By Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb
Lead Vocal: Barry
Album Bee Gees’ 1st
And so to the most overrrated Bee Gees‘ track of 1966-72…
I know I will make myself unpopular with pop-psych fans by finding fault with a song upheld by many as the pinnacle of Bee Gees’ psychedelia (sure enough it’s top of the list in this month’s Shindig ‘Bee Gees Deep Cuts’ feature).
Criticising Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You goes against the grain of my general preference for psychedelic over romantic ballad Bee Gees. And there’s no doubting this is one of their most outré pieces. But being self-consciously experimental and ‘psychedelic’ in themselves aren’t enough to make a song any good.
This dreary (as against dreamy, as it might like to think it is) dirge sounds as if it was written to simply get as far out as the Bee Gees were able to get in early 1967. Its melody is by far the dullest on Bee Gees 1st. I can almost hear the needle getting stuck in the groove in the yawning depth of Maurice’s pitch bend.
Indeed Maurice does a terrific job in controlling the notorious mellotron. And yes the lyrics are strange but does that mean they are stimulating or that they emotionally connect with the listener in any way?
Red Chair Fade Away has an OK, fairly fluffy kind of weirdness but at least it’s about something and makes me feel a response, not ‘when is this sub-Beatles moan going to end?’ No wonder we need Craise Finton Kirk as an antidote.
Out to impress
Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You sets out to impress and I’m amazed by the ease with which it does so. But for me, it screams ‘let’s collect some counter cultural brownie points’, never mind writing a decent song.
That’s really that’s all there is to say apart from the oft-quoted ‘the brothers sound like Gregorian monks.’ But how much better do they put their chanting abilities on a well-crafted, properly atmospheric and genuinely ambitious composition such as Odessa?
So I’m afraid this is well outside my Top 50 and easily the most skipable track on 1st.