By Barry & Robin Gibb
Lead Vocal: Barry
Album Bee Gees’ 1st
“Sitting eating hot cross buns”
The most derivative track on 1st, In My Own Time inspires a lot of fondness for being a mere collection of blatant Revolver-era Beatles rip-offs. Dressed in button down collars and Cuban heels, it’s a stab at ’66 sharpness amidst ’67’s frills. A cheekiness lends an undeserved freshly-minted quality.
In My Own Time wants to be copycat cool. But its rather better at the copycat than the cool. Those nods to Revolver keep on coming: Vince’s needling guitar, those clarion harmonies, the sweetly sour, mock cynical lyrics.
Pin sharp modernism
Yet rather than Dr Robert or Taxman, In My Own Time is actually closer in spirit to Whistling Jack Smith’s 1967 novelty hit I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman being a half send-up, half celebration of Carnabetian, theatrical, neo-Victorian Englishness (‘sitting eating hot cross buns…’) swapping the latter’s forced merriment for the odd thrown in moment of arch sarcastic disregard (‘thousand suckers every one’.)
The couplet ‘Even when the lights go out, Still got things to think about’ serendipitously recalls With a Little Help from My Friends’ ‘What do you see when you turn out the light?’ though there could have been no debt.
Out of time
Robin, it must have been Robin, gets in his mention of the United Nations. For all its pin sharp modernism musically, lyrically In My Own Time can be seen as an early hint at his out-of-timeness.
In My Own Time is a necessary pre-antidote to the over-rated, over-extended and, sorry, rather dull Every Christian Lionhearted Man Will Show You which follows. Its careful calculation is ultimately its very fresh-faced charm.