No. 15 in Top 50 Bee Gees’ Songs 1966-72
By Robin Gibb
Lead Vocal: Robin
Recording: 1970 [Robin – Sing Slowly Sisters solo sessions: released 2015]
“You sent me out of my mind'”
“I think the human state is predominantly sad” said Robin in a 2007 interview on Sing Slowly Sisters for Radio 4’s Lost Albums.
With its slight echoes of Odessa’s Lamplight and English orchestrated melancholia from the period such as Jon Plum’s ‘An Apple Falls’, C’est la Vie, Au Revoir is a bitter-sweet melody whose chorus seems to triumph in defeat.
Although perhaps not touching the depth of feeling of Sing Slowly Sisters the straightforward melody is, I think, one of Robin’s strongest, nicely sung in his attractive mid-register and with a natural, gradual build to an affecting chorus.
We can only assume that the sentiments expressed relate to Robin’s departure from the band the previous year: ‘I knew you like no one knew… can I still be your friend?’
C’est la Vie, Au Revoir is well served by its arrangement, less epic than on Odessa or Robin’s Reign with an enticing silvery effect on the string introduction and coda.
It’s a prime example of the ‘well made song’, something the Bee Gees excelled at.