Children of the world   (1976)

  • Barry Kim's Review
I also dug this album very much. This album... Like 'Spirits'... flows very well. I especially love the cover to album. Like I said in a recent review, I love obscure songs...so no doubt I have a few on the album as well. 
In which the my top 5 songs from this album of 10 they include...'You stepped into my life', 'Lovers', 'Love me', 'Subway' and 'The way it was'.
I must have listened to this cd, like 'Main couse', and 'Spirits'....at least 50 times or more...no wonder....the 70's is my favorite Gibb period....of course I am only 24, but I live for the Gibbs like it's still the 70's! 

-Barry Kim

  • Robbie's Review

Like this record almost as much as I dug Main Course. I like the guitar in "You Should Be Dancing", and the tone of "Boogie Child". Now remember, this was just a year before the Fever, so nobody was really calling it "disco". At that time, disco was short for night club or discotech. "Subway" was great, but I'm not sure about "Love Me" or "The Way It Was". A little sappy for me, but as for rest, I think it's a cool album. By the way, if you hear "You Should Be Dancing" on the radio, then damn it, you get up and dance. Even you can't just fake it. I can't really either.

--Robbie

  • Review by  Alan W. Elam- 11/18/01

    Let us step into the venerable canon of distinguished works of the DYNO-MITE, super-talented, and commercially innovative conglomerate known as the Magnificent Brothers Gibb: Barry, Robin and Maurice. In this case, their snappy funky and uber-punchy 1976 gem, Children of the World.

    But before we arrive at that point, perhaps anyone even remotely up on their Bee Gees History already knows by now the complete story of their early performing history. However, for the uninitiated, let's begin (this may get a little long winded, so stick with me here): starting with those all-important matinee performances at local movie theaters when they were grade-schoolers in the mid-to-late fifties, continuing with the family's move to Australia, and their ensuing rise to national fame as thee TV and supper-club act to catch despite being signed, for three years (1963-66), to the tiny Festival records label, yielding a string of no fewer 11 flop singles! -and finally scoring an Australian number 1 with "Spicks and Specks", their 12th and final single on Festival; their fateful move back home to England at the beginning of 1967, (figuring they had reached the pinnacle of Aussie fame) and with nothing to lose, settled in London with all of 500 pounds to their name.

    In no time at all, they auditioned for a budding impresario named Robert Stigwood and immediately won him over, landing both a management and recording deal within the same sleight of hand! as for what followed: the essential worldwide debut album, which-along with it's 3 singles, made these young fellas (17 and 21 at the time)nothing short of an overnite sensation! next to follow were concert tours, three more hit albums, twice as many hit singles, instant celeb status, accompanied by the trials and tribulations of early fame, culminating in overwhelming excesses, ego-driven band infighting, and the ensuing breakup of the Bee Gees early in 1969; the joyous reunion 18 months later which resulted in two more classic slabs of vinyl (2 Years On & Trafalgar), each spawning the brothers' first pair of no. 1 singles ANYWHERE in the world ("Lonely Days" & "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart").

    But by 1973, due to changing trends in music, their popularity was on the skids, relegating these still young men (in their early & late 20's)to the oldies act circuit before their time. But a hookup with Atlantic Records staff R&B producer Arif Mardin late in the year marked the glimmer of hope that, with a new musical direction, they might be able to reclaim their original status. The result was Mr. Natural(1974) , a gorgeous gem of an album which , with a couple of exceptions, still contained many elements of their standard pre-disco sound, but with a harder edge and maturing outlook. Nonetheless, the LP sank like a rock and thus remains their most obscure album to date. However, with the release of the even better followup, 1975's Main Course, the first of many drastic changes in their fortunes, for the better, would take shape. The album itself yielded an even broader change in direction, with most of the tracks smacking of deliciously danceable, oh-so excitable, synth driven funk/R&B grooves, (as well as the introduction of Barry's trademark falsettoing style) Mardin once again in the producer's chair. A No.1 ("Jive Talkin'") and two top tens ("Nights On Broadway" and "Fanny (Be Tender With My Love").

    Yes, indeed, our Gibb Boyz were back on top in every fathomable sense of the term. With the banner Year of 1975 behind them, these Uber-victorious Comeback Kids headed back into the Miami Studio which saw the birth of the previous album(their first recorded entirely in the states, no less). Unfortunately, due to contractual complications stemming from a change in distribution for their label, RSO, Arif Mardin would be unable to produce this one (much to the brothers' disappointment). Instead, with full encouragement from Mardin, and the able assistance of production partners Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson, the brothers more-or-less produced themselves for Children Of The World.

    Released late in the Bicentennial summer of '76, this album, even moreso than its predecessor, found the brothers gettin' even deeper into tha' white boy funk, as clearly evident on tracks like "You Should Be Dancing" (Children's opener), the buoyant , Earth Wind and Fire-esque "Lovers", "Can't Keep A Good Man Down" and "Boogie Child".

    Even their balladry was now bearing all the hallmarks of their newly minted quasi-R&B direction, as they have, to all intents and purposes, nailed the coffin shut on their old syrupy approach to slow songs for good (whereas it was still pretty much evident on some of Main Course): worth mentioning in that sense, would be "The Way It Was", "Love Me" and "Love So Right", the latter of which is anchored by Barry's trademark, open-tuned acoustic rhythm, a deliciously ironic but tantalizing ingredient in their new sound.

    My particular fave, though, is the lifting title cut, opening-and closing- acapella with the brothers' immediately identifiable harmonies at the fore; all the stops are pulled out for this fitting album closer: multi-tracked, falsettoing Barrys, bouncy synths, etc. Most intriguingly, the production is tighter, snappier and more inventive than ever it had been before on a bee gees album (especially the way fat drum sound and synth patches), but all technical jargon aside, every one of the 10 tracks on Children are exceptionally good-not even the remotest shade of mediocrity to be sniffed out amongst them.

    As a result, no less than 4 singles were pulled from the album, two of them immediate top 10 successes ("Dancing" and "Love So Right"), and as another first in their then 20-year career (despite the twins not yet even being 30), Children Of The World became not only their first U.S. no.1 album, but also their first EVER PLATINUM album anywhere in the world! in spite of these achievements, and the possible belief that it couldn't get any better than this for the Bee Gees, little did they know what awaited them the next year with a fateful request from their manager to score a small, low budget film (starring one of TV's leading heartthrobs of the day, John Travolta), as their star would continue to rise even higher than it had the decade before, making them, by the end of the '70's, the Biggest act in the world. Suffice to say, contrary to popular history, THIS album (as well as its predecessor) is where it all REALLY began -Alan W. Elam- 11/18/01

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