No. 13 in Top 50 Bee Gees’ Songs 1966-72
By Barry, Maurice & Robin Gibb
Lead Vocal: Barry
Album: Horizontal 1968
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“An apple is a fool”
Written with The Beatles’ Apple in mind, this song marries an often nonsensical humour to a punchy band-only accompaniment. With heavy drums, pounding piano and Vince’s sly guitar fills, the result is a compelling slice of psychedelic rock, albeit one filtered through the Bee Gees’ innately melodic sensibility.
Constantly shifting key changes, especially during the bridge, demonstrate how expertly Barry could bring innovation and variety to bear on a three minute pop song.
Despite the apparent whimsicality of the lyrics, the overall effect is one of sardonic humour hammered home by emphatic piano chops and Barrie’s commanding, almost Lennon-like, double-tracked vocal.
You might feel that I have elevated Lemons Never Forget a little beyond its station in the Top 50 given the run of more ambitious and ‘deeper’ songs in the recent countdown. But Lemons‘ combination of sharp pop-rock sensibility and those suggestions of psychedelia combined with the song’s slam dunk brevity, I always find both thoroughly irresistable and impressive. The Bee Gees attempted something similar with The Earnest of Being George on Horizontal but this is the definitive article.