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The Ones. Album Of The Week. Counting Down.
Inthe Bee Gees had been on top of the world, dominating the Billboard charts like they were the Beatles in Thanks to the absurd success of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, the Bee Gees had come to personify disco in the public eye. When disco fell from favor, so did the Bee Gees. Gibb also wrote or co-wrote every song on the LP.
He sang, played guitar, and did the horn and string arrangements on Guilty. Guilty was basically a Bee Gees album, except with Barbra Streisand singing lead. The album cover is a picture of Streisand and Barry Gibb, both wearing blinding shiny white clothes, all hugged up with each other.
Both albums came out around the same time. But Diana is a giddy dance-pop album, and Guilty is not. There are ball on Dianabut those ball are clearly just there to switch the vibe up before the groove comes back in. On Guiltythe ball dominate. Streisand had gone to see a Bee Gees show at Dodger Stadium, and she was eager to work with the group. At the time, Streisand was one of the biggest stars in both music and film, and so she got what she wanted.
The initial idea was for Gibb to write and produce half of the album, but he and Streisand liked working together so much that they just went ahead and made the whole thing.
Barry Gibb always had a gift for writing lyrics that sounded amazing but made very little sense on paper. But also: what? Did Streisand know that these lyrics are ridiculous? I have no idea.
But she sang them like she believed them completely. On his demo version of the song, released years later, Barry Gibb also goes for the over-the-top diva thing, singing the entire song in his most piercing falsetto yowl. Gibb and Streisand recorded the song in Miami with an elite squad of session musicians, and it sounds lush and clean and expensive.
Strings and horns hum to each other. Electric pianos glow. The heavily processed guitars murmur fancily. The melody is a monster. As the lead single, it was the right call. Maybe we were all just really into Hollywood glamor? Bryan Adams will eventually appear in this column. Streisand kept making music, and she sold millions with the musical-theater collection The Broadway Album.
She also got into directing. Yentl was pretty successful, and Streisand went on to direct two more movies. The brothers Gibb, meanwhile, kept writing and producing hits for other people. As an independent website, we rely on our measly advertising income to keep the lights on.
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