From the Vault...


Bee Gees
"Mr. Natural"

© Polydor Records

Year of Release: 1974

track listing
  • Charade
  • Throw A Penny
  • Down The Road
  • Voices
  • Give A Hand Take A Hand
  • Dogs
  • Mr. Natural
  • Lost In Your Love
  • I Can't Let You Go
  • Heavy Breathing
  • Had A Lot Of Love
    Last Night

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    Bee Gees
    "Mr. Natural"

    The Bee Gees' Mr. Natural is the album BEFORE they ventured into a new sound, Disco. By 1974, their music was just like any other, yet their popularity soared after their 1975 release, Main Course.

    As for Mr. Natural, there aren't any well-known songs found here, yet the Gibb brothers' music before their disco superstardom should be taken into consideration, that these brothers made some great music, with their beautiful harmonies and songwriting. Yet when everyone thinks of The Bee Gees, they all immediately respond, "BEE GEES, DISCO, SUCKS!" This isn't true regarding Mr. Natural, (or any album before this one); it displays the Gibbs as any other rock act who can perform just as good as any other.

    "Charade" is a beautiful ballad song, and has some very impressive instrumentation. This song can easily fit the Adult Contemporary category. "Throw A Penny" has the common pop 1970s feel, as it merges into "Down The Road", another good pop bouncing tune.

    "Voices" is a peaceful ballad, in the style of their previous 1960s favorites, "I've Started A Joke" and "I Gotta Get A Message To You". "Give A Hand, Take A Hand" is another slowie, with it's piano-driven melody, and a few country-sounding guitar licks.

    Like the previous two songs, "Dogs" is another slow number, with some instrumental percussion punches, as it reminds me of the early Elton John, as in his song "Take Me To The Pilot." The title track is a nice, bouncy number, with the familiar Brothers Gibb harmonies. And it does have a somewhat sound of what was soon to come on their forthcoming album. It's not disco, but it's a pop sounding song, that had a changing musical style for them.

    "Lost In Your Love" has a gospel sound, as it showcases Barry Gibb's soulful voice. "I Can't Let You Go" is another common pop sounder, where "Heavy Breathing" is definitely heavy. It has a more rock & roll sound, as in the hard rock (!) style. For The Bee Gees, this sound is rare. But honestly, their common sound is much better in their beautiful harmonies and such. Not that they can't rock, they try here to rock like other rocking Seventies groups, but they just don't cut it. Yet they go back to what they do best with the album's closing song, "Had A Lot Of Love Last Night," a harmony-driven piano ballad, and is a beautiful song to close the album out, traditional Bee Gees' style.

    The title says it all, this album is Natural. The Bee Gees prove with their harmony-driven songs, likewise with their strings musical arrangements, that the songs contained here in this style makes The Bee Gees a talent act who can easily be taken for granted for making some beautiful music, away from the common (hard) rock and roll going on in the early 1970s. Most people don't take The Bee Gees for granted, because they were the ones that launched the Disco crave, which everyone just loves to rip apart. I'm sure The Bee Gees were constantly reminded of that, and it may have put a somewhat burden on them. But life does go on after disco, as the Gibb brothers went back to their original style of pop and harmony ballads on their post-disco album releases. (Yes friends, the Gibbs are still recording today, despite their "disco nightmare" and the tragic loss of their brother Andy to drugs and alcohol abuse.)

    Just for a moment, ignore all the stories about how the Bee Gees launched disco, and how everyone hated them for it. Mr. Natural just may give The Bee Gees a different meaning to how you classify them. Not as the disco-haters of the world, but how they can blend beautiful harmonies with beautiful string arrangements, and yes, you can honestly say that these guys are not really bad as you may think they are, in your own minds. (It's just a thought...)

    The Bee Gees are just as Natural as the others; give them a chance by listening to their pre- and post-disco recordings. You just may like what you hear.

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