No. 31 in Top 50 Bee Gees’ Songs 1966-72
By Robin & Barry Gibb
Lead Vocals: Barry & Robin
Album: Bee Gees’ 1st 1967
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“Everything’s happening at the turn of the century”
As the opener to their first international album, Turn of the Century announces the brothers’ arrival in England not with a blast of the modern but a jolly fanfare from the past. The Bee Gees had travelled not just overseas but, in a sense, back in time, back to their own pasts, back to the ‘old country’ and a swinging London enthralled to Victoriana. Here they set out their stall with aplomb, conjuring a bustling world somewhere between Oliver Twist and a Quality Street tin.
I struggle to make out the lyrics ‘Big wide hats and men in spats’ until researching this piece, preferring ‘people had too many spats’. And I do love Robin’s Cockney ‘orseless carriages.’
Whilst not one of their major songs, Turn of the Century is a solidly crafted piece of pop which lifts the lid on their new career and survives as a solid and highly melodic contribution to toytown pop.