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18 September 2011

Spirits Having Flown (1979)

This week I have mostly been listening to...

The Bee Gees

Some might say that this is yet more evidence of me losing my grip on reality... of my inevitable descent into madness and spilling food all down myself. And they may well be right.

The Bee Gees - fine figures of manhood

It all started innocuously enough...

My daughter has quite a thing for the Horrible Histories TV programme. She loves the songs they do. One of her favourite numbers is the Aztec Priest song, which is inspired by the Bee Gees disco classic: Stayin' Alive. I recently dug out the video of the original song on youtube so that she could have a listen. The video I found was a period piece with the Gibb Brothers singing whilst strutting down a street.

Me: What do you think?
My Daughter: The tall one's got very tight trousers.

And so quickly ended that video session!

Horrible Histories - Aztec Priests

But I wasn't going to give up that easily. I picked up the vinyl single of "Stayin' Alive" and was particularly taken with the B-side, where the boys do their own version of "If I Can't Have You". I like the Yvonne Elliman version, but the Gees take it in a whole different direction.

And finally... you might now be starting to understand how 3 weeks ago I found myself sheepishly buying the 1979 album 'Spirits Having Flown'!

Nobody laugh please...

If I had to recommend one song it would be...

Spirits (Having Flown) 

Ask me in 5 minutes and I might plump for "Stop (Think Again)", but for the moment I'm putting my money on the title track: Spirits (Having Flown). I don't know what it is about this song that gets me tapping my slippers. It might be the flutish melody. It might be the sunshine lyrics. It might simply be because I've lost my mind.

Bee Gees - Spirits (Having Flown)

When I initially listened to this album, my first impressions were that the music was mixed too quiet. It's a far more laid back sound to the thumping disco of Saturday Night Fever. The hooks are there, but they're understated. Having listened a lot more, I'm now of the opinion that they got the mix just right. There is genius here... if you can just get past the falsetto.

Also, I'm going to point out the rhythm guitar. It's outstanding! Just listen to "Search, Find" if you don't believe me. Less is definitely more. These guys rock! I never thought I'd hear myself saying that! Ha ha!

On the Triple-B, I'm going to grow my hair long, cultivate a manly beard and hum along to 9 fantastic tunes. "But there are 10 songs on this album," I hear you cry. I'm not including "Tragedy"... and that's only because the Steps have ruined it for me.

One final thing...

The Bee Gees had their own plane for the Spirits Having Flown tour. It was a Boeing 720 decked out in the tour colours. There were three bathrooms - one for each of the boys - and each bathroom had a full length mirror with a diamond-encrusted hairdrier!

The Bee Gees Tour Plane


  1. It is in my will that Spirits Having Flown should be played at my funeral.


  2. Nice choice Lya! A long time ago I thought my song might be Motorhead's Stay Clean, but now I'm not so sure... I think I like your idea better! Thanks for the comment!

  3. Brilliant, the Bee Gees are the most talented songwriters and musicians of our time. I can't pick a favorite song. Today it is "I Could Not Love You More" from their Still Waters album.

  4. I haven't ventured outside of the Disco era yet, but it's only a matter of time! I picked up the vinyl single of 'Night Fever' last week which has 'Down the Road' as the B-Side. And while I was at it, I bought the 1967 single 'World' which has the intriguingly named B-Side of 'Sir Geoffrey Saved The World'. Looking forward to listening to those once I get the time to clean up the records. Thanks for taking the time to comment.