Bee Gees - How Can You Mend A Broken Heart - 1971
Bee Gees - How Can You Mend A Broken Heart - 1971
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|The Bee Gees first U.S. #1 was "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" |
The three brothers reunited in the later part of 1970, penning a series of songs about heartache and loneliness. Although they had lost traction on the British charts, the Bee Gees hit #3 in America with "Lonely Days" (from the reunion LP 2 Years On) and had their first US #1 with "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" (from Trafalgar). The trio's talents were included in the soundtrack for the 1971 film Melody as they performed several songs for the title. In 1972, they hit #16 in America with the single "My World" and "Run To Me" from the LP To Whom It May Concern; the latter also returned them to the British top ten for the first time in three years.
By 1973, however, the Bee Gees were in a rut. The album, Life in a Tin Can, and its lead-off single, "Saw a New Morning," sold poorly with the single peaking at #94. This was followed by an unreleased album (known as A Kick in the Head Is Worth Eight in the Pants). A second compilation album, Best of Bee Gees, Volume 2 was released in 1973, though it did not repeat the success of Volume 1.
On the advice of Ahmet Ertegün, head of their US label Atlantic Records, Stigwood arranged for the group to record with famed soul music producer Arif Mardin. The resulting LP, Mr. Natural, included fewer ballads and foreshadowed the R&B direction of the rest of their career. But when it too failed to attract much interest, Mardin encouraged them to work with the soul music style.
The brothers attempted to assemble a live stage band that could replicate their studio sound. Lead guitarist Alan Kendall had come on board in 1971, but did not have much to do until Mr. Natural. For that album, they added drummer Dennis Bryon, and they later added ex-Strawbs keyboard player Blue Weaver, completing the late 1970s "Bee Gees band". Maurice, who had previously performed on piano, guitar, organ, mellotron, and bass guitar, as well as exotica like mandolin and Moog, now confined himself to bass onstage. 
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