The Bee Gees’ (19)69 Love Songs

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Odessa, the sprawling 1969 beacon of creativity by the Bee Gees, gets a lavish 40th anniversary, three-disc reissue treatment by Rhino on January 13. Credited by some rock critics as the songwriting equals of the Beatles, brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb loaded their only studio double-LP with orchestral-rock gems such as “Melody Fair,” “First Of May” and “Odessa (City On The Black Sea).” To those who remember the Brothers Gibb only as the chart-topping creators of mid-‘70s disco anthems, here’s a chance to fall under the spell of “I Laugh In Your Face,” the Bacharach-like drama of “Sound Of Love” and the intoxicating beauty of “Lamplight,” on which Robin’s heart-wrenching vibrato never sounded more expansive. Discs one and two are stereo and mono mixes of the original 17-track album, while disc three is stuffed with 23 unreleased tracks from the album sessions, including a pair of tunes that didn’t make the final cut, as well as demos and alternate mixes that provide a finely detailed road map to the majesty of this long-overlooked pop masterpiece.

“Odessa (City On The Black Sea)” from Odessa:

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