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Best of Bee Gees, Vol. 2 ()

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This album, which originally appeared on LP in several slightly different versions and song lineups in different countries, came out at an unlikely moment. The group's first best-of album had coincided with the trio's split in mid-1969, a point when they had more than enough hits worldwide (a couple of which had never been on album) to justify and fill such an album. Best of Bee Gees, Vol. 2, by contrast, was released amid the collapse of the group's commercial fortunes that had begun in late 1972. Ideally, RSO Records probably would have waited another year or more before doing a second best-of album, but as the Bee Gees' Life in a Tin Can album and the accompanying single had barely charted, and their intended follow-up, "A Kick in the Head Is Worth Eight in the Pants," had been junked after an extended period in production, Best of Bee Gees, Vol. 2 was a necessity. And, in a way, the timing was fortuitous, in that there weren't nearly enough post-1969 hits to fill up the album. Thus, in addition to the obvious international chart hits "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart," "Lonely Days," "Run to Me," and "My World," the producers had to reach out to lesser-charting songs such as "Don't Want to Live Inside Myself," and even back to 1968 and the Horizontal album for "And the Sun Will Shine"; to 1969 for the slightly offbeat country-style single "Don't Forget to Remember" and Robin Gibb's solo release "Saved By the Bell," and the delightful Bee Gees reggae-flavored "I.O.I.O."; plus some of the group's better album cuts, including "Man for All Seasons" from 2 Years On. Even amid those hits, the best song on this album, and the one that Bee Gees fans were least likely to own already, is easily "Morning of My Life," one of the first records that the group recorded after getting back together in 1971, from the Melody soundtrack album. The resulting collection is, in many ways, as charming and quirky, if not quite as imposing a body of music as its predecessor. [The CD edition sounds good also, though one wishes there were some annotation, or even just a list of release dates.] ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi Hide synopsis

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