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Idea - Bee Gees (1968)
Audio CD
Track Listing

1. Let There Be Love
2. Kitty Can
3. In The Summer Of His Years
4. Indian Gin and Whisky Dry
5. Down to Earth
6. Such a Shame
7. I've Gotta Get A Message To You
8. Idea
9. When the Swallows Fly
10. I Have Decided To Join The Airforce Today
11. I Started A Joke
12. Kilburn Towers
13. Swan Song

by Nicholas James

So the Bee Gees release their difficult third album - and it is a triumph. This is the album where the group began to really 'find their feet'. The experimentation and uncertain tone of the first two albums is replaced with an assured, but still highly experimental, collection of songs. But all the major Bee Gees hallmarks are now there. Lush production, delicious melodies, bizarre subject matter, dark humour and those umnmistakable harmonies. This is all topped off with some rather wonderful solo work, particularly from Robin and Barry. The nasal Robin lead that would come to define the Bee Gees in the late 1960s - and which would contribute to giving the Bee Gees a unique identity that would lift them up above other similar new bands of the time - is also present and correct.

Most people know the Bee Gees' second number one hit, 'I've Gotta Get A Message To You', which is included on this CD and follows the brothers' developing theme of death and lost love. But the real stand-out track is 'I Started A Joke'. This is quite simply one of the greatest songs the Bee Gees recorded and, whilst relatively little known in the UK, has gained a large amount of respect from serious music lovers. The lucid, crisp melody, the tight production, the self-pitying lyrics (another Bee Gees theme of the period, usually with Robin on lead), and Robin's disconsolate lead vocal. Bee Gees songs don't get much better than this.

Whilst there are a number of other winning tracks on this album ('Let There Be Love', 'Kilburn Towers', 'Swan Song'), a number of the tracks are slightly inconsequential ('Kitty Can', 'Indian Gin And Whisky Dry', 'I Have Decided To Join The Airforce'). It is this fact alone that prevents the album achieving five stars.

The 'Expanded and Remastered' version, released January 2007, includes a bonus CD with previously unreleased tracks and demos.

Why Buy Idea?

For 'I Started a Joke' and to hear one of the World's most important groups find a sound and confidence that would stay with them for over 30 years.

Buy from

Click here to buy 'Expanded and Remastered' version (released January 2007)
Click here to buy original CD version (released 1989)

Now also available as part of the box set The Studio Albums 1967-1968.