that their participation in Saturday Night Fever was a matter of being in the right place at the right time: "In fact, our manager phoned us when we were recording at the Chateau d'Herouville -a studio in France- and asked us to send him four songs urgently. We sent him five songs we had already recorded: Stayin' alive, Night fever, How deep is your love, Jive talkin and You should be dancing. The funny thing is that he didn't like the songs too much, but had no other option. They even tried to change the title of 'Stayin alive'."

A few months later, they found out that the Chateau d'Herouville was not only rented by musicians: "There were some very flamboyant rooms and stairs. In those rooms and stairs porno films were shot. The story has been spreading and I have read fantasies in the Internet that go that we recorded in such a place in search for inspiration. I'm afraid it isn't true; our working methods are not that twisted."

Robin Gibb's talkativeness comes to an end when Sgt. Pepper's lonely hearts Club Band (1978) is mentioned. Sgt Pepper's is the film they starred, based on the music of the Sgt Pepper's album by the Beatles. It was a commercial failure. "I don't want to recall it. You can imagine what it meant to us, we were brave enough as to version the most important album in rock history and we had a huge crash."



"TODAY'S POP IS RUBBISH" (By Francisco Chacón,  El Mundo, June 17, 2003)

Photo by Jaime Villanueva

Five months after Maurice Gibb's death, the future of the Bee Gees is in the air. His two brothers, Robin and Barry, are wracked by doubt. To keep the legacy of the legendary trio that has sold around 150 million records worldwide intact, or to pay tribute to the late bassist recording more songs?

Robin Gibb admitted yesterday in Madrid that they are in doubt. He said so when promoting his new solo album Magnet, that will be released in Spain next Monday. While the Bee Gees meditate on their future, Robin tries to make it clear that he keeps his energy despite the shock after his brother's untimely death, that occurred in strange circumstances. Maurice Gibb was admitted in a hospital to undergo emergency abdominal surgery, but lost his life due to a heart failure.

Robin Gibb dedicated his brother the two songs he has re-recorded for this album: 'Wish you were here' and 'Another lonely night in New York'.

"Everything I do now I dedicate it to him. And, in particular, this whole album, that has some elements of sadness, though I've tried to make it optimistic on the whole," said Robin Gibb to this newspaper before admitting: "It's been six months since his death, and it seems as if it had happened yesterday. Barry and I talk a lot about what we must do, but no firm decision has been taken yet. For the moment we go on writing songs, as the ones we have written for Michael Douglas' new film and for Charlie's Angels."

The 54-year-old Australian singer expressed his sincere opinion about today's pop singers: "Today's pop is rubbish. It's full of sex-symbols and of disposable singers. There are nearly no true songwriters. Most singers and bands just record covers of old songs with new arrangements, and they copy each other. There is little substance. The good thing is when they record one of our songs, ha ha."

Anyway, he doesn't feel any complex when he has to compete with Eminem, Linkin Park or the Backstreet Boys in the hit charts. "I don't mind that my album has to compete with them. The pop world has always been this way. Last week I was in the United States and the top selling album was the Isley Brothers' new album, and if I'm not wrong, they had not recorded any albums in the last 30 years. Age is not important; having something good to offer to the young audience is what really matters," he stated.


"ROBIN GIBB DOESN'T FORGET THE BEE GEES SOUND IN HIS NEW ALBUM" (By Javier Ansorena, ABC, June 17, 2003)

Last January 12 was a tragic day for those who love the Bee Gees, the pioneers and up to this day the kings of the sheerest disco sound. One of their members, Maurice, suffered a heart attack during surgery to remove an intestinal blockage and died. Shortly after, Robin Gibb, his twin brother, announced in his web site that he intended to "get back to work very shortly and pay tribute to Maurice the way he would have wished, through music." 

An extremely thin Robin is now promoting his new album Magnet in Spain, where he has said that "It's only five months after Maurice's death. There are days that I feel bad, and there are some other days that I don't feel so bad. I'll need a lot of time to come into terms with this loss."

