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Trafalgar (1971)
Audio CD
Track Listing

1. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart
2. Israel
3. The Greatest Man In The World
4. It's Just The Way
5. Remembering
6. Somebody Stop The Music
7. Trafalgar
8. Don't Wanna Live Inside Myself
9. When Do I
10. Dearest
11. Lion In Winter
12. Walking Back To Waterloo

by Nicholas James

Now this album is almost worth four stars. The Bee Gees are now working together more cohesively after the discordant 2 Years On (1970). This is a softer Bee Gees than we knew in the 1960s, and this is a group that now takes less risks musically. But it is also a group that seems to be able to effortlessly write timeless songs. Here the song writing credits suggest that the brothers are still working apart as well as together, but this time it works. Almost.

The first track, 'How Can You Mend A Broken Heart', became the group's first US number one, but yet again their sales deteriorated in the UK. And like the previous album, Barry's songs ('Israel', 'The Greatest Man In The World' and 'Don't Wanna Live Inside Myself') are pleasant, melodious creations, but carry little weight. Barry puts in a fantastic vocal performance on 'Israel', and the song sounds worthy, but a closer look reveals some very ambiguous lyrics. Robin takes a step back from the solo song writing this time, but Maurice supplies a couple of corkers (more than just the usual 'token' song this time). 'It's Just The Way' and 'Trafalgar' both feature really engaging guitar intros, but the latter track is a really nice early 1970s period piece.

This album also works well when the brothers write and perform together. 'Dearest' and 'Remembering' are both slightly mournful (or in the case of 'Dearest' very mournful, almost funereal), but they illustrate that the brothers are still continuing to pursue the themes of despair and death, but that their storylines have moved from adventurous stories of trapped miners and killers on death row to the more homely subject of lost lovers. 'When Do I' is a gem of a song, showing Robin's vocal range to good effect, but on this CD they have saved the best until last. 'Walking Back To Waterloo' demonstrates that they are at their best when writing together and harmonising together (and, in the case of this song, when Robin and Barry share lead, something they often did right until the end of the group's exiatence). This song is rousing, and the lyrics are suitably enigmatic - just like all the best Bee Gees songs - so that the listener can take from it what he or she wants (is it a song about the repetitive nature of daily life or a statement on the British town planning system? Or is it something else completely?)

Three and half stars!

Why Buy Trafalgar?

This is a rich album with some really great songs. Explore a little known part of the Bee Gees history.