Synopsis of Pop Music
“Do it light, taking me through the night,
Anyone familiar with late 70’s music knows the Bee Gees ruled the pop charts during that time as both performers and producers. The person who benefited most from the assistance of the Bee Gees was their younger brother Andy Gibb, who scored three consecutive #1 hits with their help. Unlike most teen idols, though, Gibb co-wrote and played instruments on many of his hits.
Gibb was given his first guitar at age 13 by his brother and future producer, Barry Gibb. He began performing in his adopted homeland of Australia (where he had lived since his infancy) and had an Australian hit at age 17 with the self-penned “Words And Music.” Robert Stigwood, manager of The Bee Gees, signed Andy to his label in 1977. He quickly went to work in the studio with his brothers, who were in the midst of a hot streak with the Saturday Night Fever album. Together, they crafted #1 hit single, “I Just Wanna Be Your Everything.”
Although the smooth “Everything” was written by Barry Gibb, Andy penned most of Flowing Rivers, the album that contained that hit, on his own. In early 1978, Gibb knocked the Bee Gees out of the #1 slot with his own hit, “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water.” This song also featured Joe Walsh of the Eagles on guitar. In June, Gibb became the first artist to hit #1 three consecutive times with the slick disco beat of “Shadow Dancing.” A similarly-titled album went Top-10.
Andy Gibb embarked on a headlining tour to build on his success. By the end of the year, he had two more Top-10 hits with “An Everlasting Love” and “Our Love (Don’t Throw It All Away).” He returned to the charts in 1980 with another dance-floor stormer, the #4 hit “Desire.” After Dark, that single's parent album, also featured a pair of duets with Olivia Newton-John. One of these songs, a delicate ballad called “I Can’t Help It,” went to #12 on the singles chart.
Gibb continued to have pop hits through 1981. At that point, he turned his attention towards television work and landed a gig as a host on the music variety show Solid Gold. He also appeared in stage musicals like The Pirates of Penzance. Gibb was working on his first new album in several years when he died of a heart infection in 1988, breaking the hearts of the disco generation. Just the same, he left behind a legacy of memorable hits that define the sleek, stylish sound of late-70’s pop.
Artist Release History1977 - Flowing Rivers
1978 - Shadow Dancing
1980 - After Dark
1991 - Greatest Hits Collection