The album, produced by a German independent label, was recorded last year. It feaures eleven songs that Robin Gibb has selected among songs written by himself, his brothers or other songwriters he likes "and whose work I wanted to support." The result is a sound that resembles his previous albums. The first single, 'Please,' has already been a hit in Germany and England. Robin says that with this album he did not try to do something completely different from the Bee Gees music: "What happens is that when I'm not creating songs with them, my creative vein doesn't stop. But I do not try to do something different. Furthermore, people will always see me as a "bee gee"; I can't change that, and I dont want to."

Working has always been the key to his success, and now it is also the key to face the tragedy of his brother's death. He is absorbed by the promotion of Magnet, and his collaboration with Barry, his other brother, is constant: this summer three new films with music written by both of them will be released and it is possible that the two surviving brothers of the legendary band make a new album.

Though in this visit to Spain he will not give any concerts, he is happy to be in Spain and loves the Spanish enthusiast audience. "We have always come here to play and will surely come back again  if we do another tour."


"ROBIN GIBB BELIEVES THE BEE GEES MAY COME BACK" (By Jordi Bianciotto, El Periódico, June 23, 2003)

The musician releases 'Magnet' and keeps on writing songs with his brother Barry

Today Robin Gibb releases Magnet in Spain. It is his first solo album since 1985, and shows influences from black soul and R'n'B. The singer expects to present it on a tour next autumn or winter. His fans wonder if the Bee Gees will go on after his brother Maurice's death last January. Even though Barry and Robin Gibb, the two surviving brothers, had announced immediately after their brother's death that they did not want to continue under the name of the Bee Gees, now they admit they are thinking about that possibility.

"Barry and I have to see if we are able to go on without Maurice. Now we see each other very often, we talk every day and have even started to write some songs. We do not have to limit ourselves, though for the moment I do not want to disclose any information. At present the only thing I know is that I would like to do a solo tour," explained Robin last week, during a promotional visit to Barcelona. Though he was being interviewed to talk about Magnet, Gibb did not refuse to talk about his three decades as a member of the band responsible for Saturday Night Fever, one of the best selling albums in pop history, with 26 million copies sold.

"The most important thing about it is that we were a social phenomenon, something that will live on. A lot of people that never buy records bought a copy of Saturday night fever. It can't be compared with any other thing. All came together, the songs, the record, the film. It was the right time," recalls Robin Gibb, who thinks that the trio's influence is still visible in today's music. "The Bee Gees' mark is still there, both in versions of our songs and in groups influenced by the Bee Gees." For instance? "R. Kelly; I'll probably work with him."

BLACK ROOTS

Robin Gibb, Maurice's twin brother, says he has been influenced by Otis Redding' voice and by the soul made in the 60's. "The root of the Bee Gees has always been black music, " he says. When he talks, you get the impression that his solo career and the Bee Gees career are blended. Is it so? "Yes, I have never planned my albums as something apart from the Bee Gees, and I have never wanted to get away from the sound of the group." Their compositions for other artists, such as Barbra Streisand, Dionne Warwick or Dolly Parton, keep also a Bee Gees flavour. However, Robin Gibb, demystifies all those encounters. "In general they were cold, professional relationships, limited to the recording studio, though they were worth while."

PROMOTIONAL DUTIES

Despite such a long history and curriculum, Gibb keeps on taking part in the promotional ritual patiently, knowing that, more than ever, a famous name does not guarantee good sales. "Tom Jones, Paul McCartney or myself are all in the same boat. Creating music and promoting it are different stages of the same process," he says, though he thinks that it's harder for veteran musicians "because staying on top does not depend just on a marketing campaign."

Magnet features songs written by Robin and several collaborators, and also a version of Another lonely night in New York, from Robin Gibb's album How old are you? (1983). There is also a version of the classic Love hurts, that he defines as a "tribute to Roy Orbison." 

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