No. 24 in Top 50 Bee Gees’ Songs 1966-72
By Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb
Lead Vocal: Barry
Single Double A-side 1968
Embed from Getty Images
The Bee Gees on ‘Top of the Pops’, 13th February 1968
“Tomorrow you can climb a mountain, sail a sailboat through a fountain”
Some might see Jumbo as a throwaway little piece though it was a double A-side single albeit not a commercially successful one, peaking at UK No 25. Its relative failure helped convince Robert Stigwood to steer the band towards orchestral ballads as exemplified by their previous single, Words which had performed very well.
Understood as a children’s lullaby about an imaginary friend rather than as psychedelic mumbo jumbo (sic), ‘Jumbo’ makes more sense whilst still making little sense at all.
‘Jumbo’ has an infectious backbeat, unusual in the Bee Gees canon, nicely inflected with Vince’s curling guitar licks. There’s a fairly abrupt slowing of tempo and a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-type rattled leadoff. It’s delightful and all nicely wrapped up in under two minutes. It gets to you.
Are we sleeping comfortably?