Bee Gees were at their popular, creative peaks on ‘1974-1979’

Bee Gees‘1974-1979’
Bee Gees (Reprise)
5 stars out of 5

Though most associated with, for better or worse, the disco movement of the 1970s, Australian trio the Bee Gees were fixtures on the popular music scene for more than a decade before becoming international superstars. Things really took off for brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb when 1974 album “Mr. Natural,” their 12th full-length, sparked a five-year run of success that landed the Bee Gees a slew of Grammys and spawned a treasure trove of hit songs.

Bee Gees CDThat fertile period is the focus of the aptly-titled boxed set “1974-1979,” a five-CD collection that underscores just how terrific the Brothers Gibb were in their day. The set includes remastered versions of four studio albums — “Mr. Natural,” 1975’s “Main Course,” 1976’s “Children of the World” and 1979’s “Spirits Having Flown” — plus a bonus disc featuring hits from the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack and assorted outtakes and B-sides.

You can stack up the Bee Gees’ list of hot singles with just about anyone from that era, and they hold up remarkably well. Happily, “1974-1979” includes most of them. “Jive Talkin’” and “Nights on Broadway”? Check. “Fanny (Be Tender With My Love),” “You Should Be Dancing” and “Love So Right”? Present and accounted for. “Tragedy,” “Too Much Heaven,” “Stayin’ Alive,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “Night Fever,” “More Than a Woman” and “If I Can’t Have You”? You betcha. And as an added bonus, most of the non-hits are terrific as well. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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