lunes, 8 de junio de 2009

Bee Gees - Cucumber Castle (1970)



Cucumber Castle es el quinto álbum de The Bee Gees, lanzado en 1970 por el sello Atco (en España, Polydor se hizo cargo de su publicación). Fue producido por Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, y Robert Stigwood. En esencia, el disco es de los más flojos del grupo, aquí convertido en dúo, y consistía en un compendio de canciones que fueron incluidos en su especial de televisión del mismo nombre. Robin Gibb había abandonado temporalmente la formación junto a sus demás hermanos para desarrollar una carrera en solitario, antes de que se grabara el álbum. Colin Petersen, el batería, fue despedido durante la grabacion del álbum después de que él se negara a aparecer en las escenas no musicales del show. Razón no le faltaba...

He aquí un fragmento del musical y cuidado donde echáis la pota...







De lo único que se salva el disco son dos temas: "Then You Left Me" y el que se recuerda más a menudo "Don't Forget To Remember Me". El resto no deja de ser puras bagatelas insustanciales en medio de un difícil tránsito intestinal desde el proceso depurativo del grupo con la desbandada de Colin Petersen, junto con la salida de Robin Gibb y el abandono de otro de los no hermanos: Vince Melouney, tras la grabación del álbum Horizontal, y cuya consecuencia es bien decepcionante.

No obstante, como curiosidad no está mal, aunque recomiendo ingerir este disco con un poco de bicarbonato.

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How do you follow up the masterpiece that was Odessa? Sadly, this was almost certainly not the question that was on the Bee Gees' mind when they recorded Cucumber Castle. As you can see from the cover image, Robin is conspicuous by his absence. The Gibb brothers had just been through a very difficult patch, which had started when the Odessa album was recorded. Barry's relationship with Robin had deteriorated dramatically as 1969 progressed, until the two could no longer work together. Robin jumped ship, leaving Barry and Maurice to carry on the Bee Gees name.

Given the behind-the-scenes upheaval, it is surprising that Barry and Maurice managed to pull off an album this good. (The album's slightly odd cover, by the way, is explained by the fact that it tied in with a television special, starring British comedian Frankie Howard alongside the two brothers.) Whilst the album suffers from the lack of Robin's voice and the brothers' three-part harmonies, the song writing is as strong as ever and Barry and Maurice are on top form. The production on Cucumber Castle is perhaps less interesting than the previous albums, and the group start relying on ballads to carry the album, something that would be much more pronounced over the coming years.

But there are some very strong tracks. The opening track is a pleasant little ditty, with nice vocals from Barry. Tracks like 'Then You Left Me' and 'I Was The Child' are great love songs in the classic early Bee Gees tradition. The country-tinged 'Don't Forget To Remember' is one of the Bee Gees' great tracks and deserved its number two chart placing as a single. 'The Lord' is an amusing song on the subject of religion, with some great guitar work, and Maurice's 'token' song is the equally amusing 'My Thing'. It is difficult to tell some of the later tracks apart at first listen, but even they grow on the listener. 'Turning Tide' is an acquired taste, but once acquired, it is mouth-watering.

And that really sums up the album as a whole. It probably isn't what the Bee Gees would have done had the group not started to fall apart at the seams, but after a few listens, you will love it to bits!

If you like Barry Gibb ballads, and want to listen to a less eccentric version of the group that produced Odessa and Idea.

Track listing:

1. If Only I Had My Mind On Something Else (Album Version) - 2:33
2. I.O.I.O. (Album Version) - 2:56
3. Then You Left Me (Album Version) - 3:11
4. The Lord (Album Version) - 2:18
5. I Was The Child (Album Version) - 3:14
6. I Lay Down And Die (Album Version) - 3:34
7. Sweetheart (Album Version) - 3:09
8. Bury Me Down By The River (Album Version) - 3:24
9. My Thing (Album Version) - 2:19
10. The Chance Of Love (Album Version) - 2:28
11. Turning Tide (Album Version) - 3:09
12. Don't Forget To Remember - 3:28



Buy it:

- Amazon
- 7-Digital UK
- 7-Digital ES
- Rhapsody

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