“Paper Mache, Cabbages And Kings”

Budget label release rounding up mostly B-sides from the early seventies

Here’s another obscure Bee Gees compilation I was fortunate to find for a couple of quid in a Birtley charity shop earlier this month.

When I was flicking through the box of records they had for sale this one jumped out mainly because I had never seen the Gibb brothers wearing this type of clobber – tie-dye shirts!

I was also unfamiliar with most of the tracks so it was a no-brainer rescuing it from a lonely demise.

After some research I’ve realised that the majority of the material presented on this album are B-sides of singles that had limited success in Britain during the period 1972 – 1974.

To tempt the casual listener there are a sprinkling of better known numbers such as “Gotta Get A Message To You” and “World” which were big sellers back in the late sixties.

It’s the first time I’ve heard their early seventies era music (before the Disco period) and it mostly follows the path of their successful period – intricate pop tunes with those distinctive harmonies but this time ’round smothered in orchestration and not echo and mellotron.

“Road To Alaska” is their venture into country rock territory and for the time it was released (mid-1972) it fits the criteria. It’s a decent mid tempo blast with some rock and roll guitar leads, not the usual soft Bee Gees balladry I’m used to.

“I’ll Kiss Your Memory”, written by Barry is another country inspired number, a slow-paced weeper ballad with strings. I can almost see a gaggle of hillbillies supping their moonshine and drowning their sorrows with this one.

The weird-out track is the very strange “Paper Mache, Cabbages And Kings” described as ‘manic’ by Lightspots blogger. It could have been a left-over piece of whimsical nonsense or genius from their late sixties acid days. Either way, it’s creepy and can be found on the B-side of “Alive”, released during November 1972.

charity shop purchase @ £2

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