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Idea ()

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The Bee Gees' third album is something of a departure, with more of a rocking sound and with the orchestra (apart from a few well-placed harp arpeggios) somewhat less prominent in the sound mix than on their first two LPs. The two hits, "I've Gotta Get a Message to You" and "I Started a Joke," are very much of a piece with their earlier work, but on "Kitty Can," "Indian Gin and Whisky Dry," and "Such a Shame" (the latter written by the group's then lead guitarist, Vince Melouney), among other cuts, they sound much more like a working band with a cohesive group sound, rather than a harmony vocal group with accompaniment. Their writing still has a tendency toward the dramatic and the melodramatic, which would manifest itself prominently again on their next album, Odessa, six months later, but here the group seemed to be trying for a somewhat less moody, dark-toned overall sound, and some less surreal lyrical conceits, though "Kilburn Towers" (despite some pop-jazz inflections) and "Swan Song," as well as "I Started a Joke," retain elements of fantasy and profundity. [In 2006, as part of the shift of the group's back catalog to Reprise Records, Idea was reissued in remastered form, with seriously improved sound and expanded to two CDs with a brace of chronologically-related outtakes -- comprising some of the most fascinating material of their history -- initially as part of the collection The Studio Albums 1967-1968.] ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi Hide synopsis

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