No. 50 in Top 50 Bee Gees’ Songs 1966-72
By Maurice Gibb
Lead Vocal: Lulu
Single A-side, 1971
“To the sound of the music”
A rarely played, almost forgotten piece of disposable 1971 pure-pop.
The Bee Gees could handle profundity when required, produce a progressive manifesto or two and would rise to the experimental podium if need be but they never forgot the knack of producing sugar high three minute pop which, in 1971, was Everybody Clap.
Written by Maurice in a style not too dis-similar to his solo album of a year earlier, Clap pulls on hot-pants and white PVC boots and turns up the infectious quotient toe-tappingly high. Lulu’s voice is perfect for the song’s good time soulfulness.
Clap exists in that fascinating feathercut hinterland which was post-‘60s but not quite peak-period full-on ‘70s pop. The acoustic and hi-hat intro is at the poppiest possible end of folk-rock and very 1971 (Honeybus, Marvin Welch and Farrer, ‘Cousin Norman’ era Marmalade). So too are the fat bass and drums which quickly come in along with wailing vocals. Maurice plays on the Top Of the Pops clip [above], seemingly having a great time despite his failing relationship with Mrs. Lawrie.
There is something of Middle of the Road’s highly contemporary sound in ‘Everybody Clap’. It’s tinged with ever so early glam, a little bit tribal, a glam baby that’s not quite learned to stomp, still pulling at the slightly tattered apron strings of a cute Beatley communal vibe.
‘Everybody Clap’ has ‘hit single’ written all over it and yet it wasn’t. It is now.