Tin Tin s/t
Tin Tin s/t LP (Atco, 1970)
Like many of you, my first hear of the Bee Gees was thanks to Saturday Night Fever. And if you were my age and male and were white and lived in the suburbs, your ears were more in tune with Electric Funeral than Staying Alive. Needless to say, Night Fever didn't encourage me to explore the Brothers Gibb's past.
Later, in my twenties, away from the 'burbs and starting to hang out with citified freaks, I had the pretty typical older record geek gives wisdom to young buck experience. You know what I am talking about: Frizzy haired, wild eyed, pock faced, raspy voiced, twitchy not quite a hippy but older cat who hangs on the fringes of the punk rock scene, pulling you aside and telling you, out of the blue, that there was a Bee Gees before disco and that he'll lay a copy of Horizontal on you next time he sees you...or better yet, you can come over his apartment right now and he will give you a copy because he has three. You are young and dumb and the thought of a free record by a band you have yet to really discover clouds over all judgment and puts you in a place not so different than the archetypical hitchhiker who climbs into the cab of a haunted death truck only to get ass raped and then eaten. Of course the carnal canibalism doesn't happen. Older record dude doesn't even offer you a glass of wine and a backrub. Nah, he is just a little lonely and really wants to share his record collection with you. Hell, he can't get his girlfriend to listen to his records and the internet is 15 years from being invented so it's hanging out at coffee house and befriending the young, aspiring punkers and aiding their growth into full on record geekdom. A passing of the vinyl torch, if you will.
Everyone who hears Horizontal completely reevaluates their take on the Bee Gees. It is a great record and has one of the best break up songs ever in Birdie Told Me. You get your paws on a copy and soon you are picking up every Bee Gees record you can find. At some point you will hit 1969's Cucumber Castle, the only Bee Gees' album with out brother Robin, who quit in a fit, and left the record to Barry and Maurice. Shortly after the record's release, Barry and Maurice parted. Maurice, fighting alcoholism and having trouble with his wife Lulu, dove into producing his fellow Aussies, Tin Tin,
Lead by Steve Kipner, who later joined the Bee Gees, Tin Tin sounds very much like a brother Gibb has something to do with it. Not only does Maurice produce, his songs are on it, and he plays on some cuts. His name is also featured on the front cover of the album. That's fine, because Maurice's touch is gold. Gold in sound, not in sales. Tin Tin did not catch on and split after one record.
Soon after Tin Tin came out, the Gibbs brothers were back and recording what became 2 Years On, which was followed by Trafalgar, both good but not essential records.