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Eyes That See In The Dark - Kenny Rogers (1983)
Audio CD
Track Listing

1. This Woman
2. You And I
3. Buried Treasure
4. Islands In The Stream
5. Living With You
6. Evening Star
7. Hold Me
8. Midsummer Nights
9. I Will Always Love You
10. Eyes That See In The Dark

by Nicholas James

The Barry Gibb/Karl Richardson/Albhy Galuten production team moved onto its next project, following the massive success of Guilty and Heartbreaker, for Barbra Streisand and Dionne Warwick respectively. This time they take on country superstar Kenny Rogers, and this time they really strike gold.

This is the best of the albums that Barry Gibb produced for other artists in the 1980s. On this album, Barry seemed to be inspired by the idea of taking this huge country music icon into new areas of pop-rock. This is helped, I am sure, by the fact that Barry Gibb has already proved himself capable of writing, producing and performing country songs himself, so he understands both genres. The production and is crisp and clean, with a wide variety of sounds and styles explored. The result is a rock solid set of songs that stand the test of time.

The songs are again all written by Barry Gibb, with help from Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb and Albhy Galuten, in various combinations. Of course, the most famous track is the country-pop standard, 'Islands In The Stream', a duet with Dolly Parton. But dig deeper, and the album is full of buried treasure. 'This Woman' and 'Living With You' are strong slices of 1980s pop, in a similar style to the Bee Gees own material on the Staying Alive album. In fact, the Bee Gees themselves provide backing vocals to the latter, and are credited as such on the sleeve. 'You And I' is a quite simply beautiful love song, which is just right for Kenny Rogers's vocals, and Barry's backing vocals genuinely add to the experience.

The album doesn't disappoint towards the end in the way that some Bee Gees albums do. In fact, the last three tracks are perhaps the strongest on the album. 'Midsummer Nights' is a smashing up-tempo number that will have you singing along. 'I Will Always Love You' starts with some nice acoustic guitar before the delicious melody drifts in, and it will keep playing in your head for hours after listening to it. The title track ends the album on a high - a classic Barry Gibb track, with all the trademarks of his production work (the driving acoustic rhythm guitar, the gentle, unobtrusive backing vocals, the strong melody, the enigmatic lyrics), where his presence is almost stronger than that of Kenny Rogers.

It is a shame that Barry Gibb couldn't have produced an album this good next year, when he finally decided to release his own solo album, the inaccessible concept album Now Voyager. If Barry Gibb's demos to this album are ever released commercially, they will make a great album. That is one set of demos that might just be better than the finished album.

Buy it.

Why Buy Eyes That See In The Dark?

The best of the albums that Barry Gibb produced for other artists in the early to mid-1980s.