I like it when a music doc teaches me something I didn’t know, or better, when it changes something I thought I knew. You, like me, may think of the Bee Gees as “those disco guys,” but, in addition to being inaccurate, that assessment barely scratches the surface. Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb, starting in the 60s, captivated the charts with their beautifully harmonized ballads (enhanced, theoretically, by the fact that they were related). During the nextfive decades, they wrote over 1000 songs and demonstrated that rarest of pop music abilities: adaptability.
The film demonstrates their creative process, to me always a plus, as they met each new musical challenge. It’s a fascinating musical saga. They sort of fell into the disco craze by having a half-dozen songs already written for a different project when in 1976 director John Badham asked for just one for Saturday Night Fever. And when disco soon consumed itself with ”Disco Duck” schlock and greed, they fell hard as well.
But what did they do? They continued to write songs for such artists as Barbra Streisand, Dionne Warwick, and Celine Dion. I learned stuff. In addition to offering fans a more contextualized point of view, the movie also imparts the feeling that they were pretty nice guys.
The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart streaming on Hulu now. (118 min)
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