No. 31 in Top 50 Bee Gees’ Songs 1966-72
By Robin & Barry Gibb
Lead Vocals: Barry & Robin
Album: Bee Gees’ 1st 1967
“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.