Going For A Song: ‘I Started A Joke’

Low – I Started A Joke

I’ve been dipping in and out of Daniel Rachel’s Isle Of Noises: Conversations With Great British Songwriters recently. There’s an interview with Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees, which has made me want to investigate the music of the The Bee Gees, then like it even, or at the very least appreciate more what they achieved. But I won’t. I’ve tried: after reading Bob Stanley’s chapter dedicated to them in his book Yeah Yeah Yeah. I was unable to then, and I don’t think this time will be any different.

Thing is if you were born in the 80s like me The Bee Gees are inextricably linked to their 80s/90s image, bundled up as it is with their (some would say warranted) walk out of Clive Anderson’s chat show, and a Rock Profile parody. No considered responses to the art of songwriting by Robin, recommendations of albums like Mr Natural (‘exquisite’) by Stanley, or that their first single was called ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941′ seems able to change this. That’s a shame. And if you argued, very unfair to The Bee Gees, I’d probably agree. But there you go – that’s pop music. My loss. Perhaps one bit of hope is to be found in the many covers of Bee Gees’ songs by other bands (some covers then, yes, guessing not all). For in a world where Low’s version of ‘I Started A Joke’ exists, there is always a chance I, and others like me, will find a way in.

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