No. 32 in Top 50 Bee Gees’ Songs 1966-72
By Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb
Lead Vocal: Barry Album: Odessa, 1969
“‘It took a thousand years to find out why”
You’ll Never see My Face Again follows on naturally from Odessa, maintaining an air of loss but, significantly, not regret.
An undoubted reaction to Robin’s walking away from The Bee Gees in 1969, this is tackled uncharacteristically head-on. Indeed, the mood is bitter and accusatory – ‘it’s much too late to change your ways’, ‘You think that you can stand and lie, It makes me laugh – you’ve got no friends.’
Barry doesn’t yield a thing to Robin. He feels justified in his resentment because he is the one keeping the band going and Robin is the deserter. It’s as much about Barry consolidating his position as band leader as it is about brotherly relationships. His mood becomes a little more reflective with the wistful title line but even here he maintains his stance of invulnerability. The song isn’t called ‘I’ll Never See Your Face Again’.
In Day Time Girl, Barry mourns the flight of a lost lover but even although she used him, he concedes feeling a sad regret. You’ll Never See My Face Again conveys no such regret in the wake of Robin’s departure.
The acoustic guitar, as with Odessa, is strummed unusually harshly amidst Bill Shepherd’s open, uncluttered arrangement.