Found Performance: Massachusetts (acoustic) The Bee Gees

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The Bee Gees, as a five member band, in 1967.

Although this is my 2nd “Found Performance” featuring The Bee Gees, let me emphatically state that I am not the world’s biggest Bee Gees fan … although I am a huge fan of great harmony vocals and admittedly they are among the best in that category. My personal preference to their recordings is anything from their “pre-disco” era .

This acoustic version of the brothers singing their hit “Massachusetts” is a particularly fine example of sibling harmony. The Bee Gees wrote the song while staying at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City during a 1967 U.S. tour and recorded it in London in August of that year … with its release in September. The brothers had never been to Massachusetts when they wrote the song, but it was written as an antitheses to the flower power anthems of the time. On their return to England the Bee Gees planned to offer the song to The Seekers to record. In the end, The Seekers didn’t do so at that time, but they did in 2003 as a tribute to Maurice Gibb following his death earlier that year.

When the Bee Gees recorded the record in 1967, they were still a 5-piece group, with the 3 brothers (Barry, Maurice and Robin) plus fellow Aussies’ guitarist Vince Melouney and drummer Colin Peterson. The song charted #1 in the UK, #11 in the US and #2 in Australia. It was also the first #1 single, by a non-Japanese artist, on Japan’s official hit chart peaking at #1 on April 1, 1968.

Here are the Bee Gees, in 1981, doing a terrific acoustic version of their hit record from 14 years earlier, “Massachusetts.”

 

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Jay Hamilton

Author: Jay Hamilton

Jay Hamilton is a veteran disc jockey, program director, music director and radio programming consultant. In the Pacific Northwest, he is best remembered for his time at KMPS AM/FM during the '70s and '80s. Jay is now retired and lives on the Olympic Peninsula. Music, of nearly every genre, has always been an important aspect of his life and he periodically contributes opinions, articles and "Found Performances" to Puget Sound Media.

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