In a new video chat with Rolling Stone, Barry Gibb — the solo surviving member of the Bee Gees — spoke candidly about how the anti-disco backlash hurt him and his brothers in the late-1970's and early-'80s. Following the mega-platinum success of 1977's Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and the group's 1979's Sprits Having Flown album and tour, the Gibb brothers were still writing and producing blockbusters — but only if MOR giants like Barbra Streisand and Kenny Rogers sang them, due to the stigma associated with the brothers' voices.
Barry Gibb looked back and said, “I’ve always had a problem criticizing anything that was a Number One record. Then people started putting us down, and I couldn’t say that about any artist that had six Number One records in a row.”
The long awaited Bee Gees documentary, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, premieres on HBO Max on Saturday (December 12th), and Barry's country-crossover album of duets, Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1, drops on January 8th.
In the new Rolling Stone video, Barry Gibb chats with country star Jason Isbell, with whom he duets with on the upcoming Greenfields album. He offers words of advice, explaining, “You learn as you go. My feet never really left the ground. Once you’ve had a couple of failures, you realize that failure is always just around the corner. Success is a bit like walking on a sponge. You start to sink. Nothing lasts, no matter what you do. It doesn’t matter who you are. So you prepare yourself for the time when it’s fine to just watch TV or read. But I’m at that point in life where I’d love to be able to walk on another stage.”
We asked Frank Marshall, the director of the new How Can You Mend A Broken Heart doc, what most surprised him about Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb: “I think the most surprising was the serendipity of everything. Y'know, I expected there to be a lot of time and effort trying to figure out songs and work song out — when it sort of, just came to them. I said, 'Y'know, you probably don't wanna be tellin' people that you wrote that song in 10 minutes (laughs).' But, it's one of the great songs of all time, so I guess that works (laughs).”