One, by the Bee Gees
This album is one of the few post-disco albums by the Bee Gees that were popular, and that was largely based on the strength of the top ten hit One, which was somewhat of a surprising hit. Unfortunately, nothing else from this album really caught on, and that is a shame, because as is often the case for the Bee Gees, there is a lot more here under the surface. As is the case with the best Bee Gees albums of the post-disco era, this album is at its best with darker songs, and there are plenty of songs here that muse on the darker side of love. This album was supposed to be the place where all four Brothers Gibb worked together for the first time ever openly, but the death of Andy and the feeling of sadness and melancholy that resulted appears to have left its effect on this album and its sense of frustrated longing, and not only of a romantic nature.
As far as the songs on this album go, this album has some standouts and most of them are concentrated at the beginning. One, the big hit, begins the album, with an expression that two people should be together, eventually. After that comes the brooding Ordinary Lives, where the brothers express their sadness that they could not live ordinary lives. Then comes Bodyguard, which is a beautiful love ballad that was a minor hit as the second single from the album. It’s My Neighborhood shows the Bee Gees being territorial about a relationship gone wrong. Tears reflects on the frustrated hopes of a relationship that went awry. Tokyo Nights shows a nostalgic desire to go back to Tokyo, another excellent track here, while Flesh And Blood is a somewhat dark reflection of a tough posture by the group. Wish You Were Here is a lovely track and House Of Shame reflects on the shameful nature of promiscuous sexuality that belongs in the secret love theme of ominous romance. Will You Ever Let Me muses on whether a partner will ever let the narrator in, a common concern by the group, and the album ends with the excellent You Win Again, which already appeared on the neglected ESP.
With this album, the Bee Gees have their fourth straight album that is at least 4/5 in their post-disco period that I have reviewed. There isn’t a song here that is less than a 4/5 and there are some real excellent tunes here. I would consider this a pretty strong 4.5/5 and an album that you definitely need to check out if you like songs that have a somewhat brooding undercurrent behind the themes of romantic and other types of love that the Bee Gees have long specialized in. As is often the case in the post-disco Bee Gees period, this is an album that deserves to be far better remembered than it is, with “One,” “Ordinary Lives,” “Tokyo Nights,” “Flesh And Blood,” and “You Win Again” ranking among their best all-time work in my opinion, which is a tall order considering the group’s body of work as a whole.