by Nicholas James
1986 was a poor year for Barry Gibb.
Following the commercial under-performance
of his first solo album, the experimental Now
Voyager, MCA declined to release his
follow-up album. Of course, in hindsight, it
was only a temporary blip as one year later
the Bee Gees would release their hugely
successful ESP album,
featuring the number one smash 'You Win
Again', but this had meant that an entire
album of Barry Gibb tracks had been left on
the shelf to gather dust.
Just as the
Bee Gees were returning to the top of the
game, Barry had also been working on his
first movie. Called 'Hawks', the British
film was about two terminally ill guys who
decide to spend their final weeks and months
living life to the full. The film, which
starred current (at the time) James Bond
Timothy Dalton and future ER star Anthony
Edwards, was from an idea by Barry Gibb and
was partly funded by him. Most importantly,
it featured several of the tracks that would
have been on his unreleased 1986 solo album.
This was the perfect excuse for Barry to
ensure that his songs finally saw the light
of day. The previous album was therefore
repackaged as the soundtrack to 'Hawks'. Not
every track made it onto the album, though,
and some of the tracks that were included on
the album did not actually feature in the
film at all. He also recorded two new tracks
especially for the album, one being the
melancholy single 'Childhood Days', one of
Barry's finest solo works.
tracks are a real mixed bag. There are a
couple of wonderful Barry ballads, 'Not In
Love At All' and 'My Eternal Love', the
latter being a song which, despite its
slightly abstract lyrics and indifferent
sound quality, is sung in falsetto and
sounds to all intents and purposes like an
updated late 1970s Bee Gees track.
of the tracks were fairly inaccessible and
largely self-indulgent, and now sound very
dated. The track 'Celebration De La Vie' is
an instrumental and is the theme music from
the film, although it is a less satisfying
version that actually used in the film
itself. The album also features the Diana
Ross Gibb-composed hit, 'Chain Reaction',
which also features in the film.
This album was
only released in the UK and is now very
rare. Whilst not featuring Barry Gibb at his
best (perhaps that gives some clues as to
why it wasn't originally released by MCA),
it has some notable tracks and is worth
searching out. It would be 30 years before
Barry would release another solo album.
Why Buy Hawks?
To discover tracks from Barry's
never-released second solo album.