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Bee Gees


In total, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb wrote no less than dozen studio albums in the first half of the 80s. That’s 12 albums in just five years, not bad for a group so inextricably linked with the 70s. Not only were they staggeringly prolific, their commercial sensibilities had far from deserted them. Any time somebody suggests the Bee Gees struggled after the stratospheric chart domination of Saturday Night Fever (1977), they’re overlooking the fact that the follow-up Spirits Having Flown (1979) has been estimated to have sold anywhere from 16-30 million copies. They’re also forgetting that the Gibb / Streisand collaboration Guilty (1980) became her biggest ever studio album at 15 million copies.

Dionne Warwick’s Heartbreaker (1982) contained her most substantial non-Bacharach / David hit in the title track and Kenny Roger’s Eyes That See In The Dark (1983) featured the the largest crossover country hit of all time with the Dolly Parton duet Islands In The Stream. As for Diana Ross and the Eaten Alive (1985) album, she scored the biggest solo hit of her career in the UK with the Motown-recalling Chain Reaction.

In today’s trend of songs being credited to “Artist ‘A’ featuring Artist ‘B’” as opposed to just the dominant performer, it’s highly likely songs like Heartbreaker, Islands In The Stream and Chain Reaction would’ve been listed as “Dionne Warwick feat. the Bee Gees” etc. They deserved to be credited, though perhaps the absurd (and yet deeply fascinating from a sociological point of view) backlash against the Bee Gees in the 80s would have prevented those songs getting played if their involvement had been better publicised.