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The Studio Albums 1967-1968 ()

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Studio Albums 1967-1968 is comprised of 1967's Bee Gees' 1st and 1968's Horizontal and Idea. Each reissue features both the remastered stereo and mono versions of the albums in their entirety, as well as extensive liner notes and a bonus disc that includes B-sides, alternate takes, and previously unissued tracks. Both 1st and Idea are solid, classic, early Bee Gees' recordings, featuring hits like "Holiday," "New York Mining Disaster 1941," "I Started a Joke" and "I've Gotta Get a Message to You," as well as overlooked gems such as "Indian Gin and Whiskey Dry," "Kitty Can," "Turn of the Century," "Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You" and "Craise Finton Kirk Royal Academy of Arts." Horizontal is the spottier of the three, focusing on melancholy ballads like "World," "Really and Sincerely" and "With the Sun in My Eyes," but it produced some of the group's finer moments in "Massachusetts," "And the Sun Will Shine" and "Harry Braff." All three of the bonus discs fare better than the average mismatched collection of banana peels and empty cigarette cartons that most acts try and turn into a cohesive listen, as the majority of the cuts are fully realized and for the most part orchestrated -- check out the beautifully melodramatic yuletide two-fer of "Thank You for Christmas" and "Medley: Silent Night/Hark the Herald Angels Sing," as well as the goofy psychedelic boot-stomper "Sir Geoffrey Saved the World," and the near-perfect pop of "Ring My Bell." Anyone looking for evidence of the pre-Saturday Night Fever chamber pop greatness that so many in the know use in defense of the much maligned trio should give these records a chance. The band would have been better off changing its name upon its conversion to disco, as this collection, along with 1969's Odessa and even 1970s Cucumber Castle show a group who could out-sing (and often out-write) contemporaries like the Hollies and the Zombies and celebrate pre-Sgt. Pepper's-era Beatles with enough originality to warrant a much larger chapter in the book of rock & roll history. ~ James Christopher Monger, Rovi Hide synopsis

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