Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Robin Gibb

Robin Hugh Gibb, CBE (born 22 December 1949) is a singer and songwriter. He is best known as a member of the Bee Gees, co-founded with his twin brother Maurice and elder brother Barry.

Born in the Isle of Man to English parents, Gibb began his career as part of the family trio in Australia; they found major success when they returned to the United Kingdom. With record sales estimated in excess of 200 million units, the Bee Gees became one of the most successful pop groups of all time.

Traditionally, Robin's role in the Bee Gees was lead singer, for which he vied constantly with Barry during the group's first period of British success in the late 1960s. This rivalry eventually prompted Gibb to leave the group and begin a solo career. The final irritant was when Gibb's song "Lamplight" was relegated to the B-side of Barry's song "First of May". Meanwhile, there were rumours during this period that Gibb was dealing with drug abuse problems. During this period, Gibb's parents allegedly threatened legal action to make Gibb a ward of court (the UK age of majority at that time being 21, and Gibb was only 19).

In his solo career, Gibb was initially successful with a number 2 UK hit, "Saved by the Bell" (which sold over one million copies, and received a gold disc). However, Gibb's first solo album, Robin's Reign, was less successful and he soon found that being a solo artist was unsatisfying. Maurice played bass guitar on the song "Mother and Jack", but was subsequently removed from the project by producer Robert Stigwood. Despite having almost completed a second solo album, Sing Slowly Sisters, Gibb reunited with his brothers, who then revived the Bee Gees. The group came back on a high note, reaching No.3 on the US charts with the song "Lonely Days" in 1970. In 1971, the Bee Gees had their first US No.1 hit, "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart", but after that their popularity started to ebb.

In 1974, with new producer Arif Mardin, the Bee Gees reinvented themselves with the song "Blue-Eyed Soul,". The group now entered their second period of phenomenal success in the disco-era late 1970s.

In 1978, Gibb performed on the Sesame Street Fever album for the Sesame Street children's TV program. He sang on the "Sesame Street Fever" title track, sang a song called "Trash" for the character Oscar the Grouch, and spoke on at least one other song.

While continuing in the Bee Gees, Gibb also promoted his new solo career. During the 1980s, Gibb released three solo albums (How Old Are You, Secret Agent, and Walls Have Eyes). These three albums were more successful in Europe than in the UK or US. However, Gibb's 1984 single "Boys Do Fall in Love" did reach the Billboard Magazine top 40 list of hits. Gibb also recorded several extended versions of dance songs, including "Boys Do Fall in Love", "Secret Agent", "Like a Fool" and the rarest, "You Don't Say Us Anymore"; many of these extended versions were released to radio disc jockeys only.

On 27 January 2003 (the week that Maurice died), Gibb released a new solo album, Magnet in Germany on SPV GmbH, and worldwide shortly afterwards. Magnet featured the Bee Gees song "Wish You Were Here" (from the 1989 album One) in a new acoustic version. The lead single, "Please", had coincidental lyrics about "loss". After Maurice's death, Robin and Barry again disbanded the Bee Gees; however, in late 2009, the three brothers announced that they would reform and perform again as the Bee Gees.

In recent years, Gibb sang the vocals to the opening titles to the British ITV show The Dame Edna Treatment.

On 18 May 2008, Gibb released the song "Alan Freeman Days" in tribute to the Australian DJ Alan Freeman. The song was issued as a download only track, although a promotional CD was issued by Academy Recordings. In December 2008, "Alan Freeman Days" was followed by another downloadable song entitled "Wing and a Prayer", which shared the same name as a song from the 1989 One album. However, the new song was actually a reworking of the song, "Sing Slowly Sisters", that had remained unreleased since 1970. Later in December, Gibb issued another song as a download, "Ellan Vannin (Home Coming Mix)", featuring the King William's College Choir from the Isle of Man. "Ellan Vannin" is the Manx language name for the Isle of Man.

In 2008, Gibb completed a new solo album entitled 50 St. Catherine's Drive, but it was never released. However, in August 2009, a 50-second video clip of "Instant Love" from 50 St. Catherine's Drive appeared as a preview. "Instant Love" was a collaboration with Gibb's son Robin-John. A second version of "Instant Love" featuring Robin-John on vocals appeared in a short film called Bloodtype: The Search in which Robin-John appeared.

Gibb and Robin-John also wrote the score for The Titanic Requiem, recorded by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for the 2012 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Gibb was due to attend the piece's premier on 10 April 2012, but his failing health kept him away.

Gibb was a guest mentor on the Australian version of the The X Factor, alongside Australian TV host Kyle Sandilands Australian actor/singer Natalie Imbruglia, Irish singer Ronan Keating, and Australian singerGuy Sebastian.

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