Album Title
Bee Gees
Artist Icon Idea (1968)
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First Released

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Genre Icon Disco


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Style Icon Rock/Pop


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Album Description
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Idea is the fifth album by the Bee Gees. Released in September 1968, the album sold over a million copies worldwide. The album was issued in both mono and stereo pressings in the UK. The artwork on the Polydor release designed by Wolfgang Heilemann featured a "beehive" neon lightbulb with a group photo in its base, while the North American ATCO release designed by Klaus Voormann featured a composite head made from each band member. It was their third internationally released album – the first two albums being released only in the Australian market.

"I've Gotta Get a Message to You" and "I Started a Joke" were both released as singles in North America. In the UK, "Message" was released only as a single and "I Started a Joke" was only an album track, though another album track, "Kitty Can", was featured on the B-side of "I've Gotta Get a Message to You."

The North American ATCO LP and the South African Polydor LP replaced "Such a Shame" with "I've Gotta Get a Message to You". Both songs were included when the album was released on CD in 1989.

Idea, released in September 1968, was the Bee Gees' third international album. "We were in friction at that point," says Barry. "We weren't getting on, and that was it. I think it was a mixture of the group not getting along very well and egos. Ego, I think, is the key word for this group. It's not unlike any other group in that everybody wants to be the one that gets the attention. Unfortunately, I think that happens a lot. Certainly it happened to us."

Many of the songs on the album's second side reflect a yearning for escape ("When the Swallows Fly," "I've Decided to Join the Air Force," "Swan Song") while Vince Melouney's "Such a Shame" was, by his own admission, about how it was a shame that the group was disintegrating.

"In the Summer of His Years" was Robin's requiem for the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein who had died in August 1967. "I've Decided to Join the Air Force" was written specially for the occasion when the Bee Gees played at the Royal Albert Hall earlier in 1968 with the musicians of the Royal Air Force backing them.

Barry Gibb performed "Kilburn Towers" on his Mythology tour of 2013-14 while "Swan Song" made a surprise appearance on the first disc of the 2010 Mythology compilation.
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